best-data-science-courses-for-beginners-cover-with-faded-background

9 Best Data Science Courses for Beginners [+4 Data Science Learning Paths]

We here at RealToughCandy have been on a mission seeking out the best data science courses for beginners.

💰 Fun fact: according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a data scientist is $94,280.

The data science career field not only pays well, but there are a TON of different career paths you can choose.

Here’s RTC’s interview she did recently with Jen from the Career Force.

Jen’s been rocking data science for nearly 20 years and knows so much about the industry.

I highly recommend you watch this interview if you’re exploring data science as a career option.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation if you buy something. Read my disclosure for more details.

Anyway, back to the best data science courses for beginners.

After our extensive research, we selected 9 of the best data science courses for beginners.

We also found 4 top-notch data science learning paths.

That gives you 13 delicious data science options to choose from.

_number crunching intensifies_

TLDR: Best Data Science Courses for Beginners

We picked the best of the best data science courses based on these three criteria:

🔥 Best Overall 🔥
Grokking Data Science – Educative.io

💥 Best for Newbies 💥
Complete Machine Learning and Data Science – Zero to Mastery

💸 Best Value 💸
Data Science for Everyone Career Track – DataCamp

Best Data Science Courses for Beginners

1. Data Science for Everyone – DataCamp

Maybe you’re not exactly sure what data science is.

Or maybe you are but don’t know if it’s the right career move for you.

Data Science for Everyone is a free course on DataCamp where you can get your feet wet with all things data science.

In this non-technical course, you’ll learn about the absolute basics of data science without writing any code.

Using hands-on exercises, you’ll learn about the varying roles of data scientists.

In addition you’ll learn about:

  • A/B testing
  • time series analysis
  • data collection and storing
  • experimentation and prediction
  • machine learning

And beyond.

You’ll also learn how data scientists extract insights from real-world data.

So if you’re curious about data science and have a few hours to learn, Data Science for Everyone is a good place to start.

Exercise in the course Data Science for Everyone on DataCamp

DataCamp is an interactive learning platform, so you’ll be doing all work inside the browser.

There are occasional videos which reinforce difficult concepts.

💰 Price: Free course / $25 per month for all courses / $33.25 per month for all courses and projects
⏲️ Duration: 2 hours
📉 Level: Beginner
🖥️ Format: Interactive learning and video
🎖️ Certificate: Yes



2. Introduction to Data Science in Python – DataCamp

Introduction to Data Science in Python is another solid data science introductory course on DataCamp.

Intended for absolute beginners, you’ll learn how the Python programming language applies to data science.

Data Science venn diagram of computer science, math and statistics, and business knowledge
Image courtesy towards data science

There are four chapters in the course:

Getting Started in Python

Here you’ll learn about Python syntax.

Then you’ll load Python modules and use functions to complete various exercises.

Loading Data in Pandas

Here you’ll learn about the Python library pandas.

With a series of exercises, you’ll learn to use pandas to read, modify and search tabular datasets.

Plotting Data with matplotlib

Learn how to visualize your data.

Different Types of Plots

Finally, you’ll be introduced to three new types of plots:

  • scatter plots
  • bar plots
  • histograms

If you’re entirely new to data science, we recommend starting with Data Science for Everyone on DataCamp, then jumping into this course.

Lesson on importing Python modules in the course Introduction to Data Science in Python on DataCamp

DataCamp is an interactive learning platform where you’ll do all work in the same browser.

But there are occasional videos to introduce new or difficult concepts.

💰 Price: $25 per month for all courses / $33.25 per month for all courses and projects
⏲️ Duration: 4 hours
📉 Level: Beginner
🖥️ Format: Interactive learning and video
🎖️ Certificate: Yes


3. Data Science for Non-Programmers – Educative.io

Data Science for Non-Programmers is another excellent data science starter course for students without coding experience.

But in this course, you will learn how to code using the Python programming language.

Using Python, you’ll learn how to conduct data analysis on small and large datasets.

And you’ll learn concepts like data preprocessing and Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA).

Then you’ll work on more complex concepts like predictive and inferential analysis using statistical techniques.

That’s a mouthful, but it will make sense as you progress through the course.

There are only 8 modules in this course and they cover:

  • Python basics
  • data cleaning
  • statistical inference
  • predictive models
  • machine learning

And beyond.

This hands-on course is loaded with 143 coding playgrounds, 59 illustrations and 8 quizzes.

Data Science for Non-Programmers syllabus and lesson with diagram, text and code editor
Lesson on functions in the course Data Science for Non-Programmers on Educative.io

Educative is an interactive learning platform.

