When the economy turns turbulent, many people become fearful of losing their employment and being unable to find a new source of income. While this fear is understandable, it also need not be reflective of reality for those that are equipped with knowledge of how to overcome difficult economic times. To aid our readers in this pursuit, we turned our attention to one of the most time-tested strategies for thriving while job prospects become murky — education. To help us explore this concept, we also looked to work by Jonathan Cornelissen, a leader in the field of data education.
One of the reasons Jonathan Cornelissen makes for a helpful resource in this discussion is that he’s the founder of DataCamp, a popular online resource for learners seeking to improve their data literacy. The platform has become a go-to destination for anyone who feels a background in data education may help them perform their job responsibilities more effectively or might improve their access to employment opportunities. That idea has been borne out by employers themselves, who often pay for their employees to have access to the platform’s resources. When employers are paying out of pocket to improve the knowledge base of their employees, it’s a good indication that the knowledge is likely contributing to their bottom line.
That understanding of how a background in data science helps employers and employees alike is why the tech entrepreneur makes for a valuable point of study during an economic slump. Part of his inspiration for creating his learning platform was the observation that data was an important part of the economy and was set to increase in importance over time. He also saw that there was a lack of resources designed to help improve the data literacy of individuals and organizations. In creating his data learning platform, he showed an understanding of a broader concept that can be useful for any individual seeking work — improving one’s educational foundation in a field with growing demand can be a key part of finding quality employment.
The tech entrepreneur’s insight that data was set to play a greatly expanded role in the economy turned out to be prescient. This makes the field a good point of study to illustrate how educating oneself in the right concentration can pay off down the line. At the time that the data scientist first conceived of his platform, data was already an important part of the economy — researchers, government institutions, business leaders, and more were all using data to help achieve their goals, so the power of data was no secret. However, what many people didn’t anticipate, was the extent to which data was set to grow in availability due to the ongoing development of one powerful piece of technology — the internet.
As the internet has become an integral part of modern life over the past few decades, its ability to gather data has grown exponentially. This data can come from many different sources, such as a person’s online habits, social media presence, or purchasing preferences. Armed with this type of data, businesses and large organizations can gain an invaluable understanding of the population groups they are trying to serve and can work to improve their ability to engage in those efforts. As such, this explosion in data has helped to drastically improve the ability of an entity to fulfill its mission. This fact has made data science a key part of the modern economy and has greatly improved the employment prospects of individuals who have bolstered their skillset in this area through educational resources.
Formal and self-education
When improving one’s level of education during an economic slump, there are generally two paths that can be pursued — formal education and self-education. Many people instinctively turn towards formal education, such as an undergraduate course of studies or a graduate degree. This method of learning can give an individual a solid foundation en route to a new career path and can help provide them access to an institution that can provide career assistance after a degree is obtained. For some learners, this level of institutional support can be a key component of their success.
Formal education, however, comes with some downsides. Perhaps the most glaring is its expense. While there are varying levels of costs associated with institutional learning, tuition rates, in general, have been trending upwards in recent years which has made it necessary for many learners to take out loans to pursue this type of education. In contrast, self-education resources, such as online learning platforms, can often be much lower cost and help to pinpoint the exact skills that an individual may need in order to pursue a new career. This can be especially relevant during times of economic uncertainty when taking on debt may lead to increased levels of financial insecurity.
When discussing education to improve one’s job prospects, it’s important to also touch on the role of networking in gaining employment. While an individual pursuing an institutional education may have access to employment resources that can help them find work, a learner engaging in self-education may not. For these individuals, finding job prospects may hinge on effective networking, such as attending career fairs, seeking out informational interviews, and working with recruiters. This type of networking can help individuals showcase their improved set of skills to those in a position to make hiring decisions. This can ultimately lead to a new job down the line.
While the prospect of losing one’s employment can be frightening, especially during times of economic uncertainty, it need not leave one powerless to improve their situation. Education can be a key component of ensuring continued access to employment when it seems as though many organizations may not be hiring. Looking to the example of Jonathan Cornelissen can be instructive in this time, as his work to anticipate demand and improve educational opportunities in the area of data science has helped millions bolster their job prospects. Further study of the power of education to improve employment levels can make for an impactful ally when the economy seems poised for a downturn.
ESA Members Happy as the European Nations Officials grant Funding to their 47 Page List Space Program
The European Nations officials, at the end of a 2-day budget meeting in Seville, Spain, have said that European nations have given a green light with a significant funding boost to almost all of the proposals laid out by the European Space Agency (ESA) for its future program. France’s research minister Frédérique Vidal, after the meeting of ministers from all 22 ESA member states, said in a press conference that this decision has reaffirmed their common ambition for Europe.
ESA Chief Jan Wörner commented, “You see a happy director general in front of you.” He also mentioned that the agency has spent 2 years developing the current proposal and lobbying members for support. He joked that everyone’s approval is required as NASA has one government and we have 22. He clarified that all the ministers have gone through the 47-page list of programs and it cleared all their doubts leading to the decision that “not a single program had to stop.” ESA managers have earlier come away disappointed from previous ministerial meetings (takes place roughly every 3 years) as they must cancel or slow down programs that didn’t win enough support.
In the last 25 years, this rise ( more than 20%) in the ESA’s 3-year budget is the largest boost the agency has seen. This rise in the budget will allow ESA to concurrently run two major orbiting observatories to look at x-rays and gravitational waves plus they can now join NASA in returning samples from Mars and expand its monitoring of Earth’s environment to help tackle the climate crisis. The budget will also help them develop a reusable vehicle to take cargo to and from space.
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