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Report: Universities Ramping Up Data Analytics Program Offerings to Meet Workplace Demand

Just over half of today's university data analytics degree programs have been established in the last six years, according to a new report from Tableau. The explosive increase in statistics, informatics, business intelligence, data science and other data analytics degree programs is being driven by workplace demand for data analysis skills.

The report, The State of Data Education in 2016, is based on a year-long study conducted by Tableau, a business intelligence and analytics company. Data analysis is "the sexiest job of the 21st century," according to CNBC, and a search for "data analytics" jobs on currently returns more than 65,000 results. Tableau conducted the study to find out how universities are responding to the demand for data-skilled workers.

The company examined data from higher education institutions across the United States. It found that the number of undergraduate and graduate-level programs in data analytics has increased dramatically in recent years, particularly in top-ranking 4-year institutions near major cities with strong analytics job markets. Most programs are offered as majors, rather than minors or certificates, and universities are increasingly "embedding basic data literacy into other fields ranging from public health to the sciences to business schools," according to a news release.

Other key findings from the report include:

  • Nearly all of the 150 top-ranked universities offer at least one data analytics program;
  • University of Washington-Seattle has the most data analytics programs with 46, followed by George Mason University with 31 and Carnegie Mellon University with 25;
  • 32 percent of new data analytics programs are in the field of business analytics or business intelligence, and the majority other new programs are in the fields of statistics, informatics and data science;
  • 20 percent of 4-year universities now offer analytics programs, but only two percent of 2-year institutions offer such programs; and
  • Most data analytics programs are offered in geographic areas with strong analytics job markets.

Based on its findings, Tableau concluded that universities are responding to workplace demand for data-skilled workers, particularly in the field of business analytics and intelligence. However, more work must be done to develop these types of programs, especially at 2-year institutions.

The full report is available as a downloadable PDF from Tableau's site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].

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