Marking a milestone in the Philippine IT education system, an initial batch of universities in the country is set to offer business analytics as “specialization tracks” in two programs – Information Technology Education (ITE) and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) – beginning school year 2013-14.
The groundbreaking initiative was announced by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and tech giant IBM Philippines on May 31, at a formal launch event in Pasig City.
CHED has already issued the memorandum orders (MO) needed for the adoption of business analytics as elective subjects for third-year college students.
Given the expected demand for professionals skilled in business analytics, IBM Philippines R&D executive Delfin Jay Sabido said they are anticipating the specialization tracks to become full-blown subjects and eventually college course in the next few years.
The specialization tracks were co-developed in collaboration with IBM, considering the paradigm shift and growing demands of the local and international business landscapes.
The growing demand for leaders to make better and faster business decisions makes business analytics and optimization a huge global market opportunity, estimated at about $160 billion by 2015.
According to research firm Gartner, demand for Big Data – information coming from structured and unstructured data such as social media — will reach 4.4 million jobs globally by 2015, but only one-third of those jobs will be filled due to a lack of trained skilled professionals globally.
“Recognizing the impending global talent shortage, CHED and IBM, in collaboration with other stakeholders, sought to address this challenge. These newly approved specialization tracks bring us a step closer to preparing our nation to capture and lead in this big global analytics market opportunity,” said CHED Chairperson Patricia Licuanan.
Licuanan said several higher education institutions have already signed up to implement the analytics electives this coming school year.
Institutions that have expressed interest and commitment to roll out the new analytics subjects beginning this school year include the University of the Philippines-Diliman, Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, Asia Pacific College, University of Santo Tomas, College of St. Benilde, Universidad de Manila, Jose Rizal University, Technological Institute of the Philippines, Batangas State University, Republic Central Colleges and Araullo University of the PHINMA Education Network.
“With the right academic development and professional training, the Philippines has the potential to be a leading incubator for advanced business analytics talent globally,” said IBM Philippines chief Mariels Almeda Winhoffer.
Winhoffer said IBM has committed to hire – with the required vetting process — some of the first graduates who will take up the specialization tracks. IBM, incidentally, is currently building a global analytics center in the Philippines.