The Best Free Data Science Courses to Take

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The Best Free Data Science Courses to Take

As is revealed in discussions on the same over at, organizations from all over the world are now turning to data scientists to help them extract insights from the vast amounts of data they collect, helping them make more accurate predictions and decisions. This means that there is a high demand for skilled data scientists. However, while the demand is high, the supply of talent as far as data scientists go is not enough. This is why you should consider a career in data science given how highly sought data scientists are and the lack of highly-skilled professionals in the market. The good news is that you don’t have to saddle yourself with huge amounts of student loans as the proliferation of online courses, as discussed over at, means that you can enhance your knowledge for a lucrative career in data science. The following are some of the best free data science courses to take.

  • Computer Science and Programming Using Python

This course is offered by MITx on edX and lasts for 9 weeks as outlined in discussions on the same over at It requires one to have a basic understanding of algebra as well as some background knowledge of programming. The course is designed to help students to think computationally and write programs that help tackle real-world analytical problems using Python 3.5. It lays the foundation for more advanced computer science courses. It combines videos, lectures, and problem sets and at the end of the course, students will have a good understanding of computation, Python, testing and debugging, algorithmic complexity, and data structures. Although the course is free, if you want a verified certificate upon completion, you will be required to pay $76.

  • Data Science: Machine Learning

This course is offered by Harvard on edX and lasts for about 8 weeks. The main technological requirement for this course, as covered over at, is an up-to-date browser to enable programming directly in a browser-based interface. The course will teach you some popular Machine Learning algorithms and principal component analysis. Additionally, you will also learn regularization by building a movie recommendation system, giving you exposure to one of the most successful data science techniques out there. By the end of this course, you should be able to use a data set to discover potentially predictive relationships and training algorithms. While the course is free, it comes with an optional verified certificate for just $50.

  • Statistics with Python Specialization

This 8-week free online course is offered by the University of Michigan on Coursera as outlined over at and only requires basic linear algebra and calculus to tackle. It will give you adequate exposure to statistical analysis using Python, and you will learn everything from where data comes from, to the types of data. You will also study data management and how to create and interpret data visualizations. At the end of the course, you should be able to interpret inferential procedures when analyzing real-world data, apply statistical modeling techniques, and get a fair understanding of how to connect research questions to data analysis methods. As is explained over at, the course also comes with a self-paced learning option, allowing you to make use of videos, reading lists, quizzes, and assignments accompanied by peer feedback.

  • Data Analysis & Visualization

Offered by Georgia Tech on Udacity, this free data science course takes about 16 weeks to complete, and requires programming experience as well as basic linear algebra and calculus as covered over at It will introduce you to concepts that will help you analyze complex high-dimensional data without any need for a background in ML. The course covers the state-of-the-art in data modeling and visualization techniques using the R programming language. It uses rich content, interactive quizzes, instructor-led videos, and several case studies, which learners can take full advantage of and study at their own pace with a helpful student support community. This course serves as an excellent springboard to other excellent free courses such as Introduction to Tensor-Flow for Deep Learning and Advanced Android with Kotlin.

  • Data Science Ethics

This is another very useful free data science course to explore, this time offered by the University of Michigan on Coursera, taking only about 4 weeks to complete. As its name suggests, and as explained over at, this course includes exploring the ethical considerations around data science, and particularly the privacy of consumer information, which is of immediate importance in light of recent large-scale data breaches. This course doesn’t require any specific domain knowledge and should be taken by anyone who handles data as it will provide them with a good framework to analyze the most pressing concerns around privacy as well as the broader implications of collecting big data. By taking this course, you will also be able to know who owns data, how to get informed consent, and what it means to be fair, transparent, and accountable. 

These are just some of the free data science courses you should consider taking, with there being more where that came from over at the ever-reliable and