A Step-by-Step Guide to 32 Life-Changing Short Courses, Including Free and Paid Classes
Data science is a growing field that relates to creating and maintaining digital systems that store and analyze information. One way to learn more about data science is to take a course about the subject. Taking a class about data science can help you better understand basic data science concepts and may connect you to someone in the industry who can hire you for a position. In this article, we discuss what a data science course is and list 10 popular ones that you can take to improve your knowledge of data science.
What are data science courses?
Data science courses are any class or set of classes that teach you concepts about the subject of data science. Many of these courses occur online, though there are some options you may find at your local community college or university. Some topics that data science courses may teach include how to code particular data science programs, statistics, data visualization and data analysis.
10 data science courses
Here are a few courses that can teach you more about data science:
1. Data Science Specialization
Johns Hopkins University hosts this Data Science Specialization course on the digital education site Coursera, which offers free classes with an option to purchase a certification after completion. The course features 10 separate classes taught by actual professors from Johns Hopkins University. It’s a self-paced course, with video and written resources that you can keep after your enrollment.
2. Introduction to Data Science
This Introduction to Data Science course on Metis is a live six-week class meant for beginners that covers basic data science concepts. The live lectures occur twice a week and are accredited courses you can use toward a college degree. There’s also a certification you can receive at the end of the course, which is already a part of enrolling in the course.
3. Applied Data Science with Python specialization
Applied Data Science with Python specialization is an online data science course on Coursera offered by the University of Michigan. It teaches how to perform inferential statistical analysis, create data visualizations, determine if your visualizations are effective and use machine learning to improve the efficiency of your analysis. This course focuses on concepts suitable for intermediate learners and takes around five months to complete, with a certificate when you finish.
4. Data Science MicroMasters
Edx is a website that features MicroMasters programs, which are short courses that help you learn about a subject and can count toward a master’s degree at select institutions. This Data Science MicroMasters, offered by UC San Diego, is for people already familiar with computer and data science. The course features live lectures, interactive assignments and the option to purchase a certification.
5. Data Scientist in Python
Dataquest is a digital learning platform dedicated entirely to classes about data science. One of their courses is Data Scientist in Python, which teaches basic data analysis, web scraping and machine learning. This course includes around 360 hours of data science instruction separated into nine sections. Introductory lessons in the course are free, with further classes and live walkthroughs of assignments costing a subscription fee to the platform.
6. Statistics and Data Science MicroMasters
This MicroMasters course by MIT on the Edx platform is a good course for people with intermediate to advanced knowledge of data science or programming. It covers probability and statistics in addition to data science tools. This instructor-led course lasts around one year and is free, with the option to purchase a certification and graded assignments.
7. CS109 Data Science by Harvard
Harvard University offers a free version of its data science course on a personal website. It features slides and videos on a variety of subjects, such as webscraping, statistical models and exploratory data analysis. While there’s no certification for completing this course, it includes most of the basic concepts and terms you need to start learning about data science.
8. Python for Data Science and Machine Learning Bootcamp
This data science and machine learning course presented by Udemy teaches you how to analyze data with several interactive assignments. It focuses primarily on the practical application of using data visualization and machine learning. The course features 25 hours of video, 13 articles and five downloadable resources, as well as a certificate of completion.
9. Become a Data Scientist
Become a Data Scientist is a course on Udacity recommended for people with some familiarity with machine learning concepts. The four-month long program divides into five sections that each teach data science techniques and concepts. It includes a project at the end of each section created by industry professionals.
10. Data Science Course Online
The staff of IIT Madras, an engineering college in India, hosts an expansive data science course on the learning platform Intellipaat. It lasts seven months and features over 50 live instructional sessions with professors and industry experts. There are also self-paced video learning resources as well as projects and assignments that you can complete.
Things to look for in a data science course
Here are some things you may want to consider when choosing a data science course:
A data science certification can show an employer that you possess knowledge and abilities related to data science, which may increase your chances of getting hired. Many courses include a certification after completing your classes, although some may charge additional fees for this feature. When deciding on which courses to take, consider checking if they have a certification associated with the program.
Some courses may cover the subject of data science more in-depth or include related subjects like statistics, which can take longer and may result in a larger course. How long a course is may matter to you if you have a busy schedule or want a certificate in a shorter amount of time. Try to decide how long you want to take classes in data science and look for courses that match that amount of time.
A data science course can vary in cost depending on the host platform, size of the course and any potential career features, such as a certification or course credit. You can take many courses for free and only need to pay if you want a certification. When selecting a course, think about your career needs and budget to help you decide on what classes to take.
Data science is a complicated topic that includes many levels of expertise. Some courses may require a deeper knowledge of math, programming or statistics than other courses. Before enrolling in a course, try to look at their prerequisites page to ensure you meet their requirements and have enough previous knowledge to gain the most value from the classes.
Some online courses feature only videos and text resources that you can explore independently. Others work in a structured live course environment or a hybrid system that gives you self-guided study with a mentor you can consult. Consider which class form works best for your circumstances and individual learning style, then try to select a course that best fits your needs.
