Given the increasing demand for data analytics professionals and the glaring skill gap, Jigsaw Academy and University of Chicago have launched the Integrated Program in Data Science and Machine Learning (IDM) specifically for early career professionals with 5 years of work experience. The program, focused on the technology du jour — machine learning and data science, will equip students with technical skills needed in analytics work roles, and also sharpen the understanding of how these technologies drive business with robust industry participation.
Apart from the core curriculum, designed by eminent lecturers from the University of Chicago and in-house experts at Jigsaw Academy, the program lays focus on hands on learning with real-world projects. The program includes live projects and a Capstone project to lend an immersive learning experience. A unique feature of the program is that it has modules on Project Management and Career Management that are not typically covered in such courses.
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Well-rounded program, tailored for the Big Data age
The students not only learn how to use the data for key business insights, but also how to manage an analytics project with a focus on business strategy. One of the main goals of the program is to not just build an analyst, but an analyst with effective leadership and communication skills that will help their drive their professional and career growth.
As a blended learning program, it offers the convenience of an online course and the engagement and rigour of a classroom program. The program also opens avenues for students to network with over 45,000 Jigsaw Academy alumni and thousands of analytically-minded University of Chicago graduates. Its biggest advantage is that the program finds core focus in Machine Learning as well, which is by far the fastest growing skill required worldwide. Through guest lectures, projects, and the business context that the program offers, it would be a valuable step for early professionals looking to make a career switch in the field of analytics.
This collaboration would be University of Chicago’s first foray into the Indian Market. Rob Schnieders, Senior Associate Dean at the University of Chicago Graham School says, “The University of Chicago is interested in India because there is considerable talent in the country that has a need to upskill and modernize the skill sets in Data Science and Machine Learning. We see numerous students apply to our Masters in Analytics program every year, but are not able to invest efforts in a full Masters’ program. The IDM will provide a new point of entry for many early career professionals in India to build their skills in this area”.
Data science is the most in-demand and fastest growing skills and it is increasingly getting harder for even the most tech-savvy professionals to stay at the cutting edge of data science. Schnieders believes the future of Data Science and Machine Learning is bright and we are now only beginning to scratch the surface of its application. The graduates of this program will find themselves answering the question: what are the possibilities and what they can do across its domains and functional areas.
Re-skilling Indian IT professionals
A recent All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) report pointed out that 60% of eight lakh engineering graduates remain unemployable across the country. Out of this, only 1% participate in summer internships. That means, Indian engineering institutions are not giving the skills the industry needs most, the skills of future– data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence which new age companies (Uber, Netflix, Facebook, Google etc) are leveraging. “Colleges are just a stepping stone to get a degree, they are not providing the most in-demand skills needed today such as machine learning,” shared Gaurav Vohra, CEO & Co-founder Jigsaw Academy.
The views were echoed by Sarita Digumarti, Co-founder & COO at Jigsaw Academy who told Analytics India Magazine, “ The need for analytics has grown over the year as companies are grappling with a deluge in data and as businesses become more data savvy, we see the application of analytics across a wide range of industries from finance, healthcare to manufacturing. Everybody uses analytics in their business processes and will continue to do so”.
According to a study by International Data Corporation (IDC), by 2018 there, there will be a requirement for 181,000 people with analytical skills, and a requirement five times that number for jobs with the need for data management and interpretation skills.
With mass layoffs by Indian IT bellwether Infosys and global tech giant Cognizant, the need to up-skill and modernize has become even more important.