INFORMS launches aCAP certification for early career analytics professionals
As businesses, industries and other organizations exponentially increase their use of analytics to improve their operations and performance, they face additional challenges of identifying, recruiting and retaining the very best analytics talent. Since its inception in 2013, the Certified Analytics Professional (CAP®) program has enabled hundreds of organizations across 20 different countries (including 20 percent of the Fortune 100) to meet those challenges through its rigorous process of certifying top experienced analytics professionals. Now, the CAP program is helping organizations expand that ability to top early career professionals with the launch of its new Associate Certified Analytics Professional (aCAP) program.
According to a 2013 McKinsey Global Institute report, by 2018 the United States will face a shortage of about 190,000 data scientists and 1.5 million managers and data analysts who can interpret and implement data. Exacerbating that challenge, employers may not be able to determine the full analytics skill set of someone who doesn’t have much practical experience.
The aCAP provides a trusted and independent verification of analytics knowledge of someone who is in the early stages of their career, allowing hiring managers to more easily identify the best possible analytics talent that will continue to grow and contribute to their organization. Likewise, aCAP provides emerging analytics professionals with a competitive advantage over their peers with the distinction of a certification, while affording them the opportunity to build the experience and soft skills necessary for a full CAP certification.
And, as universities across the country work to expand or launch new analytics programs, aCAP offers an independent benchmark about the caliber of their graduates’ skill sets that can help distinguish analytics programs. To that end, a number of universities have already aligned their analytics programs with aCAP.
“It takes analytics professionals several years to cultivate the necessary on-the-job experience to hone their skills and qualify for a full CAP certification,” says Andrew Urbaczewski, chair of the Department of Business Information and Analytics with the University of Denver. “The aCAP program is exciting in that in enables this developing generation of analytics leaders to distinguish themselves to employers earlier in their career, while garnering the experience necessary for a full CAP certification and continued career growth.”
“Professional certifications have always been an integral part of our approach to graduate education,” adds Professor Michael Rappa, founding director of the Institute for Advanced Analytics at North Caroline State University, one of many universities already offering the aCAP to their students. “That’s why I’m excited about featuring the aCAP program with our students in the Master of Science in Analytics. It’s one more distinguishing facet of a highly competent analytics professional that employers can rely on when recruiting talent.”
Both the CAP and the aCAP programs are managed by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), the leading international association for professionals in operations research and analytics.
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