SAS launches academy to tackle demand for "£52,000 a year" big data specialists

By Sooraj Shah
10 Dec 2012 View Comments
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Business analytics provider SAS has launched the SAS Student Academy to help staff a big data analytics revolution, through a joint initiative with Birmingham City University (BCU).

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At the launch at BCU yesterday, the university's vice chancellor Cliff Allan explained why the academy was launched.

"It's very much about nurturing and developing the right skills at high levels as we can see the growing industry and business need for data analysts and scientists," he said.

Students in the academy will be provided with the necessary software, teaching materials and advice, as well as access to SAS customers at dedicated careers fairs, to connect the students to potential employers.

The firm hopes to feed a growing need for specialists in big data as found in research SAS conducted alongside sector skills body e-skills UK. The research, based upon analysis of demand exhibited by IT recruiters found that demand for UK big data specialists is to increase by 92 per cent over the next five years.

The report, which is scheduled to be released in full later this week, also found that those skilled in big data could earn 20 per cent more pay than other IT staff.

At the unveiling of the findings in Birmingham yesterday, Karen Price, CEO of e-skills UK said that the average UK salary in the third quarter of 2012 was £24,000 - with IT staff in the same period averaging £43,500, and specialists in big data averaging £52,000, showing the importance of the role to employers.

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