Global AI and Data Science

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IBM Data Scientist Profession and Women in Data Science (WiDS) Collaboration

By Susan Malaika posted Wed October 19, 2022 06:47 AM


Introduction and Motivation

IBM's Data Scientist profession is excited to share a collaboration with Women in Data Science (WiDS) to further enhance the Global AI & Data Scientist Profession career model.  WiDS adds an innovative opportunity to enhance the careers of these professionals through their Ambassador Program, Regional Events, Conferences, Datathon, and Workshops.  Through participation IBM Data Scientists can earn leadership and giveback digital credentials (badges) that help to meet the requirements of the professional, experience-based certification.  

The reason for publishing this blog is to illustrate how companies can take advantage of the WiDS program to enhance their employees skills and foster their career development

Introduction to Women in Data Science

Women in Data Science (WiDS) elevates women in the field by providing inspiration, education, community, and support.  WiDS started as a one-day technical conference at Stanford in November 2015. Seven years later, WiDS is a global movement that includes a number of worldwide initiatives

  • A conference with nearly 200 regional events worldwide in more than 50 countries, reaching 100,000 participants annually.

  • A datathon, encouraging participants to hone their skills using a social impact challenge. 

  • A podcast series, featuring data science leaders from around the world talking about their work, their journeys, and lessons learned along the way.

  • An next gen program to encourage secondary school students to consider careers in data science, artificial intelligence (AI), and related fields. 

  • A workshop series to build your data science skills, inspiring women and girls with role model instructors.

The WiDS Timeline for 2023
WiDS activities typically take place in the first 6 months of each year. The reviews and follow-ups for the current year and planning for the next year, take place in the second 6 months of the year. 
In contrast, the timeline for the Data Scientist Career Model and Certification at IBM, is ongoing throughout the year.  Qualifying for certification depends on the experience and qualifications of the employee. However, the two timelines dovetail nicely together in that employees know when the WiDS activities take place and when they can engage, providing suitable deadlines.


More on the Data Scientist Career Model at IBM  and Open Group Data Scientist Professional Certification
IBM's Data Scientist career model is based on industry standards developed through working with other companies via The Open Group.  The Open Group  experience-based certification is differentiated from the product based certifications and certificates from courses where a student passes a test.  The standards are vendor-neutral, tool agnostic and methodology-based to ensure that a data scientist is achieving business outcomes through applying skills to real business problems / challenges.  It is a peer-reviewed process that rewards leadership,  profession give-back and mentoring as part of the holistic requirements for certification in the profession.
The Open Group Certified Data Scientist (Open CDS): Open CDS is the industry's most comprehensive certification available for Data Scientists and the organizations that employ them and is designed to verify that Data Scientist professionals have the qualities and capabilities required to produce effective analysis of data for the overall improvement of the business.
  • A distinctive, peer-reviewed, vendor-neutral, globally recognized, portable credential
  • Used by the world’s leading enterprises as an objective measure of capabilities
  • A proven guide for filling critical roles and responsibilities
  • An outstanding career move
IBM's AI Skills Academy (an internal group that develops employee AI skills) helps prepare IBM AI and Data Science professionals through four levels of learning and experiences.  The Foundation level is designed to provide the learner with the foundational courses for the career path and WiDS will be offered as an option in that track for the learners to gain experience and earn leadership, give-back badges in the process. IBM and WiDS together bring the capability to offer global, world-wide, hands on experience to Data Scientist to enhance their career journey. 

With many thanks to Maureen Norton (Global Data Scientist Profession Leader at IBM) for her collaboration and support, and to the WiDS leadership team for their constant innovation.

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