As India gears up to position itself as a leader in AI and Data Science domain, we see the market for entry-level talent expanding. Startups, mid-size organisations, and large enterprises are competing to grab a chunk of the small pool of skilled professionals and fresh talent.
As per our study — Analytics & Data Science Jobs In India 2019 in conjunction with Great Learning, demand for entry-level data science talent is on a rise with 21% job postings aimed at freshers. Going forward, we shall witness these trends in 2020 as well. As per a LinkedIn report, data scientist continued to be the most promising job role in 2019 with top skills including data science, data mining, data analysis, Python and machine learning.
Data from Indeed report shows demand for AI skills rose 29.1% over the last one year. And the buzz around AI has created a slew of new job titles such as Developer Consultant, Algorithm Developer, Lead Data Scientist and Junior Data Scientist.
Bootcamps Rise To Address The Skilling Challenge — But Are They Enough?
As enterprises embrace a digital future, employers are increasingly looking for candidates whose skill sets reflect that shift. On the talent end, the market is flooded with certification courses, bootcamps and e-learning options. But the question is — can one really skill-up with a string of online courses/certifications.
According to industry experts and employers alike, a few bootcamps or projects aren’t enough to make an entry-level candidate a skilled Data Scientist that can drive business decisions. Tapati Bandopadhyay, Vice President, Research at HFS Research shared her thoughts at a panel discussion during Cypher 2019, “just knowing Python doesn’t make one a data scientist”. In fact, the real gap also arises to how candidates position themselves in the market as opposed to how companies define the data science roles, a leading industry expert shared at Cypher 2019.
While it is definitely exciting times for professionals to join the buzzing field, candidates will require more than just a foundational set of tools (Python, R, Tableau) to get hired. Not just that, employers expect candidates to have experience of using Python models into production. In fact, the highest-paid practitioners are those who have highly specialized skills that set them apart from others. Also, these candidates have a blend of both technical and industry-specific domain knowledge to interact with C-suite executives and data science teams.
With the hype around data science and AI intensifying, we list down a few courses built from the ground up to address the needs of freshers and entry-level professionals that can help one get started in this field.
Great Learning Shows The Way With Programs Designed For Freshers & Entry-level Candidates
While the market is flooded with different types of courses, many experts agree that one requires a structured learning path, especially in the domain of AI to cover the foundations.
Great Learning’s 12-month PGP in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning gives an in-depth graduate-level introduction to ML and AI. The program covers the foundations of machine learning, deep learning, implementation of the algorithms, and their applications.
Delivered in two formats (online and blended with weekend classroom sessions), the 12-month program is designed in such a way that it meets the learning needs of professionals without disrupting their day job and helps augment the learning experience with hands-on projects and personalised mentorship sessions.
In the near AI-powered future, the right training program can help one stay on top of their game in this fast-paced industry. According to Mukesh Rao, Great Learning, “ This 12-month post-graduate program guides learners through the latest advancements and technical approaches in AI-based technologies such as natural language processing and, deep learning algorithms to build the necessary industry-relevant knowledge required for this field”.
Another course geared at freshers and entry-level professionals is Great Learning’s full-time 5-month Data Science & Engineering program especially developed in response to the growing demand for data scientists and data engineers. The applied program provides a comprehensive introduction to machine learning with Python and SQL and trains candidates with 0-3 years of work experience in data science and engineering.
Since this is delivered in a full-time mode, the program covers the breadth and depth required for a career in Data Science and Engineering and balances theory and practice effectively. The program is led by experienced faculty and practicing data science professionals. According to Hari Nair, Co-Founder, Great Learning, “The PGP-DSE program has been designed keeping in mind the exponential increase in job opportunities in the industry across not just the country, but globally. The program has been designed to impart industry relevant knowledge in the shortest and most impactful way and gives the most relevant data tools and techniques so that the candidate becomes job-ready”.
Building critical AI and data science capabilities is a long-game. At a time when the industry is going through a flux, investing in the right career and skills development program can set one on the path to success. On the employer end, even though recruiters are trying to widen the candidate pool, they don’t consider a candidate with only a bootcamp certification. This implies that getting credentials from a reputed institute matters more. Also, a certification from Great Learning helps one build a portfolio of challenging projects and gain access to personalized mentorship from industry experts. All in all, choose the certification wisely.
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Richa Bhatia is a seasoned journalist with six-years experience in reportage and news coverage and has had stints at Times of India and The Indian Express. She is an avid reader, mum to a feisty two-year-old and loves writing about the next-gen technology that is shaping our world.