Upcoming Programs

Data Science Specialist Program Focus HTC

Brief Program Description

For the past decade, Data Science has been consistently regarded as one of the most lucrative and in-demand careers and there has been a growing demand for data scientists. According to Glassdoor, data scientists have been ranked as the “number one job in America” in four of the past five years. But where does this demand come from? The simple answer to this question lies in the significance of transforming data into profitable knowledge. In other words, data is the lifeblood of any kind of business and data-driven decision-making plays a key role in the success of a company. However, the supply of data scientists is low because data science is still relatively a nascent field and consequently there is a noticeable shortage of qualified data scientists. Hence, there is a pressing need to develop career-relevant skills, competence, and experience in data science.

The Data Science Specialist program will prepare students with job-ready skills and knowledge for an entry level data scientist role. Students will learn the foundational principles of data science, participate in hands-on skills-based practices, and acquire the knowledge and practical competence to help industries inform smart decisions. Students will work with a wide variety of data sources, project scenarios, and data science tools and techniques. The program will offer practical experience with data manipulation, analytics, and visualization techniques. The program will develop the confidence and equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge to begin a career as a data scientist or data analyst. The completion of the in-class courses is followed by a six-week practicum to gain real-world hands-on experience in data science.

Career Occupation

This industry-leading program is intended to qualify graduates for careers including:

  • Data Scientist
  • Data Analyst
  • Data Engineer
  • Data Architect
  • Business Analyst
  • Machine Learning Engineer

Admission Requirements

The students must meet the following criteria to be accepted into the Data Science Specialist program:

  • Minimum Grade 12 or equivalent qualification or Mature Student Status*.
  • If English is not the student’s first language, they are required to have an IELTS level 6.0 OR equivalent (in case of other testing standards) score to be admitted to the program. If, upon starting the program, their language proficiency proves to be significantly lower than the criteria mentioned, they will be required to take English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course at Focus College before being able to continue with their program studies.

*(19 years of age upon starting the program and qualify the college’s admission test)

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this program, the successful students will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • Understand the steps involved in handling a data science problem and applying the methodology to tackle that problem
  • demonstrate data cleansing and perform exploratory data analysis
  • Apply various data science skills, techniques, and tools to solve real-world problems
  • Analyze raw data to transform it into meaningful insights using various data science tools
  • Apply various data visualization tools and techniques in Excel, R, Cognos, and Python to visualize data efficiently
  • Understand and apply several supervised and unsupervised Machine Learning models and algorithms to resolve real-world issues
  • Build and evaluate data models using Python

Method(s) of Evaluation

In the Data Science Specialist program, learners will be assessed through both formative and summative methods and a blend of continuous Unit assessment and Graded Unit assessments. Each course (unit) has an assessment which the candidate is required to pass. The allocation of grades awarded are as follows:

  • Grade A – Student has achieved 70% or above marks
  • Grade B – Student has achieved marks between 60% and 69%
  • Grade C – Student has achieved marks between 50% and 59%
  • F (Fail) – Student has achieved less than 50% marks

Completion Requirements

To graduate, a student must meet the following requirements:

  • Successful completion of all courses with a minimum 50% (C grade) in each course
  • Successful completion of the Practicum
  • Successful completion of all assignments and tasks required in the Career and Professional Skills course

Program Duration

Duration of the program is 52 weeks (full-time), and the total instructional hours are 1,056.

Homework Hours

Approximately 10-15 hours/week of homework is required from students to be successful in this fast-paced and intensive program.

Delivery Method(s)

The program is delivered through the following delivery models:

  •   In-class instruction
  •   Distance education
  •   Combined delivery (both in-class and distance)

Required course materials

Various textbooks/reference books and other online educational materials will be provided. Please see the course outline forms for individual course books/materials.

Program Organization

The following table shows the titles of the courses in this program in the order they are provided, and the hours of instruction allotted to each course.

Title of Course/Work Experience Component * Number of Hours*
Computer Systems Fundamentals  48
Discrete Math for Computing  48
Programming Languages  48
Introduction to Statistics  48
Database Fundamentals  48
Python Programming  48
R Programming  48
Foundations of Data Science  48
Introduction to NoSQL Databases  48
Data Wrangling and Exploration  48
Data Science Methods & Tools  48
Data Analysis  48
Introduction to Machine Learning  48
Big Data Frameworks  48
Data Visualization  48
Communication Skills  48
Career Development Planning  48
Practicum: Full-time (Six Weeks) 240
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Focus College response to Covid-19

Updated March 16, 2020

Due to the current pandemic and the desire to protect the health of our students, Focus College is taking measures which incorporate social isolation.

For current students:

We are suspending our Advanced Diploma and Office Manager courses for the week of March 16-20th, to allow for temporary distance learning to be set up. If any students do not have access to a computer from home, we request that they notify the college immediately. Further information on how courses will be delivered will be available as the week goes on. Please monitor your student email for further information throughout the week.


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