Data Education in Colleges
The Data Education for Colleges strand of the DDI Skills Gateway Project is part of the Edinburgh and City Region Deal Skills Programme funded by Scottish Government. It involves Borders, Edinburgh, Fife and West Lothian Colleges working collaboratively. The digital technology revolution has put data at the centre of activity. Data science is increasingly important for economic growth, social change and public services. Within the colleges there is significant focus on improving and enhancing learning opportunities involving data science for all current learners at all levels, whether full or part-time. There is focus on providing opportunities for residents of the area not currently studying. Opportunities are being offered for those who are unemployed, either long-term or recently made redundant, women returners to education and work and any employee or organisation wishing to upskill. A ‘sea change’ approach is being implemented with opportunities for all!
Data Education for Colleges Initiatives
- Data Analytics/Big Data – full-time students studying on HNC/D programmes across Business, Social Sciences and Health and Care will have opportunity to study Big Data. This initiative is being introduced in academic year 2020/21; all four colleges will have students participating. This will help introduce the concept of data science and embed within the curriculum. Curriculum specialists within each of the vocational areas will deliver Big Data. There will be opportunity in some curriculum areas for Big Data to be delivered as part of the award and in other areas, as ‘plus one’ unit. This will give added-value for the students and support development of data science skills. This approach is parallel to that being undertaken by the universities.
- FE courses – Additional ‘plus one’ unit of Data Literacy – Learners studying on full-time courses at Levels 4,5 and 6 in several curriculum areas including Business, Finance, Health and Social Care will have opportunity to study a data literacy unit. This is to introduce learners to the concept of data science and embed within the curriculum. Curriculum specialists within each of the vocational areas will deliver either Data Citizenship or Data Science; materials will be contextualised and relevant to the learners in each vocational area. The unit may be embedded or studied as a ‘plus one’ in addition to the course.
- NPA Data Science Short Courses/’Into Work’ – a range of courses based on the NPA Data Science are on offer to help support anyone who is either unemployed and/or recently been made redundant. There is opportunity to combine the content with digital skills. Courses are being delivered at all four colleges and the options available vary from college to college.
- Upskilling of women returners – Fife College is focusing on delivering a ‘Data Science for Finance’ course for women returners in conjunction with Equate.
- Associate Degree – BSc Computer Science at Heriot Watt – learners from both Edinburgh and Fife Colleges are participating in the Associate Degree programme providing opportunity for a smooth transition from college to university.
In our case study about Borders College teaching data science as part of core skills across a wide range of curriculum areas including; care, hospitality, hairdressing, construction and more here.
Or in our Interview with the data education for colleges team here.
For more information on courses available visit:
Opportunities are being offered for those who are unemployed, either long-term or recently made redundant, women returners to education and work and any employee or organisation wishing to upskill.
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