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!)

General guide about how to get started

How to Become a Data Scientist (video course)
This free online video course is packed with practical tips about how to become a data scientist. Step-by-step learning plan, where to learn, how to practice, about the CV, about the job interviews and more.

(Disclaimer: this is my video course.)




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:

Free course2:

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):


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:

Free book:

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


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:


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:

Free course2:

Free course3: SQL for Data Analysis — on data36

Free course4:

A nice GitHub depo:


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:


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:

I highly recommend this book, too:

And this Free E-book:


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 is a cool website to do that.

+if you are just starting with Statistics, then take a look at these books:
Statistics Books for Aspiring Data Scientists


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 try out, what it is like being a junior data scientist at a true-to-life startup, check out my new 6-week online data science course: The Junior Data Scientist’s First Month!

If you are more like a book person check out my other article:
Aspiring Data Scientists! Learn the basics with these 7 books!

Tomi Mester
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