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OCBC and Ngee Ann Poly create programme to train more data experts

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(from left) Clarence Ti, principal of Ngee Ann Polytechnic, and Jason Ho, head of group human resources at OCBC Bank, launched the programme during the Future Smart Learning Festival. Also present to witness the launch was Michael Fung, deputy chief executive (industry), chief human resource officer and chief data officer of SkillsFuture Singapore.

OCBC and Ngee Ann Polytechnic have created a data certification programme as part of a structured approach to groom more data scientists and analysts, the bank said on Tuesday.

The programme which is open to the public consists of a progressive set of 12 modules and after an estimated two to three years, trainees will receive an official certification from Ngee Ann Poly.

OCBC employees can sign up for these courses at its learning and development arm, OCBC Campus.

The lender said it aims to train 200 more data scientists and analysts over the next three years through the pathway to double the number of data scientists and analysts it has now.

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The programme will also be made available to all Singaporeans under the MySkillsFuture portal, and members of the public can sign up from the fourth quarter onwards this year.

The modules are conducted by Ngee Ann Poly lecturers from its School of InfoComm Technology and other industry practitioners, with the first four being foundation courses.

After completing the basic classes, trainees can specialise in either the data scientist track or data analyst track, each comprising four more courses in topics such as data visualisation, machine learning and deep learning.

Learners who pass an assessment on their knowledge and skills will be exempted from the foundation courses and can begin the specialisation modules immediately.

Those who do not wish to go through the entire programme but are keen to acquire a stronger data proficiency can apply for the individual data modules, said OCBC.

At the end of each module, learners will be assessed by a global panel of industry practitioners.

The course structure and content was formulated to focus on practical skills needed for data roles based on consultation with industry practitioners, including OCBC Bank's head of group customer analytics and decisioning, Donald Macdonald.

The collaboration with Ngee Ann Poly is part of OCBC's Future Smart Programme, a three-year initiative launched last year to develop the digital skills of its employees.