The EXPLORE Data Science Academy has announced that its successful six- and 12-month data science courses will again be offered in 2021, with exciting new additions. This initiative will add further impetus to EXPLORE’s continuing transformation of data science education in South Africa.
Following the success of its 2020 courses, the Academy has added several new modules in line with changing trends in the field. Shaun Dippnall, CEO of EXPLORE, says, “After the 2020 experience, we updated the course content to align with latest thinking, tools and technology. We’ve 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 courses cover the full range of data skills that organizations need to thrive in the digital age, including Data Analytics, 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.
Massive supply-demand gap
“There remains a massive supply-demand gap across the world in the area of data science skills. 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,” he adds.
According to Mindcor.com: “Data scientists, data analysts and artificial intelligence specialists are fast becoming the most sought-after skills in organizations.”
Applicants are encouraged to carefully consider the range of options available in the curriculum. “We’re offering more choices to meet the needs of the wave of digital transformation in South Africa. There are more online options and a variety of levels and course durations to suit people’s pockets and schedules,” Says Dippnall.
Eligible applicants requiring financial support can apply for an EXPLORE loan, whereby they pay a reduced monthly rate to fund their education and continue to pay off the loans after completing the programme.
Candidates can choose a full-time, six-month on-campus course that costs R60 000, or a part-time, online, 12-month course, which costs R30 000 if paid upfront or R3 000 a month if paid over 12 months.
Diverse experience or qualifications welcomed
Dippnall says, “We are casting the net wide in terms of candidates. Applicants may have any previous qualification and experience and be currently employed (the online, part-time course) or looking for a career change (the full-time, on-campus course). The outcome is the same: a work-ready opportunity in a highly skills-deficient sector with a qualification that effectively guarantees employment.”
The EDSA has trained close to a 1000 data scientists through its fully sponsored, full-time 12-month course over the past four years and placement of graduates in employment remains high.
“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 says.
For anyone wanting to study data science at the EDSA there are qualifying criteria. Candidates for this particular full-time course need to live in close proximity of either Johannesburg or Cape Town. “Our application process is very tough. We test for aptitude and attitude using the qualifying framework we’ve built over the years. If you’re smart enough, you’ll be accepted,” says Dippnall.
To find out more about EXPLORE, the innovative new set of digital courses available in 2021 and details of the Explore loan arrangement, go to http://www.explore-datascience.net. Terms and conditions apply.