Data Science Training Programs

Jan 18, 2018

 With data scientists in high demand, lots of training programs have started up to help people learn the skills necessary to enter the profession. I’m guessing many of you may have made a New Year’s resolution to learn/improve your data science skills, and thought a post identifying the numerous programs would be helpful. I spent a fair amount of time in 2017 researching the various data science training programs available and have categorized these programs by price, payment structure (flat fee, subscription, per class), and curriculum (structured vs ala carte). Please keep in mind I am not ranking these training programs, just categorizing them.

 For the complete list with basic details and pricing of each program, check out this dataset.

Data Science Training Programs

 Gateway Drugs: Free, ala Carte Courses

These programs allow you to select and take free data science courses. Kaggle’s kernels are very useful for picking up specific data science skills, whereas Data 36 provides more generalized courses. Both provide an easy way to get a basic familiarization with data science skills and Kaggle is great for picking up specific skills. Udacity actually uses their courses as a gateway to their paid nanodegree programs and you can take quite a bit of the content for free.

Enter the Dojo: Free Training Programs with Structured Curriculum

Two variations of the free program with structured curriculum are available. The first I’ll cover is general introduction to data science programs. These include Allison, Future Learn, edX, and Cognitive Class. All provide a structured sequence of courses you can take to learn various aspects of statistical analysis programming. Future Learn and edX charge for certifying completion of their programs, but otherwise is free. The second type is programs like Insight and Data Incubator target, which are for science Ph.D.s transitioning from their fields into data science. Both offer highly intensive data science boot camps to build on the statistical skills acquired in a Ph.D. program. Both programs then serve as recruiters placing their students with companies. They make their money on the program from the recruiter fees (remember if its free, you’re the product). Cool win/win idea for recovering academics.

Training Buffets: Pay per Course

Several programs allow you to select data science training courses and pay per course. These programs often have a large catalog of courses and are reasonably priced ($7 - $10 per course). Data Oragami, Udemy, and some Udacity content are available on a per course basis. Good way to try a few classes to see if data science is right for you or pick up some specific skills. Dataversity also follows this model, but at a much higher price point ($79 - $129 per course). District Data Labs also offers a premium offering focused on corporate training ($25 per participant).

 Subscribe Now! Structured Curriculum with Paid Subscription

These data science training programs provide a structured curriculum with multiple learning paths for a low monthly rate. Coursera, Data Camp, Dataquest, Lynda, and O’Reilly all follow this model and offer monthly subscriptions from $25 to $50 a month. These programs incentivize you to hustle since you can learn at your own pace and the faster you move through the content, the less you pay. Data Camp and Dataquest appear to be some of the more popular in the data science community.

Old School: Structured Curriculum with Upfront Tuition

Not surprisingly, this old school model is the most prevalent way to offer data science training. Udacity is perhaps the king of this space offering the best value with good content in a structured course sequence ($499 - $699). The price goes up from there from $699 (Simplilearn Data Science) to $8500 (Thinkful). Brain Station, General Assembly, K2 Data Science, Springboard, and The Institute for Statistics Education all fall somewhere between these two price points. These programs typically differentiate themselves from the Subscribe Now! programs by offering one-on-one mentors that can help you through the program. If the one-on-one matters to you, this is the way to go. Otherwise, I did not see a lot of difference between the tuition and subscription based models. In fact, Springboard actually uses Data Camp’s content.

I do not have university courses identified here. If you’ve got plenty of time and money to burn, check out this dataset listing all university data science programs.

 If I’ve missed a program or there's any inaccuracies, please shoot me an email.