Business leaders complain bitterly about their inability to find data science talent. But how many have taken the relatively painless step of getting close to the computer science or data analytics department at a nearby college or university?

"In just the past two months, we've had dozens of calls coming in from top banks, major manufacturers, retailers, CPG and consulting companies," said Dick Stevens, a lecturer and career development advisor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Like many other institutions offering a business analytics program, UT has seen a dramatic uptick in inquiries from the business sector in the past couple of years. Indeed, the school is now preparing to graduate its third class of business analytics students. (UT's business analytics degree replaced degree programs in statistics and management science.)

University of Tennessee faculty are involved in a variety of business outreach programs, and some of their corporate partners recently spoke to InformationWeek, offering plenty of ideas about how companies can work more effectively with educational institutions.

One cautionary note: Plenty of colleges and universities offer programs like those at UT, but they may be poorly publicized to the outside world. "Sometimes you just have to call the department head and ask what they've got," said one long-time observer of university public-private alliances. Read full story on InformationWeek


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