Case study: From online Python courses to a qualification in Data Science and AI

Sam Winter is undertaking the Level 7 AI Data Specialist apprenticeship, having taught himself Python online. He chose to do this apprenticeship to receive a formal qualification in Data Science and AI, helping his personal development and career aspirations.

 

Sam is a clinical data analyst at Good Boost, a social enterprise providing rehabilitation for people with musculoskeletal conditions. He uses trends in data to help software engineers and clinicians design applications that provide rehabilitation programmes for patients with musculoskeletal injuries. Using data that users provide, Sam carries out feature analysis, undertakes data auditing and shares strategic information with shareholders. In addition, Sam works on academic projects that Good Boost is involved in, for instance a current project looking at modelling Parkinson’s disease through intelligent artificial neural systems to be able to identify deterioration in a patient. 

Sam chose the apprenticeship as a way to combine his work with his passion for learning.

 

“I was very keen to keep going with my current role as well as enhance my skill set. To do that, I needed a programme that integrated learning into my current work environment and that is one of the things that Cambridge Spark is brilliant at. The apprenticeship allows you to make a positive contribution at work and at the same time still build up your toolkit”

Sam Winter, L7 AI Data Specialist Apprentice

 

A structured AI education programme

Before starting the apprenticeship, Sam had learnt Python online and worked in data science roles at different organisations.

 

“I was teaching myself coding, which is brilliant because there's lots of fun ways to learn online. But it was completely unstructured. I was cherry picking resources and I wanted to get a really overarching theme of data science and its applications. I am very passionate about trying to use data to improve people's lives and one of the great things about Cambridge Spark is that the learning is really structured”  

Sam Winter, L7 AI Data Specialist Apprentice

 

Sam is 5 months into the Data Science programme, which takes domain experts proficient in Python and provides a pathway that enables them to create data-driven AI solutions and automate and optimise business processes.

 

“The Cambridge Spark syllabus is really structured and there's a clear approach starting from the basic toolkit of Python and pandas up to the different machine learning techniques, covering supervised and unsupervised approaches. And then you go even further and take a deep dive into AI so it encompasses the whole data field.”

Sam Winter , L7 AI Data Specialist Apprentice

 

So far, the Data Science Toolkit has been a standout module for Sam, as it has helped him improve the code he implements at work.

 

“It really gets you to grips with the foundations you need to not only understand what's going on with the data that you're working on, but how you can implement it in your job. The assignments were based on the kind of key code that is part of a data science job.”

Sam Winter, L7 AI Data Specialist Apprentice

 

Apprentices learn through live lectures and assignments. They are supported by a technical mentor, a coach and feedback from EDUKATE.AI, Cambridge Spark’s online learning platform for data science, which is where they access learning content and assignments.

 

“Another great thing about Cambridge spark is that you have access to a ton of brilliant resources and all the lecture notes are uploaded to EDUKATE.AI. You have assignments for each of the modules but then, on top of that, you can go further and there's endless practical assignments and solutions. There is a huge amount of resources that Cambridge Spark provide.”

Sam Winter, L7 AI Data Specialist Apprentice

 

All of the content and assignments are built on real-data sets to help apprentices understand how data skills are applied in the workplace.

 

“The teaching and assignments in every topic cover the key code and functions that you are likely to use day in, day out, so you get real life practice in assignments of working with the code base that will form the basis of your job”

Sam Winter, L7 AI Data Specialist Apprentice

 

Applying new skills to the workplace

With another 10 months of learning to complete, Sam is already seeing the benefits of the apprenticeship, being able to better present strategic insights from data.

 

“I delivered a presentation to the team and was able to communicate my findings in a way that everyone in the team could understand whether from a medical background or a technical background. In addition to that, I was able to extract much more meaningful insights from the data.”

"By the end of this curriculum, I will have a really good understanding of the whole discipline of data science. I've been very happy with Cambridge Spark and I'm glad I made the decision to do this programme”

Sam Winter, L7 AI Data Specialist Apprentice

 

If you’re interested in learning more about the L7 AI Apprenticeships programme for yourself or your team please click here.

AI Apprenticeships (L7) Academy

15-month government-funded Data Science Apprenticeship & Machine Learning Engineer Apprenticeship

Subscribe to our blog