- MIT Operations Research Center Co-Director and Professor Dimitris Bertsimas writes for eSchool News that data analytics should be a necessary component of studies for students whether they plan to enter the workforce or go on to college, and regardless of the field they pursue.
- Data analytics, Bertsimas writes, is already all around us and we have yet to see its full potential tapped, and it will only change the way we live and work as the data powering artificial intelligence becomes more complex.
- With elements already seen in a focus on promoting "computational thinking" and computer science for all, applications for data analytics exist across all areas of study — including 18th Century English literature, Bertsimas suggests — further necessitating all students get a "Data Analytics 101" introduction during K-12 and higher ed, especially as interest in business analytics rises.
K-12 and higher ed are each facing unique challenges when it comes to preparing students for the future workforce. The nation's public K-12 education system has long focused on producing workers for a variety of post-industrial jobs. But as factory, retail, warehouse and other jobs are increasingly automated, many of these workers have been replaced.
With the reality being that college isn't likely for everyone, schools and districts must now consider how to equip students with the skills now needed for life after high school. This has led to a resurgence of interest in trade programs, internships and other career and technical education approaches. With a number of states nationwide now offering or exploring free community college, selling students on sticking around for "grades 13 and 14" may not be a difficult proposition if they know they'll gain skills to better position themselves.
Across higher ed, programs should also consider how to apply high-demand skills in computer science and data analytics to their own fields of study. Even if students don't go into a career that directly uses them, skills that can help them comfortably pivot if they need to can be invaluable in the long run, And, it only helps them sell the oft-questioned value of the liberal arts to policymakers and other critics.