The global talent drought in areas like data science has existed for years, with previous McKinsey reports showing demand outstripping supply by more than 50%. The pandemic has worsened the situation. As the digital economy grew, organizations across every sector were having to build and refine services online, while struggling to fill necessary roles across data, IT, product management, and more. It put greater emphasis on the role of higher education in providing students with hands-on skills that make them competitive in a changing job market.
Adobe wants to play a role here. The software company is unveiling today a new offering called Adobe Analytics curriculum for education. As part of the Adobe Education Exchange, it provides analytics tools, curriculum, and activities that instructors can integrate into their courses. It is free and available worldwide. Students learn all the basics, with modules that span data collection and data architecture, to formulating standard metrics and curating data for different stakeholders.
“The pandemic reshaped economies and exposed consumers to a digital-only reality, pushing organizations to transform themselves on a dime and seek new types of talent,” said Neeraj Arora, Professor of Marketing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “The digital skills that students can acquire through Adobe’s program will greatly help them succeed in career fields such as marketing.”
Professor Arora was one of several instructors who advised on the program to ensure that it could scale and be customized for different institutions. By anchoring it in Adobe Analytics, students get access to a tool that is used widely in the market and acts to jumpstart careers in data science, product marketing, consulting, and more.
“Digital literacy is paramount for students in today’s digital economy, and this program meets the needs of today’s employers while exposing students to careers they may not have considered,” said Amit Ahuja, Vice President, Experience Cloud Platform and Products, at Adobe.
Meeting the demand
Adobe Analytics for higher education is a culmination of the Adobe Analytics Challenge, a 10-week program that has been around since 2005. Each year, a cohort of students gets access to real data from brands like Nike and Major League Baseball. Using Adobe Analytics, they uncover insights that help inform recommendations on how the participating brand could strengthen online services and customer engagement. Students walked away with skill sets that gave them confidence and more credibility in their job search.
Christien Wright, analytics director for the Milwaukee Bucks, shared that “Adobe Analytics was a great introduction to how data is collected and synthesized in the real world, giving me exposure to data-driven storytelling and making me a better candidate in the job market.”
And Cassie Dai, a senior vendor manager for Amazon, said that “the Adobe Analytics Challenge was one of my first opportunities to practice in a real-world environment. It allowed me to look at data from a holistic perspective, drilling into what customers want and validating my theories with hard figures.”
The track record of student success drove ongoing requests from instructors who wanted to provide a similar experience in the classroom. With the Adobe Analytics curriculum for education, that demand can now be met. It expands the 10-week program to focus on the fundamentals of data and analytics, while making it broadly accessible to any college or university in the world.
As the digital economy continues to expand, the need to support digital literacy will become more urgent. Higher education institutions feel an increasing burden of having to put students on the right track, ensuring that graduates are competitive in the next wave of jobs. Working with companies like Adobe is another input to support this, familiarizing classrooms with tools and concepts that are ready for the market.
For more details on the program itself or to register for it, visit here.