Preparing Students For The Future Workforce With Data Literacy

“If Your company Is Not Driven By Data, You’re Going To Be Left Behind In The Next Decade.”

This was one of the key takeaways from student Noah Bledsoe in the latest episode of the Data Brilliant – Unplugged series, which explored how Radford University is arming its students with data skills to prepare them for the future world of work.

More and more companies are striving to develop a data-driven culture, where every employee is using real-time data to make informed decisions. Makes sense, right? But, as Noah, a graduate student studying Data and Information Management at Radford, put it, employees can have all the data in the world, but, if they don’t know how to turn that into valuable insight for the company, it’s irrelevant.

That’s why Dr. Jeff Pittges, who has been a professor at Radford University since 2006, introduced data literacy into his curriculum. With an impressive career that spans data warehousing to data science to data analytics, including at five Silicon Valley startups and as a consultant at cloud-computing services pioneer, Rackspace, he’s learned the value of putting people at the heart of data – and the value of Qlik.

In addition to building out an arsenal of technical skills, such as SQL, cyber security and data visualization, plus how to master tools, including Python and Qlik Sense, a core part of his program is preparing students to be the new leaders in data. At the core, Dr. Pittges is building a curriculum aimed at preparing students to work at an enterprise level – creating the data infrastructure and dashboards that present data to broad audiences within complex organizations.

Steve Oake, who graduated from Radford University a few years ago and now works as a Data Analyst in healthcare, summed up the value of this approach to education – by stressing how it helps students learn the core skills they will need in their future careers. And, once they’re in industry, they can literally hit the ground running and continue to develop and further these skills with solid foundations already in place.

Missed the episode? You can catch it on-demand here:

Radford University is part of the Qlik Academic Program, and, in the episode, we learned that Dr. Pittges was actually the second professor to sign up for it. The Program aims to create a data literate world and provides qualified university professors, students and researchers with free Qlik software and resources to help educate and train the next generation of experts leading with data. Find out more here. You can also check out lots of free resources for learning at: https://learning.qlik.com/

If you’d like to find out more information about the Qlik Academic Program, contact Qlik’s Lucy Bannister via LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/lucyebannister

As always, stay tuned for the next episode of #DataBrilliantUnplugged coming in September. We think you’ll love our next guest – wine expert, data enthusiast and serious entrepreneur.

In a blog post by our own @robertpfleming watch and read about the latest #DataBrilliantUnplugged episode; it explores how @radfordu is arming its students w/ #dataskills to prepare them for the future world of work.

Get ready to transform your entire business with data.

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