Mu Sigma, the world’s largest pure-play big data analytics and decision sciences provider, announced today that it has launched a first-of-its-kind analytics curriculum for high school students.
The program, known as The Mu Sigma High Decision Sciences Program and taught by Mu Sigma associates, is designed to get students interested in the field of analytics. It’s an extension of Mu Sigma University, a longstanding program for Mu Sigma employees intended to create interdisciplinary decision scientists, fusing together the disciplines of math, business, technology, design thinking and behavioral sciences.
The analytics sector is booming, and expected to create potentially hundreds of thousands of jobs in the coming years. A McKinsey study estimates that there will be a shortage of talent necessary for organizations to take advantage of big data. By 2018, the U.S. alone could face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions.
But not enough U.S. students are studying STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines which tend to be a launch point for analytics careers. Furthermore, traditional curricula don’t spend enough time on fundamental problem solving methods and techniques.
“Many colleges are now offering Big Data and Analytics tracks,” observed Dhiraj Rajaram, founder and CEO of Mu Sigma. “But we wanted to inspire students to study analytics, data, and problem solving techniques even earlier, before they make their decisions on concentrations in college.”
The program, taught by Mu Sigma staff working onsite at nearby clients, has already been conducted at two high schools – Bentonville (AK) High School and Gateway College Preparatory School, outside of Austin, TX. Mu Sigma High programs will soon be underway at schools in Seattle and Minneapolis.
Benjamin Boorman, Director of Student Services at Gateway College Prep, said that interest in the analytics elective was both strong and competitive. “Students are thinking about career paths earlier, and they understand that an understanding of big data, analytics, and problem solving could provide a wealth of opportunities in the future,” said Boorman. “Student reviews have been great, and we love that the program exposed them to real-world analytical challenges to help prepare them for college and beyond.”