Free data science courses launched to get people back into work

Friday, 15 January 2021

Fife College is offering fully-funded training in Data Science as part of a drive to help those who are unemployed but are interested in developing their digital skills.

The short courses are being offered for free thanks to the Data Driven Innovation (DDI) Skills Gateway that was created by the Edinburgh and South East City Region Deal.

All teaching is being offered online to allow it to continue throughout the Coronavirus restrictions, and can be scheduled around the existing commitments of applicants.

The courses will focus on two subject areas – Finance and Football, and can be completed in under four months with students receiving a National Progression Award qualification upon completion.

The hope is that the courses can help those who have been out of work, or who are looking to change career, gain skills in a growing industry in Scotland.

Anyone with an interest in working in the industry can apply, although applicants from a short list of specific groups are being especially encouraged to consider the courses.

These groups include the long-term unemployed, women who wish to explore careers in the sector but had previously been put off by gender inequality, and members of the Armed Forces who are currently transitioning from military to civilian life.

Scotland’s digital sector currently generates over £6 billion a year, with it estimated that 13,000 new jobs will be needed each year to meet the growth demands of the industry.

It’s also estimated that those working in the digital sphere are 23% more likely to be employed on a full-time and permanent contract, with salaries growing faster than in any other sector.

Academic Quality Manager in Computing and Technologies at Fife College, Rebecca Blyth, said:

“These free courses are a fantastic opportunity for people in Fife to develop their data science skills.

“We’re particularly keen to see applications from those who are long-term unemployed, exiting the Armed Forces or from women who are keen to work in the sector but have been previously put-off by the gender disparity that was present.

“Equally we’d love to see applications from adult or young learners who are simply looking to change or start a career in an industry that they have a passion for.

“The sector in Scotland is growing at a fast pace, and as a result there should be plenty of job opportunities emerging in it over the coming years.

“This course would help students to benefit from this, and with lessons being conducted online it can be tailored to the individual circumstances of those applying.

“These courses are just one part of Fife College’s ongoing commitment to help individuals back into work. We’re hopeful that through initiatives such as this we can help the region recover as we emerge from the pandemic.”