Pandemic makes data science skills vital for SA

data science academy in south africa

by AKANI CHAUKE 
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) THE largest data science academy in the continent believes the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and subsequent digitisation have made it imperative for South Africans to be well equipped in that area.

As such, the institute, EXPLORE Data Science Academy, has announced it is extending its courses in Africa’s most advanced economy by a year.

The six- and 12-month courses would again be offered in 2021, with new additions, following the success of the courses in 2020.

“The pandemic, the significant shift to digitization and the emergence of new technologies have made it essential for more South Africans to be trained in this area,” said Shaun Dippnall, Chief Executive Officer of EXPLORE.

He added, “We have added new up-to-date projects and have adapted our delivery model to the needs of our customers, given the impact of COVID-19.”

The outbreak coincides with massive supply-demand gap across the world in the area of data science skills. South Africa has endured the worst outbreak in the continent, with 708 359 cases, including 18 741 deaths.

“After the 2020 experience, we updated the course content to align with latest thinking, tools and technology,” Dippnall said.

The courses cover Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Machine Learning, Business Intelligence and Software Engineering.

The broad categories taught are NANO-Qualifications and Digital Skills and within each of these a wide variety of options are available.

Top South African academics and practitioners with decades of experience in teaching and real-world problem solving lead the EXPLORE Data Science Academy.

A number of large South African corporates and Amazon Web Services, its Exclusive Machine Learning platform provider, support the academy.

It has trained close to 1 000 data scientists through its fully sponsored, full-time 12-month course over the past four years.

“Because we are connected with numerous employers and have an excellent understanding of the skills they need, our current placement rate is over 90 percent of the students we’ve taught,” Dippnall said.

– CAJ News

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