Chester Brearey, Siena College – Future of Data Science Jobs

On Siena College Week: Not enough graduates have data science and analysis skillsets.

Chester Brearey, associate professor of accounting at Siena College, discusses why colleges need to help fill this gap.

Chester H. Brearey received his D.M. and M. Acc. from Case Western Reserve University, his B.B.A. in accounting from Cleveland State University and a B.A. in history from John Carroll University. He is a Certified Public Accountant. His two primary areas of research are the development of accounting thought and institutions, and the regulation of accounting disclosures. He has worked with co-authors to review and evaluate the contributions of principal policy setters such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, and the Financial Accounting Standards Board. He is a former partner with an international accounting firm and a former bank officer.

Future of Data Science Jobs

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Every major American industry is growing its data science and analytics workforce.  A Gallup poll revealed that in three years, nearly 70 percent of employers expect candidates with data science and analytics skills to get preference for jobs in their organizations. Yet fewer than a quarter of college and university leaders say their graduates will have those skills.

Skilled technology professionals at innovative firms such as Google, Netflix and Amazon, have leveraged the power of data analytics to break into new markets, build stronger relationships with consumers, and streamline processes such as supply chain and marketing management.

Employers now require data-driven, multidisciplinary teams to tackle their biggest problems and grasp their most promising opportunities. But this runs counter to an educational culture where both faculty and students devote little time outside of their own specialties.  

Unlocking the value of data requires a diverse, multidisciplinary approach to problem solving, combining data science and analytical skills with functional and industry expertise, creativity, and leadership. If higher education is to unlock the promise and potential of data and all the technologies that depend on it, academic institutions and educators will have to consider transforming their academic core to include course offerings in data analytics, while still maintaining the key core values that are valued by employers.

There is a challenge ahead, but by working in tandem, educators and employers can close the Data Science and Analytics skills gap and ensure the future competitiveness of American companies and workers.

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