Tag Archives: Coursera and Udacity

becoming a Data Scientist — more resources online

The online world is exploding with tutorials, how-to manuals and free resources to help you get into the world of Data Science. In the last 5 months I have seen the addition of so many new MOOCs – looks like every university wants to make sure they don’t get left behind. But this is great news for the consumers- most of these programs are pretty darn good!

Newer offerings on Coursera, Udacity and EdX:                                                                                         In addition to JHU’s Data Science Specialization, here is a partial list of more “data related” specializations (which typically consist of 4-10 courses followed by a project) ie “mini degrees ” you can rack up. Coursera offers “Specializations“, Udacity offers “Nanodegrees” and EdX offers “XSeries“:

Also a  host of new short “paid” programs have sprung up. theses are typically 6-12 week long bootcamps. They typically range between $10,000-$15,000 and can be competitive to get in.

Here is a link to a bootcamp finder in the city of your choice for a price that works for you! And here is another link great link List of data sciencebootcamps

The Data Science Apprenticeship is free, and another way to go. They have  a really nice comprehensive list of Data Science Resources and a cool cheatsheet.

Data Science- learning from MOOCS’s…

Coursera has changed my life. My husband calls me a MOOC junkie. For the uninitiated, MOOC’s are “Massive Open Online Courses” and for me when I decided I wanted to switch fields, they were a godsend. There a lot of them around now, but in my opinion, the best ones by far are:

For statistics, machine learning, artificial intelligence and computer science; these places can give you a great education for almost free. When I first started; about 18 months ago, they are all new and free. Coursera came out of Stanford, Udacity also from an ex-Stanford professor and edX by Harvard/MIT on the east coast. Interestingly enough, there have been free courses available online for a long time: Stanford Online,  Carnegie Mellon University’s Open Learning Initiative , UC Berkeley’s lectures on YouTube, and MIT’s OpenCourseWare (OCW). But they never really caught on like Coursera and Udacity did.  So some of the classes I have taken on Coursera, which I think have helped me in this new field:

Machine Learning
Data Analysis
R Programming
Natural Language Processing
Mathematical Biostatistics Boot Camp 1
Introduction to Data Science
Algorithms: Design and Analysis, Part 1
Introduction to Recommender Systems
Core Concepts in Data Analysis
Social Network Analysis

About six months ago they offering “Certification Programs” in certain areas and Johns Hopkins University  has a nine-course certification at $49 a course. Rice University offers a great certification called “Fundamentals in Computing” , which is all done using python. Their courses are quite challenging. EdX has some great courses too:

Learning From Data
Introduction to Statistics: Probability
Introduction to Statistics: Descriptive Statistics
Introduction to Statistics: Inference

All the above courses, have a fixed schedule, like a regular class. You have assignments due every week, lectures to listen to, reading to do -so its not “self paced”. Some of the courses have been quite demanding and time consuming – but very rewarding. There are course projects that are then”peer assessed” based on a rubric that you are provided -its not perfect ; but it works rather well I think.

Udacity has a different model. They are “self paced”- they used to be free but a few months ago added a paid option where you can “check in” with a coach; and have your work reviewed.  I thought they were a bit expensive ~$150/month.  I prefer to be given deadlines that set them my self! They have a lot of Data Science courses as well.