Workforce Preparation Projects

ODI works with community colleges, big data industry experts, and career and technical educators, to help prepare students and early career professionals to succeed in the big data world. Learn more about current and past ODI projects focused on workforce preparation:

Mentoring New Data Pathways in Community Colleges

Image from Pexels

As more sectors of the economy come to rely increasingly on data, the demand for skilled data workers is growing at a pace that outstrips the capacity of colleges to develop the programs needed to produce qualified employees. Workforce demand for data skills is disrupting the job market. By 2020, the number of jobs for all US data workers will increase by 364,000 openings to 2,720,000. Annual demand for the new roles of data scientist, data developers, and data engineers will reach nearly 700,000 openings. Data Science and Analytics (DSA) jobs remain open an average of 45 days, five days longer than the market average. Companies report that they cannot find the qualified employees to fill their open data positions. Projections indicate that this gap will...

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Building a Data Science Pathway on California’s Central Coast

Photograph by Flickr user SalFalko

EDC’s Oceans of Data Institute is working with participating colleges of the Coast Community College District to strengthen their efforts to develop a regional career pathway for data science specialists. ODI will focus on two goals:

1) conduct a landscaping study of regional data skills/ worker needs and

2) facilitate the integration of ODI’s profile of a Data Practitioner into the design of a regional data worker pathway.

ODI will identify current and projected regional needs for data skills and data jobs across a wide swath of industry sectors and provide a report that summarizes our findings and provides recommendations for the Coast Community College District faculty and the industry sectors...

Data Analytics Technician Advancement (DATA) Program


Oceans of Data Institute will partner with Columbus State Community College (OH) in a new ATE-NSF funded project: Data Analytics Technician Advancement (DATA) Program. The project will establish a DATA Pathway in the central Ohio region to increase the supply of qualified data analytics technicians. Multiple entry and exit points will offer maximum flexibility to address the shifting needs of industry employers and accommodate the diverse interests and experiences of students of different ages and life stages. ODI will draw upon previous NSF-funded work, including ODI’s Creating Pathways for Big Data Careers, to facilitate the design of work-based learning activities and supportive materials for students enrolled in DATA. Specifically, ODI will work with Columbus...

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Creating Pathways for Big Data Careers

ODI's Joe Ippolito leading the profiling.

To address the urgent and rapidly growing need for workers proficient in the use of Big Data the Oceans of Data Institute (ODI) of Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) will work with four community colleges to create a career pathway model for Big Data careers. A panel of Big Data subject matter experts representing a variety of professional fields will identify the entry, middle and high level Big Data skills, knowledge and behaviors that are needed in the workplace.  These skills, knowledge and behaviors will be organized and aligned to Big Data jobs. The pathway model will be co-designed by ODI and partners Bunker Hill Community College (MA), Normandale Community College (MN), Johnson County Community College (KS) and Sinclair Community College (OH). Together...

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Building Global Interest in Data Literacy: A Dialogue

Ruth Krumhansl

ODI and IBM teamed up for a three-day workshop, October 4-6, 2015, which convened a panel of 12 professionals from both data-intensive industries and K-16 education. The workshop resulted in several products, including:

  • defining what it means to be data literate;

  • a signed Proclamation of the Need for Data Literacy and Call for Action, endorsed by the panel of experts; and

  • workshop report

Defining What It Means to be Data Literate
The data literate...

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An Occupational Skills Profile for the Big-Data-Enabled Specialist

Creating the occupational skills profile

Professionals in many career fields now find that researching, analyzing and integrating data is essential to their work. Much of this change has occurred because of the rise of big data–gigantic data sets that are increasingly informing decisions in scientific, medical, business, and economic fields. As is the case in any nascent field, it is important to identify the specific skills and knowledge that young people will need to successfully compete in a changing economy. In August of 2014, the Oceans of Data Institute convened a panel of experts at EDC to develop an occupational profile of the “Big Data Enabled Specialist.” The meeting brought together a panel of science, education, business, and public sector experts from across the country, and will help inform...

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