While data science and data analytics are somewhat new career professions, they remain to be the most critical skills in the advent of big data. A greater challenge faced in the 21st century is the deficit of analytical skills required to process the vast volume of data into valuable information for smart decision making. Filling this gap may or may not be reason enough for you to consider pursuing these two career paths, however, it certainly highlights the need for you to consider it. Today we review four sites offering Data Science and Data Analysis study programs, and what they have to offer to students seeking to pursue these courses.
Data Quest - learn data science with Python and R
Data Quest is a comprehensive study program that has more often than not been equated to a complete university curriculum offering several courses and study paths in Data Science and Data Analysis.
Foundational focus on Python Language for Data Science
Data Quest has seen to have a strong bias towards Python programming language and for the right reasons. While most beginning data scientists prefer Python for its ease of comprehension and readability, python also happens to have an extensive community which is a plus for those opting to hop onboard.
Data Quest still offers modules on R. However, Python has still managed some great reviews among users and is available free online after registration. Other vital modules needed for the everyday data science practice that you’ll find on Data Quest include SQL, git, and the newly introduced Spark as well as basic data analysis, statistics, and machine learning models like regression, classification, command line, and neural networks.
It is also agreeable that beginners hoping to direct their career path towards engineering would prefer a Python start off and then proceed to other courses also offered by Data Quest.
Interactive Learning Platform and Real Practice
This is by far an important offering because data science and analytics are better learned through practice more than theory. At Data Quest, your learning takes place concurrently with the guided exercises using real-life data sets. Basically, the emphasis is on completing these exercises for you to get a grasp of the concept. Here you get an opportunity to build your own projects in order to improve your learning. You can use the same in your portfolio to present before a panel of interviewers.
Resourceful Data Science Community
The Data Quest premium plan offers a great resource in the private slack community for questions within and without the content but certainly within Data Science subject.
Flexible Pricing and Paced Learning
Course pricing allows for paced learning. A monthly fee of $49 applies each month. However, of late Data Quest has introduced a new learning fee at $29 per month for course work. It excludes the project making it pretty flexible for people looking for specifics.
Proof of Data Science Learning
While it may go without saying that certificates should be offered at the end of your learning, not all of them are recognized among data science learning and working institutions. These are available in PDF format and can be downloaded and authenticated.
DataCamp - video tutorials & coding challenges on R, Python, and Statistics
DataCamp, like Data Quest is an online Data science program that has been designed to equip users from foundational to in-depth knowledge.
Data Science Classes and Modules
Data Camp is definitely a great R resource. However, you can still opt for Python still under Data Camp. Perhaps the most distinctive feature about data camp is that it gives you a chance to get a feel of the courses free online before you can decide which one you want to pursue. In essence, all courses have a free introductory bit.
Besides these, there are courses that are absolutely free online like the Free Introduction to R Programming Online Course and Learn Python for Data Science - Online Course which is introductions to R and Python respectively.
Again, you have the advantage of step by step learning from the basics of data manipulation to the more specialized modules in the same area. Moreover, DataCamp has some really good data visualization courses based on R like
- Exploratory data analysis – which lays a solid data visualization Foundation
- Reproducible research - important for reporting purposes in data science
- Practical Machine Learning – This offers valuable lessons on using caret package.
If you intend to pursue data analysis, the Data Analysis and Statistical Inference Module will be a great stepping stone. The DataCamp’s community segment also offers some great resources like Free Data Science and Analysis Training Courses | DataCamp, R plots, and the DataCamp Business course free online.
DataCamp Learning Interface
DataCamp’s learning interface is somewhat different from that of Data Quest. While the latter is pegged on interactive learning the former has tutorial videos which you can make use of any time especially if you prefer self-paced learning. Perhaps of great importance, is that these videos come with subtitles making them valuable across the board. Another plus is that they are quite good for those starting out on coding.
A challenge with video tutorials is that you can easily study lazily. But Data Camp has solved this by packing their courses with practical exercises with real data sets. So, with DataCamp online courses you can learn by doing and not mere listening and writing.
At the end of the day, you deserve personalized feedback and this you will get at DataCamp, to help your progress in your study so you are not just doing it alone.
DataCamp Online Courses Flexibility
Flexibility is a factor many people will appreciate considering not everyone who signs up for data science courses intends to study full time. Flexibility in terms of learning and payment is well appreciable. DataCamp has a monthly and yearly package at $29 and $300 respectively and studies at your convenient pace.
Springboard - Free Online Data Science Curriculum and Data Science Career Track Program
Springboard has boot camp study programs for a would-be data scientist. While the sites above focus purely on data science and analytics study, Springboard goes beyond to offer a Data Science career track program to guarantee you employment after your study. With the Springboard, you can learn online Data Analysis, Programming, R, Statistics, Machine Learning, Visualization, Big Data, Hadoop, MapReduce, Social Network Analysis and more.
Springboard program is ideal for people with an idea of what data science is all about or for the novices in the field who need to grow their knowledge further. However, others can still sign up but must be prepared for an intense coursework.
Mentorship Study Approach
Unlike the other data science online study sites, SpringBoard will match you with a practicing industry expert. An expert will mentor you through the workshops, on a one-on-one basis from the foundational basics of data science incrementally, to the final Capstone project which is a plus to any portfolio. All through, students will get feedback on their computation and technical skills to polish them for their career ahead.
Your study includes a weekly call session with your mentor and unlimited interaction with the student community. In addition, you can take advantage of resident advisors in case you will need extra support.
Data Science Course Outline
The Springboard course outline covers seven units with practical exercises on each of the main data science units.
1: Programming Tools
2: Data Wrangling
3: Data Story
4: Inferential Statistics
5: Machine Learning
6: Advanced Data Visualization
7: Big Data
8: Capstone Project
9: Data Science Career Services
In addition, Springboard offers UX design and Data Analytics courses.
The capstone project is the culmination of the study program. It involves picking out a real world problem with real data for the student to work through to completion. The springboard blog is open to students to enhance their communication skills as they write about their experiences.
Data Science Career Track program
This is perhaps the most outstanding feature in the Springboard study program. Because it guarantees employment in Data Science related jobs within six months of completing course work. If you don’t get a data science job within six months after graduation, you get a full refund of your tuition fee.
In addition to placement, you will also get career advice as well as job preparation guidance in terms of your portfolio review and preparation for the interview from refined career coaches. Here they will have an opportunity to do mock interviews with professionals in the fields, to prepare them.
Big Data University - Learn Data Science and Big Data Fundamentals from scratch
Big Data University founded by the IBM community offers an all free online content to registered users. This is a good self-paced study platform for anyone with a focus on big data. Big data has 6 learning paths as indicated in the image below.
With every complete course, you earn a recognized badge. Most courses are shorter than the ones on Data Quest, Data Camp, and Springboard and would typically run for two to ten hours.
Courses are available in other languages like Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish making them useful across the globe.