Big Data has become big business — but the skills needed to manage, analyse and convert it into meaningful insight are in short supply. Thanks to our rising technology market and a fast-growing custom for innovation, Africa is in a unique position to establish itself as a global hub for big data and analytics. With its large and rather young population who has a thirst for knowledge and a strong base of mobile device data, Africa can become a world innovation leader in this space.
The demand for big data will create more than 4.4-million jobs globally by 2015 — only one-third of which will be filled due to the skills shortages we are currently faced with. However, we need to encourage Africa's emerging talent to pursue careers and proficiencies in big data, by offering them the necessary opportunities and convincing them of the benefits of such career paths. Partnerships between teaching institutions and technology leaders will be critical in both respects.
New courses particularly for big data must be created by our policy makers, such as scholarships and internships, to make them a viable choice for students. In the Philippines, for example, business analytics has been selected as a "priority course", with the promise of higher pay than other professions, supported by a number of full scholarships from the government. African policy makers must act now if they wish to establish their nations as a well-known source of top-ranking big data skills.
How can Africa turn Big Data into a lasting source of benefit?
By investing in big data infrastructure and high-performance computing, Africa's education and research institutions can position themselves at the front of innovation in all ways of scientific and socio-economic fields. Big data's has huge impact for research in other parts of the world; researchers are using it for everything from predicting outbreaks of transferable diseases, to better understanding what conditions create environmental disasters such as hurricanes and cyclones.
Establishing itself as a "go-to" source of big data skills and expertise is only the first step for Africa's business and technology industries. By developing creativity around the potential of big data, Africa can influence the course of technological growth on a global scale, producing results that improve their and other nations' economies and quality of life.
Developing a generation of big data professionals, with the technical skills to manage data and its analysis, is fundamental to these outcomes. Addressing it should be considered urgent.
Skill shortages are one of the many obstacles we are faced with in Africa today. But we at Communicate Recruitment have the ability to match your skills with the relevant job.
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