Best Online Data Science Courses

Data Science is becoming more and more promising these days. Almost every huge company has at least one such specialist or even a team of data scientists. One of the main reasons behind this rising popularity is the massive data availability nowadays and the need to get the biggest benefit possible out of it. 

Average Data Science Salary

Below is a median salary based on the level of proficiency (According to the 2018 Burtch Works study).

  • Junior Data Scientist – $90,000
  • Middle Data Scientist – $130,000
  • Senior Data Scientist – $170,000

Among the related roles with a similar salary level are a data analyst and big data engineer.

Main skills needed to become a Data Scientist

  • Math (multivariate calculus & linear algebra)
  • Probability & statistics
  • Knowing at least one programming language like Python, Saas, R, and SQL as the most widespread ones
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Cleaning, analyzing, and visualizing data
  • Machine learning

So, let’s proceed to the main part – how can you obtain those skills needed for becoming a data scientist? To answer this question, we have gathered the best online courses which can help a person to build one of the above mentioned skills or get all of them in one course.

Criteria to for the Course Choice

Let’s make it clear how we have picked out the courses for this list.

  • Course’s structure. It’s essential that the course includes main topics needed to build data science skills that are on demand. It also has to have a logical flow of all needed topics. 
  • Projects. The program needs to include solid projects to put the information into practice.
  • Course’s author/instructors. It is an industry professional or a trusted institution.
  • Year of creation/update. Data science is a very dynamic field, so the course has to be up-to-date.
  • *Price. We have considered the price, however, it wasn’t among our main criteria as the quality and structure of a course is more important.

We have also added the reviews available online about each course to make the information more representable.

So, below is the list of best online courses to become a data scientist. They all were updated in 2019-2020. 

In our list, all programs are sorted by the price, from the lowest to the highest.

Top 10 Data Science Online Courses

1.The Data Science Course 2020: Complete Data Science Bootcamp (Udemy)

This course is a good choice to learn everything in one place at a low cost. This course includes many lessons on statistics (both a beginner level and advanced) and robability, Python, machine learning and other topics. The course is self-paced, you can enroll and learn at any time.

  • Topics covered: Math, statistics, Python, Tableau, machine learning 
  • Duration: 28.5 hours of video content
  • Price: current cost with the discount is $14.99 (full cost is $149.99) 
  • Author: 365 Careers company
  • Created/Last updated: August 2020

“I really enjoyed this course. It is jam-packed with a good balance of technical and practical information. I think the course does an ok job covering the scikit-learn package; however, there’s a ton of content in this package that could be expanded both covering supervised and unsupervised problems…”

Review of the Udemy’s user about the course

2.Data Scientist with Python by DataCamp

This program comprises of 23 single courses that cover beginner and intermediate-level Python topics as well as how to clean up, analyze and visualyze data, building machine learning models and others. This program also includes a lot of projects like the analyzing impact of gender on police behavior, prediction of credit card approval, and many others.

  • Topics covered: Python and its libraries NumPy, Pandas, Seaborn, and Matplotlib, statistical techniques, machine learning, NLP
  • Duration: 2 months (10-12 hours per week)
  • Price: $149 ($13 per month, however, actually it’s $149 as it’s billed annually)
  • Instructor: Hugo Bowne-Anderson, Data Scientist at DataCamp
  • Certificate: Yes.
  • Prerequisites: None.

“I must say that the course is kinda nice for the beginners and provides a brief instruction to the Data Science with Python, but for more detailed purpose I suggest you to read some books and watch some videos on YouTube.”

From the reviews on Quora

3.Data Scientist in Python by Dataquest

This program is built of 30 single courses that covers such topics as programming with Python and the main other tools and techniques for working with data. It also includes a number of projects like predicting the stock market, building a custom spam filter among other ones.

  • Topics covered: Python and SQL, probability and statistics, data analysis, visualization, data mining, web scraping, and APIs, machine and deep learning
  • Duration: not mentioned directly but approximately 4 months (10 hours/week).
  • Price: $49 per month
  • Instructor: No information.
  • Certificate: Yes.
  • Prerequisites: None.

4. IBM Data Science on Coursera

This program includes 9 courses from introductory ones on what Data Science is, its tools and methodology to Data Analysis and Machine Learning with Python. This program also has a capstone project as the last course.

  • Topics covered: Python, SQL, data analysis and visualization, statistical analysis, predictive modeling, machine learning algorithms
  • Duration: 10 months
  • Price: $390 ($39 per month)
  • Instructor: Alex Aklson, Ph.D., Data Scientist, and 6 other instructors
  • Certificate: Yes.
  • Prerequisites: None.

One of the reviews says, “It was not that difficult to complete per se. But take in mind I was studying the whole day to finish the course as quick as possible so 12+ hours a day and I have 3 years of experience with python and programming.”

5. Data Science Specialization on Coursera

This is a ten-course program by Johns Hopkins University. It comprises such topics as programming with R, Reproducible Research, Linear and particularly Regression models and others. The program also includes basics of creating data products and the final step is completing a capstone project.

  • Topics covered: R, regression models, statistics, cleaning and summarizing data, machine learning
  • Duration: 11 months
  • Price: $429 ($39 per month)
  • Instructor: Jeff Leek, PhD, Associate Professor, Biostatistics at Bloomberg School of Public Health and 2 other instructors.
  • Author: Johns Hopkins University
  • Certificate: Yes.
  • Prerequisites: None.

From the reviews, “Overall I’d recommend it if you’re completely new to data science. If you already have a good understanding of some of the fundamentals, and have played with R, then you probably don’t need half the classes.”

