Although many job functions have shrunk over the last 12 months, demand for data scientists continues to surge. Research firm Deloitte found in 2020, for the second time in four years, the number of jobs posted by tech companies for analysis skills— including machine learning, data science, data engineering and visualization—surpassed traditional skills, such as engineering, customer support, marketing and PR and administration.
Companies with a need for staff with analytic skills continue to demand fresh talent. Many have sought to strengthen partnerships with universities and industry collaborators to bring the best and most-relevant data and analytics students into the profession.
Created by the Government of India in 2009 specifically to bridge the industry-academia skill gap, the not-for-profit entity ICT Academy aims to be a leading ICT knowledge center, providing consultancy and training through industry specific research. Its primary aim is to create a new generation of talent pool that is industry ready.
“Today, we work with some 1,000-plus institutions across India, in 18 states. We support them in terms of faculty development, skill development in technology and industry-institute collaboration,” says Dr. B. Anbuthambi, President of the ICT Academy.
ICT Academy partners with technology companies to train teachers and graduating students in new technologies. At the forefront of its collaboration with industry is its association with Qlik, which kicked off towards the end of 2020.
The Qlik Academic Program focuses on upskilling educators and students in data analytics. A recent study revealed that between the years 2021 to 2026, the Indian analytics industry will grow at a CAGR of 35.1%. ICT Academy recognizes that offerings of the Qlik Academic Program are industry relevant, up-to-date and valuable for its partner institutions as they focus on relieving the country’s shortage of students skilled in analytics.
ICT Academy introduced the Qlik Academic Program at the end of 2020 – just as the COVID-19 pandemic was still spreading across the globe. Resulting lockdowns aimed at stifling the disease challenged the delivery of the program to the 1,500 enrolled students.
Qlik’s data analytics curriculum features lecture notes, on-demand videos, handouts, activities and real-world, interactive-business use cases. There is also a forum for professors and students to access resources, collaborate with others and share experiences. Additionally, a full-year access to Qlik Sense Business is provided, as well as hours of product training plus data literacy training.
“We’re working towards ensuring that the program is unique and positioned properly, because at the end of the day, there are hundreds of resources available online,” says Dr. Anbuthambi.
Students can earn Qlik Sense Business Analyst and Data Architect Qualifications, as well as certifications in data analytics and data literacy. They receive a printable certificate and a digital badge which can be a massive enhancement on their resume. Dr. Anbuthambi says the mandate of the ICT Academy is to provide learning for employability across the country, including rural areas.
“India is a large nation; we have a huge responsibility to add value to students’ knowledge and make them employable. The number of generic graduates produced in India is too large,” says Dr. Anbuthambi.
He says, “by working with organizations such as Qlik to support ICT Academy in its mission of creating employable students, ICT Academy ensures students are being taught the latest skills. They are then able to test their skills in the real world prior to graduation, ensuring a smooth transition to a fruitful working life.”
More than 1,500 students from more than 60 ICT Academy partner education institutions signed up to the Qlik Academic Program during a COVID-19 disrupted year. ICT Academy is continuing its relationship with Qlik and is currently launching a second campaign to encourage a new batch of students to sign up and begin accessing the free software and training offered through the program.