Research Data Services: Vital data skills for future career and academic growth

By: Paxton Welton and Nick Ruhs

Introduction 

Welcome to our second post in the Get Data Lit! blog series. This post is inspired by the theme of Love Data Week (Feb. 8-12), “Data: Building a Better Future.” Here we will focus on the research data services provided by FSU Libraries and how utilizing these valuable services can have positive effects on your future research, learning, and career prospects.  While the focus of this post is primary undergraduate students, much of the information we provide below is useful for students at any stage of their academic careers.

Overview of data services at FSU STEM Libraries

FSU STEM Libraries offers a wide range of research data services that students, on-campus organizations, and faculty can utilize. These services provide you with the resources you need to manage, analyze, store and critically evaluate data. One of our most utilized services is our data information literacy workshop series, which offers training and discussion around data processing, analysis and visualization. These workshops provide you with tools and skills that allow you to find and interpret data sets in journal articles and in the news. Our workshops cover a wide variety of topics ranging from Tableau to Adobe Photoshop. You can see this semester’s listing for our Data @ Your Desk series by clicking here. We are also able to organize and coordinate individual or group instruction sessions on particular workshop topics for student groups. 

FSU Libraries also provides Research Data Management services. These services allow you to gain a better understanding of how to work with research data throughout the research lifecycle. We are able to help with data management planning, information about funding agency requirements, options for sharing and licensing of data sets and much more. You can find more information by clicking here

How are data services important for undergraduate students?

All of the data services that we offer at FSU Libraries provide students an opportunity to develop their data skillset and expand their professional network, both of which are crucial in today’s competitive job market. The best part is, all of our services are provided at no cost to current students. 

Employers are gradually realizing the importance and power of utilizing big data in the workplace and are looking to hire graduates that have applicable data literacy, analytics, and visualization skills. In fact, a recent Forbes article discusses how a lack of vital data literacy skills in the workplace can hamper the future growth of companies and their employees. Furthermore, while there is a range of data tools utilized by companies, there are several widely applicable tools that are often cited as crucial for new graduates. According to Brandman University, the top 3 technology skills employers are looking for are SQL, Python, and Tableau. FSU students can gain experience with all of these tools at workshops offered this semester at FSU Libraries! By taking advantage of these services now, students are able to take a step in the right direction and develop crucial data skills while still in college. 

Furthermore, by attending data workshops offered by FSU Libraries,  undergraduate students have an opportunity to expand their professional network. Attending workshops gives undergraduates the chance to meet experienced and talented professionals at FSU. By following up with the host of the workshop via email or LinkedIn, you are able to build a connection with that professional. This relationship could further develop into a mentorship or serve as a reference when applying to grad school or a full time job after graduation. Additionally, not only do workshops provide students with the opportunity to begin to develop professional relationships with faculty and staff, they also provide undergraduates with a chance to network with their peers. Attending these workshops can allow students to make direct connections with other attendees who may have similar interests and professional aspirations. By connecting with these students your network will not only grow but you will have the opportunity to be introduced to new student organizations on campus that other students are involved in. 

Another advantage is the cost. Attending these workshops at FSU is free to current students, whereas attending a workshop in the private sector can cost you hundreds if not thousands of dollars. FSU STEM Libraries makes it possible for students to learn in demand skills without ever leaving your room or paying for them. In the private sector workshops on data skills can cost hundreds of dollars, with the average cost of an SQL course being $1020 and the average cost of Python costing $1174 to participate in. 

By utilizing the data services provided by FSU STEM Libraries, students can gain important knowledge and experience that they can leverage for their future. Whether you want to develop or brush up on your data skills at our workshops or meet with a librarian for a one-on-one consultation, the resources our library provides are not something you want to miss out on during your undergraduate studies at FSU.

References

Bradford, L. (2018). Why all Employees Need Data Skills in 2019 (And Beyond). Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurencebradford/2018/10/11/why-all-employees-need-data-skills-in-2019-and-beyond/?sh=5d0a1763510f

LinkedIn Workforce Report. (August 10, 2018). https://economicgraph.linkedin.com/resources/linkedin-workforce-report-august-2018?trk=lilblog_08-20-18_data-scientists-America-great_tl&cid=70132000001AyziAAC

Workshops in the private sector:

SQL Querying with Certstaff.com

Introduction to SQL with theknowledgeacademy

SQL bootcamp with Nobledesktop.com

Introduction to Python Programming with Certsaff.com

Python in a Day with Nobeldesktop.com

Self-paced Python learning course by simplilearn.com

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