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The Future Is Now

Closing the data analytics skills gap

WorkingNation and The Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative (WCAI) will hold a Town Hall to discuss talent needs in data analytics and innovative solutions.
With the proliferation of new technology, data analytics has become one of the fastest-growing job areas. Data science now now spans – and drives – nearly every aspect of business, government, and the nonprofit sectors. In this town hall, panelists discuss how employers and educators are responding to the growing talent needs in this evolving field.

As technology continues to transform current jobs and create new jobs, there is one industry that is taking center stage in this new world of work – data science. For the past three years, data scientist has been named the Top Job In America by Glassdoor.

And while the three professions that make up the industry – machine learning, statistics, and analytics – are all considered “hot jobs,” it’s data analytics (or data-mining or business intelligence) that is growing by leaps and bounds across all industries and is revolutionizing the workplace.

In 2015, 2.35 million jobs demanded data science and analytic (DSA) skills. By 2020, the demand for DSA jobs is projected to grow 15%, according to research from Burning Glass Technologies, with the fastest-growing roles of data scientists and advanced analysts projected to see demand spike by 28%.

This boom has driven the demand for skilled professionals and the need for educators to incorporate data analytics in secondary and postsecondary curriculums. Right now, fewer than one-third of U.S. News & World Report‘s Top 100 Global Universities offer degrees in data science. And of the 29 that offer data science programs, only six make them available to undergraduates, according to the University of California, Riverside.

For WorkingNation’s sixth town hall event, The Future Is Now: Closing the Data Analytics Skills Gap, we partnered with The Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative (WCAI), the world’s preeminent academic research center focusing on the development and application of customer analytics methods, to highlight the power of data analytics in business.

WorkingNation Founder and CEO Art Bilger speaks on stage
WorkingNation founder and CEO Art Bilger

“Data analytics has been at the top of my list for a very long time,” said WorkingNation Founder & CEO Art Bilger, a Wharton School alumnus and one of the people instrumental in the launch of WCAI at the school.

“I really believe data and analytics might be the fastest-growing job area in this country over the next five to10 years because there won’t be an aspect of business, government, or the not-for-profit world that isn’t driven by data and analytics.”

Moderator Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, a CNBC contributor and former CNBC chief international correspondent and co-anchor of Power Lunch, led the discussion with leaders in business, academia, government, and the non-profit sectors on their talent needs in the area of data analytics as well as their innovative solutions.

In addition, we explored how education systems, both traditional and non-traditional pathways, are responding to this demand and educating students for the changing job landscape.

Our esteemed panelists included:
  • Allen Blue (Keynote Speaker), Co-founder, LinkedIn
  • Eric Bradlow, Professor of Marketing, The Wharton School
  • H. Patrick Clancy, President and CEO, Philadelphia Works
  • Tsvi Gal, CTO, Morgan Stanley
  • Guy Generals, President, Community College of Philadelphia
  • Melanie Harris, Chief Information Officer, School District of Philadelphia
  • Ravi Kandikonda, Senior Vice President of Marketing Strategy & Planning, Comcast
  • Steven Kern, Deputy Director, Quantitative Sciences, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Kevin Mahoney, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Penn Health
  • Jake Schwartz, Co-founder & CEO, General Assembly
  • Bhushan Sethi, Partner, Joint Global Leader, People & Organization, PwC
  • Matt Sigelman, CEO, Burning Glass Technologies
Town Halls is our signature digital series that shines the spotlight on the most innovative initiatives helping to train and re-skill Americans for the most in-demand jobs now and in the future.

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