Data science training programs have been rapidly increasing across the United States recently, and they seem to be spreading to Europe as well. An inaugural class of 10 students will begin a three month training program called the Data Science Retreat in Berlin, expanding on the knowledge available from online courses such as Coursera and Udacity to equip participants with practical applications of how to handle data. The retreat will challenge and engage participants with interactive projects and problems.

According to an interview of Jose Quesada, the program director, with VentureBeat, “Knowledge you can get from books, tutorials, blog posts, attending Coursera courses, and so on, but when you try to apply that knowledge, there is something missing.”  In the United States programs like Quesada’s are becoming more common, with data science programs at universities and programs including Zipfian Academy and the Insight Data Science Fellows Program, while in Europe, Science to Data Science and Persontyle‘s courses are in their nascent phases.

Of the mentors on the retreat, Quesada says: “I want to get only people who have been there in the trenches and have the credentials” so that students can learn to identify potential pitfalls early on and tackle problems head on. The training will include Python, R, D3.js, Hadoop, and Spark. It will also give ideas on how to communicate ideas about big data to those who are less well versed in the topic, such as higher ups.

Unlike other retreats, namely the Hacker Retreat, the Data Science Retreat will pay its mentors. It also offers a program for the students to have sponsors for their tuition, for whom they would then work after graduation for some time. According to VentureBeat, ‘one sponsor of the Data Science Retreat, Microsoft Ventures, will provide the space for in-person meetings in Berlin’s Mitte neighborhood. MapR and the Unbelievable Machine Co. are also on board as partners.’ So far 10 applicants will be participating in the retreat, half of them Ph.Ds. And Quesada and Kai Wu, another Retreat organiser, have high expectations for their graduates – they see companies like Amazon in great need of data scientists across the globe, and would be happy for their graduates to fill those roles.


The orignial article and interview were first published on VentureBeat

(Image Credit:  Yann Gar)

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