Data Scientist: part analyst, part artist.

Virtual High School now offers IDC4U, Data Science, which is a grade 12 university level course that combines 3 disciplines: Business, Computer Programming, and Statistics.  This course was written and developed in collaboration with IBM and Fireside Analytics to bring #BigData to the high school level. This course presents students with opportunities to exercise skills that are in high demand while they gain experience in the field of data science. Students will learn about

In the first unit, students will learn about the recruitment process at a data analytics firm. They will research current job opportunities in the Data Science field and apply statistics to create a job ad for a new hire at the firm. Students expand on this in the second unit to examine ways to review and manage the number of applicants that applied for the job at the firm. Students will learn about text mining and keyword algorithms to shortlist the applicants. In the third unit, students are introduced to machine learning and are faced with the challenge to improve the retention rate of the music program at their high school. The final unit in this course relates to international trade and exporting and importing goods. Students will review Brexit referendum , and analyze how this outcome may affect Canada long term. The final summative assessment in this course is a capstone project in which students will choose one of Big Data University’s sustainable development goals for social good, then select an applicable United Nations data set to run an analysis. Students will then compile and present their findings. They will then have the opportunity to enter their project to the United Nations where it has the potential to be published online.

Post-Secondary Education and Careers

Data Science is a growing field that is in high demand, but it requires a skill set that is difficult for employers to find. The ability to turn raw data into meaning provides important insight into business decision making. There are several university and college programs that focus on Data Science in addition to IBM’s Big Data University, which provides FREE access to data science education. The salary for a data scientist is expected to be ~$130,000 after 8 years of education and experience in the industry.


Students who have completed any grade 11 university or college/university level course will meet the prerequisite requirement and are eligible to enroll in IDC4U DAT.