Academy kick-starts youths’ careers in data science


Explore founder and Chief Executive Officer, Shaun Dippnall

from DION HENRICK in Cape Town
CAPE TOWN, (CAJ News) A CAREER in data science, one of the most in-demand professions globally, awaits local youth as Africa’s foremost academy in the field resumes courses next week.

The Explore Data Science Academy will roll out the courses on July 12 for aspiring data scientists or individuals looking to make a career switch to the profession.

These six and 12-month online courses have been launched in response to the growing digital skills gap in Africa.

“Businesses are awash with data,” Shaun Dippnall, Chief Executive Officer of EDSA.

He said organisations from a variety of fields are unlocking the power of big data and using this to drive strategy and competitiveness.

“However, there is a growing disconnect between the demand for data scientists and supply entering the market,” Dippnall said.

EDSA has designed its online courses specifically to address the shortfall in the supply of these in-demand skills, producing work-ready candidates able to solve real-world problems.

Employment possibilities in Africa post-study for successful graduates are vast.

South Africa’s Standard Bank has reported a massive opportunity for Africa, given its young population, to skill its people appropriately for the future.

“In particular, there is a high demand for data science capabilities,” the bank stated.

Learning data science skills online offers students specific advantages.

“Previously, candidates had to take a full-time course or attend a university to obtain qualifications in data science.

“One clear advantage of an online course is the ability to study in non-working hours which means a student can work and study at the same time. Typical courses need about 10 hours of work per week,” Dippnall explained.

EDSA has reported a track record of 95 percent work placement within three months of our graduates completing courses at above-average starting salaries.

About 30 percent of our graduates have also been placed on projects through our Explore-AI consulting division, which takes on outsourced international data science projects.

EDSA graduates have already made their mark in the United Kingdom, for example, where more than EDSA-trained 70 data scientists are working with Thames Water, the UK’s largest water and wastewater services company.

“The Thames Water success story validates our decision to move out of the South African context and take our place on the world stage,” Dippnall said.

– CAJ News


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