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KPMG and Rackspace open Science to Data Science school to fill data scientist black hole

Cloud industry experts are pioneering a new summer education programme that aims to sculp the next generation of data scientists to fill a shortfall in jobs the sector is experiencing.

Related: Robert Witoff, NASA’s first data scientist: How to build a successful data science team

Science to Data Science [S2DS] opened its doors yesterday and the first intake of 85 PhD students will take part in a five week long programme that looks at various commercial tools and techniques needed to master a data science role.

The 85 participants come from 24 different countries including the UK, Germany, Spain, USA, Canada, France, Finland, Poland, Australia, South Africa and Chile with the highest number [24 per cent] from the UK.

Almost half of all those taking part are from physics or astrophysics backgrounds and the remaining percentage study mathematics, computer science, computational biology, machine learning, business, economics, engineering and a number of other disciplines.

Each student was chosen due to having analytical skills that have the ability to make them “excellent data scientists” and among the companies sponsoring the school are principle partner KPMG as well as Rackspace, Hortonworks, Royal Mail, and Pivigo.

“We have first-hand experience of the struggle to find these skills – from our own search for this talent and from what our customers are telling us – and the 1,000 per cent increase being reported shows that we are not alone,” stated Nigel Beighton, VP of technology at Rackspace, according to CloudPro. “This five-week course has the right mix of theory and real practice, and we are very confident that the graduating students will be equipped with skills the industry is looking for.”

Related: How to pick a data scientist, the right way

Figures from IT Jobs Watch back up the need for new data scientists by showing that the amount of permanent data scientists roles in the UK has risen 1,005 per cent over the past two years.

Image Credit: Flickr (Abd allah Foteih)