We've all been to college at one time or another. Some of you reading this post are still in school even now. And the majority of us are probably still paying off student loans.
Speaking of college costs, maybe you have already learned about Dell Statistica's response to students in need. Our answer: FREE academic software!
Major Costs Add Up at School
Ponder your college years for a moment. Good times and challenging courses. But let’s focus on the struggle of the whole college experience ROI. What are your top complaints in this regard? If they relate to costs, you are in broad company. A nationwide campusgrotto.com survey of higher education students reveals a list of popular complaints, with a measurable percent stemming from costs:
- “The price of textbooks!”
- “College is too expensive.”
- “The cafeteria food is gross.”
- “Being broke all the time.”
Okay, we can't help you with the cafeteria food, but you'll notice the other complaints are indeed about costs.
Additionally, a plurality (39%) of respondents to Princeton Review's recent "College Hopes & Worries Survey" said their biggest concern is the level of debt incurred to pay for a degree.
It comes as no surprise that everything at college costs more money than we like, and it all adds up. Consider textbooks alone, the bane of every undergrad out there. Costs vary greatly from one major to the next, but assuming new book purchases are required, a study based at University of Virginia indicates that a statistics major is neither the most nor least expensive when it comes to textbooks. However, the study did find the average statistics textbook costs about $110, and students must buy multiple textbooks throughout that major's curriculum. The most expensive statistics book topped out at $342.
And, as if that weren’t enough…students in the data sciences get to tack on the cost of basic analytics software, too. It's like buying a virtual textbook on top of the physical textbooks.
What is the skills gap?
Meanwhile, though it may vary from industry to industry, the data scientist skills gap is real. Even as long ago as 2011 McKinsey & Company was already reporting that there will be a shortage of talent necessary for organizations to take advantage of big data. Barring some kind of change in the human resources supply chain, they predicted by 2018 “the United States alone could face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions.” This is great news for students looking to break into this career path.
Change that Matters
So, our free academic program in North America is the kind of “change” we can apply readily to impact that human resources pipeline at the university level. It may not sound like much, but remember that every little bit helps when we are talking about reducing the financial burden of students seeking a strong foundation with skills-based training and key software tools in order to increase their value in the competitive data science field.
Think about it: The world needs more statistics and data science graduates to handle the deluge of big data challenges that are developing in every industry. Would the cost of just one more textbook—or, in this case, an analytics software package required by the professor—make or break the average student's ability to pursue the degree? Why risk it? We'll just give it away and let the chips fall where they may! If we choose to give away some software to help put more problem-solvers into the world’s workforce, then that's what we will do.
And the value of such a program? Priceless! Not only is the free academic bundle a boon to the study of analytics in North American academia, but because it will expand the pool of graduates qualified for real-life analytical pursuits across industries, the effects of this program are literally immeasurable, with potentially world-changing impact. You just never know where the next genius case study will originate. Truly, the gift that keeps on giving.