Why IT professionals are going back to school for big data

The rush to keep up with advances in big data has led to a 'back to school' trend

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'The struggle to keep up with advances in big data, among other increasingly relevant technologies, has left many professionals seeking new resources to maintain an edge'

 

In the past decade, the information technology and engineering fields have transformed dramatically through a torrent of technological advances and innovations. 

One area that has seen exponential growth during this time period is in the field of big data, which allows organisations to better store, manage, analyse and share huge quantities of information. However, it’s what they are now able to do with the information that is truly groundbreaking. 

The rapid surge in applications for big data has created a hiring boom across North America, as new jobs and entire companies surface to fill the void. And it’s not just North America. A slew of corporations around the world have taken on big data projects, and many are seeing an incredible return on that investment. 

>See also: UK’s data scientists face burnout due to work-related stress

A recent study revealed that a staggering 89% of senior technology leaders from 19 countries around the world rated big data as being "very important" or "extremely important" to their businesses' digital transformation. 

Additionally, 82% also indicated that big data provided a significant source of value to their companies.

The struggle to keep up with advances in big data, among other increasingly relevant technologies, has left many professionals seeking new resources to maintain an edge. 

This “back to school” trend can be seen at all levels, from junior IT employees to CIOs, but nowhere has deep, comprehensive knowledge of this field more relevant to engineers, technical managers and entrepreneurs.

These individuals in many cases have strong perspectives on the “big picture” of big data, but often require additional guidance to make the most of its many applications.

Big data represents an immediate path to technologies that help us better understand and improve the world around us. 

From data collection via smartphones and sensors to storage and processing, systems issues, analytics, visualisation and more, the range of applications related to big data can be overwhelming, but the opportunities are seemingly endless. 

Tackling the Challenges of Big Data, which featured 12 instructors from MIT Professional Education’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at the School of Engineering, is one programme that provided organisations the ability to offer global training and education to their employees.

Because high-performing professionals in this field have an abundance of curiosity but are constantly short on time, this online alternative offers the ease and flexibility of taking a course at their own convenience, while allowing global professionals access to experts without the need for travel. 

Approximately 3,500 professionals from 88 countries, and over 2,000 organisations worldwide, tuned into MIT’s course to learn more about state-of-the-art topics in big data. It was so popular, in fact, that it added two additional sessions for this month and February 2015.

The future of big data is incredibly exciting, and has potential to affect almost everything in the science, technology, and engineering fields. 

>See also: Businesses must join forces with universities to plug the data skills gap

For this reason, it’s essential to explore new ways to educate the people who can have real impact in this field. 

By empowering professionals with the resources to take big data innovations to the next level, applications of this technology will fundamentally change the ways people work and live for the betterment of humankind.

 

Sourced from Clara Piloto, MIT Professional Education