Resources to Improve Your Data Science Skills
By Carly Batist
Photo by Ilya Pavlov
Jobs in the field of data science are becoming increasingly popular. However, they require you to have a particular skillset that might not be built into the curriculum of your graduate program. Taking on the task of learning R, Python, SQL, or other programming languages on your own can seem overwhelming, but there are countless online learning platforms geared towards helping you achieve your goals. This blog post describes six of those resources, including online courses and bootcamps, that you can use to improve your data science skills and enter this growing field.
A Note on Digital Badging
Many of the platforms below have implemented “digital badging” for their courses. Digital badges are certifications that you have completed a course or training module. LinkedIn and Twitter allow you to embed these badges into your profile, and you can also include them on your CV. Host platforms may maintain directories of all users who have been awarded badges so that companies can confirm your credentials. These digital badges are becoming increasingly recognized around the world as markers that an applicant has acquired certain skills and competencies.
6 Resources To Help Improve Your Data Science Skills
Coursera offers many courses and certificates in data science including deep learning, data visualization, biostatistics in public health, and more. While courses are hosted by Coursera, they are developed by universities and companies such as IBM, Google Cloud Platform, and Johns Hopkins. Many are designed to be completed in under a month.
While Coursera does charge a monthly fee after their free 7-day trial, they also offer financial aid. Additionally, all Google courses hosted on Coursera come with a free month of services, and students can get 13 free Google Cloud courses by signing up with their school email.
DataCamp offers courses and “skill tracks” designed to help sharpen your data science skills in R, Python, SQL, git, shell, spreadsheets, theory, Scala, and Tableau. The free subscription to DataCamp includes the first chapters in all courses, 100+ coding challenges and 7 projects. Basic and premium subscriptions allow access to even more.
The completely free Microsoft AI School has a Path Builder tool that creates a personalized lesson plan for you based on your job, existing skills, and what you want to learn. Courses are organized into modules: AI business, conversational AI, AI services, machine learning, autonomous systems, and responsible AI. Microsoft also has funding opportunities for researchers working at the intersection of AI, machine learning, and society (e.g., AI for Good Idea Challenge and AI for Earth Grants).
Google’s Digital Garage offers a free 40-hour course called Fundamentals of Digital Marketing. When you pass, you receive an internationally recognized certificate that you can link to on your professional profiles.
Google also maintains a series of Cloud and Developers certifications that are recognized globally as a gold-standard. Also, check out Grow with Google for free events and workshops, including remote webinars.
The Data Incubator Data Science Fellowship Program is an 8-week data science bootcamp specifically for PhD and Master’s students and is free for admitted fellows. There are weekly mini projects as well as a capstone project in which you build a web application. Professional development opportunities are embedded into the curriculum and include resume building, interview prep, onsite instructors, mentorship from industry leaders, and post-fellowship placement assistance.
Insight’s program is a 7-week post-doctoral bootcamp that is tuition-free and provides need-based scholarships to help cover living expenses. During the bootcamp, you will undergo self-directed, project-based learning under the guidance of top industry data scientists. The program culminates in the completion of a capstone project that you present during job interviews with mentor companies. Many fellows land a job within several weeks of completing the program.