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Shoprite is looking for aspirant data scientists

| On the move

Large retailer Shoprite aims to ready itself for the future by training aspirant data scientists.

Africa’s biggest retail enterprise is calling for people to sign up for an apprenticeship at the Shoprite Group’s Data Science Academy. The Shoprite Group serves more than 35 million customers annually through 16 brands, and employs 147,000 people across 15 African countries.


Applications for the January 2020 intake are open from now until the end of September 2019.

“Data science is a multidisciplinary field that combines mathematics, statistics and computer science to automatically extract knowledge and insights from large amounts of data for the purposes of improved decision making. At the Shoprite Group data sets involve sales, inventory, consumer spending and much more,” it said.

Maegan MacKenzie, one of the academy’s eight apprentices, believes there is no better place to gain experience of data science than at Shoprite: “It provides an incredible environment in which to learn about data science and its applications, while also gaining knowledge about the retail industry,” said the 22-year-old graduate from Stellenbosch University.

A key component is the mentoring each apprentice receives from an experienced data scientist. These mentors act as guides for the apprentices who are given real work problems to which they have to apply the knowledge obtained through the academy or at university.

Included in the curriculum are tools and languages, such as Tableau, SQL, Python and AWS Cloud products, which are routinely required when building data science applications. Apprentices also benefit from job immersion and self-paced project work, which both involve team dynamics and interactions, Shoprite said.

“In addition, they gain exposure to areas such as data validation and exploration, statistical modeling and machine learning across different areas that include pricing and promotions, inventory and waste management.”

To be considered for this programme candidates must already have a postgraduate degree in one of the following fields:

Data Science



Operational Research

Quantitative Management (or similar quantitative degree)

Computer Science

Actuarial Science


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