We have written many times about the dearth of much needed digital skills in South Africa, and while much of the onus falls on government to help facilitate development, in the interim, organisations like the Explore Data Science Academy (EDSA) is looking to do its part.

To that end, the institution, which specialises in skills development and training for data science-related courses, has detailed what is in store for 2021.

“Following the success of its 2020 courses, the Academy has added several new modules in line with changing trends in the field,” explains a press release from EDSA sent to Hypertext.

“After the 2020 experience, we updated the course content to align with latest thinking, tools and technology.  We’ve added new up-to-date projects and have adapted our delivery model to the needs of our customers, given the impact of Covid-19,” adds Shaun Dippnall, CEO of the Explore Data Science Academy.

Looking at the skills these courses aim to foster, data analytics, AI for machine learning, business intelligence and software engineering have all been outlined. The institutions adds that within these broad categories, NANO-qualifications and digital skills are available, offering a wide variety of options to prospective students.

“There remains a massive supply-demand gap across the world in the area of data science skills.  The pandemic, the significant shift to digitization and the emergence of new technologies have made it essential for more South Africans to be trained in this area,” emphasises Dippnall.

The CEO also encourages applicants to carefully consider the range of options available in the newly expanded curriculum.

“We’re offering more choices to meet the needs of the wave of digital transformation in South Africa.  There are more online options and a variety of levels and course durations to suit people’s pockets and schedules,” he says.

In order to make the cost of its different courses more bearable next year, EDSA is also offering a loan programme to provide financial support to those who need it.

Here students can pay a reduced monthly rate to fund their education and continue to pay off the loans after completing the programme, according to the ESDA.

As for the breakdown of course costs, they note that candidates can choose a full-time, six-month on-campus course that costs R60 000, or a part-time, online, 12-month course, which costs R30 000 if paid upfront or R3 000 a month if paid over 12 months.

“We are casting the net wide in terms of candidates.  Applicants may have any previous qualification and experience and be currently employed (the online, part-time course) or looking for a career change (the full-time, on-campus course).  The outcome is the same: a work-ready opportunity in a highly skills-deficient sector with a qualification that effectively guarantees employment,” concludes Dippnall.

To find out more about the Explore Data Science Academy, its 2021 paid courses, as well as any free initiatives, head here.

[Image – Photo by Ilya Pavlov on Unsplash]