Future Careers in Data Science

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EMC_PatGelsinger_FudanUniversityI just came back from China, where I had the chance to address students and faculty at Fudan University, in Shanghai, one of China’s leading research universities.

For the last three years, EMC has collaborated on research projects with a team at Fudan, as we do with a number of top universities in the U.S. and around the world. And I always love coming onto university campuses to see bright, creative, high energy students, so this was a real pleasure for me.

Like students in the U.S., the students there were interested in two things primarily: the future of IT from EMC’s perspective and what the future holds for their careers in IT.

EMC has positioned itself to be a leader, to drive the industry and deliver innovative products in two areas:  One is cloud computing, where we are trying to re-architect how data centers and data center infrastructure are built — so that the virtual environment and the cloud environment become the way that all computing environments are built for the future.  And, secondly, EMC has positioned itself to be a leader in this area of Big Data: being able to store it, being able to analyze it, and being able to generate insights from it.  So, these are what we think are two of the most important trends in the IT industry now and the ones that EMC is uniquely focused on leading.

Looking back over the last 30 years of change in our industry, it’s worth noting that computer science wasn’t even a formal portion of university settings 30 or so years ago.  And out of mathematics and engineering emerged this computer science skill and discipline.

We think that over the next 30 years there will be an emergence of a new discipline called data science.  Just as it was very compelling to be positioned in computer science as it emerged over the last 30 years and became a great position to be in, we think a new discipline will arise around this evolving combination of computer science skills and mathematics, statistics skills and being able to look at, analyze and operate on very, very large sets of data. And from a university student perspective, we would say this emerging field of data science is an aspirational place for today’s students to consider for their careers.

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