Enterprises Prefer Candidates with Practical Data Skills Over Data Science Degrees

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  • Prior job experience is considered as the top indicator of a candidate’s data literacy.
  • 50 percent of companies globally don’t provide data literacy training to their own employees.
  • Qlik launched an e-learning program for non-experts that awards a certification in data literacy.
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Job seekers owning demonstrable experience with data might soon overtake those with data science degrees when it comes to the candidates global enterprises are seeking, according to a major survey of global business decision makers commissioned by data and analytics firm Qlik, on behalf of the Data Literacy Project.

Almost two-thirds (59 percent) of both global and APAC enterprises surveyed ranked prior job experience or a case study interview – where a candidate is presented with and must solve an example business problem to demonstrate their data skills – as the top indicator of a candidate’s data literacy.

By contrast, only 18 percent globally and 15 percent in APAC viewed a bachelor or master’s degree in science – let alone data science – or even a doctorate degree as its primary consideration when hiring.

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“Organizations are increasingly understanding that the value is not in having data but transforming their data into value to make better decisions – and we’re seeing this increased appreciation translating into greater opportunities for data-literate individuals,” said Jordan Morrow, Head of Data Literacy at Qlik and Chair of the Data Literacy Project.

Businesses Actively Seeking Data Decision Makers

The study revealed that most businesses (63 percent globally and 57 percent in APAC) are actively looking for candidates who can demonstrate their ability to use, work with and analyze data – presenting a good opportunity for those who can demonstrate these valuable skills.

As per Qlik’s data literacy index, large enterprises that are more data literate experience a 3 to 5 percent higher enterprise value (the total market value of the business), which represented an additional $320-$534 million for the surveyed organizations.

But DSA (Data Science and Analytics) professions – which includes all data-informed roles from data scientists and data analysts, to business analysts and data-enabled marketing managers -are the hardest to fill in the entire market, typically remaining open for 45 days.

While not all business leaders surveyed were aware of how their firm remunerates data literate employees, Qlik’s survey revealed that 75 percent of those which are up to speed on their company’s policy reported paying higher salaries to employees with the ability to read, work with, analyze and argue with data.

Half of companies don’t provide data literacy training to their employees

Despite recognizing the value of on-the-job experience and data certifications, 50 percent of companies globally said they don’t provide data literacy training to their own employees.

Only 34 percent of decision makers globally and 36 percent in APAC state that they have programs in place. This is despite 78 percent of global employees and 72 percent of APAC employees saying they would be willing to invest more time and energy into improving their data skill sets.

Qlik Academic Program

Qlik offers an Academic Program to drive data literacy amongst students before they enter the work world. Qlik also recently launched a first-of-its-kind e-learning program for non-experts that awards a certification in data literacy.

Qlik has made key elements of this program available free of charge via the Data Literacy Project.

Eighteen percent of business decision makers globally and 21 percent in APAC said that a data-skills certification – something that can be earned well after college or formal education – was the best indicator of a candidate’s data literacy and demonstrated the ability to use the techniques most required today, the study pointed out.

 

 

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