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Big Data Consortium recommends strategies to close talent gap

Closing Canada’s Big Data Talent Gap

The new white paper outlines the findings of a national online survey and labour market study.

Canada’s Big Data Consortium announced the release of a white paper, Closing Canada’s Big Data Talent Gap, outlining the findings of a national online survey and labour market study on Canada’s big data talent gap, and the strategies developed to help close that talent gap.

Canadian employers across all regions, sectors, and industries are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit, retain, and train big data and analytics professionals, according to a new white paper published by Ryerson and its partners in Canada’s Big Data Consortium.

“In 2014, Ryerson launched Canada’s Big Data Consortium to bring industry, government, and academia together to collaborate on key issues related to big data and analytics,” said Mohamed Lachemi, provost and vice president, academic.  “The consortium’s first project concludes with the release of our white paper, which outlines strategies to help close the talent gap in Canada.”

Through a first-of-its-kind national, multi-sector study, the consortium found that Canada’s Big Data Talent Gap is estimated at between 10,500 and 19,000 professionals with deep data and analytical skills, such as those required for roles such as Chief Data Officer, Data Scientist, and Data Solutions Architect.  The gap for professionals with solid data and analytical literacy to make better decisions is estimated at a further 150,000, such as those required for roles like Business Manager and Business Analyst. 

Even when the overall gap is narrowed, a shortage of talent with the right skills will persist unless existing academic and training curriculum are expanded to better meet employers’ needs, constraining Canada’s ability to innovate, compete, and grow the economy. 

Ryerson currently offers a Certificate in Data Analytics, Big Data and Predictive Analytics and is home to the Data Science Laboratory led by Ayse Bener, director and professor, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. As one of four academic institutions in the consortium, Ryerson and its educational partners are positioned to lead with big data and analytics programming that is finely tuned for industry demand.

Working with senior information technology and information management leaders in Canada, the Consortium has developed six strategies, presented in this paper, to help close the country’s Big Data and Analytics Talent Gap. Download a copy of Closing Canada’s Big Data Talent Gap.

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