Data specialists of the future

05 December 2018


by Nainsi McKernan Data and Analytics Senior Associate

Email +44 (0)7872 815453

Technology is extremely important to our rapidly changing business and the world we live in. Our clients’ needs are constantly changing with demand for deep technical expertise in Data and Analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI). With this in mind, and in order to build the best workforce possible for the future, we’ve partnered with two Scottish Universities, the University of Edinburgh and the University of St Andrews, to build a new approach to University studying. In September, we welcomed our first Data Science Graduate Apprenticeship to help support client requirements and help develop the leading Data and AI specialists of the future.

What is the programme?

The Data Science Graduate Apprenticeship is a four year apprenticeship programme in partnership with PwC UK. The students, studying BSc Data Science degrees across both universities, will have the opportunity to put their academic learning into practice throughout their degree via work based learning at PwC. Whilst working, students will gain hands on experience, receive mentoring through buddies and career coaches, and earn a salary from day one.

In September, our Edinburgh office welcomed 17 students for an introductory session, giving them the opportunity to find out a bit more about their apprenticeship and life at PwC. The 17 students will now complete their first year of studies, before returning to the Edinburgh office in June 2019 to begin the first of four periods of work-based learning and apply their knowledge to real-life client problems. Throughout their first year, PwC will support the apprentices with regular coaching opportunities and virtual showcase sessions, providing insights into all areas of technology.

Why did we launch it and who will it benefit?

We recognise that to bring value to our clients, we need to provide the best advice around technological innovation. We need to ensure we’re hiring the best and brightest minds to support our clients’ data and technology challenges of the future. The technology revolution is already transforming how we work, both internally and externally with our clients. Our recent work with New West End Company brought to life our Intelligent Digital approach to data by using advanced machine analytics to help model different ‘what if’ scenarios. In two weeks, our data analysis created a more accurate, valid and reliable picture, helping retailers better understand their customers and gain an advantage in a tough marketplace.

As this transformation gathers pace, we recognise the need to invest today in the workforce of tomorrow.  We launched this programme to develop our workforce of the future and provide students with the opportunity to gain a breadth of technical, relevant work experience with PwC.  Data innovation is core to how our business is evolving and our apprentices will have a front seat as data science transforms the world around us.  

At the launch of the Data Science Graduate Apprenticeship, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of University of St Andrews, Sally Mapstone, noted: “The high-quality education and superb student experience that St Andrew offers, coupled with a course in which engagement with PwC is integrated, offers a new generation a terrific entry into the world of work.’

Nainsi McKernan, PwC Data and Analytics Senior Associate explains; ‘whilst studying statistics at University was a great platform for me to develop my skills - having the opportunity to gain real-life experience throughout university would have been highly beneficial. I would’ve been able to see the many applications of the skills I was developing from much earlier on in my University career, therefore, I encourage anyone interested in Data and Analytics or AI to seriously consider our Data Science Graduate Apprenticeship.’

At PwC, we’re really excited to watch our first cohort of data science apprentices develop their skills and support our clients. To find out more information about the Data Science Graduate Apprenticeship or to apply click here.  

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by Nainsi McKernan Data and Analytics Senior Associate

Email +44 (0)7872 815453