- IBM and The Open Group, a global tech consortium, announced the creation of their Data Scientist certification program, which is set to provide those who complete the program with the skills, knowledge and expertise needed to perform a data scientist's duties. Those tasks include automating tasks, predicting future outcomes more accurately and recommending actions based on the data. Citing the results of a LinkedIn study, IBM said that there are 151,000 unfilled data scientist jobs across the country.
- IBM also announced a new Data Science Apprenticeship program, which offers job candidates who might not have a college degree 24 months of training. The program is part of the company’s "New Collar" jobs initiative and focuses on three basic components: mentorship, education and practical experience. During the apprenticeship, employees will work towards meeting the requirements of Level 1 of the data scientist certification. The U.S. Department of Labor recognizes the Data Science Apprenticeship as a professional program.
- "With the launch of the Data Scientist certification, we are taking the first step in giving individuals and organizations an industry-wide agreement for the profession, helping businesses identify top talent and ensuring individuals have the opportunity to demonstrate their value," Andrew Josey, VP, standards and certification at The Open Group, said in a statement. "Data Scientists work on mission critical issues within a business, so it's essential that they have the right skills and can apply the appropriate methodologies to solve the business problem at hand."
The talent shortage, especially in the tech space, is generating partnerships between companies and training organizations to equip workers with the kinds of skills they'll need in the workplace of the future. New York University recently announced the launch of a master's degree program in human capital analytics. As with the data scientists certification program, the advance degree program gives participants training in an emerging area of specialty — and points to the growing necessity of data knowledge within the HR profession, too.
The Society of Human Resources Management offers a People Analytics Specialty Credential that provides participants with metrics knowledge and technology that allow them to make data-supported recommendations to their organizations. The HR Certification Institute also recently revised its certification exam to include technology and program development.
Digital analytics and specialty disciplines in technology, like data science, are vital to businesses. Collecting and analyzing data to decide best methods and practices is the strategy of world-class organizations, according to a study by The Hackett Group. These organizations reportedly do more, spend less, and make more efficient use of their workforce.
Digitization might have sizable upfront costs, but it can offset overall spending in the long run. The investment might be worth the cost if digitization prepares workers for the future, helps reduce the talent gap and makes organizations more competitive.