Online Learning and Big Data


Big Data and Online Learning

In 2008, the national research organization Computing Community Consortium predicted that Big Data “will transform the activities of companies, scientific researchers, medical practitioners and our nation’s defense and intelligence operations.” (1) The eight years since have proved CCC right, with Big Data now being leveraged by UPS to optimize delivery routes, by the National Institutes of Health to sequence cancer genomes and by the Department of Defense to detect cyber espionage. (2) (3) Big Data would see even greater application today were it not restrained by a shortage of qualified data scientists. Thankfully online learning is stepping up to train data scientists and thereby spread the benefits of Big Data.

The Big Data Industry’s growth:

2011: $5.1 billion

2012: $10.2 billion

2013: $16.8 billion

2014: $32.1 billion

2015: $48.0 billion

2016: $53.4 billion (4)

Job postings for data scientists increased 15,000% from 2011 to 2012. (4)

4.4 million data scientists were needed by 2015, but only ⅓ of those jobs were filled. (5)

By 2018, the U.S. may face a 60% gap between supply of and demand for data scientists. (6)

This shortage will be composed of 190,000 analysts, as well as 1.5 million managers. (7)

Currently, less than 5% of data is used effectively, mainly due to insufficient training and skills. (8)

Of 24% of CIOs who report gathering customer data, more than 50% say they lack sufficient staff to effectively use that data. (7)

Of companies that use Big Data:

More than 9 in 10 expect to increase their talent within the next year;

Around 4 in 10 report a lack of talent to implement and run solutions;

Only 1 in 10 had all necessary talent in house. (9)

The size of companies using Big Data and the percent expecting to increase their talent within the next year:

Greater than $10 billion: 69%

$5 billion-$10 billion: 52%

$1 billion-$5 billion: 59%

$500 million-$1 billion: 49%

$250 million-$500 million: 33% (9)

33% of companies using Big Data rely on external training to address their talent shortages. (9)

Right now only 40% of data scientists have master’s degrees:

Bachelor’s: 90%

Master’s: 40%

Doctorate: 17% (4)

There are more than 100 graduate programs for data science worldwide. (7)

The first fully online master’s degree for data scientists launched in 2014. (10)

While traditional data science graduate programs aim to train 50 data scientists a year, online programs aim to educate 200 in each cohort. (7)