SEATTLE, Dec. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Tableau today released a report that reveals how American institutions of higher education are adapting to train the next generation of data workers required by industry. The report, titled " The State of Data Education in 2016," found that approximately 20 percent of four-year universities in the U.S. now offer analytics programs. That figure is driven largely by highly-ranked institutions, nearly all of which offer analytics-focused programs to their students. The report also found that just two percent of two-year institutions offer such programs, indicating a significant gap in the availability of analytics education.
Overall, institutions have begun offering more analytics programs with the goal of preparing more students to work with data in a diverse range of jobs. Programs focused on business analytics accounted for much of this growth in analytics education, as universities adapt to meet the needs of industry for data-literate talent. Tableau's research also suggests that universities are increasingly offering interdisciplinary education in analytics, embedding basic data literacy into other fields ranging from public health to the sciences to business schools. "Data literacy is now a baseline expectation in jobs of all kinds," said Christian Chabot, Co-founder and Chairman of Tableau. "Perhaps the greatest challenge we face as an industry is training and nurturing the next generation of data talent. These are the people who will go on to change schools, doctor's offices, businesses, governments, and more, thanks to data. Our hope is that this report will help spur further investment and interest from academia and industry to train the next generation of data workers." More than five years ago, global business consultancy McKinsey predicted a shortage of as many as 1.5 million managers and workers with analytics know-how by 2018, noting that data skills were becoming a pervasive need in all kinds of jobs. This trend has continued, as organizations in all industries clamor to hire more data-proficient talent. Administrators at American universities echoed this, and noted that they are moving to address this need.