The IoT Talent Consortium (IoTTC) and the State of Illinois are partnering with Microsoft to offer an nine-course online, self-paced Data Science program of study. Each course costs between $49 and $99 and requires 16-32 hours for completion. After mastering the eight core data science skills, students will apply these skills in a final capstone project that requires them to explore and cleanse a data set, build a machine learning model to analyze the data, and publish it as a web service that will be tested and scored to determine the accuracy of the model. The first 500 participants who enroll will get 50 percent off certification costs. The state also plans to sponsor 100 courses for the low-security inmate population. Those that successfully complete the final Capstone project earn a Microsoft Professional Program Certificate in Data Science and a Data Science badge from the IoT Talent Consortium. The Illinois Competitiveness Council has stated that there are more than 21,000 IT jobs open, paying $86,131 a year on average.
Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn, president, IoT Talent Consortium, and vice president and general manager, Cisco Services said, “With the rise of smart states comes a rising expectation of how state services will be delivered. Fortunately, the increase in digitized infrastructure, supported by IoT technology, is providing new ways to deliver services and improve quality of life. However, orchestrating transformative change on a massive scale requires more than just people who know how to install and maintain technology; there’s a pressing need for innovation, business savvy, and the ability to analyze and create cross-platform solutions that improve the way we work, live, play and learn. We are thrilled to welcome Illinois into our ecosystem to help share best practices and drive organizational transformation with building talent and skills needed for digitization jobs of the future.”