Trends | Demand for Big Data Skills

CREDIT ASA This is StatisticsPick up a magazine or newspaper these days and you’ll likely see something about statistics and data science and how it’s become one of the decade’s hottest fields. Unsurprisingly, the demand for Big Data skills has had a big influence on education from primary school all the way to higher education. For example, the Common Core Standards contain data and statistics requirements that collectively will raise standards for statistics education in a majority of states. There’s also been a steady increase in the number of students taking the AP statistics exam. In 2006, roughly 90,000 students took the AP statistics exam; that figure doubled by 2014, reaching 185,000. The same trend is playing out at the college level. Enrollments for elementary-level statistics courses in fall 2010 exceeded the levels of fall 2005 by 50 percent, rising from 54,000 to 81,000, according to the American Statistical Association (ASA), the largest professional organization of statisticians and data scientists. Organizations like ASA are helping to further reinforce the value of statistics education among parents and students, even waging a national campaign—This is Statistics—to change the image of the field so that it appeals to more young people. Visit, a mobile-friendly site featuring interactive content including videos, a quiz, maps, and more for students, parents, and educators. The underwater scene (pictured) is explained on the campaign site.



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