DataCamp, the first online platform for data science education for professionals, will be expanding to include new technologies and techniques. The company just closed a $1 million seed round of financing led by Chris Lynch at Accomplice.
DataCamp uses online, interactive experimentation for a "hands-on" experience, and users get personalized feedback. It's similar to other technology-oriented educational "camps," but caters specifically to data science skills.
The curriculum includes programming with R, big data manipulation, and data visualization and reporting. With this funding, courses will be expanded to include Python, Hadoop, and Spark skills as well. The company also plans on developing training programs for universities and businesses to use in traditional classrooms or blended learning courses.
The learning platform's course completion rates are three times that of other online learning programs, and more than 150,000 users have completed courses with DataCamp. 70% are professionals in the technology, finance, and healthcare sectors looking to add data science to their skill set.
DataCamp has partnered with edX, IBM'S Big Data University, and professors from Princeton, Duke, and the University of Washington, writes Rebecca Strong of BostInno.
Data science is a high-demand skill set, according to Business Wire, and McKinsey & Company estimates that there will be a shortage of 1.7 million data scientists in the US by 2018. Jonathan Cornelissen, co-founder and CEO of DataCamp, said that most of this need will be filled by existing employees who take on data science as another work duty.
Cornelissen said that data science pervades every sector:
Companies in every industry need to get insight from their data. But, they cannot find people with the right skills to do that, and existing employees often don't have the necessary skills either. DataCamp is solving this problem by teaching professionals the data science skills that employers are so desperately searching for.
Chris Lynch, partner at Accomplice, explained that the need for data science is growing and DataCamp's model can successfully help meet the demand:
The thesis behind investment is that data science is a $100 billion marketplace, growing 30% annually. And there are only 100,000 data scientists today.
The tremendous unmet need for data science skills around the world will be primarily filled by the existing workforce. DataCamp's approach to teaching those skills is innovative, unique, and most importantly, effective. This team has built a learning platform with incredible potential and we are excited to bring the team to Boston and expand the model.
Before this round of funding, the company previously raised $300,000 in seed money, writes Ron Miller of Tech Crunch. Originally founded in Belgium last year, they will be opening a Boston office as well.
Some of DataCamp's courses are free, but unlimited access is $25 per month, according to DataCamp's website.