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Innovate Birmingham adding Data Analytics classes to roster

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BY KATHRYN SESSER-DORNÉ
The Birmingham Times

To further meet the workforce demand for technology talent in the city, Innovate Birmingham, a development program that prepares students for jobs in the city’s growing tech sector, has shifted gears from IT Helpdesk training to focus on a new boot camp promoting Data Analytics.

The program, which begins January 28, 2019, will be held Monday-Friday at the Innovation Depot in downtown Birmingham. The no-cost, 12-week program will involve classes and hands-on learning from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily under industry leaders in the Data Analytics field.

“I love to introduce people to the field of data analysis. I do believe way more people could enter the field than currently believe they can,” said Robin Hunt, CEO and president of ThinkData Solutions, Inc. “With just a little guidance and some introduction you can determine if you think it’s for you or not. For some people they may find they have already been functioning as a data analyst and just don’t realize it.”

Hunt will be leading the course for Innovate Birmingham. ThinkData Solutions, Inc., is a technology firm specializing in technical training and custom application development using SharePoint & Business Intelligence tools. Ms. Hunt has led technology training courses for nearly two decades, and has worked with numerous Birmingham businesses as well as had her courses recorded for Lynda.com.

“My heart for training began long before now and it started with learning to love Excel,” Hunt said. “I have been exposed to hundreds of people and data scenarios. I just soak it in because it’s my thing; it’s where I feel I fit. I want everyone to learn a little to see if it piques their interest to keep going further.

This entry-level boot camp, will run alongside Innovate Birmingham’s I AM BHAM, a 14-week program which offers short-term, fast-track, intensive training for full stack web development. The Data Analytics Bootcamp will help students earn industry-recognized credentials through training in Excel, Access, SQL, Tableau and Power BI.

Each quarter, the Innovate Birmingham Development Programs aim to help under-employed high school graduates not currently enrolled in college. Enrollment for the Data Analytics program remains open for students ages 17-29, and classes are of no cost to those who are accepted into the boot camp. Innovate Birmingham will work to help facilitate other needs, including childcare, if there are issues which may arise that keep students out of the classroom.

According to IBM, the number of jobs for all U.S. data professionals will increase by 364,000 openings to 2,720,000 positions by 2020. Birmingham’s growing sector alone highlights the need for skilled workers in the field of technology, and Innovate Birmingham allows students to interact daily with potential employers. Innovate Birmingham has more than 30 Employer Partners who support the technology boot camps and offer graduates jobs, including Protective, Shipt, UAB and Honda.

As students will learn through the boot camp, the practice isn’t just about math and statistics and nice looking graphs and charts. At the heart of Data Analysis is the question of “Why?” With tons of data occupying servers around the world, being able to make sense of it all for companies to make informed decisions isn’t a choice anymore. It’s a necessity.

“All the technical people of the world know we don’t all know everything — we pick our passion and build on that,” Hunt said. “The regular person might think technical means technical across all disciplines. They may have dabbled in hardware, or coding and given up. You can’t specialize in every technology but just because you didn’t care for one doesn’t mean you won’t like another.

Innovate Birmingham’s newest boot camp is designed to train future technology professionals in the fundamentals of Data Analytics. The program is excited about the future opportunities this course will bring both for the students, and employers throughout Birmingham.

Apply today at http://www.innovatebham.com

WHO WE ARE: Innovate Birmingham is a grant-funded nonprofit program that received more than $6 million from the U.S. Department of Labor to equip underemployed young adults in the Birmingham region with resources they need to advance into Information Technology (IT) jobs. The goal of our program is to provide opportunity, free of charge, and create a pipeline between talented people and employers in Birmingham.