Education isn’t limited to classroom only. It’s a fact that underscores the Tech Mahindra backed ed-tech startup- UpX Academy’s mantra – online learning further strengthened by industry-based applications and real-world training that prepares candidates for a professional career. Kick-started by Manvender Singh, UpX Academy has three distinct offerings in Big Data and Data Science courses – foundation, specialization and super specialization.
The course duration ranges from 5 weeks -14 weeks covering Hadoop, Spark & MongoDB in the Big Data track and Data Analytics with Python & R, Machine Learning and Tableau under the Data Science track. The courses are priced moderately, starting from 22K for Foundation and going upto 38K for the complete Super Specialization tracks. For candidates wanting to build a career in both, there are combo courses which offer a mix of Big Data and Data Science courses. There are modular courses for students who want to learn individual concepts.
UpX Academy sets itself apart with these major differentiators:
- Being a Tech Mahindra industry-backed course lends credibility and validation. After candidates clear the exam, they earn a certification from Tech Mahindra. The industry-recognized certification will boost placement prospects, encourage higher pay packages and add value to their CVs.
- Deep emphasis on world-class faculty and collaboration with the right academic partners to provide an effective blend of foundational knowledge and real-world expertise. The instructors are alumni of high pedigree institutes such as London Business School, Indian School of Business, IIM Bangalore and IIM Lucknow and have experience from leading organizations such as Microsoft, HP, Flipkart and Salesforce.
- Big Data career series – a series of webinars with noted Big Data Analytics experts from Hortonworks, E-bay, Amazon and Salesforce among others will help in mentorship, impart the best Big Data practices and domain-area knowledge, and equip candidates with the skills required to be successful in data analytics and big data management.
- 24*7 student support is provided to students beyond classroom hours. The student support team comprises experienced research associates with vast technical knowledge in Data Science and Big Data. They help the students in solving their course-related/technical queries & guiding them through projects.
- The program greatly focuses on hands-on learning and includes projects on business cases from top practitioners such as Amazon, Barclays and Vodafone. UpX believes that exposure to real-world problems is the most important part of the program as it makes students industry-ready.
- Peer learning – Students are divided into study groups of 8-10 where students from the same cities are put in the same group. This enables them to solve problems in teams, just like the way it works in the real world. Students can also post their queries on discussion forums and have discussions with the other enrolled students.
- While no institute guarantees 100% placement, UpX Academy has put into place an effective placement assistance program – resume building, interview preparation and industry immersion sessions
Mode of learning: Online
Class Size: 120
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Fee: Starts at INR 22,000
Courses: Big Data and Data Science (Foundation, Specialization, Super Specialization, Combo & Modular)
Credentials: Certification from Tech Mahindra awarded upon clearing the exam
Resources: Cloud Lab access
Analytics India Magazine asked the newest entrant on the ed-tech block-UpX Academy- about its concerted focus on two streams only – Data Science and Big Data. Here’s the response, “Big Data is a huge and an emerging field. Today, there exists a definitive skill gap in the market; it is tough to find professionals who match the targeted skills and expertise that are needed in a data-driven environment. That’s why UpX has designed courses that allow students to gain computational knowledge and get some hands-on experience in dealing with Big Data,” shared Singh.
Pegged as specialists in Big Data and Data Science, UpX offers three learning tracks. According to Singh, the courses are always updated to keep pace with the current industry trends.
In the Big Data track, the Foundation course covers Hadoop; the Specialization course covers Hadoop and Spark and the Super Specialization course covers Hadoop, Spark, NoSQL databases like MongoDB and HBase.
In the Data Science stream, the foundation course tackles Data Analytics with an emphasis on Python and R while in Specialization track candidates learn about Machine Learning techniques. The Super Specialization takes care of Data Analytics with R, Python, Machine Learning and Tableau.
In the pipeline are industry-specific courses in Retail, Finance & HR Analytics.
Big Data is all about playing with large volumes of data and projects at UpX let students do exactly that. The project-based courses provide case-studies steeped in real-world, enabling candidates to build analytical and the most in-demand technical skills. Access to cloud lab enables students to work on “Big Data” sets for their projects.
Admittedly, you get to derive insights from real datasets (from Amazon, Airbnb, Twitter, Walmart, etc.) that scale up to 100s of MBs. According to Singh, “While most institutes provide small datasets ranging from 5 MB to 10 MB of data, our Capstone Project data goes up to 100s of MB”.
Some of the case studies in Data Science are:
Finance: Students Building a predictive model based on customer demographics, to decide whether a certain customer is eligible for a loan or not.
Entertainment: Building a recommendation engine like Spotify/Netflix that can auto-suggest songs/movies based on his listening/viewing history.
Retail: Retail has undergone massive change and it is a data-intensive domain. In this case study, students will build forecasting models based on historical store data to inform department-wise sales of Walmart.
UpX Academy’s philosophy is to prepare well-rounded individuals who can crack interviews easily. It does this in three major ways – resume building, interview preparation and industry immersion sessions which are its USP. These industry immersion sessions helps students connect with industry experts, learn about upcoming opportunities and how these skills are used on a day-to-day basis in business. UpX Academy provides repositories through which students prepare for technical questions that are asked in job interviews.
“Coming from a testing background, I had no knowledge about Big Data and Data Science before I joined the course. But the course covered all the basics in the foundation stage which helped me easily grasp the advanced concepts in the super specialization stage. The student support team was extremely supportive” says Nigrah, a student of September ’16 batch
UpX’s courses are short, in-depth and pack academic rigor with hands-on learning. As the classes take place over weekend mornings, one doesn’t have to compromise on their work or hamper their schedule. The course is hence ideal for working professionals who want to transition their career and improve their earning potential in a short span of time. Besides this, being an industry-recognized course lends heft and validation.
The integration of real-world application through case studies, exercises and datasets from top companies is a major highlight of the courses.
Another plus of the courses is that students can choose the domain(s) they want to do their projects on (BFSI, e-commerce, entertainment, healthcare, retail, sports, etc.) and be a step closer to working in Analytics in their dream company.
A big feature of the program is the Big Data Career Series that helps put your career on track with industry-immersions sessions from Big Data biggies from Twitter, Facebook, Vodafone, Barclays, PwC, and Zomato among others. Overall, it’s a great fit for working professionals who like to work and study at the same time.
If you are already familiar with the basics of Big Data and Data Science, then you can opt for the specialization/super specialization track that will arm you with the advanced skills.
One major downside is that Big Data is an extensive field and requires in-depth training and packing all that information in a short period could be daunting.