This company tracked the placement of 85 data science graduates in South Africa – here’s how much they earn

 ·11 Sep 2020

Explore Data Science Academy (EDSA) has opened registration for the 2021 intake of its 12-month fully-sponsored data science learnerships, starting January 11, 2021.

For hundreds of successful candidates, this learnership is the ticket to a job in one of the most globally sought after careers, with an average starting salary of R400,000 a year, it said.

There are no restrictions to entry for the learnership, nor are formal qualifications required. Applicants should be between 17 and 35 years of age and must pass a challenging aptitude test on the academy’s website.

The EDSA has several hundred learnerships available at its campuses in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.

“At Explore, we’re reinventing education by teaching skills that are relevant, practical and highly employable,” said Explore Group chief executive officer, Shaun Dippnall.

“Our learnerships are distinguished by their focus on solving real world business problems. We teach our learners to work in teams to solve problems using the latest data science and machine learning technologies that prepare them for the world of work. Our results so far speak for themselves,” he said.

The group said that of the 211 students that started at the beginning of 2019, 93% completed the course successfully, while 77% have been placed in employment to date, even in a year that has been severely disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic that has severely curtailed business activity.

“We tracked 85 students who have secured permanent positions or contracts for 12 months or longer. Their current average annual salary is R408,000, while their combined annual salaries totalled to more than R35 million. And this is in a depressed economy,” Dippnall said.

He said that despite lockdown related restrictions, Explore students were able to continue learning online within a matter of days, and are currently on track to complete their studies at the required quality level and within the prescribed academic time frame.

“Given our experiences in 2020, Explore now offers robust, resilient and flexible teaching systems for virtual full-time study in the event that future restrictions prevent students from safely resuming on-campus studies,” Dippnall said.

Read: South Africa’s largest private-sector employer is offering IT and data science bursaries

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