Collaboration to train the next generation of data scientists
Ohio State University (OSU) and global professional services firm Accenture have rolled out a new internship programme to provide students with hands-on, real-world experiences in the field of data and analytics.
The programme will be delivered in OSU’s Transnational Data Analytics Institute (TDAI), a regional hub that brings together OSU faculty, students, and industry and community partners to create data science and analytics solutions to global problems.
“I am grateful for Accenture’s investment in our students and the extraordinary potential to work with this company to improve lives and make the world a better place,” said OSU President Michael V. Drake in a media release.
“The academic and professional opportunities this partnership creates will benefit them, their future employers and the many communities they call home.”
To deliver the internship programme, Accenture will work with TDAI as a foundational corporate partner. It will provide business expertise and generate research ideas while helping students build their analytical skills and explore careers in data science.
As new technologies pave the way for new capabilities in business, leaders are increasingly recognising the importance of using data analytics to grow their operations, and acquire and retain customers.
This means they need the right experts to help them understand the kind of data they have, how to mine it and then what they can do with it. Research has shown, however, that most businesses are data novices that don’t have the right expertise and tools to extract meaningful insights from data.
This is why data science remains a highly lucrative and important field today – especially in a job market still starved of tech talents – with industries from banking to e-commerce, insurance, healthcare and beyond requiring experts in this area. For example, a 2019 report by jobs platform Indeed revealed a 29 percent increase for data scientists year-on-year and a dramatic 344 percent increase since 2013.
The Accenture-OSU internship programme will help students capitalise on this trend.
“We will provide Ohio State students an immersive professional experience and enable them to apply data and analytics to solve real-world challenges,” said Josh Sandstrom, managing director in Accenture’s higher education and public sector practice.
“Internships are an increasingly valuable pathway to a career in data and analytics, and we are excited to work with Ohio State students who share our passion for improving how the world works and lives.”
TDAI Managing Director Cathie Smith said given the nature of Accenture’s business, the internship programme offers an “unparalleled opportunity” for students to explore real-world data analytics challenges in a variety of application areas from public health to transportation and agriculture, among others.
“Accenture’s partnership with TDAI is well-aligned with our institute’s vision to be a hub of data science and analytics research, innovation, education and workforce development here in central Ohio,” she said.
The internship programme builds off a 20-year partnership history between OSU and Accenture.
Prior to the initiative, the firm has supported various initiatives at the university, including the Fisher College of Business and the College of Engineering in the company’s annual Innovation Challenge and sponsoring HackOHI/O and the Buckeye Undergraduate Consulting Club.