Data Science Bursary FAQ

Who can apply?

We welcome applications from South African citizens under the age of 35 who have a grade 12/matric qualification and above average mathematics grade.  We do, however value aptitude, attitude and potential more than grades. Ideally, applicants should have a passion for all things tech and a specific interest in pursuing this as a career.  Applicants may be recent school leavers, have some work experience in an analytical role or may have an existing technical qualification such as software development or computer science.

Why Data Science?

Four megatrends are fundamentally changing the shape of our world:

  1. Vast amounts of data are being generated every minute.
  2. The processing speed of our machines is increasing exponentially.
  3. We now have cloud providers who can store insane amounts of data for a few dollars.
  4. Powerful open source algorithms that can read, write, translate and see are now available to everyone.

Data Science is the skillset used to harness the power of these tectonic shifts in our world. With the Data Scientist’s tool-kit almost any problem can now be solved.

It is no surprise that Data Scientists are one of the most highly paid and in demand skills of the 21st Century. In fact, the job ‘Data Scientist’ was rated the ‘sexiest profession of the 21st Century’ by the Harvard Business Review.

What is the application process?

The first stage in the application process is to create an account and complete the quiz here.  The closing date for applications is 20 November 2019.  If you demonstrate an aptitude for mathematics and logic, you may be selected for an online bootcamp which will take place from 25 to 29 November 2019.  The final stage in the process is a face-to-face interview which will take place in Durban on 3 December 2019. The successful candidates will be notified by 14 December 2019 and the course start date is 20 January 2020.

What will successful candidates receive?

The successful candidates will receive fully-paid tuition to study Data Science and will work towards the completion of a National Certificate: Information Technology (Systems Development) which is recognised as an NQF Level 5 by the South African Qualifications Authority.  Our bursary students will also be paid a nominal allowance while enrolled in the course and receive canteen benefits, group life, dread disease, disability and funeral cover.  During the course, our bursary students will have the opportunity to leverage their skills within our global-facing operation to gain exposure to the practical considerations of working as a data scientist.  Upon completion of the course, our bursary students will be employed within the Ignition Group where they will work alongside the best people and make use of our cutting-edge technology platform.

What are the conditions of the bursary?

Once selected as an Ignition Group bursary student, you need to complete the course within the allotted timeframe (12 months), successfully pass all of the assessments, both theoretical and practical, and then work as data scientist within the Ignition Group for a period of 2 years.  Should you leave for any reason during the 12 month period or fail the course, you will be obligated to repay the full amount that the Ignition Group has invested into the course on your behalf.  If you leave for any reason during the 2 year work-back period, you will need to repay a pro-rata amount to the company.

What is the value of the bursary?

The monetary value of the bursary is R66 660.00.  We, however, believe that the opportunity to receive training in one of the most in-demand jobs and then practice your skill in a dynamic, global-facing operation may be priceless.

What does the curriculum cover?

This course will provide our bursary students with the knowledge, skills and experience to work as a Data Scientist – which requires a mix of programming and statistical understanding. The course will teach our students to gather data, visualise data, apply statistical analysis to answer questions and make their insights and information as actionable as possible.  The fundamentals of the Data Scientist toolkit are covered as well as a broad set of machine learning algorithms.

Why apply for an Ignition Group bursary?

The Ignition Group is a a globally recognised Customer Acquisition, Sales, Performance Marketing and Distribution company, focused on our People and our Partners.  We have embraced the digital age and opportunities presented within the Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Big Data space to improve our Business Intelligence and processes, thereby making our business more adaptable and cutting edge in terms of performance and delivery.  We continuously seek to employ the best in the business and we also work with the best in the business. We create Partnerships with both local and international Telecommunications, Home Services, and Financial Services brands and provide them with our solution-based services.

With the help of our People, we provide our Partners with solutions in the following key competencies:

  • Complete Customer Life-cycle Management
  • Business Applications and Process Enablement
  • Data Science and Machine Learning
  • Brand and Digital marketing
  • Lead Generation
  • Sales

If you are technically competent, are able to devote a year of your time to the course, have the ability to communicate at all levels and are keen to make a difference by using scientific techniques to understand and predict customer behaviour and digital marketing outcomes in a commercial environment, then this opportunity to ideally suited to you.

Who is Explore?

Explore is a next generation Learning Institution that teaches students the skills of the future – from Data Science to Data Engineering to Machine Learning to Deep Learning.  Their Faculty includes some of the world’s most talented Scientists who have experience solving difficult problems on a global stage.

Explore’s philosophy is to teach students how to solve problems in the real world, with an emphasis on teamwork, collaboration and working within constraints, under pressure, with deadlines while understanding context, audience and implementation challenges. As real-world Scientists who have delivered impact in the world of work their faculty is well positioned to deliver these skills.

Explore launched during 2013 and since then has taught 1,000’s of students and solved many problems for businesses across multiple industries across the world. The Ignition Group is excited by their approach to reinventing education and, together, we invite you to join us to change the future for the better.

Where do I apply?

Go to to apply before 20 November 2019.

Are there any other programmes available?

The Ignition Group is planning the launch of a technology academy in partnership with Microsoft during 2020.  Follow us on LinkedIn or email to join the mailing list.

I have other questions, who can I contact?

Email and we’ll get back to you with the answers you are looking for.

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