SAN DIEGO, Calif., Dec. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Teradata University Network, in conjunction with Teradata (NYSE: TDC), the analytic data solutions company, is now offering free web-based certification training for students seeking to make themselves attractive candidates for analytic data jobs or a wide range of other jobs that today require data-driven decision-making. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120412/CL86658LOGO ) The industry-recognized Teradata Certification Professional Program advances Teradata knowledge and skills. Teradata University Network provides students the opportunity to certify in a choice of two baseline Teradata Certifications: Teradata Certified Professional for those who are interested or work in IT and certification validates their abilities to use Teradata technology to further advance business strategy; and Teradata Certified Associates for those who are interested or work in a business role that requires a conceptual understanding of Teradata technology. Students can study to become a Teradata Certified Professional or Certified Associate through the free online program. "Our intent is to build an analytic talent pipeline that our customers can access to meet their critical need for skilled analytics professionals. This free online training will help universities prepare students to become skilled analytics employees," said Teradata Chief Learning Officer Jim Stewart. A McKinsey Global Institute report in 2011 projected the US will need 1.5 million "data-savvy managers and analysts" by 2018 to take full advantage of big data. A separate international survey found graduating students lack that required knowledge today. The survey was sponsored by Business Intelligence Congress II, a meeting co-hosted by Teradata University Network and the Association for Information Systems Special Interest Group on Decision Support, Knowledge and Data Management Systems. Teradata University Network Executive Board member Michael Goul said, "As professors, we're concerned that our students graduate with not only the technical knowledge they need to be analytics professionals, but also the business understanding to put that knowledge to use. Certification is an important approach to help align what is taught in academe with what is needed by industry." Goul is the professor of Information Systems in the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. The exploding demand for analytics professionals is fueled in part by companies' increased focus on data-driven decision-making to grapple with the fast pace of change in the business world, and easier access to previously untapped data sources such as weblogs, social media interactions and sensors.