Recent Data Science Education and Skills Initiatives

by Analytics Insight

February 26, 2022

As an initiative in data science education, many universities are expanding their data science courses and advanced offerings in recent years.

India has one of the most extensive education systems in the world. Although the expenditure in the education sector in the national circuit is not at the same level as that of developed countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and China, the country is catching up slowly running. The Modi government, along with several government educational institutes, have taken significant steps to ensure technological skills in artificial intelligence and big data. Many universities and organizations have expanded their data science courses and advanced offerings in recent years. The government’s announcement to set up data center parks across India has been recognized as a very welcome initiative under the Union Budget 2022. As data science continues to fully integrate into organizations’ essential business functions, the demand for relevant skills and expertise will increase in the years to come.

Under the Big Data Initiative, the Indian government is planning to carry out a gap analysis in terms of skill levels and policy framework. It also plans to develop a strategic roadmap and action plan that clearly defines the roles of various stakeholders such as government, industry, academia, industry associations and others with clear timelines and outcomes for the next ten years, and to conduct studies of the market landscape to assess future opportunities and demand for skill levels over the same period. For this, the Indian government tries to understand the current state of the industry in terms of market size, different players providing services across sectors/functions, opportunities, SWOT of the industry, policy framework (if applicable ), current skill levels available, etc.

In the meantime, several government institutes have launched numerous educational and training programs for their student mass. Even the state governments of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, etc., have come forward to improve the big data talent pool in their respective states.

In April, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur launched free statistics courses which included regression analysis, sampling theory, design of experiments and analysis of variance, l linear regression analysis and prediction, introduction to R software, etc. Later, IIT Roorkee partnered with TSW, the Executive Education division of Times Professional Learning, to launch a PG certificate program in Data Science and Machine Learning. Around October, IIT Jodhpur has already launched a B.Tech program in Artificial Intelligence and Data Science starting from the 2020-21 academic session. And most of the other IITs have joined to improve data science and artificial intelligence education among tech aspirants.

IIT Madras has also taken a lead in data science skills by offering affordable data science courses through its “PadhAI” platform. This five-month, self-paced online course in the foundations of data science ranges from beginner level to the math and programming skills required of a data scientist.

Even IISc (Indian Institute of Science), in collaboration with TalentSprint, has launched a ten-month advanced program in computational data science, with the first cohort starting in January 2021. The computational data science course also includes a case study on analyzing how the industry is using computational data science today in real-world use cases. The broader course curriculum includes the mathematics of data science, neural networks, machine learning, data engineering, and business analytics.

Additionally, IIT Kanpur offers two free online courses in Data Science, on the National Program on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) e-learning platform in India.

The International Institute of Information Technology – Hyderabad has collaborated with Great Learning to offer an 8-month extended Postgraduate Certificate in Software Engineering for Data Science. The program aims to help learners build software and data science skills, especially technology leaders and managers looking to lead data science and AI implementations in the organization.

The Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) has also announced the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into the secondary school curriculum for the school year (2020-2021), as other private schools continue to integrate artificial intelligence for educational purposes. Targeting around 200 schools for grades XI and XII, in the states of Delhi-NCR, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Kerala, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab, this program a was developed in conjunction with IBM and will be part of CBSE’s Social Empowerment through Work Education and Action (SEWA) program. The course will focus on teaching the basics and application of AI, and will help build computational thinking, data literacy, and critical thinking skills.

In July 2020, Kerala Department of Higher Education’s Additional Skills Acquisition Program introduced a 776-hour AI course, aimed at creating skilled professionals who can meet the demand in the fields of science data, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

In November, the Telangana Academy for Skill and Knowledge (TASK) and the Telangana State Council of Higher Education (TSCHE) partnered with Microsoft and NASSCOM to provide artificial intelligence skills to 30,000 young people in Telangana State in the as part of the “March to Million” initiative. With the aim of improving student employability by acquiring the skills required in the industry, the AI ​​Classroom Series course introduces students to the concepts of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data science.

Such initiatives are crucial because investing in long-term skills and capacities can be an asset for the development of existing human resources. It will also bring a dynamic to the talents while developing the untapped potential of the students and boosting the maturity curve of big data in India.

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