- Global talent shortage for data scientist as demand to exceed supply by over 50% by 2018
- MDEC’s target is to train up to 20,000 data professionals within the next four years
IN TODAY’S digital era, many industries have discovered that understanding consumer habits and trends may give them a competitive edge over the competition. Hence, turning data into insight has become a highly sought-after skill.
Malaysian professional IT training provider Iverson Associates recently expanded its list of courses to include the Microsoft Professional Program on Data Science.
Iverson Associates says it is the first training provider in the country to offer the programme which is in tandem with the growing demand for data scientists across various business sectors.
Iverson Associates managing director Yap Chee Sing explains that every day there are new applications and use cases for data science such as Chinese e-hailing service Didi, uses real data taken from Didi drivers and integrates it with smart city infrastructure to shorten wait times at traffic lights.
“Opportunities are growing from the exponential amount of data collected. The need to find insights and solve meaningful business problems makes the job of the data scientist one of the sexiest in the 21st century,” said Yap.
However, according to Iverson Associates, there is currently a global talent shortage with demand for data scientists projected to exceed supply by more than 50% by 2018. The leading cause of the shortage is the lack of educational institutions that offer data science programmes.
“Unfortunately, many curriculums in universities are still centred on traditional computing,” said Microsoft Malaysia national technology officer Dr Dzaharudin Mansor.
“We need to enhance and incorporate data science into the skill set of the people. We can’t wait for education to catch up,” said Dzaharudin.
In order to fulfil this gap in demand, Iverson Associates has chosen to work closely with Microsoft to develop Malaysia’s data science talent pool.
The introduction of the professional programme is in line with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation’s (MDEC) plan to position Malaysia as a regional hub for big data analytics with a target to train up to 20,000 data professionals within the next four years.
The Microsoft Professional Program on Data Science will be delivered via a Massive Open Online Curriculum or MOOC syllabus developed by Microsoft, focusing on data science and is hosted on Microsoft’s Open edX platform.
“The course will cover theoretical as well as practical tools and labs so students will be able to acquire the necessary skill set needed by the industry,” said Yap.
The programme is designed to be accessed easily anytime and anywhere through Iverson’s online learning system that consists of nine detailed courses and a final project before completion.
This encompasses training in multiple areas such as machine learning, exploring data with code, architecting, analysing big data and visualising data.
As the programme is targeted towards both students and working professionals looking to start their career in data science, Iverson Associates has designed the programme to be flexible for all students to master the skills at their own pace either part-time or full-time.
Each course can be completed within five to six weeks depending on the individual's experience and skills. Those who require more hands-on assistance can even opt-in for additional training by Iverson’s full-time certified professional trainers at a small additional cost.
According to Iverson Associates, the programme is offered to all for free and students will only need to pay a fee of US$99 should they wish to obtain a verified certificate of completion.
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