Training the data experts of the future

Cardiff University has today announced the launch of a brand new Data Science Academy (DSA) in order to meet the demand for highly skilled graduates from industry.

The DSA will ensure that Wales produces highly-skilled and employable graduates in some of fastest growing and in-demand areas, from data science and artificial intelligence to cybersecurity.

The suite of postgraduate programmes will be based on the extremely successful model of Cardiff University’s National Software Academy in which students are given real world experience throughout their degree programme by working on team-based, client-facing projects throughout the degree.

The DSA, which is being run by Cardiff University’s School of Computer Science and Informatics in partnership with the School of Mathematics, will welcome its first students in September 2019.

It will act as an umbrella for existing data science-focussed postgraduate courses at the University as well as incorporating brand new MSc in Artificial Intelligence and MSc in Cybersecurity.

Data scientists are extremely well sought after in a number of sectors and industries due to their ability to identify better ways of doing complex tasks, from helping doctors diagnose medical conditions more effectively to allowing people to communicate across the globe using instantaneous speech recognition and translation software.

The DSA has been launched in response to this demand and the requirement from industry for highly-skilled students that are ready to hit the ground running once they graduate.

According to a 2017 independent Government report into growing the intelligence industry in the UK, there is a demand for skilled people with Masters and PhDs who have the “added practical experience” to meet industry demands.

The review also stated that the technology could boost productivity, advance healthcare, improve services for customers and unlock £650bn for the UK economy.

As a result, the Government has aimed to put the UK at the forefront of the AI and data revolution by naming it as one of the five Grand Challenges that make up the Industrial Strategy.

Within Wales, the Office of National Statistics and Welsh Government have both highlighted a growing demand for data scientists as a result of a shortage of skilled labour in financial, government and healthcare sectors.

Dr Federico Cerutti, Academic Director of the Data Science Academy, said: “Technological developments have enabled access to big data at an unprecedented rate. From smartphones to sensors, technology is producing streams of data that hold great potential for bringing about major economic and social benefits whilst at the same time creating wholly new products and services.

“By creating a Data Science Academy, we are ensuring that our graduates have real world experience, underpinned by a solid foundation of knowledge, so that they can hit the ground running when they enter the world of work.”

The latest from Cardiff University.