Airbnb has come up with its own university style program for imparting data science education to students. The students being its employees. The company has come up with the program in a bid to cope with the acute shortage of data professionals that is being faced by the industry. The program is called Data University, and it has been tailored to conform to Airbnb’s internal processes.

So the basic aim of the Data University is to make Airbnb’s workforce more data literate — which is a good thing, considering that data is pretty much ubiquitous in today’s age and world. However, getting such a large workforce data-literate is not an easy task and considering the different levels of proficiency everyone had, it was made even harder.

Of course, Airbnb could have gone with an approach often taken by corporations and taken up the services of some instructor, or even online platforms like Udacity or Coursera. However, the company didn’t want to take any risks and it decided to design a course that was tailored around its own internal data and tools and was divided into thee different levels, depending upon the need of the employee.

The program was actually launched in the third quarter of last year. Since then, the company has reported a 50 percent rise in the number of active weekly users of its internal data tools. What’s more, at least 500 employees have taken one or more classes. The company is now planning to expand the classes to all 22 of its ofices spread across the world.

Interestingly, Airbnb has tried to make a data eduction program work several time. However, this is the first time that an instance has actually proved to be successful.

Airbnb is not the only company to have adopted this strategy. Google, for instance, also offers it employees a slew of courses ranging all the way from data to bees. These courses mean that  employees are able to grow in their personal and professional lives, while accruing knowledge that can directly aid the company.

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