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DataSkills by The Open University

If you want to enter one of the hottest areas in the digital jobs market, here’s how to get started.

As part of the DfE’s Skills Bootcamps programme, we are offering you the opportunity to develop your skills and fast-track into a digital job. If you are aged 19 or above and interested in a career in data analysis, then DataSkills by The Open University could be the right choice for you.

The programme is due to start on 18th October 2021. There is no cost to individual participants.

DataSkills by The Open University

Thank you for your interest in the DataSkills by The Open University programme. The application deadline has now passed.

What is DataSkills by The Open University?

It is a 16 week part time training programme which combines the Open University’s fifty years’ experience of promoting education for all and supporting busy working adults to learn, with real-world careers insights from Microsoft, one of the world’s largest IT companies.

The programme is designed to give you the knowledge, skills and employability support you’ll need to access digital jobs with Microsoft’s partners and a range of other employers across different sectors of the economy.

DataSkills by The Open University flexes around the demands of your work and life, combining high quality online learning with webinars, online support, coaching and certification preparation sessions.

Whilst you will need to keep on track, the programme puts you in the driving seat in terms of when you schedule your study each week. The programme is funded by the Department for Education Skills Bootcamps programme and there is no cost to individual participants.

If you are an employer interested in putting employees forward for this programme, please visit our employer website for more information and to express your interest.

What will I learn?

Big Data is changing the business landscape as the amount of data available to organisations is increasing in variety and volume. Understanding how to put this information into context and to communicate it to inform decision making is of huge strategic importance and hence all organisations across all sectors are investing in their data analysis capabilities.

Using LinkedIn’s Economic Graph, Microsoft has identified the data analyst job role as one of the top 10 in-demand jobs in the economy and well positioned to continue to grow in the future. Burning Glass Technologies Labour Insights January 2021 data shows the role of the business analyst as the second most advertised role in Q4 2020, and data, cloud and Microsoft developer tool skillsets are in the top ten most in demand.

You’ll work towards the internationally recognised Microsoft Azure Data Fundamentals (DP-900) and Microsoft Data Associate (DA-100) certifications, which will give employers a clear understanding of the skills you’ve developed.

The DataSkills by The Open University programme begins with foundational data concepts before moving on, in a structured way, to develop the higher-level data analysis skills employers look for when hiring for entry-level job roles.

You will learn about:

  • Core data concepts
  • Cloud data services
  • Relational and non-relational data
  • Modern data warehouse analytics
  • Preparing, modelling, visualising and analysing data 
  • Deploying and maintaining deliverables

During your practical work, you will use Microsoft Power BI which is a common platform used by data analysts to visualise and maximise the value from their data assets.

What could completion of this programme lead to?

This programme provides you with the chance to develop an in-demand skill set. Attainment of the associated certifications will allow you to certify your skills and launch a career in data analysis and related job families. Typical job roles you could access at an entry-level include:

  • Data Analyst
  • Business Intelligence Analyst
  • Business Systems Analyst
  • Marketing Analyst
  • Logistics Analyst

During the programme, you’ll have access to a wealth of careers resources, including insights from inspirational industry professionals, courses, CV writing assistance and interview preparation. This will help prepare you to apply for entry level digital jobs with Microsoft’s partner network and other employers across England.

What are the entry requirements?

A minimal technical background is needed for you to be considered for this programme, but it will be important for you to have a strong curiosity about how to use digital technologies and data to investigate and solve problems. A basic level of understanding of computer technology, cloud computing and the internet is assumed. It will also be helpful if you have knowledge of fundamental programming principles.

You’ll need a love of technology, an ability to analyse and communicate well, plus a strong motivation to learn and succeed. You’ll also need to be able to answer ‘yes’ to all of the following questions to be eligible to apply:

  • Are you 19 years of age or over?
  • Are you a UK citizen or have the legal right to live and work in the UK?
  • Are you resident in England or a resident of Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland and moving into a digital job with an employer based in England?
  • Are you in work, self-employed, recently unemployed or returning to work after a break?
  • Can you commit to 16 weeks of flexible part time study, starting on the date below? On average you’ll need to set aside 8-10 hours per week for study but at certain points in the programme, more study time may be required.
  • Are you committed to moving into / returning to a digital job role at the end of the programme?
  • Have you achieved a grade C or above in GCSE Mathematics (or equivalent)?
  • Do you have regular access to a desktop or laptop computer with an internet connection?

Note that for job roles with some of the employers we are working with, you need to be willing and eligible to go through the vetting process to achieve UK government level security clearance (BPSS and SC levels), but this is not a requirement to be eligible for the programme.

When does the programme start?

The programme is scheduled to start week commencing 18th October 2021.

It is funded by the Department for Education Skills Bootcamps programme and there is no cost to individual participants.

If this sounds like the right opportunity for you, please complete and submit the online application form.

The deadline for submissions is 12th October 2021.