Archives for September 6, 2022

Conquer the world of data science with the DSI Data Science Certificate

The world runs on data — and a new certificate is set to help people develop the skills they need to become leaders in the field.

The Data Sciences Institute (DSI) at the University of Toronto has launched a Data Science Certificate to help professionals gain essential job-ready skills, which will support them to open doors to new advancements and employment opportunities.

“The University of Toronto is a global leader in data sciences,” says Lisa Strug, director of the DSI, Professor of Statistical Sciences, Computer Science and Biostatistics and senior scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children. “The demand for skilled, fluent and adaptable data science expertise is expanding. To keep pace with the scale of change, the DSI has an opportunity to lead in the shift from a knowledge-based to a learning-based model where upskilling is an ongoing opportunity for learners and no job opportunity is ever out of reach.”

Estimates suggest that 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated every day. It’s not surprising that professionals increasingly find that data science skills are in demand. Society is experiencing a transformative shift in the production, collection and use of data. As a result, organizations need skilled professionals capable of analyzing large amounts of data, uncovering valuable insights and defining the story hidden in the numbers.

Previous experience with data science isn’t needed to apply. The only prerequisite for the certificate is a degree in a field outside of computer science or statistics.

Why is the DSI offering this certificate?

The DSI is a central hub and incubator for data science research, training and partnerships at U of T. The DSI is accelerating the impact of data across disciplines to address pressing societal issues and drive positive social change. Training is an integral component of the DSI’s mission, aligned with the University’s aim to support life-long learning.

Learn from private-sector experts

The DSI Data Science Certificate offers the unique opportunity to learn from private-sector experts during the case studies in each course. The case study component provides learners with important insights into the professional world of data science analytics.

“The DSI Data Science Certificate is built around a series of core courses essential to establishing a strong foundation in data science. These courses are designed to take someone without data science expertise and give them the confidence to excel in any data-driven field. It also includes case studies from leading experts. We are very excited to be launching this certificate and have big plans to expand our offerings in the future,” says Rohan Alexander, assistant professor in the Faculty of Information and Department of Statistical Sciences.

In addition, the certificate offers busy professionals flexibility. The certificate is fully online, and learners can choose a single course to improve their skills in a specific area or earn a full certificate by taking six of the eight courses offered. The courses are designed to ensure learners master the core competencies in foundational data science, including SQL, R and Python, and gain hands-on experience through real-world case studies.

What pilot participants are saying

The DSI ran a successful set of course pilots with over 100 learners over the summer.

“For a beginner, I found that it provided an amazing overview! The flow was well-paced. It was a lot of information at once sometimes, but I was able to manage as I could go back and review items when off class time. The sequence of the course material makes complete sense as you move forward in the course. It all tied in together,” says one participant.

“Instructors were very knowledgeable, helpful and engaging! Good class size; also attracted collaborative and enthusiastic students with a variety of competencies. It was very helpful to be asked to ask questions in the public chat, which encouraged collegiality,” says another participant.