So that means you’ll be doing all work in the same browser while working on exercises and quizzes.

💰 Price: $29 per year for course / $59 per month or $199 per year ($16.66/mo) for platform access
⏲️ Duration: 13 hours
📉 Level: Beginner
🖥️ Format: Interactive learning
🎖️ Certificate: Yes

Read our full review of Data Science for Non-Programmers.


4. Grokking Data Science – Educative.io

Because it is so Python-heavy, Grokking Data Science is for students who already have a beginner-level understanding of Python programming.

First you’ll learn Python fundamentals as they apply to data science such as:

  • learning NumPy arrays, concatenation, and computations
  • Python libraries
  • pandas components

And data visualization techniques.

Then you’ll learn about the fundamentals of statistics such as probability and types of distributions.

Next you’ll learn about machine learning fundamentals and machine learning algorithms.

Finally you’ll work on a Kaggle challenge, an end-to-end machine learning project.

At the end of the course, you’ll receive job hunting tips and recommendations for overcoming imposter syndrome.

Grokking Data Science is intense but is still one of the best data science courses for beginners.

decision trees graphic for patrons, wait time, hunger level, reservation, bar seating
Diagram of data in the course Grokking Data Science on Educative.io

Educative is a hands-on learning platform.

So you’ll do all your work in the same browser with interactive learning using exercises, challenges and quizzes.

💰 Price: $79 per year for course / $59 per month or $199 per year ($16.66/mo) for platform access
⏲️ Duration: 10 hours
📉 Level: Beginner
🖥️ Format: Interactive learning
🎖️ Certificate: Yes

Read on to learn if Grokking Data Science is worth it.


5. Complete Machine Learning and Data Science – Zero to Mastery

Complete Machine Learning and Data Science clocks in at a whopping 42 hours of video.

But don’t let that intimidate you.

The idea behind the Zero to Mastery platform is to take you from absolute beginner to a master of a specific discipline.

In this case: data science and machine learning.

So you’ll go from knowing nothing about data science to being able to apply for an entry-level data science position at the completion of this course.

First, you’ll learn how to set up your dev environment.

Then you’ll learn the difference between supervised and unsupervised learning.

Also, you’ll learn about data engineering and using tools such as Hadoop and Spark.

In addition, you’ll explore data sets using data visualization tools.

Zero to Mastery Complete Machine Learning and Data Science project syllabus with diagram in video
Project in the course Complete Machine Learning and Data Science on the Zero to Mastery platform

You’ll then build a portfolio of the projects you’ve worked on throughout the course.

Finally, there are two massive modules on learning Python 3, which you’ll use throughout your data science career.

While much of the course is focused on data science, it is intermingled with machine learning. So you will learn both together.

In addition, there are over 60 bonus articles and resources in the course.

Zero to Mastery is a video-based learning platform. So you’ll do all work outside of the browser.

However, you will learn how to set up everything you’ll need outside of the platform.

💰 Price: $29 per month / $264 per year ($22/mo)
⏲️ Duration: 42 hours
📉 Level: Beginner
🖥️ Format: Video
🎖️ Certificate: Yes


6. Learn Python 3 – Codecademy Pro

In data science, you’re going to use one of 2 programming languages: Python or R.

And Python is the more popular of the two. Plus, Python is more versatile in its usage.

So if you want to pursue Python as your data science language of choice, we recommend Learn Python 3 by Codecademy Pro.

This would be an ideal course to take before taking Grokking Data Science by Educative.

You’ll learn the absolute fundamentals of Python 3, starting with a simple “Hello, World” program.

Then with 11 modules, you’ll learn other Python concepts such as:

  • control flow
  • functions
  • lists
  • loops
  • strings
  • modules
  • classes
  • function arguments

And more.

If you need to get the fundamentals of Python down before pursuing data science, we strongly recommend Learn Python 3.

Length of a list instructions and code editor in Learn Python 3 course from Codecademy Pro
Length of a list lesson on the course Learn Python 3 on Codecademy Pro

Codecademy is an interactive learning platform, meaning you’ll do all work inside the browser.

You’ll do this with interactive exercises, mini projects and quizzes.

💰 Price: $39.99 per month / $239.88 per year ($19.99/mo)
⏲️ Duration: 30 hours
📉 Level: Beginner
🖥️ Format: Interactive learning
🎖️ Codecademy Certificate: Yes

Learn more about Learn Python 3 and other Python courses on Codecademy Pro.

🔥 Geena’s Hot Take

Learn Python 3 is a good course to take, period.

