NEW YORK, Nov. 8, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- General Assembly (GA) today announced the formation of an employer-led Data Science Standards Board which aims to increase transparency and access to careers within the fast-growing field of data science. Designed to foster collaboration at a time when employers compete for data science talent, the Standards Board will identify and define skills required for success, commission skill-based assessments, and establish performance thresholds for workforce-relevant credentials.
Last year, there were more job postings for data and analytics skills than registered nurses and truck drivers combined. Experts predict that companies will produce 4,300% more data per year by 2020, leading to an estimated 2.72 million new data science jobs. But data science also has the lowest representation of female students among technical education fields, as well as the lowest percentage of African-American and Latino students.
"Pervasive skill and equity gaps in data science reflect two related challenges: lack of unbiased tools to help employers quantify and understand the skill sets that matter, and inadequate transparency for job-seekers trying to understand what employers are looking for," said Jake Schwartz, CEO and co-founder of General Assembly. "Over the last two years, we've had a team working behind the scenes with employers to create authentic, standardized assessments that measure the combination of skills that are required for success in data science professions."
"Though recent innovations in data science and analytics have been key to helping organizations tackle their toughest challenges, there is a critical need to accelerate the advancement of the field of data science," said Mark Jacobsohn, senior vice president and leader of Booz Allen's analytics business. "Everyone — from highly skilled data scientists to novices who have yet to write their first lines of code — must infuse data science principles into their work to capture the full opportunities offered by today's technology transformation. We're speeding this evolution within our firm by launching a multi-year journey to train thousands of Booz Allen employees as data scientists. And, we're excited to bring our expertise to help formalize the broader industry effort to codify a standard and certification through the Data Science Standards Board."
The work of the Standards Board will be rooted in the development and maintenance of industry-standard assessments, designed to predict job performance and match capabilities of job seekers through the simulation of workplace demands. Employers can utilize data from assessments, already taken by thousands of employees worldwide, to quantify competencies of employees and job-seekers across a range of dimensions.
"Expanding the talent pipeline is a critical challenge in the data science profession. At Nielsen, we've worked to address this by recruiting from a diverse range of disciplines and sources, and by developing a proprietary set of assessments," said Mainak Mazumdar, chief research officer at Nielsen. "But to scale access and broaden the pool of available talent, leaders across the industry need to work together on common standards that provide more transparent pathways to prepare individuals for success as data scientists."
The Standards Board will also publish skill maps to make career pathways more transparent. By mapping the competencies required for success on the job, employers intend to expand the pool of talent and increase the diversity of candidates pursuing careers within the data science field.
Members of the Data Science Standards Board include Aaron Black, Chief Data Officer, Inova, Michael Bopp, COO and President, Argus; Peter Brodsky, CEO and Founder, HyperScience; Christine Hung, Head of Data Solutions, Spotify; Mark Jacobsohn, SVP, Head of Data Science and Machine Intelligence, Booz Allen Hamilton; Domenic Maida, Head of Global Data, Bloomberg; David Mavashev, CEO, Nastel; Mainak Mazumdar, Chief Research Officer, Nielsen; and Claudia Perlich, Chief Scientist, Dstillery.
Standards boards are needed to increase transparency and access to career opportunities in a wide range of emerging fields. In addition to the Data Science Standards Board, General Assembly is working to bring together leaders across in-demand fields including digital marketing and more.
About General Assembly
General Assembly (GA) is advancing the future of work by equipping individuals and corporations alike with the most in-demand 21st-century skills. Offering training and assessments in web development, data science, digital marketing, and more, GA is building transparent career pathways for people, and sustainable, diverse talent pipelines for employers. With 20 locations, immersive online offerings, onsite trainings for the Fortune 500, and a global community of professionals nearly 1 million strong, GA is the leading source for training, staffing, and career transitions.
SOURCE General Assembly