Educating future data scientists - SAS hosts local schools

SAS, the leader in analytics, hosted a number of local students and teachers for its Tech Careers Day as part of the national Tech Week 2016. Over the course of the two-day event, which took place at SAS' UK headquarters in Marlow July 5-6, 47 local Year 9 and 10 pupils were able to find out about different career opportunities in technology.

Students and teachers from Sir William Borlase's Grammar School and Sir William Ramsay School participated in a data analytics training session with SAS' education team, highlighting a skill now recognised the most valuable skill for today's job market. Students used SAS Visual Analytics to solve real life business problems and received a certificate for their participation. The event was held in conjunction with the Tech Partnership, organisers of Tech Week, a UK-wide event where businesses open their doors to schools, colleges and universities – reaching out to thousands of young people to help inspire a new generation to achieve their potential in the digital world.

In June 2016, The Science and Technology Committee published a report warning that the UK risks being left behind if the Government does not take more action to address the digital skills crisis. From 2013 to 2020, the big data workforce is expected to grow by around 346,000 according to SAS research with The Tech Partnership, with demand for these jobs rising by 160 per cent over the same period. The SAS Tech Careers Day provided an opportunity for students to participate in big data and analytics related activities, giving them first-hand experience of the real-world technology opportunities and how critical they are to businesses nationwide and globally.

"Tech Careers Day has been an incredible opportunity for students to see tech-related work in action, in the workplace. Students learn things from an academic and theoretical perspective, so it's valuable to be able to complement that with being able to come into the workplace and see it being carried out, in the real world," said David Mohan, Year 10 academic leader at Sir William Ramsay School. "From participating, a lot of students will be inspired to pursue a career in technology. They would have come and seen something they liked and interested them and that will help them inform a career goal."

"Analytical talent is in high demand – in fact, it's the most sought after skill needed in the job market at present. The widening skills gap is set to continue unless we provide significant investment in building digital skills and that's why initiatives such as SAS' Tech Careers Day are invaluable," said Geoffrey Taylor, Academic Programme Manager at SAS UK & Ireland. "We must deliver these skills to young people in schools, colleges and universities. We must capture the enthusiasm of the next generation so that many have a solid foundation in areas like analytics, business intelligence and data management, to ensure the UK is able to compete on a global stage."

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