First UK data science summer school to tackle 'gap in talent' of data scientists

The Boardroom

by Claire Vanner| 18 February 2014

KPMG sponsoring programme to turn PhDs into data scientists in 5 weeks.

In a bid to tackle the shortage of data scientists in the UK, the first of its kind data science summer school is being launched by Pivigo academy and KPMG.

The project dubbed S2DS (Science to Data Science) aims to recruit 100 of Europe's brightest PhD students and turn them into data scientists during a 5 week intensive course.

Kim Nilsson, a Swedish astrophysicist, set up the project after experiencing first-hand the difficulties many highly qualified academics encounter once they set out to find a job in the commercial sector.

She is also highly aware of the huge demand for data scientists by businesses in the UK and worldwide, particularly in the financial services, retail as well as media and technology sectors.

"It's a relatively new industry and sector and is growing extremely fast as companies are beginning to realise the potential in data," she told CBR.

"Universities are not yet set up to train this sort of talent. It will take a number of years to produce larger groups of graduate. So there is currently a gap in talent that needs to be filled."

Candidates with a PhD in analytical science (or similar degree) and a proven data analysis background and statistical knowledge can now apply via Courses will begin in August. Successful applicants will pay only a small registration fee and are eligible for free single room ensuite student accommodation.

"It is not a first come first served basis, we are looking to take as many applicants as we can, and select them based on merit and motivation to go into the programme. I think it is going to be very popular. A similar programme in the US has an oversubscription to a factor of 5, so we have high hopes," Nilsson told CBR.

S2DS is the next step in KPMG's data and analytics strategy following its partnership with the Chelsea Apps Factory in January to use its Digital Innovation Network to enhance tech start ups.

"Data science will change the way we live, work and interact with others. It presents a real opportunity for business to drive insight and value from the abundance of data being created in the digital world," said Alwin Magimay, head of data and analytics at KPMG.

"I am really passionate about this new partnership which will help to create a much needed data and analytics pool in the UK, and will be inviting clients to participate in this innovative programme."


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