How Universities Can Transform Themselves Using Job Postings Data

universities job postings big data

By: Jacob Koshy October 6, 2017

The corporate and business world is undergoing a massive transformation which was kickstarted by the ready availability of data. Businesses, irrespective of their size and industry vertical are now embracing data and analytics to optimize their operations and stay updated to the current trends. These changes happening in the industrial world means a lot to universities and other educational institutions. Being the production houses of tomorrow’s talent, universities should know what’s happening out there in the industry so as to prepare themselves and their students for the change.

Satisfied students are the key to a prestigious university. Students who are ready for the industry will definitely surpass others trained via age-old curriculum and pedagogy. When the students become successful, their universities also get recognized which in turn improves the reputation of the institute.  The stakes are even higher now as the business world is undergoing rapid transformation and students have great  expectations (especially about leveraging technology) from the universities.

Universities should enter the big data realm

With every other industry vertical gearing up with the newfound intelligence of big data, it’s high time universities caught up. There are different data sources that could prove highly relevant to universities. Of course there’s always internal data to be gathered and analyzed for optimizing the operational efficiency, but that aside, there should be external data to augment the big data strategy. As long as universities are concerned, the most important source of data to make students industry-ready is the recruitment industry.

Data from the recruitment industry will reflect the most current trends in hiring such as the jobs in demand, skills sought after by the businesses for different job roles, upcoming job titles and the gap between skills and demand. Universities can also run predictive analyses on top of this data to perceive and prepare themselves for the future trends.

When it comes to data from the recruitment industry, the most prominent and resourceful one would be job postings by companies. Job postings made by companies are a true reflection of the actual demand of talent by various industries. Here are some reasons why job postings make for the ideal data source for universities:

  • Fresh and relevant
  • Shows exactly what industries are seeking from candidates
  • Easily available on the web
  • Follows a similar schema

Acquiring job feeds

Now that we know why job postings are the ideal data source for universities, let’s see how job data can be acquired for analyses. Web scraping is the best and most effective means of extracting the data available on websites. However, extracting data from the web at scale demands a well-developed web scraping infrastructure, manpower and expertise in the field. JobsPikr, our dedicated job feeds aggregation solution was designed to combat these inherent issues with large-scale web data extraction. With its machine learning capabilities, it can crawl and extract job postings from thousands of company websites spanning geographies and the popular job boards out there, covering most of the job data you will ever need for business use cases.

How universities can leverage the data

Having access to data is only half work done. In order to reap the benefits, there should be well defined goals and alignment of the data strategy towards achieving those goals. Universities can make use of the data in three major ways:

Tweaking the curriculum

As the business world moves forward with the advancement of technology and newfound intelligence from big data, existing job roles may undergo drastic changes. These changes will alter the skills required by companies for different job roles and this is inevitable. While the requirements and skills demanded by industries evolve, the universities must identify and prepare candidates for this change. The best way to about this is to tweak the curriculum in such a way that it prepares the students for the changing demands.

For example, if a majority of software development firms are adopting a new programming language for its agility, it’s time to bring it into the consideration set while updating the syllabus of computer science degree. Likewise, the hiring trends will reveal a lot about what’s getting outdated and what’s in demand. It’s for the universities to identify and brace themselves for the change.

Adding new courses

Sometimes, tweaking the existing curriculum won’t simply cut it if the new skills in demand are totally new. Oxford university recently introduced a course on online fintech to their business school in order to prepare students for the new technological innovations in finance like Blockchain, AI, crowdfunding and quantum computing. When the requirement is new, it’s better to launch a new course rather than fitting it into an existing curriculum. By analyzing the job data, universities can detect the upcoming job requirements that might need them to come up with a new course.

Helping students with placements

Universities have a huge part to play when it comes to providing placement assistance to their students. This would require ready access to the new opportunities out there that are relevant for the students and is best done with the help of job feeds and some automation. A setup can be created to process the job feeds and monitor it for the keywords associated with the jobs that you want to target. This automation will enable universities to stay up to date with the opportunities available to their students so as to help them with career opportunities once they are ready to complete the course.

Conclusion

As the rate of innovation in the business world is at an all-time high with the emergence of big data and artificial intelligence solutions, the demands in the recruitment industry is rapidly fluctuating. This calls for universities to come up with intelligent solutions to fine-tune their courses and curriculum to adapt tomorrow’s talent to the rising demands. Job feeds will help them gain the insights and intelligence required to go ahead with this evolutionary process.

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