Monash University: encouraging careers in data

By Allen Jack

Public research facility Monash University has partnered with to launch its first microcredential: Data Science: Data-Driven Decision Making.

Microcredentials are accredited, online courses designed to help students build specialised, career-relevant skills and study a topic in a condensed period of time. They offer valuable learning without the cost commitment of a full degree. However, one is still required to take exams, perform in assessments and submit coursework to receive credits.

One of the top eight leading universities in Australia, MU’s has taken action against what it perceives to be a shortage of talent in the data science sector. Despite having a median salary of £45,000 per year in the UK, there is still a notable paucity of professionals.

Studies have shown that, if current trends continue, the dearth is likely to increase owing to a lack of skills, support or time available to train new data scientists, despite the widespread need for such roles in practically every sector - from healthcare to logistics companies.

Creating opportunities for learners

MU’s microcredential will teach students how to collect data, conduct analysis and compile the resulting information into a range of models and visualisations. 


“We expect the demand for microcredentials to grow rapidly, not only from individual learners but also from organisations,” said Professor Sue Elliott AM, Deputy-Chancellor and VP of Monash University. “Microcredentials make it possible to provide staff with the opportunity to upskill rapidly in key business areas.”

Simon Nelson, CEO of FutureLearn, commented that the partnership would help answer an already existing demand for learning, which would have many long-term benefits for communities and economies.

“FutureLearn and our partners have recognised the demand for flexible, accredited and career-focused online learning, especially in rapidly evolving areas such as data science and analytics.”

“The European Commission predicted growth of over 100,000 new data-related roles across the continent by 2020. Microcredentials will play a huge part in addressing this surge in industry demand, while meeting the needs of learners and professionals worldwide.”

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