Hello👋 Aspiring Data Scientist
This blog post will take you through my journey with Explore Data science academy(EDSA).
Let’s start with the question of what Explore Data Science Academy is all about.
Explore Data Science Academy is a global cutting-edge Data Science Academy that was launched in response to the growing digital skills gap in Africa, The Academy was found In 2017 by the CEO and Co-founder Shaun Dippnall, The program just started with an in-person 100 students in South Africa. Moving forward to today Explore Data Science Academy has grown out of South Africa and now Explore has students across Nigeria and Kenya to unlock Africans talent at scale and solve important problems that will make a positive impact on the world.
Let’s now move on to how I found Explore Data Science Academy or how Explore found me I should say.
Coming from a computer science background I am someone who really loves problem-solving and Exploring new things, well data science is about exploring data, finding insights, and asking the right questions to solve business problem, to me that was the right path to take moving on with my career, But the problem was I couldn’t find the right materials and mentorship to guide me through, yes there are lots of materials on the internet but knowing which one to pick in terms of affordability and high-quality resource was not easy, It was one of these nights after a long day of work when I finally take my phone sit back and go through social media I was scrolling through Instagram when came across the advertisement for the Explore Accelerator Data Science program, let’s start with the good news you don’t have pay anything to get started, Yes it’s right Pay nothing.
Seeing this I was really amazed I remember asking the question is that even real, well I made my research to learn more about the academy and what it has to offer, The program offers a full-time Data science course for 6 months and additional 3 months of internship and you only pay back when you get a job, it’s call income share agreement and at the same time Explore will help you with job search, after knowing all that and seeing the success stories from other Explorers, I was looking forward to getting into the program.
Let’s talk about the admission processes of Explore.
Here are the steps you have to go through to get into the program,
Step One: Register and apply, you register to open explore account and apply to the accelerator program.
Step two: Verbal and numerical Assessments
Step three: Logical reasoning Case Study
Step four: Video Interview submission.
That’s just a brief list of the steps to learn more about the program check the link at the end of this post.
Well, I went through all the steps, and guess what! I was lucky I got accepted into the program, I have to say it felt amazing. Moving forward the program started with a general call with almost every student and Explore staffs at Explore, A brief intro to the course, the program mentors and the goal of the program was given.
The Road map of the Explore Accelerator Journey
The program is structured In a way you start with the basics and gradually move to more advanced concepts and that’s not only it, but it’s also about the community, being around amazing people from around Africa all with the same goal to learn and help each other grow and the support provided by the mentors. We were organized into smaller groups called (pods) to engage and interact with fellow students and the mentor, I have to say the mentor’s in Explore are one of the amazing people to work with, always willing to help and guide you through the process.
Let’s talk about the skill I developed during and time at Explore.
To start with Explore is not just about the technical skills but also the soft skills are taken into great consideration, the technical skills includes Data visualization with Power Bi, python, SQL, advanced ML, deep learning, and AWS cloud computing among others, and for the soft skills we have the thrive seasons where we get develop our interpersonal skills such as communication skills, presentation skill, problem-solving ability, team management, project management and much more.
The best thing about Explore is not that you learn the skills but you have to put them into practice, after the first 3 months of learning we moved into to project phase where we were organized into groups of 4 to 5 people with a supervisor to work on a data science project from start to finish, it’s really amazing putting all we’ve learned into practices and we had the opportunity to the deploy our solutions on AWS cloud.
I really enjoyed the experience, especially working on model building and model deployment with AWS it gave me the boost to now pursue cloud computing and MLOps moving forward, Explore also give’s us the opportunity to take the AWS cloud practitioner certification exams for free after fulfilling the course requirements, it’s been a great journey.
There is a lot to say about Explore but let’s keep things brief for now.
I hope this blog post was helpful, If you enjoy reading it share and comment below, and if you are curious to learn more about the projects we’ve worked on at Explore let me know in the comments section.