5 data science jobs you can pursue
Here are some careers that you may qualify for after taking some data science courses. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, visit indeed.com/salaries:
1. Business intelligence developer
National average salary: $102,915 per year
Primary duties: Business intelligence (BI) developers are engineers who design and create business intelligence interface. These interfaces help analysts and other roles make business decisions for companies or products. Developers can set the requirements for BI tools, make, implement and maintain software programs, design data warehouses and create documents that help others navigate their interfaces.
2. Data scientist
National average salary: $103,179 per year
Primary duties: Data scientists design and implement data modeling processes for an organization. They can create algorithms, predictive models and visualizations to help people make decisions using their data. While they can occasionally analyze their information, data scientists primarily create processes to model data.
3. Machine learning engineer
National average salary: $116,180 per year
Primary duties: Machine learning engineers create AI programs and algorithms that are capable of making decisions based on previous experience. Common duties include cleaning data, developing code, creating and customizing machine learning applications and documenting their code so others may replicate it. Most machine learning engineers work in teams, either with data scientists or other engineers.
4. Data engineer
National average salary: $116,378 per year
Primary duties: Data engineers design, build and maintain an organization’s data infrastructure to convert raw data into useable information. Structures a data engineer may create can include databases, data warehouses and servers. Other duties a data engineer performs may include assembling large or complicated datasets, identifying possible improvements to existing datasets, use analytics tools to analyze the data and create infrastructure for effective extraction, transformation and loading of data from a source.
5. Application architect
National average salary: $131,951 per year
Primary duties: Application architects supervise the design, development and implementation of software applications. They work with a team to design an application, monitor the application’s development and document any progress or challenges they may encounter. Some application architects may also write code for their applications or run error testing to ensure it functions properly.
10 Top Environmental Science Courses Online (With Benefits)
Many environmental science professionals choose to take online courses to deepen their knowledge on a wide variety of subjects. Continuing your education by taking these types of courses can help you explore new career opportunities and excel in your professional life. If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a climate change activist, environmental scientist, wildlife biologist or environmental manager, then you might be interested in learning about some of the environmental science courses you can take online.
Benefits of taking environmental science courses online
Whether you’re looking to explore a new environmental science topic for the first time or expand your knowledge by learning more about a topic you’re already familiar with, taking environmental science courses online can benefit you. Many professionals choose to enroll in online courses to develop new skills, improve their work performance and impress hiring managers.
If you’re considering pursuing a bachelor’s program in environmental science or going back to school to earn an advanced degree in this field, taking a few online courses first can help you decide whether it’s the right decision. Some additional benefits of taking environmental science courses online include:
Accessibility: Online environmental science courses make it easy for people all over the world to access educational materials from top academic institutions without having to travel to attend classes in person.
Convenience: Taking online environmental science courses online allows you to complete work from a remote location of your choice whenever it’s convenient for you.
Flexibility: Many online environmental science courses allow students to work at their own pace, which can help you balance your other personal responsibilities and work obligations.
Cost-effective: Many of the environmental science courses that are available online offer free versions, with the option to pay for a certificate or college course credit upon completion.
10 online environmental science courses
Learning about some of the top online environmental science courses that are available can help you make a smart decision about your academic future. It can also help you discover which topics each course covers, compare costs and assess enrollment requirements. Here are 10 online environmental science courses you can explore:
1. Backyard Meteorology: The Science of Weather with Harvard University
Harvard University offers a self-paced online course called “Backyard Meteorology: The science of Weather” that teaches students how to use cloud formations and wind directions to develop accurate weather forecasts. This introductory level course is available for free through the platform edX. Students may also choose to pay a fee to obtain a verified certificate after completing this online class. Students who commit between three and five hours per week to this course can complete it within six weeks. A few of the topics you can learn about by enrolling in “Backyard Meteorology: The Science of Weather” include:
Estimating wind speed and direction
Identifying cloud types and features
Collecting and analyzing data to make weather predictions
2. Strategic Communication for Sustainability Leaders with the University System of Maryland
Aspiring sustainability leaders may benefit from enrolling in this online course through the University System of Maryland. Students learn how to communicate effectively with policy-makers, communities and businesses to help them make informed decisions about topics that involve the environment. This beginner-level, self-paced class is available through the platform edX. Students may choose to audit the course for free or pay a fee to receive a certificate.
This course is available in both English and Spanish and typically takes students five weeks to complete if they spend between five to eight hours per week reviewing coursework. Some of the topics you can explore by enrolling in “Strategic Communication for Sustainability Leaders” include:
Data visualization and conceptual diagrams
Science communication tools and strategies
Science presentation techniques
3. Water Supply and Sanitation Policy in Developing Countries with the University of Manchester
The University of Manchester offers a two-part online course called “Water Supply and Sanitation Policy in Developing Countries” which teaches students how to understand complex sanitation challenges and develop effective interventions. This six-week-long beginner course covers 26 hours of material and is available through the platform Coursera. While the presentations and videos are in English, subtitles are available in French, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian.
