Economy Minister Simon Hamilton has launched the first Data Scientist Academy in conjunction with eight locally based companies.
The programme will focus on the core skills essential to secure a graduate role in a Data Analytics team. It will provide the graduates with the skills and experience required to take up new opportunities within the Big Data arena. This has been identified as a key growth area and these skills are in demand from employers across all sectors.
This bespoke course has been designed by the Ulster University in conjunction with the Department for the Economy, Invest Northern Ireland and local industry under the Assured Skills initiative.
The Minister said: "This excellent new initiative will help the companies involved in the Academy to maximise Big Data to drive greater insight, improved performance and competitiveness within their organisations. The ICT Action Plan challenges Government to help match the skills of the workforce with the skills our employers need. This new innovative Data Scientist Training Academy is an excellent example of how we are doing exactly that.
“It is clear Northern Ireland has great potential to develop its offering in the data analytics sector. The Data Scientist Academy highlights the commitment of Government to develop advanced analytics skills in the region. By creating a skills pipeline we will maximise the potential to attract new business and jobs, in the area of data analytics, whilst continuing to assist the growth of our indigenous companies.”
One of the companies engaged in the Academy is Liberty IT. Their Divisional Director, Neal Killen said: “As data drives more and more of our daily decisions, we as a company need to embrace, understand and employ cutting-edge practices in collecting and analysing business data. This data is the fuel we use to make decisions across our organisation and is an activity that requires particular skills which the Data Scientist Academy will help students to acquire. Taking graduates with core technical qualifications and fast tracking them into the specifics of data science, will be of great value to both students and Liberty IT.”
Data Science is the more technical manipulation of data, providing predictive and prescriptive data analysis using high level mathematical and programming skills to provide bespoke solutions. Targeting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) degree graduates, the Academy will offer an intensive 10 week training programme as well as a six week work placement to 18 successful applicants. Successful participants will gain an industry recognised qualification and a potential offer of employment with one of the eight companies.
The companies involved in the Academy are Kainos, Liberty IT, Citi, Allstate, Hughes Insurance, Exploristics, Chain Reaction Cycles and See Sense.
Applications to the Data Science Academy will close on Friday 24 June at 4.00pm and the training programme for successful applicants will start on 22 August. The training will be delivered by the Ulster University at its Jordanstown campus.
Applications can now be submitted online at Mindmill website.
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