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When I grow up I want to be a data scientist/ work in policy-related research/ make a difference. Can you help me?

Presenter 1
Jackie Carter
University of Manchester

In 2013 at The Campaign for Social Science event in the UK, David Willetts, Minister for Higher Education and Skills pronounced in a world of increasing volume of social data there is an urgent need to “have properly qualified people to exploit and use the data”. At present [the UK has] a serious shortage of social science graduates with the right quantitative skills to evaluate evidence and analyse data. This is not a new finding. Significant and shared efforts in the last decade have resulted in a large, national initiative being funded to tackle this problem in the UK (Q-Step, Nuffield 2013). This PK will highlight the void in teaching quantitative social science, and show how we (the ESSTED team at Manchester) are addressing the challenge of embedding number into the social science curriculum. A variety of techniques have been adopted and trialled; using real world survey data in the classroom alongside making students part of the dataset; flipping lectures; adopting the mantra of ‘practice’ for what is a real-world and employable skill. The PK will present: results based on evidence collated; conclusions based on our experiences; and ideas about how this is informing the University of Manchester’s Q-Step centre.

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