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Teradata University Network Offers Free Training Towards Technical Certification

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, 27 December 2012, 10:13 Hrs
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Bangalore: Teradata University Network, in conjunction with Teradata, the analytic data solutions company, is now offering free web-based certification training for students seeking to make themselves attractive candidates for analytic data jobs or a wide range of other jobs that today require data-driven decision-making.

The industry-recognized Teradata Certification Professional Program advances Teradata knowledge and skills. Teradata University Network provides students with the opportunity to certify in a choice of two baseline Teradata Certifications: Teradata Certified Professional for those who are interested or work in IT and certification validates their abilities to use Teradata technology to further advance business strategy; and Teradata Certified Associates for those who are interested or work in a business role that requires a conceptual understanding of Teradata technology. Students can study to become a Teradata Certified Professional or Certified Associate through the free online program.

“Our intent is to build an analytic talent pipeline that our customers can access to meet their critical need for skilled analytics professionals. This free online training will help universities prepare students to become skilled analytics employees,” said Teradata Chief Learning Officer Jim Stewart.

A McKinsey Global Institute report in 2011 projected the US will need 1.5 million “data-savvy managers and analysts” by 2018 to take full advantage of big data . A separate international survey found graduating students lack that required knowledge today. The survey was sponsored by Business Intelligence Congress II, a meeting co-hosted by Teradata University Network and the Association for Information Systems Special Interest Group on Decision Support, Knowledge and Data Management Systems.

Teradata University Network Executive Board member Michael Goul said, “As professors, we’re concerned that our students graduate with not only the technical knowledge they need to be analytics professionals, but also the business understanding to put that knowledge to use. Certification is an important approach to help align what is taught in academe with what is needed by industry.” Goul is the professor of Information Systems in the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

The exploding demand for analytics professionals is fueled in part by companies’ increased focus on data-driven decision-making to grapple with the fast pace of change in the business world, and easier access to previously untapped data sources such as weblogs, social media interactions and sensors.

“Like many companies, Cardinal Health is exploring the strategic use of advanced analytics to help us meet the needs of our customer. The need to truly understand our data naturally drives demand for more highly skilled analytical data professional – ‘data scientists’ if you will. We need to expand the talent pool quickly and I’m excited that the TUN online training program is available to help address the current demand,” said Susan Watson, Director of Enterprise Customer Data for Cardinal Health. Watson is a member of the Teradata PARTNERS steering committee and the Teradata University Network advisory board.

Can On-line Technical Training Help Companies with Big Analytics?

A survey of students, recent graduates, and faculty conducted for the Teradata University Network showed that 68 percent of the students reported being interested or very interested in the student certification program.

“The certification process is definitely tailored to the student. You can complete the learning modules on your own time, and end of chapter reviews and interactive quizzes help make sure you are ready for the exam. I think the program was a great step in teaching me how to learn beyond a university. It challenges you to take responsibility of your own learning in order to forward your career,” said student Rick Stinogel of Arizona State University.

Degan Kettles, also of Arizona State University, said, “I was already familiar with many transactional database systems, but data warehousing was new to me. The certification process made me feel competent in my understanding of what it is, how it works, and how it can be applied to support diverse needs in an enterprise.”  

Likewise, two out of three faculty, 67 percent, reported they would encourage or strongly encourage their students to obtain Teradata certification.

Bill Franks, Teradata chief analytics officer and author of the book, “Taming the Big Data Tidal Wave: Finding Opportunities in Huge Data Streams with Advanced Analytics,” said, “Analytic talent is in huge demand today and having this certification can speed the initial screening process by validating that a candidate has the base technical skills. This allows the interviewer to focus on the other critical skills such as business knowledge and communications abilities.”

A student certification pilot program conducted in the spring of 2012 involved a small group of undergraduate and graduate students from three universities: Arizona State, Oklahoma State and University of Georgia. All of those who completed the free online training course and the examination had little or no prior expertise with the Teradata Database or the Teradata data warehouse platform. Of those who passed the exam, 80 percent became Teradata Certified Professionals, while 20 percent earned Teradata Certified Associates accreditation.

“The pilot proved online training is sufficient for some students to achieve certification, and the student survey results provided us guidance on how to better prepare students for the Teradata Certification exams. We have already made some changes based on their feedback,” said Susan Baxley, Teradata University Network director. “Certification signifies strong knowledge of Teradata and provides students with the foundation for a career path that they can begin while still in college and continue anywhere in the world.” The student certification program is the latest expansion of the Teradata University Network. It is already used by more than 45,000 students around the world majoring in everything from information systems, management or computer science to finance, marketing or accounting.

The student certification program is the latest expansion of the Teradata University Network. It is already used by more than 45,000 students around the world majoring in everything from information systems, management or computer science to finance, marketing or accounting.

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