Aspiring Data Scientist! Here are 8 free online courses to start…

If you are a Data Scientist, you need to know 3 major areas:

  1. Coding
  2. Statistics
  3. Business

Fortunately there are free courses for all the 3 around the internet. I am going to collect them here. (Note: I personally tested all of them. They are great!)

Coding

When it comes to data+coding, you need to learn 3+1 languages. These are: Python, SQL, R. And before you do this, I really suggest you to start with the Command Line.

KDnuggets’ famous poll about the 3 data languages

Command Line:

This is the perfect language to do quick and dirty analyses. It’s also very flexible, so it’s especially useful for startups, where the structure of data could change really fast.

Free course1: https://data36.com/learn-data-analytics-bash-scratch/

Free course2: https://www.codecademy.com/learn/learn-the-command-line

I loved this course, because it’s interactive and it gets to the point. It’s a bit short, though. If you want to go further, this is your book (but it’s not free): http://datascienceatthecommandline.com

Python:

Python is very popular in Machine Learning, predictive analytics and text-mining. Some of the greatest Big Data languages (like Spark) have their own Python layers as well.

Free course: https://www.codecademy.com/learn/python

Free book: https://learnpythonthehardway.org/book/

Not free, but really great data+python book: Python for Data Analysis

R:

Worst name for anything, it’s not even googleable, right? :-) But, it’s a very useful language designed by mathematicians for mathematicians. It has a lot of statistical packages, too.

Free course: https://www.datacamp.com/courses/free-introduction-to-r

SQL:

The most used query language. SQL is like Excel on steroids, but without the graphic interface. In exchange it “eats” and processes much more data much quicker, than any spreadsheet. I’d say, every company, who does anything with data, use SQL at some part of its data infrastructure too.

Free course1: http://www.sqlcourse2.com/intro2.html

Free course2: https://www.codecademy.com/learn/learn-sql

Free course3: SQL for Data Analysis — on data36

Free course4: http://sqlzoo.net/

A nice GitHub depo: https://github.com/zoltanctoth/smalldata-training

Practice:

And if you want to practice (maybe because you are trying to prepare yourself to a job interview), this a good place to do that: https://www.hackerrank.com/

Business

The business part is tricky, because mostly you need to learn it on the job — as different companies have very different businesses.

However a great free course on the topic “how to think about business with data” is the Google Analytics Course. If you take that, you will learn GA as well (obviously), which is the greatest standard in online analytics.

Free course: https://analyticsacademy.withgoogle.com/

I highly recommend this book, too: http://leananalyticsbook.com/

And this Free E-book: http://leananalyticsbook.com/analytics-lessons-learned-free-e-book-with-13-case-studies/

Statistics

I assume that if you are curious about Data Science, than you are at least a little bit into Statistics. But if you want to practice, again https://www.hackerrank.com/ is a cool website to do that.

+if you are not so much into it, then start with this book: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17986418-naked-statistics

Conclusion

So these are the courses. If you go through all of them, you will have a great base knowledge and by then you will realize, you have already done the first step to become a Data Scientist!

If you want to go further, read my next article about how to Create a Good Research plan: here.

Tomi Mester
my blog: data36.com
my Twitter:
@data36_com