Data science is a dynamic and ever-evolving landscape in which professionals and aspirants have to continuously learn in order to keep up their relevance in the industry. And that’s why there are a humongous amount of data science courses in the market to choose from. In fact, according to a report, this pandemic has given a significant push to online education where numerous ed-tech companies have come up with industry-ready courses for data scientists. The report further noted there is also a 55% surge in the creation of online courses where experts, as well as instructors around the world are creating online courses to share their knowledge and experience to the world. This, in turn, creates a massive confusion for aspiring data scientists as to choosing the right course in order to get benefitted the most.
And that’s where capstone projects play a massive role for data scientists. A capstone project, as the name suggests, is the crown of analytics projects and learning, which allows data scientists to integrate all their knowledge and demonstrate it through a comprehensive project. The capstone projects are usually designed by experts of the industry and are used to analyse the length and breadth of the data science knowledge of a candidate. Picking up an online course with capstone projects will allow data scientists to showcase their practical knowledge of tools and technologies to their potential employers. As a matter of fact, a survey done by Analytics India Magazine has revealed that 92% of the students believe that capstone projects played a vital part in choosing the right data science courses for them.
Importance Of Having Capstone Projects In Online Data Science Courses
Online courses allow data science aspirants to gain the necessary knowledge to land several job offers. However, having a capstone project in an online course would help data scientists to showcase knowledge and skills to prospective employers. Unlike any other projects, a data science capstone project includes a real data set of a business scenario in order to build a model and is usually conducted in partnership with industry government or academia. After completing these capstone projects, data scientists would have a data product to showcase their talent to potential employers, which, in turn, would give them a competitive edge over others.
In recent news, founder of a Mumbai-based ed-tech company, Imarticus Learning, Nikhil Barshikar stated in the company release while partnering with KPMG in India for a Data Science Prodegree course, that the biggest limitation faced by data science job aspirants today is the involvement of real cases and data in their learning to get the first-hand experience. “Through this partnership with KPMG in India, we aim to create skilled data science professionals by providing just that,” said Barshikar. With this partnership, KPMG is providing data science students with real-world capstone projects to support the curriculum.
In this article, we will share a few reasons as to why capstone projects are a key feature while selecting data science courses.
Aid In Advance Degrees
Capstone projects involve a massive amount of research and require data scientists to apply all the skills and knowledge they have been taught in their courses. Such a comprehensive project would give data scientists a good idea of their proficiency and provide them with the opportunities to explore a topic of interests, which can later be turned into their specialisation. Alongside, aspirants can also get a lot of research experience with their capstone projects, which again can help them while pursuing advanced degrees.
Also, being involved in such long term projects would require students to be self-directed and thoroughly committed. This would help students and aspirants to set their future goals and plan their career accordingly. Not only these capstone projects help aspirants improve their focus but also enhance their ability to ask the right question, which is again critical for data scientists.
Enhance Skills & Knowledge
Data science is all about tools and technologies, and a capstone project can help them enhance those skills by working on projects with real-world data and practical applications. With other projects, data scientists can gain experience, however, with capstone projects, it demands a great deal of research and analytical skills. This will allow data scientists to showcase their proficiency in real environments. The projects involve complex model building as well as working with real data, which not only sharpens the skills of aspirants but also makes them industry-ready. Capstone projects also force data scientists to work in a team in order to build a better model, which, in turn, will improve the teamwork of data scientists and will make them learn how to manage people as well as deadlines.
Staying Updated With Current Market Trend
Capstone projects are usually built on current business problems and require data scientists to work on real data that is currently available in the market, and thus, will help these aspirants stay updated with the current business trends. Also working with real-life data would make these aspirants experience real-world challenges like missing data, loopholes, etc., while solving business problems. This would force data scientists to take up the responsibility to use critical thinking and creativity while solving problems. Alongside using such criticality, solving strenuous problems will help these aspirants to understand the fundamental cause of challenges, which, in turn, can support them to make a solution that is much more relevant to the current era.
Gives A Competitive Edge During Hiring
Lastly, these capstone projects give a competitive edge to aspiring data scientists. With the increased competition in the data science space, it has become critical for data scientists to showcase advanced skillsets and projects that would stand out in this dynamic market. Capstone projects would not only equip entry-level data scientists with necessary skills but will also put them in the spotlight amid the crowd. Besides, it acts as a validation of the domain knowledge but also showcases professionalism and real-world experience. These capstone projects give interviewers and recruiters the idea of the proficiency level of data scientists, and thus would make them more employable amid this crisis.
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Sejuti currently works as Associate Editor at Analytics India Magazine (AIM). Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org