Engineers: This is how and why you need a free ‘big data’ education — from by Esther Perez


Additionally, most engineers, myself included, were trained before the rise of the big data ecosystem. There were no courses in our respective engineering schools on Hadoop, and we didn’t receive specialized training on HBase or Hive. While there’s a growing group of recent engineering graduates that had the luxury of learning these skills in university, the majority of engineers out there today still predate the rise of big data.

In an effort to attract top engineering students, a growing number of high-profile universities – Harvard, MIT and Columbia among them – have begun to incorporate big data and data science-centric majors. While this does in theory make it easier for mid-career engineering professionals to gain the requisite skills needed to stay competitive in a fast-changing field, it’s not always so simple.

Taking the necessary time and resources to pause your career and go back to school for one or two years is an extremely risky professional move for most; it’s not as if your employer is simply going to wait two years for you to complete a program and hand your job back once you have a degree in hand.

There is an alternative to this approach, however. A growing number of online learning platforms aimed at providing technical training and certification have appeared in recent years. Some notable examples include Coursera, Khan Academy and Big Data University, all of which are free of charge (a stark contrast to the wave of for-profit “universities” that had previously dominated the online education landscape).


From DSC:
Is this a piece of where higher education is heading?