FAQs

Most Popular 1 Year Data Science Programme Questions

- Can I join the programme part-time?

No. We will require all students to be able to commit full-time to the course for a period of one year. This will encourage the project and teamwork aspects of the data science process.

- Can I do the curriculum remotely?

No. The programme is designed to be intensive and will require you to be in Cape Town and Johannesburg and actively work in project teams with your fellow students. We will aim to make the campus a cool, productive place to work and learn.

- Is the programme completely free?

Yes – and it gets even better than that! BCX have agreed to offer a stipend to qualifying students to cover living expenses (subject to terms and conditions). As part of the accreditation process, all students will be employees of BCX for the duration of the programme, so your job will basically be to learn data science!

Applying

- What qualifications do I require to get into the Academy?

You do not need any specific qualifications. You just need to exhibit a strong aptitude at solving complex problems, a flair with numbers and an ambition to make a difference. Our selection criteria is based on a series of challenging aptitude tests. If you show that you have what it takes then you will have a free pass to our Academy for 2019.

- If I apply am I guaranteed a place at the Academy?

No, we are only accepting 400 students for 2019. We will use various selection criteria to select the Top 400. A final online Bootcamp will be used to decide the final list.

Is this for you?

- Will the work be difficult?

The year will be intense! The material will only be difficult if you do not work hard across the whole year. The material will also be difficult if you do not have a strong aptitude for solving problems, mathematics and programming.

- Who is this course suited to?

The course is suited for those students who love programming, solving problems and working with numbers. Data Science is not for everybody – it is a specialized field fit for the smart and hard working.

- What will I learn during the year?

You will learn a lot! We will cover a range of Mathematical, Statistical and Computer Science fundamentals and then roll up our sleeves and dive into the latest Machine Learning techniques and tools. You will learn the relevant Data Science tools (Python, SQL, Power Bi) and pick up the required business skills (working in teams, communication, presentation, conflict resolution) that are critical in the working world.

What does it cost?

- How much does the year cost?

The Academy is free. Your place is sponsored by BCX: they have paid your tuition fees for you.

- Will you help cover my living costs?

Yes. A small stipend is available to help cover your living expenses (subject to terms and conditions).

What are the job prospects for data scientists?

- What, exactly, does a data scientist do?

At its core, data science is all about real-world applied problem solving. It involves being able to gather, analyse, visualise and communicate data in a way that inspires change within an organisation.

- Am I guaranteed a job at the end of a year?

Not really. We will try our best to place you in a company after the year is up. We are confident that you will have a job ready for you but cannot guarantee it. What we do know is that Data Scientists are in huge demand, both locally and globally, and that our 1 year Programme will equip you very well for Corporate South Africa.

- Where are the sorts of places I may work?

Soon every company in every Industry will have a Data Science team to help them grow and thrive as an Enterprise. Banks, Insurers, Retailers and Telecommunications providers typically hire big teams of Data Scientists to help them crunch the massive amounts of data they have to make sense of their environment.

- Are data scientists well paid?

Yes. There is already a huge, and growing, demand for Data Scientists locally and globally. Data Scientists earn a very competitive salary.

- Is being a Data Scientist a good idea?

Data Science was voted the sexiest career of the 21st Century recently. On Facebook and LinkedIn, it was the job that had the highest salaries on offer. Experts expect there to be 4 million Data Science jobs available that cannot be filled due to lack of supply over the next few years. We think it is a great idea to become a Data Scientist.

The Data Science Programme

- How is the course structured?

You will spend 6 months learning about Data Science in exquisite detail with lecturing staff on site to teach, assist and mentor. A lot of the work will be team projects where you will be part of small teams that have 3 weeks to solve a given problem. That will be followed by an 3-month final project and then 3 months’ work experience at a company.

- Who will teach me?

You will be taught by top local Academics and practitioners. The teaching staff will include the Faculty (see Who We Are page) who have decades of experience working as Executives in Industry and teaching at Universities. Further staff who have experience in Industry and Academia will supplement the Faculty.

- Will the programme be accredited?

The program is a SETA accredited skills program. You can think of this as a work-based skills programme which will set each student up to be able to use data science to effectively create change in Corporate South Africa.

- Will this be the only programme on offer?

Yes, for 2019. We want to focus on what we believe will be the most helpful programme – for both students and corporates - for the next year. We do, however, already see the need for additional modules – focusing on emerging technologies like big data, business intelligence, robotics and artificial intelligence. The initial Data Science programme may give insight into some of these technologies, but we hope to offer deeper courses in the future.

Data Science for High School

- What does the course cost?

R499 ($49) per month for 10 months. This covers all coursework and any related expenses.

- Is enrolment limited to high school students?

No. Anyone may enrol in the course, but you will only be eligible for competition prizes if you are between the ages of 14 and 18 (inclusive).

- Are there any hardware or software requirements?

All you will need is access to a computer with an internet connection and an internet browser installed (Chrome, Safari, Edge, Firefox, etc). All the coursework will be done in the browser.

- Will the course be difficult?

Programming can be a little challenging at first, but it will be taught from first principles and with the assumption that the student has zero programming experience.

- What is the structure of the course?

The course will consist of three main modules:

  • Python Programming (14 weeks)
  • Data Visualisation (12 weeks)
  • Predicting the Future with Regression (16 weeks)

Each week will be made up of five 1-hour sessions, requiring roughly 1 hour of work per day. Most weeks will include a short test (15-20 minutes), covering material from the preceding few days.

- What do I do if I get stuck?

We anticipate that you will be able to solve most of your own problems as they occur, as the material should be thorough enough. We would like to encourage the student to investigate their own problems using Google or similar means – 99% of coding problems are solved in this way in industry anyway!

- I heard something about a competition?

Yes! There will be two competitions held throughout the year – the first in August and the 2 nd in October. These competitions will be based on the material covered in the Predicting the Future module, and prizes will be awarded for the top 3 most accurate prediction programs written.

Anyone may submit entries for the competitions, but only those between 14 and 18 years of age will be eligible for prizes.

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