Ten top UK companies are today advertising more than 100 vacancies for graduate data analysts at a careers fair at Brunel University.
Three hundred students from 15 universities are expected to attend the fair, to meet with 10 key SAS customers and partners, including Barclays, British Airways, Nationwide, PwC and Accenture.
The fair aims to fill a skills gap in the UK. A recent study sponsored by SAS found that demand for big data specialists is expected to more than double by 2017 to 69,000. However, the report found that three in five large UK organisations struggle to hire people with the big data specialist skills needed.
With stimulating growth in the economy under his remit, Dr Liam Fox MP spoke at the event. He said: “The global information economy represents an opportunity for the UK to take a leading role, where sourcing individuals with the relevant skills is imperative. For this to happen it’s vital that government, industry and universities all work together to ensure that graduates leave university with the skills the economy needs.”
Since 2011, university applications have fallen 4.2 percent, as school leavers prefer to pursue apprenticeships or instant employment. However, graduates with analytical skills can ensure a starting salary of anything up to £32,000, in comparison to others who have an average starting salary of £25,000.
SAS UK has invested over £60 million to 70 universities during the last 10 years, to help develop skills needed to become big data analysts.
Mark Wilkinson, managing director, SAS UK & Ireland, said: “SAS is passionate about helping bridge the gap between the businesses calling out for these skills and the universities which produce graduates to meet this demand.”
Brunel offers data analyst courses through its MSc degrees in data science and business analytics, undergraduate SAS programming modules and business life programme.
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