We recently announced a five-year collaboration to advance learning and research through new business convergence insights in technology and innovation: the MIT and Accenture Convergence Initiative for Industry and Technology. Our alliance with MIT is nearly 15 years strong—and vital in establishing educational programming and training in technology advancement and data analysis. Part of this alliance includes the Master Data Architect (MDA) Certification Program, in collaboration with MIT Professional Education (MIT PE).  

The MIT and Accenture Convergence Initiative also includes MIT research that is data-driven and connected to topics including AI, knowledge curation, and talent. Co-leads of the initiative are Anantha Chandrakasandean of the MIT School of Engineering and the Vannevar Bush Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Sanjeev Vohra, global lead of Accenture Applied Intelligence. 

In the three years since we introduced this MDA/MIT PE collaboration, we have continued to see not only more newly minted certified data architects, but also more offerings developed within the MDA program.  

As the global Accenture lead for this high-caliber program, I am proud to report this significant uptick in our enrollment: We have reached our goal of 1000 Certified Data Architects ahead of schedule—and kicked off FY21 strong with 1225 data experts, who are now equipped with the crucial skills to power successful cloud transformations.  

The time has come for intelligent enterprises to take a radical new approach to reinventing and addressing broader technology challenges. Organizations now find themselves in a new position where they must use data and AI to responsibly fuel their innovation, business models, and partnerships.  

“The collaboration between MIT Professional Education and Accenture continues to thrive—and the ongoing success of the Master Data Architects Program is a perfect example of this,” said Bhaskar Pant, Executive Director of MIT Professional EducationSince last year alone, the number of those who have earned their MDA program certifications has more than doubled, while the program offerings have evolved to additional industry-specific certifications, including hospitality and life sciences—healthcare and financial services industry certifications will also soon be addedWe are so pleased to see these certified data architects apply their new skillsets, pursue opportunities within their specialty, and be recognized by peers and clients alike.”  

Our certification program is open to anyone at Accenture who aspires to develop skills and experience in the various aspects of data. It’s organized into two tracks: industry-specific track and technical track. Our latest industry-specific certificationLife Sciences Commercial, is designed for those with relevant experience in the field and to create new opportunities for our life sciences data professionals who understand the business context and data models within the industry.  

Once candidates determine which track is right for them, they can earn their independent certifications within three to six months, including self-assessment, scoring, and live interviews. Up next, we look forward to introducing our Intelligent Certification, which will streamline the program process via our AI platform. 

“Not only are our people expanding their data architect skills, building networks in the industry, and driving their careers forward—but our clients are also noticing the impact of our synergies with MIT PE,” said Sanjeev Vohra. I am confident in our ability to keep expanding the program, under the marquis differentiation of having the MIT brand recognition.” 

This type of recognition, and the program benefits, are evident based on reflections from some of Accenture’s own certified data architects around the world who have taken the steps to invest in their own data journeys: 

  • “It’s helped me build strong foundations on data technologies and understand core data challenges in today’s business scenarios—and the approach to solve for our clients globally.” (Kiran Iyer) 
  • “Now, I can propose and build robust, fully integrated data management solutions for my client—helping them to become data-powered enterprises.” (Ahmed Hosni) 
  • “It’s empowered me to recommend better solutions to clients and have data-driven technology conversations.” (Rujuta Akhadkar) 

We are working together with MIT PE to help people pursue their industry specialization within data architecture and data management, providing a distinguished career progression, while satisfying the growing demand for skilled data architects—ultimately guiding our clients as they become data-driven enterprises. 

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"I am confident in our ability to keep expanding the program, under the marquis differentiation of having the MIT brand recognition." 

Sanjeev Vohra, global lead of Accenture Applied Intelligence

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Sriram Anand

Lead – Data & AI, Growth & Strategy

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