DataQuest is a recently launched online data science learning platform for python. The site consists of a gamified series of missions that increase in difficulty as your skills progress. Here are a few other features of the site.
- Sample Code
- Live, Interactive Browser-based Coding Environment
- Step by Step Instructions
- Instant Feedback
- Helpful Forums for Q&A
The site is still under development and the founder, Vik Paruchuri, is looking for help developing more content and missions for the site. If that is something of interest to you, get in touch with Vik via the DataQuest website.
If you are interested in earning a data science certificate, California State University Fullerton has just announced a new data science certificate program.
The program is entirely online and runs 1 course at a time starting in late February 2015. The 5th and final course should complete sometime in late 2015. Thus, the entire program lasts less than a year. Below are some more details on the program.
What do you need to get into the program?
- Bachelor’s Degree in math, CS, stats, business, science, or other related field
- A couple year’s work experience
What type of people should attend this program?
- Someone intested in transitioning to data science career
- Managers whom wish to better understand data-driven decisions
- Programmers and Statisticians looking to become data scientists
- Analysts looking to move beyond Excel
Full Disclosure: I am a member of the Advisory Board for this program.
The University of California at Berkeley just announced a new masters degree in Information and Data Science (MIDS). The program is targeted to be completed entirely online with the exception of a one week visit to the campus. The program has a approximate cost of $60,000 for the 27 required credits. The curriculum looks good. It includes: machine learning, data analysis, visualization, big data processing, and privacy/ethics. The initial class of students will start in January of 2014.
In case you missed the announcement yesterday, Coursera added 12 new universities and over 100 new courses. The exciting part for people learning data science is a new category of courses: Statistics, Data Analysis, and Scientific Computing. None of the courses have started yet. Most are scheduled for this fall or early 2013. The courses look very good.
Are you excited about these new courses?
Last week, Udacity started a course on Introduction to Statistics, Making Decisions Based on Data. This is a beginners level course on statistics, so it should be accessible to everyone. The course consists of seven units, which are intended to last about one week each. Udacity does not enforce any time limits though. Homework problems are also a part of the course, so you will get a chance to practice what you learn.
Udacity is a learning environment similar to Coursera. I would say the presentation is more focused on the web and the experience is a bit more enjoyable. Courses at both sites are taught by professors from top universities and other leading experts in the field. Both sites offer lots of knowledge for free, and I say try them both. Then let you own personal preference decide which you like better.
What do you think about Udacity? Have you tried it?
Yesterday, I posted about some traditional strategies to acquire data science skills. Today, I will post a nontraditional strategy.
There is hoards of data science information available on the internet for free. With enough personal motivation, a person could learn all the skills necessary for free (or cheap) online. Coursera is probably a great place to start. There are also other good sites such as Udacity, the Kaggle Wiki, other blogs and websites.
The problem with this approach is knowing exactly what to learn. A course in machine learning is great, but data science is more than just machine learning. How do you know what to learn? It would be really nice to have a collection of data science topics and the associated online training materials.
Would this strategy work for you?