Apply now to Birmingham-Southern College’s summer Data Science Program. New deadline: Apr. 9


standing 2048x1365 1 Apply now to Birmingham-Southern College's summer Data Science Program. New deadline: Apr. 9
BSC graduate Roger Wang in class. Photo via BSC

If you’re an undergrad student or a local professional interested in uplevelling your skills in a big way, you need to know about Birmingham-Southern College (BSC)’s new Accelerated Data Science Program: Summer 2021. One of the only programs of its kind in the country, it will set you up with coveted skills and a bright future. BSC has extended the application deadline to April 9

BSC’s Accelerated Data Science Summer Program: what it is

man at computer
This could be you if you enroll in BSC’s data science program. Photo via BSC
  • A brand-new new Accelerated Data Science Program: Summer 2021, in collaboration with Flatiron School.
  • A 12-week immersive summer program that’s the first of its kind in Alabama.
  • A well-crafted blend of workforce-oriented data science skills with the intellectual rigor and context of a BSC liberal arts education

Andrew Scofield, a BSC computer science major, did an internship last summer that focused on digital humanities work. 

“To me, data analysts are becoming the new historians. Historians used to read hundreds or a couple of thousand texts in their lifetime on one subject. We put 25,000 medieval texts with a total of 800 million words through machine learning and were able to gain very interesting insights in a short period of time.”

Andrew Scofield, computer science major, BSC

What you’ll learn

Amber Wagner
Amber Wagner is assistant professor of applied computer science at BSC. Photo via BSC

“The program is four courses over the summer. The courses feed very well into each other. There’s no time in between terms to lose any of the information. It should help students retain the information better.”

Amber Wagner, assistant professor of applied computer science, BSC

These are the courses: 

  • Python for Data Science
  • Data Statistics
  • Machine Learning
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The final course, for BSC students, is an internship with a local company where you can put your skills into action and see the real impact of what you’ve learned.

And here’s what students who complete the program will be able to do with their knowledge:

  • Retrieve, organize and interpret data using Python.
  • Visualize consumer, social and popular trends.
  • Create new hypotheses for advanced analysis.
  • Use presentation techniques and share insights on data with others. 
  • Build new and evolving skills on top of a fundamental understanding of data science.
  • Apply knowledge in data science to other disciplines.

Real-world experience

  • If you complete the program, you can interview for a paid internship with a local company in fall 2021 or spring 2022. 
  • If you are awarded the internship, you can use your skills in a real-world environment.
  • Internships have the potential to lead to full-time positions. 

Also, last time we checked, the *median* annual salary for data scientists was $108,403.

Who is the Accelerated Data Science Program for?

students on BSC's campus
Students walking on BSC’s campus. Photo via BSC

All undergrad students and local professionals are welcome to apply. No prior data science or programming experience is required.

On-campus housing is available. 

  • When it is: May 24-August 13, 2021, Monday-Friday 8AM-6PM, plus a paid internship in either fall 2021 or spring 2022.
  • What it costs: $9,500 for non-BSC students.

Know you want to go? Apply by April 9

Why one BSC undergrad and her brother signed up

Dorothy Alexander is a Birmingham-Southern health science major with a business administration minor. She’s never taken a computer science or data science class. She’s hoping to go into pharmaceutical or medical sales. During this past Jan-term, people in the industry talked with her about the importance of data to her future career path. 

“For me, this program is perfect. Once I’ve completed the program and the internship, I’ll have a minor in data science. And, what I’ll be learning matches perfectly with what everyone told me to look for.

Also, my brother, who’s just graduating from Vestavia High School, is going to be part of the program. He’ll be a freshman in college next year. He doesn’t know where he’ll be going yet, but he’ll have this under his belt before he gets there.” 

Dorothy Alexander, BSC health science major, business administration minor

Why it matters

Data is everywhere. Photo via BSC

“I’m really excited about BSC’s new data science program because it addresses a critical need we have in Birmingham and across the state. . .we need a workforce that is trained to take full advantage of all the advances that AI and machine learning are bringing about.

To be competitive in this modern economy, Alabama critically needs to develop a workforce that is competent in data science and business analytics.”

Joshua Jones, Co-founder and Board Chair, QuantHub
  • Data is everywhere, and the demand for employees who understand and can apply data is only growing.
  • According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2026 there will be 11.5 million job openings in data science.
  • Filling those jobs is going to require a lot of people with the right skills.
  • According to a 2018 Burning Glass report, for every 6.4 technology job opportunities in Birmingham, only one position is ultimately filled
  • Filling those openings in Birmingham, Huntsville, and other growing communities will be vital to growing Alabama’s economy.

Who’s behind the program

Class discussion is always a part of learning at BSC. Photo via BSC / taken pre-COVID

Birmingham-Southern College is launching the program. The Flatiron School, a leading educational institution based in New York that teaches the skills needed to launch a tech career, is providing curriculum support. 

BSC’s Data Science Advisory Council includes 12 co-founders, a chief technology officer and a vice president, representing some of the most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders in Birmingham and Huntsville, from Regions and Shipt to Fleetio and MotionMobs.

“This program is a great opportunity to expand into a new subject area that’s not going anywhere any time soon. The amount of data is only going to increase. This is definitely an opportunity for anyone to jump fields.”

Amber Wagner, assistant professor of applied computer science, BSC

If Birmingham-Southern’s new Accelerated Data Science Program sounds like your best career move, apply by April 9

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Sharron Swain
Sharron Swain

Writer, Interviewer + Adventurer | Telling stories to make a difference

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