6. HarvardX’s Data Science on edX

This program is a long term self-paced and includes 9 single courses to build data science skills. The main programming language a student will learn for this purpose is R. As well, a person will learn data analysis techniques and statistical concepts. Additionally, the course includes a number of case studies like Trends in World Health, The Financial Crisis of 2007-2008, Movie Recommendation Systems and others to practice analytical skills. 

Among the reviews was the following one, “I’m enrolled at Harvard’s one, which is okay (the assignment system sucks at times), but the dude explains the topics pretty nicely.”

  1. Topics covered: R (using RStudio), Probability, Data Visualization and Wrangling, Linear Regression, Machine Learning, Unix/Linux, git and GitHub 
  2. Duration: 1 year 5 months (1-3 hours/week)
  3. Price: $441.90
  4. Instructor: Rafael Irizarry who is a Professor of Biostatistics Harvard University
  5. Certificate: Yes, after the completion.
  6. Prerequisites: None.

7.MITx’s Statistics and Data Science on edX

This MicroMasters program is a long-term program that requires on average 12 hours per week. It is built of four single courses and includes assignments as well as exams which have specific due dates. This program provides a person with the needed knowledge and skills in data science, statistics, and machine learning. After the completion, a person can get a job as a Data Scientist or Data Analyst, Business Analyst, or Data Engineer.

  • Topics covered: statistics and probability, data analysis in Social Science, machine learning with Python
  • Duration: 1 year 2 months (10-14 hours/week)
  • Price: $1,350
  • Author: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Instructor: 15 professors from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MITx)
  • Certificate: Yes, upon passing a virtually-proctored capstone exam.
  • Prerequisites: None.

“All videos are pre-recorded and posted sometimes weeks in advance. You can watch and take tests anytime. There are weekly deadlines, midterms and final exams. Don’t know your background, but these courses required intense involvement, up to 3 hours a day, including weekends, to stay up to date.”

It’s the review on Reddit

8. Data Scientist by Udacity

This program consists of 5 courses with the last one as a set of projects to complete (tasks like dog breed classification, calculating business metrics for Starbucks and others). This program is designed to teach Python for data analysis and machine learning, and it also includes some less common topics for data science specialization like NLP (natural language processing) and web development basics. 

What is also different with this course, it covers also such topics as communication with stakeholders and presenting data analysis outcomes to the audience – there’s even a separate task to write a blog post using findings after the analysis. 

  • Topics covered: Python and its libraries pandas and scikit-learn, web development with Flask, Plotly, and the Bootstrap frameworks, machine learning, natural language processing, experiment design and A/B testing
  • Duration: 4 Months (10 hours/week)
  • Price: $1356 ($399 per month)
  • Instructor: Josh Bernhard, Data Scientist at Nerd Wallet and 6 other instructors.
  • Certificate: Yes
  • Prerequisites: math and statistics as well as basics of Python and SQL.

“It’s an advanced course in my opinion (better than the Data Analyst nanodegree).”

From the Reddit reviews

9. Data Science Immersive Online by General Assembly

This program is a full-time online bootcamp for intermediate-level students. It comprises of such topics as Python programming, machine learning, neural networks and NLP. Though there are prerequisites as knowing Python fundamentals, the first chapter of this program includes courses on basic Python topics. However, there isn’t a deep dive into basic topics like math, statistics and probability.

  • Topics covered: Python and its libraries NumPy, Matplotlib and Seaborn, SQL, GitHub, web scraping, building machine learning models, natural language processing, neural networks  
  • Duration: 4 months
  • Price: $15,950 (it can be divided into three payments for $5,317 each)
  • Instructor: Christoph Rahmede, Riley Dallas, Matt Brems.
  • Certificate: Yes
  • Prerequisites: strong mathematical foundation and familiarity with Python fundamentals.

“I was a strong programmer in python, matlab, and c++. I found the course incredibly easy and was able to finish most projects in class (we had an hour or so each day to work on it). Those with less experience struggled….”

From the reviews on Reddit

10. Data Science Immersion by Thinkful

This program is a full-time online bootcamp which is focused primarily on Python, data analysis and conducting experiments as well as on machine learning. However, it does not have topics that reveal math, statistics or probability so it would be better if you have already this knowledge. Thinkful doesn’t have this as prerequisites; meanwhile, there is a tech evaluation as a part of the application process so you will get more information on your readiness.

  • Topics covered: Python and SQL, machine learning (supervised and unsupervised learning), Deep Learning using Tensorflow and Keras, Big Data and Spark
  • Duration: 5 months.
  • Price: $18,500
  • Instructor: No information.
  • Certificate: Yes.
  • Prerequisites: None.

“If you’re thinking of doing Thinkful, please make sure that you absolutely adore your mentor, as that will be the determining factor of finishing the program.”

Among the reviews on Thinkful

Wrap-up

So, that’s it. You can choose your online data science course based on the programming language you prefer to utilize (basically Python or R), your prior knowledge, course’s structure and, of course, the price – not all the options on the list are affordable for everyone. 

Finally, keep in mind that Data Science is a very demanding job and it requires a lot of technical knowledge and skills. So, remember this before you start as to become a data scientist you will need to put a ton of time and effort. 

2 Comments
  1. Hi there! Nice article, thanks. I am just wondering, what do you think about the course on Udemy called ‘Machine Learning A-Z™: Hands-On Python & R In Data Science’?

    • Hi, yes, we have considered it when preparing this article. This course is very good and we’ve decided to include it into a separate article with a list of the best machine learning courses. So check out for the updates.

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