The Tableau Desktop Specialist certification has also been a valuable asset. UK students can take this exam as soon as they complete the introductory data analytics course, and adding it to their resumes shows recruiters they have a proven proficiency in tackling data analytics concepts and bringing them to life through Tableau visualizations. For many students, Desktop Specialist also provides their first experience taking an online remote-proctored certification exam, helping to build their confidence for similar forms of future on-the-job training. Dan Stone, PhD, Director of Minor in Business Analytics & Rosenthal Endowed Chair shared that “the Desktop Specialist Exam has been a powerful and accessible achievement credential for our students.” When Tableau first released the certification exam, more than 80% of the students in the data visualization classes took it, and most passed.
Tableau and the Desktop Specialist exam continue giving students the exposure and confidence they need to keep pace with market expectations and develop the skills today's recruiters want to see. Dan’s team began tracking the words in student resumes and found that “Tableau”, “data visualization”, “analytics”, and “data modeling” were showing up much more frequently. “We now have recruiters from Silicon Valley and from tech companies who are coming to University of Kentucky for the first time, and our graduates are entering leadership roles at an earlier age than we ever would have expected,” said Dan.
Modernizing its curriculum has helped UKY transform as an institution with a data-focused mindset. The university plans on rolling out more analytics training in its undergraduate and graduate business courses, and faculty are finding new ways for visualization platforms like Tableau to illuminate and expand their research activities.