Research Papers

Document Type

Conference Paper


This research paper presents the results of the first evaluation of the learning experience, challenges and opportunities of the Certificate in Computer and Data Science (CDS). Specifically, it evaluates two different real-life experiential learning opportunities (ELOs): supervised internships and self-guided projects.

MIT Emerging Talent, an initiative that expands upon the efforts of the MIT ReACT (Refugee Action Hub), provides talented learners a platform to advance their skills, leverage their expertise, access a professional career, and become leading change agents in their communities. The CDS is a 12 month-long online learning program that opens education to employment pathways for emerging talent, including refugees, displaced populations, and underserved communities worldwide. The program combines rigorous academic curriculum, immersive skills workshops, networking events, mentor support, and experiential learning opportunities to provide learners with the knowledge, hands-on skills and experiences needed to accelerate their learning and professional journeys.

Quality education, work readiness, networking, and local support are critical for emerging talent to overcome the challenges they currently face and grow personally and professionally. Programs offering such opportunities and their impact are still poorly studied. In this paper we present the complete CDS learning journey and results from surveys and interviews to learners and program staff regarding the supervised internships and the self-guided projects. The paper concludes with recommendations and future steps.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.