Data Science is no longer simply a trend, it is a necessity for many businesses to handle, analyze, and implement the data generated by our digital society. That is why it is no surprise that data scientists and statisticians are among the top 10 most wanted jobs for 2022. According to U.S. News & World’s report, these two jobs take 6th and 8th position respectively on its 100 Best Jobs List. With the continuously growing demand for data scientists, graduates and experienced professionals alike are turning to online data science courses to lift off their careers in the field. Convenience, affordability, and the growing recognition by employers are quickly turning them into a preferred way of learning for more and more people looking for a gateway into data science.
That said, if you are interested in a career in the field but lack the necessary education or experience, you are probably trying to find a course that will suit your needs while simultaneously arming you with the necessary prerequisites to land your dream job.
If that’s the case, then this article is for you. It will help you assess and choose the right course to learn data science in three easy steps:
- Evaluate your learning goals and needs
- Find a data science course that matches your skill level
- Choose the best educational platform
Let’s dive into the details, shall we?
Evaluate Your Learning Goals and Needs
We all wanted to be something when we were little – fireman, doctor, dancer, etc. Think again the same way but from a data science perspective. What exactly do you want to do with data? Do you want to analyze big data to solve business problems? Or maybe implement machine learning to improve user experience? Fancy a title as a Data Scientist or rather a Business Analyst?
And do you know what each one of them means and encompasses? When it comes to data science, you should be clear about what the job you choose covers in the various industries and fields. This way you will be able to make a well-informed decision. So, picking your title is one part but exploring its characteristics and domain is also an important step.
The field of data science is relatively fluid and offers job opportunities in various domains. Big data analytics, business analytics, machine learning, AI, deep learning, and many more – are all different career paths in data science. However, they are also quite popular and it’s no secret that the competition for data job roles is high. So, begin also by recognizing your strengths. What makes you stand out? What relevant knowledge and skills do you have before entering the data science field? Maybe you are good at analyzing numbers. Or you have strong logic and find it easy to create logical patterns and models. Find what you are good at and how it can be applied to any of the data science domains.
The best data science course is the one that will equip you with the necessary skills for your next career step but also one that you enjoy. Investigate, recognize, and carefully evaluate your capabilities before you invest time and effort into a course that might turn out not to be in your range of interest or difficulty level and therefore, slow down your progress.
Not sure what your main interest is? Programs like 365 Data Science offer 30- to 40-minute from each of their beginner-to-advanced online data science courses for free. In that way, you can choose your career path accordingly by exploring everything from statistics and data visualization to programming, machine learning, and deep learning.
Find a Data Science Course that Matches Your Skill Level
Another crucial aspect when picking a data science online course is to be realistic and honest about your knowledge and skill level before enrolling. Don’t skip steps and start with advanced specialized topics like Credit Risk Modeling in Python or Data Preprocessing with NumPy if this is your first encounter with data science. Going too deep without the necessary theoretical and practical foundation is literally like diving into the deep blue ocean without an oxygen mask, goggles, and equipment. You will not be able to navigate through your surroundings which will discourage you and push you to go back to the surface.
And there is in fact so much to explore! That’s why, if you are a fresh graduate who is just initiating their journey through data or a professional with a career outside the field, start with a data science course for beginners like Introduction to Data and Data Science or Data Literacy. This way you will build a comprehensive understanding of the fundamental terms, key programs for data handling, and effective interpretation of data, plus its main applications in the business world paradigm. That means you will be able to understand the fundamentals of the environment which goes a long way. Not to mention you will also enjoy the learning process more.
Choose the Best Educational Platform
As we already mentioned, there are plenty of online courses and platforms out there. But apart from selecting your course of interest, you also need to consider the practicalities such as:
- Course instructors and their expertise
- Fellow students’ reviews
So, let’s look at what you should be aware of before making your decision.
Does the Platform Provide Industry–recognized Certificates?
Just like any other study program you take, many online data science courses also provide you with certain certificates after completion or passing an exam. Certificates not only work as a seal of accomplishment but are also a great way to demonstrate your desire for learning, development, and progress. They help boost your resume with extra competence points and credibility in the eyes of employers. After all – your knowledge is certified.
365 Data Science, for example, awards students with verifiable course and career track certificates after they successfully complete the necessary exams, making them fully prepared for specific data science job positions, such as data scientist, data analyst, and business analyst.
Who Leads the Courses?
Course certificates often guarantee the quality of the course. But there is an added value to each course that goes beyond certification.
It is important who the instructors are and how they teach the courses. Are they professionals with plenty of experience? Do they have a track record of successful projects for renowned companies? Are their teaching methods proven more effective than others? By all means, you want to learn from proven professionals in the field, so make sure you check all the available information out there.
What do the Reviews Say?
Going through the reviews section of the course you are interested in is a crucial step in choosing the best data science course for you. See what others have to say about the content, teaching methods, and practical application of the course. You will always find insights, recommendations, and even inspiration from the people who are already on the path to your desired career.
How to Choose the Right Data Science Course for You: Next Steps
Choosing the right data science course might strike you as challenging but fear not – just like any new endeavour, it is easier than it initially seems. Take it step by step. Map your plan, write it down even, and visualize your career path. This will help you discover what to look for in your data science course.
Most importantly, remember that you can’t learn it all at once. It takes time and continuous practice, so be patient with yourself. Data science jobs demand constant learning. If you put enough consistency and effort, in time, by gradually mastering the necessary tools and techniques, you will grow in your desired career.
Looking for a good starting point? The 365 Data Science Program offers self-paced courses led by renowned industry experts. Starting from the very basics all the way to advanced specialization, you will learn by doing a myriad of practical exercises and real-world business cases. If you want to see how the training works, start with a selection of free lessons by signing up below.