Top 9 Data Science Courses to Learn Online
Learn Data Science from these top courses. Details like cost and course duration are included.
From the moment we wake up, we consume, create, and interact with a largely unseen avalanche of data. Tapping into and making sense of this data presents an enormous opportunity for organizations across all industries and disciplines, which is why data scientists are among the most highly sought-after professionals. The projected need for 11.5 million data scientists by 2026 also means that already lucrative salaries for these roles will only continue to increase.
Whether you’ve dabbled in data science or have considered it as a new career, there’s no better time than the present to update your skills or learn entirely new ones. The good news is that preparing for a career in data science is much more accessible than you may have imagined, with many online and in-person options to fit your needs. Many of these programs also offer weekend and evening classes that cater to working professionals.
Like any investment, it’s important to base your decision on measurable criteria and choose the learning solution that works best with your budget and schedule, while setting you up for a brighter future. We considered the following criteria for our ratings:
- Depth of curriculum: How comprehensive is the content and which skills are covered?
- Interactive hands-on learning: How interactive is the experience and how much focus is given to learning actual tools and solving real industry problems?
- Certificate recognition: Is the Data Science course and the final certificate recognized within the industry and the USA?
- Student experience: Feedback from the students and inputs from external ratings like Mouthshut, Trustpilot, and others are considered in our ratings
The top nine data science courses available to learners in the USA, based on our research using the above criteria, are:
- Post Graduate Program in Data Science from Purdue University and Simplilearn
- Graduate Data Science Certificate Program from Michigan Institute for Data Science, University of Michigan
- Data Science Graduate Certificate from Harvard Extension School
- Certificate in Data Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Data Analytics Certificate Program from University of Texas at Austin (Center for Professional Education)
- Certificate in Data Science from Georgetown University
- Certificate Program in Data Science from UC Berkeley Extension
- Data Analytics - Cornell Certificate Program from eCornell
- Professional Certificate in Applied Data Science from Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth
1. Post Graduate Program in Data Science from Purdue University and Simplilearn
Simplilearn's PGP in Data Science in partnership with Purdue University has been ranked as the best data science course, based on the above selection and ranking criteria. Purdue University has more than 150 years of academic excellence and boasts one of the world's top data science programs.
This Data Science course has been ranked as the #1 program for bringing together the best of academic and industry excellence, with Purdue and IBM. This gives global recognition to the credentials earned.
This data science course also has a great mix of a comprehensive curriculum, offers a very interactive learning experience through live classes taught by leading professors and experts, and provides hands-on experience with industry-aligned projects.
- Mode Of Learning: Live Online Classes
- Course Duration: 12 months
- Program Recognition: The course curriculum is designed in collaboration with Purdue and IBM. On successful completion of the Data Science course, the learner gets a Purdue PG Certificate as well as an IBM certificate. IBM also provides access to IBM Watson for hands-on training and practice, $1200 worth of IBM Cloud credits for hands-on platform exposure
- Alumni Status: Offers Purdue Alumni status through membership to the Purdue University Alumni Association
- Job Assistance: Offers the Simplilearn JobAssist program in partnership with IIMJobs. This includes IIMJobs Pro Membership for six months, resume assistance, career mentoring, and career fairs.
- Hands-on Learning: Highly interactive learning pedagogy, with multiple live online classes on every subject. A mix of Live Classes by industry experts as well as MasterClasses by Purdue professors
- Tools covered: NumPy, Pandas, Python, R, sciPy, Tableau, etc.
- Offers Capstone projects in 3 different domains
- Program Advisors: Patrick J. Wolf (Dean of Science at Purdue University), Ronald Van Loon (A Top 10 Data Science influencer)
- Fees: $4,500
2. Graduate Data Science Certificate Program from Michigan Institute for Data Science, University of Michigan
The University of Michigan’s Graduate Data Science Certificate Program provides a multidisciplinary approach to learning the key concepts and tools of the trade. The program involves nine credits of Data Science courses and three credits of experiential training. Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS) faculty from various disciplines provide mentoring and serve in an advisory role.
This Data Science course covers a wide range of topics, from statistics and advanced algebra to machine learning and advanced data mining, providing a comprehensive education.
- Mode Of Learning: Self-Paced Online and In-Person Classes (available only to existing University of Michigan students, but MOOC data science courses are also offered to the general public)
- Course Duration: 2-4 semesters
- Program Recognition: The Graduate Certificate for Data Science is approved by the Rackham School for Graduate Studies
- Alumni Status: As enrollment in this Data Science course is limited to University of Michigan students, graduates will be recognized as alumnus
- Job Assistance: The University of Michigan’s Career Center offers resources to help you find a job, including an option to receive personalized events, job listings, and internships
- Hands-on Learning: This certification program requires 3 credits of experiential training, culminating in a written report on data analytics, and provides hands-on experience with modeling tools using real data
- Tools covered: SQL, Tableau, Python, R
- Fees: $25,756 per year
3. Data Science Graduate Certificate from Harvard Extension School
No application is required for this Data Science Graduate Certificate program from Harvard Extension School, which consists of four online courses. This program focuses on machine learning and computational techniques and is designed to be applicable to a wide range of industries.
Students may mix and match different Data Science courses according to their goals, but it’s recommended that students already have some knowledge of Python. You must earn a B grade or higher in each of the four courses within three years in order to receive your certificate.
