Creating Data Science Talents: Introducing the World Data Science Initiative (WDSI)


Despite the multiple job opportunities for data science professionals, the supply of skilled talents in the field is low. 

We’re all aware of the job loss, furloughs, and salary cuts caused due to the pandemic. However, there’s still a lot of vacant positions that need to be filled - the data scientist job role. 

With data being generated daily, industries will be in dire need of data science talents. One of the major reasons why there’s a shortage of data science talents. With updated solutions and technologies, the demand for data science skills is predicted to rise. Businesses both large and small are looking to leverage data. As a result, industries are constantly seeking to hire professionals who can gather, read, and analyze data. 

In January 2020, the World Data Science Initiative (WDSI) introduced one of the world’s largest talent development project. The initiative aims to create a global pool of nearly 250,000 data science talents by the end of 2022. Three weeks after the initiative was launched, the project received registrations from more than 30 higher education institutes, technology schools from 23 countries worldwide. 

As WDSI aims to provide subsidies for institutions, passionate and highly motivated aspiring data science professionals are invited to apply for grants. The initiative is offering a subsidy-fund of more than USD 300 million, specifically for institutions in Asia, Latin America, and Africa to keep pace with the updated standards used in the current industry. 

These institutions have started creating centers of Data Science excellence within the campus known as “the International Centers of Data Science.” The aim of creating the centers is to offer global programs to students in multiple fields like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and data science. 

What does the university grants cover?

The subsidies and university grants are provided to institutions that belong to the under-developed and emerging nations. 

Subsidies and grants offered by WDSI cover the substantial cost. These costs will either be involved in gaining advanced learning resources or on student certifications offered by the Data Science Council of America (DASCA). 

The major aim of WDSI is to help universities from different countries launch their data science program and stay future-ready. Broadly speaking, WDSI cherry-picks the universities and institutions that demonstrate the potential in becoming great models in data science research and education. 

Once they have been selected, WDSI then sends them an invite to get accreditation along with providing global certifications to the students using the WDSI subsidized fee. 

The grants and subsidies offered by WDSI covers,

  • Procuring learning resources such as content, the process, and the knowledge to develop the Data Science Center of Excellence. 

  • Procuring learning resources such as content, the process, and the knowledge to develop a Data Science school. 

  • Services concerning global accreditation of the relevant departments.

  • The launching of under-graduates and master’s degrees in the field of data science. 

However, the fee of the consultant, construction, equipment, infrastructure, computers, and the salary of a staff member does not get covered in the university grants. 

Data science is here to refine the way we make decisions and allow the organization to get the right things done the first time. As data science projects to be the key driver of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), making automation cost-efficient will improve the quality of the humans and the services offered by these technologies. 

The talent development project by WDSI targets around 14 global regions such as Western Europe, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Oceania and Australia, South Asia, East Asia and APAC, West Asia, Southern Africa, Central Africa, West Africa, East Africa, South America, North America, and Central America. 

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