Students can audit this course to take it for free or pay a fee to earn a certificate. A few of the topics you can learn about by enrolling in “Water Supply and Sanitation Policy in Developing Countries” include:
The political economy of water
Supply-side costs of water and sanitation services
Demand-side issues of water supply
Health benefits and climate change issues
Policy intervention plan techniques
4. Climate Adaptation for Human Health with Yale University
If you want to learn more about how the climate affects human health, then you might be interested in this course from Yale University. Designed for intermediate-level students, “Climate Adaptation for Human Health” focuses on how climate change impacts the wellbeing of various populations in different geographies around the world.
This four-week-long course contains 19 hours worth of material and is available for free on Coursera. Students may also choose to obtain a paid certificate. While the course materials are in English, subtitles are available in French, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian. Some of the topics you can explore by enrolling in “Climate Adaptation for Human Health” include:
Collecting data for adaptation
Assessing adaptation readiness
Developing adaptation action plans
5. Sustainable Food Production Through Livestock Health Management with the University of Illinois
The University of Illinois offers an online course called “Sustainable Food Production Through Livestock Health Management” that highlights the impact infectious diseases have on sustainable food production and discusses solutions to promote animal health through optimal management techniques. This beginner-level course takes approximately six weeks to complete and includes 19 hours worth of educational materials. Students can choose to audit this class for free through the platform Coursera or pay to earn an optional certification.
The course materials are in English, but subtitles are available in Arabic, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Spanish and Russian. A few of the topics you can learn about by enrolling in “Sustainable Food Production Through Livestock Health Management” include:
Genetic, nutrition and environment management for livestock
Common livestock diseases and their impact on sustainability
Animals’ response to infectious diseases
Management plans to limit infectious livestock diseases
Regional, national, international and global food security
6. Solar Energy Basics with the State University of New York
Students interested in learning about renewable energy may benefit from enrolling in “Solar Energy Basics” through the State University of New York. This free beginner-level course introduces students to the fundamentals of solar power and solar panel systems. Completing this course takes approximately 15 hours through the platform Coursera.
Students who meet the course requirements may earn a certification through the State University of New York. While the videos and presentations are in English, subtitles are available in Arabic, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Russian, Spanish, French, Italian and German. Some of the topics you can learn about by enrolling in “Solar Energy Basics” include:
Energy needs and PV system sizes
Photovoltaic market growth
7. Circular Economy: Sustainable Materials Management with Lund University
Lund University offers a course called “Circular Economy: Sustainable Materials Management” for students who want to learn about the materials companies use to create consumer goods. This beginner-level course also highlights what types of materials are the most efficient and how organizations can use them to develop products that last longer. Students can register to take this course for free through Coursera and earn a digital certificate upon completion.
The course contains approximately 19 hours of educational content. The videos and presentations are in English, but French, Italian, German, Spanish, Russian, Arabic and Portuguese subtitles are available. Some of the topics you can explore by enrolling in “Circular Economy: Sustainable Materials Management” include:
Extraction and refining processes
Circular business models
Circular design, innovation and assessment
Policies and networks
8. Global Warming: The Science and Modeling of Climate Change with the University of Chicago
If you’re interested in learning about the science behind climate change, then you might enjoy this course from the University of Chicago. Designed as an introductory-level class for students who are curious about climate change but have a limited scientific background, “Global Warming: The Science and Modeling of Climate Change” explores a wide variety of approaches, including perspectives from chemistry, physics, biology, earth and atmospheric sciences. This online course is available for free through Coursera and takes approximately 39 hours to complete.
Students may receive a digital certificate from the University of Chicago at the end of the course. While the videos and presentations are in English, subtitles are available in Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, French, Italian, German, Vietnamese and Russian. A few of the topics you can learn about by enrolling in “Global Warming: The Science and Modeling of Climate Change” include:
Heat, light and energy calculations
Greenhouse gases and the atmosphere
The carbon cycle
Human impact on the climate
9. Drinking Water Treatment with Delft University of Technology
The Delft University of Technology offers an online course called “Drinking Water Treatment” that teaches students about urban water service and conventional water treatment technologies. Throughout this course, students learn about the chemical, biological and physical processes involved in the water treatment chain. This free seven-week-long course is available through the edX platform. Students may choose to upgrade to a paid version of the course to receive an optional certificate from the Delft University of Technology. Some of the topics you can explore by enrolling in “Drinking Water Treatment” include:
Water quality parameters
Water evaluation criteria
Groundwater treatment processes
Surface water treatment processes
10. Reservoir Geomechanics with Stanford University
If you’re interested in learning about geology, you might enjoy this online course from Stanford University. “Reservoir Geomechanics” is an interdisciplinary course that covers topics such as structural geology, rock mechanics, earthquake seismology and petroleum engineering. Throughout this 10-week-long course, students learn about a variety of geomechanical issues that can occur during the exploitation of gas and oil reservoirs.
This course is available for free through the edX platform. Students may also choose to upgrade to a paid version of the class to receive an optional certificate from Stanford University. A few additional topics you can explore by enrolling in “Reservoir Geomechanics” include:
Pore pressure prediction
Production-induced faulting and subsidence
Changes in reservoir performance during depletion
Hydrocarbon column heights estimation
Fault seal potential