- Mode Of Learning: Self-Paced and Live Online Classes
- Course Duration: 18 months (average)
- Job Assistance: Harvard Extension School students have access to free live webinars, resume assistance, one-on-one assistance, and job listings
- Tools covered: Python, R
- Fees: $11,600
4. Certificate in Data Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The Certificate in Data Science offered by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers a comprehensive education in data structures and data sources; statistical principles; computing and analytics; data management; and various data science applications. Students may customize their program, but must choose courses from three different lists (four courses total).
- Job Assistance: Access to the University of Illinois Career Center, which assists with resume writing, company research, interview preparation, job postings, and internship information
- Fees: $12,036
5. Data Analytics Certificate Program from University of Texas at Austin (Center for Professional Education)
The Data Analytics Certificate Program from the University of Texas at Austin boasts a hands-on, project-based approach to learning, with live online classes. The broad focus is to teach students how to make sense of the massive amount of data generated by both employees and customers during online transactions. You may enroll either full time or part time, depending on your schedule and ultimate goals.
This course is open to learners with at least two years of professional experience and a basic understanding of Microsoft Office or similar productivity suites, but previous knowledge of statistics is not necessary.
- Mode Of Learning: Live Online Classes
- Course Duration: 20 weeks (full time) or 40 weeks (part time)
- Job Assistance: Students have access to the university’s career coaching services at a discounted price
- Hands-on Learning: 100% project-based, “learn by doing” approach
- Tools covered: Python, R, R Studio, SQL, Spark, Amazon Web Services
- Fees: $5,900 (full time) to $6,900 (part time)
6. Certificate in Data Science from Georgetown University
Georgetown University’s Certificate in Data Science program is focused on the use of the Python programming language and other tools used to analyze data, make predictive models, and more. The six-month course consists of eight courses designed to help you apply data science to real-world scenarios and ultimately use data to make important organizational decisions.
- Mode Of Learning: Flex Format (combination of live, instructor-led online classes and in-person instruction)
- Course Duration: 6 Months
- Alumni Status: You will be granted alumni status upon successful completion of this data science course, entitling to events and career development services
- Job Assistance: Alumni have access to professional development resources, including webinars, resume assistance, and career counseling
- Hands-on Learning: Real-world data science projects
- Tools covered: Python
- Fees: $7,496
7. Certificate Program in Data Science from UC Berkeley Extension
The Certificate Program in Data Science offered by the University of California Berkeley Extension brings together some of the best minds in Silicon Valley to help learners understand how data science is applied in the real world. In order to enrol in this program, you’ll need to have a basic knowledge of statistics and the ability to program in Python, Java, Ruby, C++, or some other high-level programming language.
- Mode Of Learning: Live Online Classes
- Course Duration: 150 Total Hours of Instruction (not to exceed 3 years)
- Job Assistance: Multiple job assistance services offered by Berkeley Global Career Services, including resume help and internship services
- Program Advisors: June Andrews (Pinterest), Helena Buhr (Facebook), Jonathan Dinu (Carnegie Mellon University), and many others
- Fees: $5,100
8. Data Analytics - Cornell Certificate Program from eCornell
The Data Analytics Certificate Program from eCornell (affiliated with Cornell University) is geared toward professionals with limited or no experience with data science, but who want to leverage data to make strategic business decisions. This program covers statistical and scientific methods for analyzing data, using hands-on exercises and live instruction. The program is broken down into the following three courses: Understanding and Visualizing Data, Implementing Scientific Decision Making, and Using Predictive Data Analysis.
- Mode Of Learning: Live, Instructor-Led Online Classes
- Course Duration: 11 Weeks
- Program Recognition: Data Analytics Certificate from Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, plus 6 Professional Development Units (PDUs) from PMI®
- Job Assistance: Students who complete the certificate course are eligible for 20% off from Cornell partner Chameleon Resumes Services, including interview coaching and job search consulting
- Hands-on Learning: Courses feature hands-on projects, including the creation of a regression model, making predictions based on this model, and more
- Fees: $3,600
9. Professional Certificate in Applied Data Science from Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth
The six-month, online Professional Certificate in Applied Data Science from Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth targets those who are just starting their careers, want to switch to data science, or who want to enhance their existing skills. In order to qualify for this Data Science Course, the admissions department will assess your knowledge of calculus, linear algebra, statistics, and probabilities. In addition to live, instructor-led online classes, you will have access to regular live webinars and small group mentoring sessions.
- Mode Of Learning: Online Classes
- Course Duration: 6 Months
- Program Recognition: Professional Certificate in Applied Data Science from the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth
- Job Assistance: One-on-one career coaching and assistance with career planning included
- Hands-on Learning: Application-based assignments, such as the creation of visualizations, building linear and logistic regression models, and applying common machine learning algorithms
- Tools covered: Python
- Fees: $6,500
Since data science is here to stay, and quickly becoming indispensable to organizations looking for an edge, there’s no better time than now to take advantage of these opportunities. In fact, the demand for skilled, highly motivated data scientists continues to increase every day across a wide range of industries and disciplines.
If you’re just starting your data science career, looking to enhance existing skills, or even making a 180-degree pivot toward data science, you have a wealth of choices from which to choose—whether you’re in the United States or anywhere else with a reliable internet connection. Since your education and training is one of the most important investments you’ll ever make, you’ll want to take the time to choose wisely.
If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments below.
Thanks for reading and keep learning!