This month, PwC released a new paper, “Data Driven: What Students Need to Succeed in a Rapidly Changing Business World,” offering specific accounting curriculum recommendations to strengthen technical foundations in data analytics and related skills, relevant for all students considering careers in business.

PwC addresses the current accounting curriculum, but the true goal of the paper is to equip all students and professionals – accounting or otherwise – with the skills they need to succeed in the global and digital economy.

“Today, we recognize skills in data analytics, information management, and programming languages as more valuable than ever, along with the leadership skills that enable students to effectively lead, communicate, and collaborate,” stated Mike Fenlon, US and Global Talent Leader at PwC. “Tomorrow, we can only imagine how technology will continue to transform our work and the workplace. It is on us, as educators and employers, to make certain that our students are not the ones being disrupted—but rather, the ones driving innovation and leading change.”

Insights from PwC’s recent 18th Annual Global CEO Survey state that:

  • 58% of CEOs are concerned with the speed of technological change
  • 85% of CEOs put a high value on data analytics for their company
  • 80% of CEOs place data mining and analysis as the second-most important strategic technology for CEOs

Based on these findings, PwC believes data analytics should be integrated more into accounting coursework.
“While skills in data analytics will be desired, we believe broader business acumen, global awareness, relationship skills, and leadership abilities will be just as coveted. This broad base will equip students to not only solve challenges, but also to frame these issues in a broader context, so they can ask the right questions – the ones that lead to root causes and solutions,” continued Fenlon. 

For the full "Data Driven" paper, head to PwC's site here.