Meet-up: How to educate future scientists for the agricultural sector?

Published on
April 23, 2019

WUR is committed to properly training future data scientists for the agricultural (ag) sector. How do we know as WUR what competences, skills and knowledge these future data scientists should have?

During the first meeting of the Wageningen Data Science Meet-up on the 16th of April 2019, they came together to discuss the skills, competencies and knowledge that data scientists should have. How can data workers continue to work in the ag sector? What implications does this have for the education system? How can WUR further contribute to this?

Two guest speakers from the business world: Jan Willem Kruize from RijkZwaan and Bram Visser from Hendriks Genetica, talked about their experiences with Data Science in agri-food companies. Lucas Grus, Program Director of Education at the Wageningen Data Competence Center (WDCC) presented the newest plans of the WUR to introduce students to Data Science. The discussion at the end - led by Arnold Bregt, dean of Education - and Information Provision, clearly revealed that data is market givers with strong domain knowledge. To become more available at the moment, new Data Science courses have been added to the choice curriculum of Wageningen students.

Main Conclusions

  • Companies have difficulties with finding data scientists with domain knowledge (plant and animal genetics)
  • Soft skills (skills to collaborate) are crucial
  • WUR seems to be on the right track with new proposals for data science education
  • Maybe there is a need for a dedicated WUR data science programme specific for life sciences

This meeting was organized by Campus Connect and Wageningen Data Competence Center (WDCC) of Wageningen University and Research. The next Meet-up about 'Deep Learning' will take place on the 12th of June 2019 in Impulse.