How can we encourage more businesses to offer data training for graduates?

Many businesses are missing out on a large section of “untapped and undiscovered“ candidates due to a failure to offer data literacy training - which some of the tech giants such as Google are offering in their talent programmes. This article has a really interesting discussion of this topic, and it also highlights the recruitment bias towards Ivy League institutions in the search for young data literate employees. Surely businesses (and universities) need to nurture young talent and offer training in data literacy?


  • Yes, businesses need to nurture and bring in not only learning and education for graduates, but all employees. This is no longer a nice to have but an imperative to success. By bringing in full learning and education, plus having a culture that truly embraces the use of data and analytics, it allows the organization to stay competitive in the 4th industrial revolution.

  • I wonder if this might be a sort of chicken-and-egg problem. In order to know the need to, and how to, train employees there must be at least some sense of data's value. The two best ways to develop this are to hire or to train employees. Even then, once a business has a small set of data literate people, it may not be enough of the right people to facilitate organizational change.

    How do we make this kind of transformation? I'm still trying to learn how.

    Until it is clearer and more accessible for employer to do so, I suspect we will continue seeing the bias toward Ivy League graduates.

    Do you think this may also be reminiscent of the way that data science has recently boomed in popularity? By which I mean, the pattern of concentrating on scarce, high-perceived-value resources while the market is left to manage for training for candidates.

  • That’s a great point @Data_Dave – that’s why we believe it’s absolutely vital to democratise access to data literacy and ensure it’s accessible to businesses of all sizes, not just those who are focused on hiring Ivy League graduates. 

    In fact, recent Qlik research found that many global businesses actually prefer practical data experience over data science degrees. Almost two-thirds (59%) of global enterprises identified prior job experience or a case study interview as the top indicators of a candidate’s data literacy, compared to 18% for a bachelor’s, master’s or even doctorate.

    This is a positive step in the right direction, and shows that employers are recognising the value of data literacy skills without restricting this to those with Ivy League or Oxbridge educations. 

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