- by CandidoNick, Data Doctor
- 10/24/2014 12:46:26 PM
That's certainly an interesting take on the matter. I imagine people would say the understanding the customer would include understanding what the customer wants. Also knowing their perspective and frustrations wouldn't hurt, right? Or is that just out of focus?
- 10/22/2014 1:26:51 PM
Great points by Harvards Clayton Christensen about how it's a mistake to focus on understanding the customer. You need to focus on understanding the job the customer has to do and provide the product they need to do it.
- 10/21/2014 1:42:23 PM
More from Michael Rappa of NC State:
Grads today aren't ready to be productive "from day one". Many employers have stopped recruiting on campus.
They don't want to wait two or three years for someone to be productive.
At NC State took greenfield approach to developing new degree, from ground up in one year and then innovate as moved along.
Strategic move, put the degree program outside of any one department. Allowed more faculty from any department to teach. Multi-disciplinary curriculum. Focused less on "courses". Run students through entire curriculum as a cohort.
Intensive 10-month full-time team-based cohort structure. All-day, monday-friday.
Teamwork: If want to build teaming skills in students they need to be working in teams all the time. Working with real data on teams is important part of learning. Work on real problems. Companies share data under confidentiality agreement; and what they produce becomes property of company.
- 10/21/2014 1:33:21 PM
NC State created master of science and analytics in partnership with SAS. Started with the idea that the employer, not the student, is the customer. "What is that employers want when they seek to hire people out of the university or people in general?" "I would argue that employers today aren't being hard enough on universities..."
Employers want pros who have necessary tech skills, ability to work in multifunctional teams, strong communication skills, hands-on experience with the kind of complex analytical tools used, and creative problem solving skills. But they aren't looking for people who know "everything in the tech field". Want people to have the foundation to continue learning.
On teamwork: not really in a university's DNA. Outside of university need to function in team of people not just like you.
Universities also have "dropped the ball" on communication skills too.
Re: experience. Employers "prefer" experience with analytical tools they use.
On problem solving: Employers want "creativity" to solve new problems, not just use old solutions to old problems.
- 10/21/2014 1:24:57 PM
Only 26 of 1060 MIT grads (bachelors) this year majored in both computer science and math. "this is really a rare, rare occurence". Will be a struggle to get even 100 MIT grads a year with that overlap of math and CS.
Note that traditional way of building university curriculum is "old school" built around organization of courses, starting about 150 years ago. Before that universities were built around areas of interest (cohort model). Today ala carte model of core and elective courses, but increasing amount of flexibility in what core curriculum should be. Students see themselves as consumers of what interests them, or what is convenient to them.
"Im not always convinced that in universities we are doing the right thing." Need produce students who are ready from the start to be productive.
- 10/21/2014 1:16:53 PM
Definition of data scientist depends on your company's need, not a standard model. Note that the PhD requirement isn't scalable, because there aren't enough out there to build a team.