The Explore Data Science Academy (EDSA) is going international.

Building on two years of explosive growth as the premier teaching institute in the field of data science in Africa, the EDSA will soon offer students across the world the opportunity to take its locally developed short on-line courses in selected data science fields.

Explore founder Shaun Dippnall explains: “It is well known that data science is one of the fastest growing careers across the world.

“Our local experience at the EDSA since 2018 has taught us that we are able to offer courses that provide practical data science skills to students, enabling them to start working directly after graduating in a market crying out for relevant skill sets.

“There is no reason why we should limit our reach to South Africa. Many countries across the world are experiencing similar patterns of demand for data scientists that cannot be met by existing training providers. We believe that we can meet some of this demand with our on-line courses,” Dippnall adds.

The EDSA is part of the Explore organisation. In 2018, its first year of operation, the academy trained 100 learners as data scientists in a fully sponsored, full-time 12-month course. This year the number increased to 400 and in 2020 no fewer than 500 students are taking the course.

The new international online offering comprises a series of focused courses that will teach data science, data engineering, data analytics and machine learning.

Courses start late in January, 2020 and will run between three and 12 months. Costs range from R4 000 for the Data Science for High School course to R30 000 for the three-month professional skills courses.

Dippnall explains why the organisation went international: “We know that there is a tremendous need for training courses such as these across the world. Specifically, we at Explore are working with a number of leading UK and European businesses including Thames Water, Nordic Guarantee and CRP as consultants. We have even had some of our EDSA graduates start working internationally.

“Our initial focus country for these short courses will be the UK, but we are also targeting the United States and Australia. We have plans to establish a campus, similar to our Cape Town and Braamfontein facilities, in the UK.”

Dippnall and his team are betting on the explosive demand for data science skills globally as well as in South Africa – skills, which are driving market competitiveness for businesses. “For people with drive and aptitude, no matter where they live, this is the perfect opportunity to work in what has been called ‘the sexiest career of the 21st century’.

“We are excited to spread our wings and see where it takes us. We are confident that South Africans can take on the world and be successful in many fields, as has been shown by our victorious Springboks,” he concludes.