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University of Phoenix and STEMconnector® Release ‘Big Data, Big Needs’ White Paper Revealing the Need for Data-Fluent Talent in the Workforce

By University of Phoenix

Business Leaders Recommend Higher Education Partnerships to Help Develop Diverse Talent Pool

PHOENIX, November 17, 2016 — University of Phoenix and co-author STEMconnector® today shared key findings from the “Big Data, Open Data: Inspiring Corporate & Civic Innovation” event held this spring in a white paper revealing a need for data-fluent talent, one of the definitive workforce issues of today1. The paper, Big Data, Big Needs: Meeting Societal Needs for Data Science and Cybersecurity Skills introduces a framework to help businesses, organizations and foundations unlock the power of data.

“In order to harness the power of data, leaders should work together to train employees to meet the data and analysis skills demands of today’s workforce,” said Ruth Veloria, executive dean of the University of Phoenix School of Business. “The growth of data, particularly the amount of detailed information that government, business and other sources collect, means we need to be prepared to meet this challenge with higher education, business leadership and industry collaboration.”

By 2020, the availability of data is projected to grow from more than five zettabytes to more than 44 zettabytes—meaning organizations must have the will and talent to understand and utilize the data2. The paper finds that persistent skills gaps hinder the ability for companies to maximize their leverage of this wealth of information, and a shortage of data-fluent talent is one of the definitive workforce issues today.

“Education is key to closing the skills gap, and talent management must be aware of the skills demands and development needed throughout the organization3,” said Dennis Bonilla, executive dean of the University of Phoenix College of Information Systems and Technology. “Education doesn’t end in the classroom, and employers will need to not only recruit new talent, but take on a larger role in the growth of their current employees—the data-driven workforce will have to continue to learn on the job4.”

University of Phoenix has created programs to help make students aware of the current utility of data, teach them how to analyze data, instill the value of data-based decision making and inspire both the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit that are the hallmark of the data space. Meanwhile, companies will need to evolve the management of talent beyond a one-size-fits-all approach, creating opportunities for employees to “upskill” and learn the skills they need to keep pace.

To view the white paper in full, visit To learn more about University of Phoenix® School of Business programs, visit

For more information about University of Phoenix programs, including on-time completion rates, the median debt incurred by students who completed the program and other important information, please visit

About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help working adults move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive learning can help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. As a subsidiary of Apollo Education Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL), University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit

About STEMconnector®
STEMconnector® is a consortium of companies, associations, societies, policy organizations, government entities, universities and academic institutions concerned with STEM education and the future of human capital. With several products and services, STEMconnector® is both a resource and a service, designed to link “all things STEM.” STEMconnector’s network includes organizations at the global, national, state and local levels. STEMconnector® focuses on the STEM workforce and jobs, with a particular emphasis on diversity and women. Our work spans the entire pipeline (Kindergarten to Jobs) and how STEM education experiences translate into careers.


1 Cited from Big Data, Big Needs:

2 Ibid

3 Cited from Big Data, Big Needs:

4 Ibid