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Uber launches Data Science Apprenticeship Program

October 3, 2022 / Global

Uber is launching a 6-month Data Science Apprenticeship Program (DSA) to increase representation and hiring from nontraditional and historically excluded communities with technical backgrounds. Based at Uber’s San Francisco headquarters, the program will offer 9 participants the opportunity to break into data science with hands-on training and a curriculum that emphasizes experimentation and learning by doing.

As part of our commitment to fight racism with technology, reflect the diversity of people who connect on our platform, and increase opportunities for talent from historically excluded communities, this is the 4th program we’ve launched in 3 years dedicated to recruiting, training, and hiring talented people from nontraditional backgrounds to join us—first recruiters, salespeople, and engineers, and now data scientists. For our first DSA cohort, participants are expected to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a STEM field and/or 2 years of experience working full-time in a data-related role, with basic knowledge of statistics and SQL.

University of Maryland Global Campus professors will lead the first 3 months of DSA, hosting live training to refresh skills in statistics, analytics, data manipulation, and visualization. Uber’s Data Scientists will lead the following 3 months, deep-diving into defining performance measurements, consumer product experiment design and analysis, and statistical modeling. The program will culminate with a capstone project focusing on a real-life Uber project. At graduation, apprentices will share their projects as a final expedited interview for a full-time role on our Data Science team.

“We’re invested in setting up apprentices for long-term success at Uber and beyond,” says Kim Tamayo, Inclusive Recruiting Program Manager. “That’s why we’ve partnered with the University of Maryland Global Campus to ensure that apprentices have a strong foundational knowledge of data science fundamentals that will benefit them today and tomorrow. They will receive college credits for completed courses and will be eligible for an undergraduate certificate in business analytics from UMGC.” 

Inspired by company-led training programs for systemically excluded communities that focused on engineering and product management, Sara Potgeter, who leads the Data Science Sourcing team for Uber in the US and Canada, saw a gap in similar offerings in the data science space and partnered with Tamayo and Subana Paramuthevar, also from Uber’s Inclusive Recruiting team, to bring the program to life.

“Uber as a company has been extremely data-driven since day one. Our products are in the hands of millions of users around the world, and therefore, we need to use rigorous statistical analysis and experimentation to continuously improve the safety and experience of our global users,” says Potgeter. “However, data science as a function has not been around very long, and the pathway has been less socialized than other technical roles. This has led to less-diverse data science teams when compared to other tech functions.”

“From extracting learnings as we launch new products, to designing and analyzing experiments, to recommending product improvements, Data Scientists at Uber are at the core of our most critical projects, positively impacting our priorities and continuously improving our platform for users. As such, it is crucial for us to have a diverse set of perspectives and inputs in our projects, and we are excited to foster this diversity with the Data Science Apprenticeship Program,”

Lisa Purvis, Senior Data Science Manager

“We are creating this program as an opportunity to encourage people who recently graduated with STEM degrees to pivot to the data science career track,” Potgeter says. “Additionally, there are many talented people who have been working in data science or analytics roles outside of tech who can leverage the DSA program as a foot in the door. This program will emphasize training and hands-on experience relevant to Uber’s 3-sided marketplace.”

Applications are now open through November 3.