There’s no question that data science and machine learning is the future. Companies across the world recognize the importance of data analytics, machine learning, and predictive analytics as crucial to an organization’s success and performance. According to the Government of Canada’s job trends analysis, the demand for data scientists is steadily on the rise. Data science is being used in most industries now and will be well into the future.
The Certificate in Practical Data Science and Machine Learning at Ryerson University’s G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education was created to address the gap in technical machine learning skills in the workforce. This new certificate will particularly benefit professionals who are already in the data science field but need training to employ machine learning algorithms to solve various prediction tasks utilized across many industries.
That being said, the certificate is not limited to current professionals in the data science field. It’s also a great addition for students who want to supplement their degree with a certificate in data science. As the Certificate in Practical Data Science and Machine Learning is an advanced certificate, students must have completed the Certificate in Data Analytics, Big Data and Predictive Analytics or its equivalent.
The Certificate in Practical Data Science and Machine Learning is a four-course, fully online certificate that covers practical applications rather than theoretical knowledge. Students will learn to program queries in Python and use machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) platforms to implement the most up-to-date technical and analytic approaches, applications, and big data tools, as well as software for querying a variety of data sets.
We spoke to the academic coordinator of the program, Dr. Ayse Bener, and two students who are enrolled in courses for the certificate to learn the exciting advantages offered by the Certificate in Practical Data Science and Machine Learning.
Meet the founder and champion of data science and AI at The Chang School
Certificate in Data Analytics, Big Data and Predictive Analytics, and Certificate in Practical Data Science and Machine Learning,
The Chang School
Dr. Bener is the founding academic coordinator of the data science certificate program at The Chang School. She is also a champion of big data analytics, AI, and data science at Ryerson University. Dr. Bener is the founding director of the Data Science Research Laboratory and the founding program director of the Master of Science in Data Science and Analytics programs at Ryerson University.
Dr. Bener has been working in the field of AI since 1986 in various industries internationally like aerospace (NASA), banking (Citibank and JP Morgan Chase), and the government, before completing her PhD in 2000.
She has also worked as a professor in Computer Engineering at Bogazici University in Turkey and later in Industrial Engineering at Ryerson University. Her research focuses on machine learning, such as developing learning-based algorithms by applying novel inferencing and optimization techniques.
“Ryerson has been the leading university in launching and running certificate programs in data science and analytics. We have a very strong team of program managers, technical staff, and instructors. Our yearly enrollments have been more than 1,000, and we have quite a large group of alumni who work as data scientists in various domains in the industry. The new certificate in Practical Data Science and Machine Learning will once again be the first of its kind,” says Dr. Bener.
Meet Edgardo Almeida
Certificate in Practical Data Science and Machine Learning Student,
The Chang School
Edgardo is a Senior Technology Architect at TELUS who is enrolling in courses for the Certificate in Practical Data Science and Machine Learning. He completed The Chang School’s Certificate in Data Analytics, Big Data, and Predictive Analytics in 2016, and he has a background in Computer Science and Electronic Systems Engineering.
Edgardo has enrolled in the Practical Approaches in Machine Learning course, which is the first required course for the Certificate in Practical Data Science and Machine Learning. Edgardo chose to pursue the new certificate because data science technologies are evolving at an increasingly fast pace, which means that there is always something new to learn.
A major benefit of the certificate for Edgardo is the real-world application of the course material and the practical approach to teaching using the cloud-based data analytics technical “sandbox” environment.
A sandbox is a setting in which data scientists initially examine data to see how it would affect advanced analytics models. These days, such models frequently involve various elements of machine learning.
Cloud-based sandboxing is the use of sandbox software in a virtual environment that is separated from the computer and network devices. This allows data scientists to test simulations and algorithms without affecting the device they are using.
Edgardo is currently experiencing the advantages of practical teaching from the previous certificate course he completed at the Chang School, Python Programming for Data Science. The course material aligns with Edgardo’s current day-to-day knowledge needs in his job at TELUS. So, he is excited to begin the new certificate courses because they will help him gain practical experience in machine learning techniques, which makes him more valuable as an employee and competitive in the job market.
“I believe data volumes will continue to grow, which will create a continued demand for data professionals. Data analytics can be used and will be used in any industry. Being able to predict consumer patterns or detect fraud are high-demand skills that can give anybody a huge professional advantage,” he says.
Meet Srinivasan Govindaraj
Srinivasan is a Visiting Researcher at Ryerson University with a background in science and public health. He has a passion for technology and data science, and he wanted to explore opportunities that are a convergence of both. The Certificate in Practical Data Science and Machine Learning and Certificate in Data Analytics, Big Data and Predictive Analytics at The Chang School will provide him with the opportunity to put his passion to practical use.
Srinivasan has enrolled in the Certificate in Practical Data Science and Machine Learning’s Big Data Analytics Tools course that covers some of the most popular tools and concepts like Hadoop, advanced SQL, and Hive. Srinivasan is looking forward to learning these sought-after skills in the job market that can give him an edge.
In fact, the skills he has learned from the Certificate in Data Analytics, Big Data and Predictive Analytics have helped him gain an internship with BMO, where he is working on cutting-edge technology applications of data science. Srinivasan’s biggest takeaway from the certificate is: “Dream big data, and anything is possible if you put your mind to it.”
Flexibility with Online Learning
Like many certificates at The Chang School, the Certificate in Practical Data Science and Machine Learning can be completed fully online. For professionals like Edgardo, this means having the flexibility to balance work and education. He advises potential students to be open with their employers about their education goals and how further education can help them bring new skills into the organization.
“In my case, my employer, TELUS, has been very supportive with tuition fees and sometimes with time accommodations. It has been a win-win situation for both parties,” he says.
For Srinivasan, the Chang School learning experience meant receiving great support from the instructors while learning new skills to build on his experience.
“I wanted to explore a new field – data being described as gold of this decade – and coming from a science background, I was looking for a quality and cost-conscious institution, which I found at The Chang School,” he says.