Online courses and masterclasses are no joke. With bountiful resources available such as EdX, SkillShare, and even YouTube, you can pretty much study anything and become an expert. However, one particular field has gained a lot of recent interest – data science. There is a booming market for data scientists, and they’re in high demand in almost every industry. Data science is essentially bringing together stats and – well, data into an analysis which uncovers important patterns that let firms make informed operational and logistical decisions for their company.
A lot of people have managed to completely pivot their careers towards data science given the large number of data science courses available online. They range in price and commitment level from free masterclasses to online degrees. We’ve done our research at Lloyd and found some online course options for those who may be interested in pursuing data science as the next step in their career.
Two options for data science courses are actually full-time online master’s degrees.
- UCL’s data science master’s program is full time, typically with a start date at the end of September and lasts for one academic year. This is the only course we came across with a prerequisite – a bachelor’s degree in a quantitative field. The course is part time over the course of 2 years, and comes with a hefty price take of 175,500 pounds.
- UC Berkeley also offers an online master’s degree in Data Science. The program consists of 27 units priced at $2,712 USD per unit, totaling to $73,224 USD for the entire program. There are flexible paths a student can take to finish the degree. The accelerated option requires 3 courses per semester for completion in approximately 12 months. The standard option requires 2 courses per semester for completion in approximately 20 months. Finally, a decelerated path allows for one course per semester (after the first term) for completion in about 32 months.
An online master’s is a major commitment, but we’ve found a few offerings that are slightly less expensive and with a shorter time commitment but still offer a great in-depth learning opportunity.
- MIT’s “micromaster” course in data science is prerecorded, with an audit available. Each of the four total courses are self-paced, and the total price tag comes to $26,820 USD for the entire program. There is a new intake of students every year, and this option is best for those who really want to take a deep dive into data science and are committed into this career path.
- The Lambda School is a popular option due to its flexible payment structure. Aside from a set $30,000 USD price tag specific to California, the program is based off your post-graduation earnings and is paid in 24 monthly installments of 17% of your monthly income. However ,the program require a large time commitment with an investment of about 40 hours per week and is 24 weeks long.
- FlatIron School offers an online data science bootcamp which boasts an impressive 95% employment rate and 83k starting salary for those who graduated from the program. The full-time program is 15 weeks with 9 hours of work a day, though flexible durations of 20, 40, or 60 weeks are available. Start dates are varied. This program will set you back a $500 USD deposit and $16,900 for total tuition.
- This Is Metis is similar to FlatIron School and offers online flexible part time courses that are 20 weeks long, with a 15-20 hour time commitment per week. A full-time version of the same course lasts for 10 weeks, with a 35-40 hour time commitment per week. The program is slightly cheaper than Flat Iron School’s program at $14,500 total.
Other offerings come from online subscription based learning services with a much lower cost than those seen from official online master’s degrees.
- EdX offers their own version of a data science course for free – though those who choose to go for the free audit track do not leave the program with a certificate. Only the first session is available before a payment of $79 USD is required. The program is 6 weeks long with a time commitment of 4-6 hours per week.
- Another offering from the EdX website is co-hosted by UC San Diego. This course has a higher time commitment as it’s 10 months long at 9-11 hours per week, though the price is quite fair for the amount of content you’ll be covering – the whole program will only set you back $1,260 USD.
- UC Berkeley has their own version of a data science online course. The program is 6 weeks long with a time commitment of 8-10 hours per week on a flexible schedule and will set you back $2,850 USD.
There are also courses that come with a monthly or annual billing cycle.
- Data Camp’s online offering includes 15 videos and 48 exercises, with a free basic option that allows you to try out one course. Otherwise, it’s $25 per month and comes with problem set answers for more efficient self-study.
- Coursera’s IBM data science course has a relatively lengthy time commitment at 11 months long with 3 hours per week, but the schedule is flexible and there are no prerequisites necessary. After a 7 day trial, the cost will either be $439 USD for a single installment payment or $39 USD per month, cancellable any time. A major benefit is that this course offers subtitles in eleven languages though the language of instruction is still English.
- Lastly is Strata Scratch is a unique platform that offers data science interview questions and may be a good investment alongside a data science course. The website offers hundreds of updated practice questions, coding workshops, and discussion boards. A lifetime subscription will set you back $199 USD, a yearly subscription $99 USD, and a monthly subscription $29 USD.
Some quotes to help you with your decision:
We’ve interviewed some Lloyd members and Lloyd friends about their experiences studying data science and working in the industry. If you’re looking for some guidance about which course to pursue, here are some perspectives that may help your decision process.
What’s great about the myriad of online course offerings is that there’s a price range and commitment level suitable for almost anyone interested in shifting their career focus towards one in data science. The choice really depends on your preferences – would you rather have more guidance, support, and an official degree after completing educational training in data science? If cost isn’t a major concern, then maybe a master’s degree program would be suitable for your needs. If you like the idea of a self-paced education with a much lower price tag, but less guidance and more pivots between programs along the way, participating in several basic online courses over a longer period of time may be right for you.
Overall, there is a lot of freedom in the realm of data science courses, as well as pursuing data science projects on your own time. Any thoughts or feedback on this article? Let us know!
Closing Remarks from Daniel Taylor:
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