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Demand for AI & Big Data courses outpacing supply

The supply of Artificial Intelligence programs at both bachelors and masters levels is lagging behind a surge in interest from students, new research has shown.

Belgium, Sweden and The Netherlands are the most popular destinations for User Experience Design programs at the bachelors level, the report says. Photo: pexels

Studyportals tracks the anonymous, organic search behaviour of 50 million prospective students annually

The Studyportals Subject Opportunities for 2024 report found that Artificial Intelligence has a high relative undersupply at both levels, while other digital and technology courses are also scarce in relation to demand.

At masters level, AI courses are joined by Data Science & Big Data and Robotics to have the highest relative undersupply. For bachelors, the research found that User Experience Design and European Law, together with AI, have the highest relative undersupply of programs.

The data is collected by page views on specific program detail pages across Studyportals platforms and those figures are used as an indicator for student interest.

Photo: Studyportals

The top three undergraduate programs with the most interested in 2024 are European Law, which has seen a +32.9% rise in interest, AI (+36.1%) and User Experience Design (+32.9%).

While there is 3.5 times as much student interest in both European Law and User Experience Design as there are programs available globally, for AI programs there is 4.4 times as much student interest as there are programs in the field available.

At masters level, demand is not met by the current market, but to a somewhat lesser extent.

For Data Analytics, Data Science and Big Data programs – the most sought after courses according to Studyportals data – demand is around 2.6x the available courses, while AI demand stands at 2.4x supply and Robotics is at 2.3x.

The company urges university leaders to develop new high-demand, low-supply programs and update existing curricula.

“Digital and technology courses are also scarce in relation to demand”

University marketing professionals should in turn allocate marketing budget to emphasise these new or updated programs effectively and enhance relevance by showcasing programmes that are in line with current trends.

Across its platforms, Studyportals tracks the anonymous, organic search behaviour of 50 million prospective students annually.

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