UNIONBANK of the Philippines, Inc. launched the third batch of its Data Science Development Program last month that aims to educate students and young professionals on the use of data and artificial intelligence (AI) in various industries.

The XCELLERATOR Data Science Development Program was launched in February and has had two batches with a total of 261 participants, UnionBank said in a statement on Wednesday.

More program runs are planned for 2023, it said.

“The field of Data Science and AI is brimming with opportunities with its diverse applications across functional areas and industries,” UnionBank Artificial Intelligence and Innovation Center of Excellence (AI and Innovation CoE) Head Adrienne G. Heinrich was quoted as saying.

“The XCELLERATOR Data Science Development Program is designed to instill a data-driven mindset among the participants and build their Data Science and AI capabilities that can be applied to address real-world problems and unlock new opportunities,” she added.

XCELLERATOR is a free six-week course that aims to introduce data science foundations and principles, in line with the bank’s “Tech-up Pilipinas” advocacy that looks to promote improved technological literacy among Filipinos.

The program involves both hands-on and remote learning, as well as a final capstone requirement. It has four main modules: Foundational Topics, Data Analytics and Preparation, Machine Learning Techniques, and Data Science Applications.

Exemplary participants may earn a place in UnionBank’s AI and Innovation CoE team.

The bank said the first batch of the program ran from February to March and included students from Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, and University of the Philippines, as well as UnionBank and Aboitiz Group employees.

Meanwhile, the second batch ran from May to June and involved students from the Asia Pacific College.

UnionBank said the program had a satisfaction rating of 4.5 out of 5 from the students.

“As a trailblazer in data science in the Philippines, we at UnionBank have the collective goal of upskilling and ‘tech-ing’ up professionals and aspiring data scientists in the country,” UnionBank Chief Human Resource Officer Michaela Sophia E. Rubio said.

“We highly encourage students, young professionals, and even those with limited access to education in the upcoming field of data science, to join future batches of XCELLERATOR’s Data Science Development Program under AI & Innovation CoE’s mentorship,” she added. — AMCS