New Online Data Science Tracks for 2017
In 2017 there are many new and revamped data science tracks that are much more comprehensive for beginners than ever before. The tracks are designed to give you the skills you need to grab a job in data science, and some even have a job guarantee.
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Coursera
Coursera has had a ton of new courses and specializations for data analysis, machine learning, programming, etc. Everyone is mostly familiar with the Rfocused Data Science Specialization and the very famous Machine Learning Course by Andrew Ng, so I won’t mention those here. I’ll touch on a few of the higher rated, more impressive specializations that are new for 2017 below.
Data Visualization with Tableau Specialization
If you’ve been thinking about learning Tableau for data visualization, or even just data visualization in general, then look no further. This is a full, beginner to advanced series on how to visualize data, create dashboards, and make compelling reports with Tableau.
Highlights
 Aggregate Rating: 4.3 out of 5
 Price: $49/month for certificate
 Organization: UC Davis
 Prerequisites: none
Curriculum
 Fundamentals of Visualization with Tableau
 Essential Design Principles for Tableau
 Visual Analytics with Tableau
 Creating Dashboards and Storytelling with Tableau
 Data Visualization with Tableau Project
Applied Data Science with Python Specialization
A fantastic specialization that has a strong focus on machine learning with Python. You’ll learn all of the most used ML toolkits, like scikitlearn and pandas, as well as extensive lectures on visualization with tools like matplotlib and Seaborn.
Highlights
 Aggregate Rating: 4.4 out of 5
 Price: $79/month for certificate
 Language: Python
 Organization: University of Michigan
 Prerequisites: some programming
Curriculum
 Introduction to Data Science in Python
 Applied Plotting, Charting & Data Representation in Python
 Applied Machine Learning in Python
 Applied Text Mining in Python
 Applied Social Network Analysis in Python
Strategic Business Analytics Specialization
Get experience with realworld business examples, like finding customer lifetime value, forecasting events, and statistical segmentation of customers. The ultimate goal of this specialization is to get you comfortable gathering and presenting business insights with R.
Highlights
 Aggregate Rating: 4.13 out of 5
 Price: $49/month for certificate
 Language: R
 Organization: ESSEC Business School
 Prerequisites: some programming (R is ideal), knowledge of statistics, familiarity with databases and data analysis techniques, like regression and classification
Curriculum
 Foundations of strategic business analytics
 Foundations of marketing analytics
 Case studies in business analytics with ACCENTURE
 Capstone: Create Value from Open Data
Mastering Software Development in R Specialization
From the same team that brought you the original Coursera Data Science Specialization, this new series teaches you how to build effective data science tools for R. By the end, you’ll be able to build R packages and custom visualizations, as well as how to create reusable R code that solve data science problems.
You won’t even need to have any experience with R to start. The first course in this track is dedicated to teaching you everything you need to work with the language, and then you’ll move on to solidifying that knowledge with interesting projects and assignments in R.
Highlights
 Aggregate Rating: 4.25 out of 5
 Price: $39/month for certificate
 Language: R
 Organization: Johns Hopkins University
 Prerequisites: some programming, knowledge of algebra
Curriculum
 The R Programming Environment
 Advanced R Programming
 Building R Packages
 Building Data Visualization Tools
 Mastering Software Development in R Capstone
edX
The first course I took back in 2015 on edX was an Apache Spark series from U.C. Berkeley, and since then they’ve created a great data science learning ecosystem with their new certifications.
That Spark course is still around, and it’s part of an Xseries, which a sequence of courses similar to a lighter version of a Coursera specialization. Now, they’ve created two new options: MicroMasters and Program Certificates, which provide a much more comprehensive and organized way of preparing you for a career in the topic.
Data Science MicroMasters
The Data Science MicroMasters is a very wellrounded program for data science with Python. You’ll learn the ins and outs of using all the advanced functionality of Python for data analysis, everything you’ll need to know about probability and statistics, the most used and wellknown machine learning algorithms (from regression to clustering to deep nets and more), and then you’ll cap it off with using Apache Spark on big data.
Additionally, if you decide to get the certificate for this series and are accepted into the program at Curtin University, it will count towards 25% of the coursework needed for the Masters of Predictive Analytics.
Highlights
 Aggregate Rating: Reviews disabled until start
 Price: $1400 for MicroMasters credential
 Language: Python
 Organization: UC San Diego
 Prerequisites: comfortable with programming, multivariate calculus, linear algebra
Curriculum
 Python for Data Science
 Statistics and Probability in Data Science using Python
 Machine Learning for Data Science
 Big Data Analytics Using Spark
Artificial Intelligence MicroMasters
This is an incredibly interesting series that’ll get you ready to work with and be part of the rise of automation and AI. Anyone enthusiastic about mathematics and physics, this is a perfect track to take. With a lot of prerequisites recommended, the Columbia professors get very deep into complex topics.
Also, this MicroMasters also allows the coursework to count towards Masters credits. If you apply and are accepted to the program, this MicroMasters will count towards 25% of the credits needed for the Master of Computer Science program at Columbia University.
Highlights
 Aggregate Rating: Reviews disabled until start
 Price: $1200 for MicroMasters credential
 Language: Python
 Organization: Columbia University
 Prerequisites: programming (Python preferred), multivariate calculus, linear algebra, classical mechanics, statistics and probability
Curriculum
 Robotics
 Animation and CGI Motion
 Artificial Intelligence (AI)
 Machine Learning
Microsoft Professional Program Certificate in Data Science
So far, this certificate from edX offers the more courses in its track than anything else from Coursera or edX. This series covers a lot. You’ll go from Excel to SQL to R/Python to Azure, and at the same time cover the math, statistics, and machine learning topics you need as a data scientist. The distinguishing feature of this career track is that you get to choose between R or Python for data analysis after the Excel and SQL lectures.
Highlights
 Aggregate Rating: 3.79 out of 5
 Price: $49$99 per course
 Language: Python or R
 Other Tools: Excel, SQL, Azure
 Organization: Columbia University
 Prerequisites: programming, some Excel, understanding of databases, algebra
Curriculum
 Unit 1: Fundamentals
 Data Science Orientation
 Querying Data with TransactSQL
 Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Excel OR Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Power BI
 Statistical Thinking for Data Science and Analytics
 Unit 2: Core Data Science
 Introduction to R for Data Science Course OR Introduction to Python for Data Science
 Data Science Essentials
 Principles of Machine Learning
 Unit 3: Applied Data Science
 Programming with R for Data Science OR Programming with Python for Data Science
 Applied Machine Learning OR Developing Intelligent Apps
 Implementing Predictive Solutions with Spark in Azure HDInsight
 Unit 4 – Capstone Project – Cortana Intelligence Competition
 Data Science Professional Project
Enjoy!
Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoy taking one of the tracks mentioned above. If you didn’t find something, there’s still a ton of courses on Coursera, edX, Udemy, and Udacity not mentioned here. I’ve recently updated the comprehensive list of data science courses over here, but also do browse around on the platforms for any tools or topics you’re interested in. There’s a good chance they have it.
Bio: Brendan Martin is a Partner at Mint Design Company, and Content Writer at LearnDataSci.
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