TECH SA: Career accelerator program expanding to data science

SAN ANTONIO – A new, 18-week data science program born out of a local career accelerator's desire to expand its programs will finally kick off early next year.

Codeup has begun accepting applications for its new data science program and will start training Feb. 4.

“We saw a lot of companies posting a lot of open positions," said Codeup's director of business development, Dimitri Antoniou. "We saw interest from people trying to get in the career, so we started diving into some research."

Codeup's senior data scientist, Maggie Giust, said the data science program will offer students the opportunity to learn under real-life conditions.

“We hope to use real data that’s messy and ugly," Giust said. "Which is the biggest challenge when you get into the company -- the data is not clean."

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded a $2 million grant to Codeup to train unemployed and underemployed residents for tech jobs.

Guist said the program will touch on a variety of topics in data science.

“They are going to work through all the methodologies of data science to include things like machine learning, artificial intelligence, basics analytics," Giust said.

Jason Straughan, Codeup's CEO and co-founder, said there are a number of opportunities in the field of data science.

“We think that the tech community and the growth over the last five years -- (the tech) industry in San Antonio is worth long-term investment,” Straughan said.

The programequips students with knowledge on how to work with data from big companies to startups, Straughan said. 

“We are looking for a very diverse set of background," Antoniou said. "Data science has a triple skill set of math and statistics, computer program and business domain expertise, so people can come from any one of those backgrounds."

However, the Codeup website states no prerequisites are needed for the data science course.

"We look primarily for motivation, professionalism and problem-solving ability," the website states. "It’s a bonus if you have background experience in the fields of math, statistics, programming and/or business, but we’ll help you explore those during admissions."

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