After decades of advising career hopefuls to pursue computer coding as a critical skill, it’s becoming clear that more employers are seeking candidates who have data analytics under their belt.
Gene Richardson, COO of Experts Exchange, who contributes to Venture Beat, shares that despite plans to churn out workforce ready adults into careers that involve writing code for new applications in the future, like President Obama’s TechHire Initiative and Computer Science for All program, the majority of businesses are not being adequately served by this skill alone.
Richardson advises that companies prepare the workforce through employee development programs in data analysis, such as scripting language training, deductive reasoning skills, and simple SQL commands since the current educational system is not providing enough real-world learning.
While coding is a valuable skill for candidates, it’s now expected that most employees have at least some basic understanding of programming language. However, what’s more critical to businesses is how they organize, report on and use the huge amount of data generated. Richardson makes a good point when he says, “the most in-demand coding skill in the world is not the one that empowers you to build a startup ... it’s the ability to perform advanced analysis on data that creates rich meaning from raw numbers”
What does this mean for many employers? It requires employee learning and development programs that not only test for a general understanding of coding, but also how to use databases and reporting software to generate meaningful reports. HR should focus on creating a culture of data. Data analysis should be treated as a priority, which helps companies make strategic decisions, back up their worth, and measure competitiveness in any market.