A new report from Indianapolis-based BioCrossroads suggests a need for great coordination between Indiana’s higher education institutions and industry partners. The report says while technology change continues to affect the state’s economy and drive investments by industry and academic institutions, there is limited cooperation between the two, “leaving missed opportunities to leverage investment, recruit and retain talent, and drive economic growth for the state.”
The study shows industries may not understand the capabilities in-state graduates possess, and that those graduates seek jobs out of state because they don’t understand the need companies in Indiana have for artificial intelligence and data analysis.
The data comes from a series of interviews with employers in Indiana as well as leadership at Indiana University, Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame, who also provided perspectives and recommendations on the issue.
In an interview with Inside Indiana Business, BioCrossroads Chief Executive Officer Patricia Martin said skills commonly outsourced by Hoosier businesses can be found right here in Indiana.
“What we found was there was really not a full understanding of the needs of our industries here. All of our major employers here in the state are requiring the same skill set. We found that there was an opportunity to inform the students coming out of universities once here so that we can do a concerted effort of retaining the talent once it’s trained at our major institutions,” she said.
Martin said that an encouraging part of the study did find that universities are investing more in developing data-based skills.
“We were certainly encouraged by the amount of investment that our universities are making in this space. Just since we’ve been working on the report, we’ve had major announcements by all three institutions related to facilities and hiring of faculty. And interestingly enough, a lot of focus on talent and curriculum development.”
The study found that the institutions are beginning to implement data analysis and AI into a wider variety of programs to better prepare graduates for a data-driven world.
“We have great investment by our research institutions and getting our students up to speed and informed, not just in the classic data analytic or computer science-focused curriculums, but also you’ll find it in business school. You’ll find it in some of the arts and science programs because everyone understands that data is the new language.”
Martin said that the study has already begun to spark conversations and provide insight on ways to remedy the lack of coordination. She says lines of communication are opening and that the next step will be implementing test cases and pilot programs.
“There’s a lot more capability here than I think our industries were aware of. And that’s a great thing, right? They’re investing kind of hand over fist and our talent is in demand outside of the state. So, it’s incumbent on us to make sure that they stay here.”
BioCrossroads will host a FrameWorx session next month to break down the report and talk about its findings further.
You can connect to the full report by clicking here.
Martin says institutions are preparing students for a data-driven world.