Data scientists work with large amounts of complex data to help improve outcomes for their organizations. They process and analyze the data to derive meaningful, actionable information from it. These interpretations are then used for analysis and decision-making purposes that can be applied within a multitude of work environments.
If you’re interested in becoming a data scientist, it may be useful to complete a data science course. For students who wish to study from home or part time for any reason, taking an online data science course could be a possible option.
Finding the Best Data Science Courses Online for You
Finding the best data science short courses, including the best online data courses, depends as much on the course content as it does on you. When looking for a data science course, you may want to consider your education, which skills you want to learn and the direction you plan on taking your career. For some careers, data science short courses would be adequate, while others might warrant more in-depth training.
What Are Data Science Course Online Topics?
Data science courses’ curriculums vary depending on what you choose to focus on. Some data science courses focus on an overview. In contrast, others consist of more in-depth coverage of subcategories within the field. An in-depth data science course would likely cover more than one subdivision, while data science short courses typically focus on only one, or perhaps two, subdivisions.
The common topics included in data science courses curriculums cover:
- Statistics — deals with collecting and analyzing numerical data in order to draw usable conclusions from it. This subdivision includes probability (i.e., using data to predict the likelihood of something).
- Calculus — the study of rate of change that allows for analysis of quantitative models of change in order to infer consequences from them.
- Linear algebra — a branch of mathematics that deals with data.
- Programming — focuses on writing code; this is often used to automate data processing.
- Machine learning — sometimes relates to artificial intelligence (i.e., the science of engineering intelligent machines). This niche of data science teaches computers to program themselves for specific tasks, and this subdivision includes deep learning.
- Data mining — analyzing data to extract important and relevant information.
- Data visualization — the representation of data in images or charts.
Data Science Courses vs. Certificates
Data science courses offer short courses vary based on what you’re interested in learning. Topics may include machine learning, artificial intelligence, programming in Python or R, and data mining. Courses may take less time than the average graduate certificate programs to complete. Some data science courses take as few as 10 hours to complete and can be done online.
Data science graduate certificate programs usually concentrate on one or two subtopics within data science. Graduate certificate programs in data science typically comprise 12 credit hours. In some cases, the courses offered as part of a certificate program count toward a master’s in data science degree. That means if you have completed one (or more) certificate programs in data science, you may not need to redo these sections if you decide to complete a master’s in data science degree
Whether you decide to complete a data science graduate certificate or a master’s in data science degree may depend on several factors. Consider your educational background, how much time you can dedicate to your studies and your career goals when making this decision.