Imperial’s Data Science Institute collaborates to deliver new intensive course

The Data Science Institute in partnership with coding bootcamp Le Wagon has launched a 10-week course for learners to pick up skills in data science.

The course is aimed at either recent graduates or professionals with an interest in data science who are looking to expand their career opportunities learning the skills to explore, clean and interpret data, and to support decision making in their current job or in the one they are moving towards.

Collaborating on data science

To kick off this new collaboration, during an online launch event, we spoke with programme leads and data scientists to hear what this course has on offer and how rewarding a career in data science can be.

Dr Susan Mulcahy, programme director of Data Spark welcomed the participants describing the format of the course – 7 weeks of online live classes and group work, followed by 3 weeks on a data analytics project.

“We are very excited about this new programme” said Dr Mark Kennedy, co-director of the Data Science Institute.

“This is a really demanding course, we expect the participants to have a certain knowledge of mathematics and programming before they join – he added – but we are confident that it will give them the right skills to access an expanding job market.

Boris Paillard, CEO and co-founder of Le Wagon, explained how this course is aimed at meeting a growing demand by employers of people with data science skills: “While demand has been growing for several years, we are still far from fulfilling it!”

He added that a solid understanding of basic mathematics and programming is needed, but that the participants are not expected to have higher degrees in technical disciplines: “A good high school maths curriculum is the perfect starting point.”

Debating data science

The second part of the launch event saw a panel discussion with three data scientists working in various sectors. Lorelie Mani, one of Le Wagon’s teachers, Valeria Cortez Vaca Diaz and Christina Tatli, both former Imperial Business School alumnae, now working at Monzo and Facebook respectively, explained how important it is to get the right skills and be able to translate technical concepts to no technical audiences, so that the insight coming from datasets can be applied to various real life settings.

They spoke about the opportunities that a re-training in data science offers and how important it is that people with different and varied backgrounds become part of the community as they can contribute with their unique experiences and views.

To a question from the audience about the suitability of the course for ‘career changers’, Dr Kennedy replied that someone switching career is an ideal candidate for our Imperial Data Science Intensive course: “This would be great for you. It really helps not to be afraid!”

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