The Data Skills Gateway brings together the City Region's industry, universities, colleges, schools and others to provide routes into data or digital careers. It covers basic and key skills in schools through to advanced postgraduate training and research.
We all need data skills
The Data Skills Gateway has been set up so that everyone can benefit from the opportunities of the new economy. It creates the potential for everyone to improve their data and digital skills. That includes girls in school who might be put off by the frequently male-dominated image of the technology sector, people returning to the workforce after a break, or anyone who combines work with caring responsibilities. It also includes people whose roles are changing and who may now face redundancy.
It covers teaching and skills at all stages, from early years to adult learning. It includes people of all backgrounds and social groups, people with disabilities and other challenges, and people with all levels of education. The Skills Gateway will also help develop the data science curriculum and continuing professional development (CPD) for employability and learning professionals, plus skills development for people who are excluded or disadvantaged groups, helping to improve inclusion within the industry.
Technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics are increasing demand for highly-skilled workers, but every type of work is affected. It is estimated that 90% of jobs already require digital skills.
The good news is, you don’t have to be a data scientist, or learn computer coding, or master advanced mathematics. But you do need at least a basic level of data and digital skills for many jobs, and to make the best use of products and services. In other words, we all need to be more data savvy.
The Data Skills Gateway has four strands:
- Data Education in Schools
- Data Education in Colleges
- Data Education in Universities
- Data Skills for Work
Read the case studies to find out more.
The Data Skills Gateway was a finalist at the 2021 Digital Leaders 100 awards.
The Skills Gateway made it into the final three for Digital Skills Initiative of the Year, out of hundreds of entries from across the UK. With over 700 nominations, judges recognised the Skills Gateway‘s innovative and cross-sector approach to improving data skills as a key component of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal’s skills and employability programme.
Become a Data Skills Gateway Advisory Board member
The Data Skills Gateway Advisory Board was established to assist with planning, implementing, reviewing and refining the Data Skills Gateway activity, to ensure that it delivers change and inclusive growth ambitions for the Edinburgh and South East Scotland city region.
Data literacy is the set of skills that people need in order to ask questions, collect, analyse, interpret and communicate about data. It is important because as it gets easier for computers to collect large amounts of data, it is increasingly used to make decisions in our everyday lives.
Data skills are becoming increasingly important in all our lives and Scotland’s economy. We caught up with May Flett, Data Education in Colleges Lead, and Jon Buglass, Vice Principal of Innovation, Planning and Performance at Edinburgh College, to discuss how they plan to equip people with the relevant skills.
The focus of this initiative is to design and deliver university-level cutting-edge courses that incorporate the data skills increasingly valued by organisations and individuals. It is designed to provide data skills, together with practical experience, for both data professionals and data workers.
This project aims to help those already in work, or returning to work, to develop the skills to participate in a data-driven economy. We want those in occupations like manufacturing, administration, and sales – and those facing barriers to training and employment – to gain vital skills.
#DataYou: Laura Rodgers, NatWest
From a young age, Laura Rodgers, Head of Performance Insights at NatWest Bank, has been fascinated by numbers and patterns. As a child she would gather the scores while watching the Eurovision Song Contest and look for the patterns that emerged. This fascination with ‘finding the stories behind the numbers’ paved the way for a career path that has revolved around data and the valuable insights it offers.d.
#DataYou: Claire Gillespie, Skills Development Scotland
Claire Gillespie is the Digital Economy Skills Manager for Skills Development Scotland (SDS). While she has been with SDS for around twenty years and her current role entails a keen focus on all things digital, Claire’s early career aspirations lay far from the digital world.
#DataYou: Colin Burt, Roslin Primary School
Colin Burt from Roslin Primary school tells us about the Internet of Things project, and the opportunity the pupils have to take data from their sensors to make recommendations as to how to improve the classroom environment. Proving it’s never too early to have a real hands on data experience- This is their data story…
#DataYou: Laura Bradbury
We all use data every day, although we often don’t realise it – whether that’s deciding on the best Netflix subscription or comparing prices to order your shopping online.
It’s also easy to miss how powerful, and useful, data can be. Laura Bradbury completed the Edinburgh College National Progression Award in Data Science course before moving into her new role at the Prince's Trust Scotland. This is her data story...
#DataYou: Kehinde Babaagba
Dr Kehinde Babaagba is a Lecturer in the School of Computer Science at Edinburgh Napier University. She also develops new modules in machine learning for the BSc (Hons) Data Science course funded by the DDI Skills Gateway, as part of its Data Education in Universities activities. Here, she explains how her love of maths and problem-solving led her into a data career – and why data offers opportunities for everyone.
#DataYou: Ana Spiroski
Looking to transition her career from a scientific research role back to an industry-based role, Ana Spiroski was keen to add another data skill to her existing expertise. As part of the #Data You series, DDI Skills Gateway spoke to Ana about how a Data Science for Finance short course gave her the tools she needed to support that transition.
#DataYou: Bageshri Hasabnis
Despite having a bachelor’s degree in computer science, Bageshri Hasabnis thought that a lengthy career break might prevent her from embarking on a new career in data science. As part of the #DataYou series, DDI Skills Gateway spoke to Bageshri about how a Professional Development Award in Data Science empowered her to rethink pursuing a career in data science.
#DataYou: Russell Botting
Many people with neurodivergent conditions such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia and dyspraxia face barriers to the world of work, despite possessing cognitive abilities that can be extremely effective, especially in areas like data. DDI Skills Gateway spoke with Russell Botting, of Auticon about data careers being open to everyone – as part of the #DataYou series.
#DataYou: Data as core skills for Borders College
The DDI Skills Gateway spoke with Borders College about teaching data science as part of core skills across a wide range of curriculum areas including; care, hospitality, hairdressing, construction and more! As part of their wider #DataYou series to inspire YOU to think about a potential path into data.
#DataYou: Kate Farrell
A world-first data science qualification for school-aged learners has been developed in Scotland. As part of the #DataYou series, DDI Skills Gateway spoke with Kate Farrell, driving-force behind the National Progression Award (NPA) in Data Science, as she explains how it can be relevant to a huge range of careers that young people might be considering.
#DataYou: Joe Gonnella
Looking for a degree that would combine his love for statistics with practical data skills, Joe Gonnella was part of the first cohort of undergraduate students to undertake Napier University’s BSc in Data Science. As part of the #Data You series, DDI Skills Gateway spoke to Joe about why a degree in data science will equip him with the data skills he needs for the future world of work.
#DataYou: Aleks Yaneva’s
Aleks Yaneva is a Campaign Data Analyst with Standard Life Aberdeen. She did a degree in tourism management (which she describes as “wildly unrelated” to her current job!), but she is now crystal clear that data is at the heart of her future plans. Part of the DDI Skills Gateway #Datayou series this is her data story, in her own words.