In November, EDC hosted a ‘Data Science Trek,’ which brought together 65 aspiring data scientists from colleges and universities across the region. Throughout the day, students from MiraCosta College, UCSD, SDSU, USD, and Alliant International University toured Booz Allen Hamilton, Walmart Labs, and Intuit and engaged in panel discussions with local data science professionals.
With the emergence of big data and growing need to analyze a high volume of information that is collected at every second, Data Science is a rapidly growing field across the globe. Companies require highly skilled talent to process the information, which helps inform business decisions, improve efficiency, and understand the precise requirements of customers, among other applications.
Trek participants got a firsthand look at how their classroom learning will translate into the workplace. For many, this event marked a ‘first’ for meeting with professionals, learning about day-to-day workflow, and visualizing themselves as data scientists in San Diego.
Among the slew of exciting projects presented, Walmart Labs described how they are using in-store robotics via shelf-scanning robots to improve quality assurance. Whether it’s a stock-out, missing label, or inaccurate price, this technology is helping maximize an associate’s time and improving customer service.
Booz Allen Hamilton previewed its new artificial intelligence platform called ‘Modzy,’ which will give customers access to a revolutionary marketplace of pre-trained AI models from leading machine-learning companies. As they group learned about these cutting-edge projects, one participant said, “Data Science is not just a buzz word. Data Scientists solve real and interesting problems!”
Following the Trek, 95 percent of surveyed participants felt more informed about opportunities in the local data science industry. Also encouraging, 97 percent of the group stated that they do intend on pursuing a career in the San Diego region. As one of three companies showcased from the region, the three employers had an opportunity to meet with students from the local STEM talent pool and be proactive in the recruitment process.
From Booz Allen Hamilton’s blend of strong corporate culture mixed with young, collaborative data science team, to Walmart Labs’ tech startup vibe, and also Intuit’s cutting-edge tech campus, each company showcased its unique workplace setting. This gave students a chance to see the wide array of work environments that are available in San Diego, while better realizing their own workplace preferences.
The Trek Series represents a larger regional effort, led by San Diego Regional EDC, promoting careers in San Diego by connecting students to various industries. For students engaged in this program, we are confident they will choose San Diego as their career destination. Hear about it firsthand from the participants:
“This experience was overall very insightful and lots of fun, and I’d recommend it to anyone looking to stoke their curiosity and get expert advice on data science in San Diego.” —Isabella Messina, Bachelor’s student (B.S. Computer Science), San Diego State University
“One of the most impactful experiences I have had…and have taken away a lot with regards to the kind of personal progress that I will need to forge a successful career in the coming years.” —Ashok Anand B, Master’s student (M.S. Big Data Analytics), San Diego State University
“Waiting for hours to speak with a representative and shouting over the background noise at career fairs is definitely no competition to the Data Science Trek.” —Levan Badzgaradze, Master’s student (M.S. Computer Science), San Diego State University
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