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Data science can change the economy - experts

In Summary

•Emerging technologies revolve around data

•Only three per cent of students enrolling in universities for bachelors pursue mathematics and statistics.

 

Nazih Moufarrej, Dell EMC Regional Senior Director (left) speaks at a press briefing during the Dell technologies regional Conference, with him is Habib Mahakian, Vice President, Emerging Africa, Dell EMC.
Nazih Moufarrej, Dell EMC Regional Senior Director (left) speaks at a press briefing during the Dell technologies regional Conference, with him is Habib Mahakian, Vice President, Emerging Africa, Dell EMC.
Image: courtesy

Data science and data analytics jobs will be among the most sought after, high paying careers in Kenya with unfolding technologies in different sectors of the economy. 

More professionals will be required in the field of statistics and data science even as few individuals explore data-related courses. Only three per cent of students enrolling in universities for bachelors pursue mathematics and statistics.

“Data is the basic thing that emerging technologies revolve around and data science is becoming more and more relevant in East Africa,” Walid Yehia, DELL EMC pre-sales senior director for the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa said in a conference on IT.

 
 

Yehia said humans in the fourth industrial revolution will require different kind of skills with different kinds of jobs. These are skills in data analysis and transformation with artificial intelligence.

Individuals with expertise will be highly sought after. Using the 2015 university enrolment, in every 100 professionals there will be only one data scientist as only a quarter that enrolled manage to graduate.

A survey done by the Kenya national qualification authority shows that only four out of ten universities offer a masters programme in science. In every ten universities, nine are offering a masters programme in social sciences, business and law.

Post-graduate students are also enrolling in the already flooded sectors, therefore, reducing human resource in the promising field of data science and statistics.

Attending the Dell global forum Nairobi chapter, principal secretary, the ministry of ICT Jerome Ochieng said the government aims at precision agriculture and telemedicine. Both require unlocking of the value of data for success.

By July, the agriculture data center will be up and running. Professionals will be sought to transform the agricultural sector and thus improve food production per square meter.

“Today, the competitive advantage is data. Those that get insights first will be the number one in business,” Kenya agricultural research and livestock organisation ICT director Boniface Akuku said.

 

Using data, new business models will unfold thus breaching the gap between developed and developing countries.

More professionals are required in data science and analytics to transform the country's economy.