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'Data scientist' online training courses backed by Singapore government

An online training programme aimed at improving skills in data science and analytics is being piloted in Singapore.08 Aug 2014

The Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are supported by the country's communications regulator, the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), and is being delivered by training provider Coursera. The IDA will refund up to 80% of Singaporeans' certification fees depending on how many of the 10 courses they complete before the end of August 2015 and participants' attendance at weekly meet-up sessions hosted by the IDA to help with learning.

The IDA said it hoped the scheme would boost the number of people skilled in data science and analytics, help speed up training in such disciplines and act as a catalyst for a data sciences and analytics culture to emerge in Singapore.

"Singapore is pushing towards becoming the world’s first smart nation; one that is able to use technology to enhance transport, healthcare and other public services – that will improve the quality of life for individuals; productivity for businesses; and, enhanced government services to better serve and empower citizens," the IDA said. "The use of data sciences and analytics is at the heart of the smart nation."

"As Singapore moves to become a smart nation, data sciences and analytics professionals are needed by businesses, government and ICT companies to leverage exponential data growth for productivity, competitiveness and growth," it said.

A skills gap is one of a number of issues identified by governments across the world hampering the full potential of the 'big data' era from being realised.