One of the key themes at the ASU-GSV Summit is change in education—but what’s striking is how much this is driven by the fast pace of change in the job market.
Take Data Analytics, an occupation that takes the techniques of “big data” and applies them to practical problems, in business or elsewhere. Five years ago, this field hardly existed—and the jobs that did exist were primarily for statisticians and others with strong quantitative analysis skills.
Now, however, job postings show that employers are looking for workers with a business analyst background, people who can put this data to work in solving problems. Demand for knowledge of Hadoop and the data visualization program Tableau have increased by staggering amounts.
Some other fields aren’t as new but demand is clearly outpacing the supply of workers. Cybersecurity isn’t new, but previously was confined to the world of defense contractors and government. Now the fastest-growing cybersecurity opportunities are with retailers, health care providers, and other companies who have either been hacked themselves or who realize they may be next.
Cloud computing is another area where the market is straining to keep up with demand. Jobs requiring cloud-related skills such as PaaS and DBaaS are remaining open over 60 days, on average. That’s nearly twice as long as the market average (37-38 days).
The speed of change makes it difficult for students to build these skills in a traditional four-year program. But this is also an opportunity for different kinds of learning. Many of these skills can be taught in online courses, boot camps, or other venues.
Coding skills, for example, such as HTML5 or Java, are becoming increasingly important in the job market. Seven million job openings in 2015 were in occupations which value coding skills. And half of job openings in the top income quartile (more than $57,000 per year) are in occupations which commonly require coding skills from job applicants.
That’s an opportunity for both traditional and non-traditional education providers to think about skills in different—and more nimble—ways.