DATA BALL: The young minds from Explore Data Science Academy are using algorithms to determine who will win the world cup

DURBAN - The Explore Data Science Academy (EDSA) is going international and will soon offer students across the world the opportunity to take its locally developed short online courses in selected data science fields.

EDSA founder Shaun Dippnall said, "It is well known that data science is one of the fastest growing careers across the world.  Our local experience at the EDSA since 2018 has taught us that we are able to offer courses that provide practical data science skills to students, enabling them to start working directly after graduating in a market crying out for relevant skill sets". 

"There is no reason why we should limit our reach to South Africa.  Many countries across the world are experiencing similar patterns of demand for data scientists that cannot be met by existing training providers.  We believe that we can meet some of this demand with our online courses," added Dippnall.

The EDSA is part of the EXPLORE organization. In 2018, its first year of operation, the academy trained 100 learners as data scientists in a fully sponsored, full-time 12-month course.  This year the number increased to 400 and in 2020 no fewer than 500 students are taking the course.

The new international on-line offering comprises a series of focused courses that will teach data science, data engineering, data analytics and machine learning.  Courses start late in January, 2020 and will run between three and 12 months. Costs range from R4 000 for the Data Science for High School course to R30 000 for the three-month professional skills courses.

Dippnall said, "We know that there is a tremendous need for training courses such as these across the world.  Specifically, we at EXPLORE are working with a number of leading United Kingdom and European businesses including Thames Water, Nordic Guarantee and CRP as consultants. We have even had some of our EDSA graduates start working internationally". 

The initial focus country for these short courses will be the UK, but EDSA are also targeting the United States and Australia.  They have plans to establish a campus, similar to our Cape Town and Braamfontein facilities, in the United Kingdom.

Dippnall said, "We have built a robust online learning platform, which offers high quality content and tuition on subjects such as data science, data engineering, data analytics and machine learning - all of which are in high demand no matter which country you are in. This, coupled with the success we have had consulting to global clients, the likes of Thames Water in the UK ,proved our ability to compete with the best in the world. It makes sense to scale". 

Dippnall and his team are betting on the explosive demand for data science skills globally as well as in South Africa – skills, which are driving market competitiveness for businesses. 

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