Maybe you’re on the fence about learning data science.

Well I have some good news for you. Python is used in plenty of places outside of data science.

It’s a general purpose programming language that can be used in software development, web development, data science, writing system scripts, and MORE.

So even if you take this course and decide data science isn’t for you, you can take this learned skill and apply it to any number of professions.


7. Programming with R – Pluralsight

R is the other programming language of data science.

Though not as prevalent as Python, it is heavily used and not at all a bad choice.

In Programming with R, you’ll start by learning the basic syntax of R.

Then you’ll explore data types and data structures in R.

With 7 modules, you’ll learn about:

  • exploring vectors and factors
  • using matrices, arrays and lists
  • working with data frames
  • managing control statements

And beyond.

By the end of the course, you’ll learn how to write your own functions while using control flow statements.

Programming with R is a good starting point for anyone interested in learning data science using R programming.

Lesson on implicit coercion in the course Programming with R on Pluralsight

Pluralsight is a video-based platform.

So while you’ll do all work outside the browser, there are instructions for setting up your own dev environment.

💰 Price: $29 per month / $299 per year ($24.91/mo)
⏲️ Duration: 2 hours
📉 Level: Beginner
🖥️ Format: Video
🎖️ Certificate: Yes


8. Data Science Math Skills – Coursera

If you want to become a data scientist, you must be proficient in mathematics.

I’ll say it again: If you want to be a data scientist, you have to know math.

We’re talking algebra and pre-calculus.

So you’ll start by learning some basic math concepts before moving onto more advanced material.

The course is divided into four, week-long modules:

  • Welcome to Data Science Math Skills
  • Building Blocks for Problem Solving
  • Measuring Rates of Change
  • Introduction to Probability Theory

Some concepts covered include:

  • set theory
  • properties of the real number line
  • uses for summations
  • graphing and describing functions
  • exponents, logarithms, and the natural log function
  • probability theory

And much, much more.

Data Science Math Skills is ideal for students who have struggled with math.

Or who need more formal math education as it relates to data science.

Coursera is a video-based platform, so all work will be done outside of the browser.

There are also ample readings throughout the course.

💰 Price: $49
⏲️ Duration: 13 hours
📉 Level: Beginner
🖥️ Format: Video and readings
🎖️ Certificate: Yes


9. What is Data Science? – Coursera

What is Data Science? is part of of the Introduction to Data Science Specialization on Coursera, which we’ll discuss more below.

The course is separated into three, week-long modules:

Defining Data Science and What Data Scientists Do

First you’ll learn what data science is from data science professionals.

You’ll also learn about what tools and algorithms data scientists use regularly.

Data Science Topics

Here you’ll learn about the skills required for anyone interested in pursuing a career in data science.

Then you’ll complete a series of reading assignments.

Data Science in Business

Finally, you’ll learn about approaches companies take when utilizing data science.

Then you’ll answer a series of open-ended questions based on what you’ve learned.

Coursera is a video-based platform. So work is typically done outside of the browser.

However, there are ample readings and quizzes which you’ll use on the platform.

💰 Price: $39 per month
⏲️ Duration: 10 hours
📉 Level: Beginner
🖥️ Format: Video and readings
🎖️ Certificate: Yes


Data Science Learning Paths for Beginners

Learning paths are different from courses.

Rather, they’re a curated list of multiple courses that align with a particular skill or career.

i. Data Science for Everyone Career Track – DataCamp

Data Science for Everyone is a 26-course track on DataCamp.

With over 100 hours, it will take you from learning the basics of data science all the way to advanced concepts like unsupervised learning in Python.

Using a combination of videos, tutorials and hands-on exercises, you’ll learn data science, data visualization and machine learning.

Some courses include:

  • Introduction to Python
  • Intermediate Importing Data in Python
  • Joining Data with pandas
  • Cleaning Data with Python
  • Introduction to SQL
  • Statistical Thinking in Python
  • Conda Essentials
  • Introduction to Network Analysis in Python

And beyond.

This career track is intended to serve as a path towards a career in data science.

So after taking these courses, you may be ready to start applying for data science jobs.

DataCamp review video explaining the concept round() with man in bottom right corner explaining
Lesson in the course Introduction to Python in the Career Track Data Science for Everyone on DataCamp

DataCamp uses a combination of interactive exercises and tutorials to teach and reinforce fundamentals.

They occasionally feature videos to introduce new or difficult concepts.

Career tracks are intended to give a complete education in a particular career field. The idea is that you can then get hired in that specific niche.

💰 Price: $25 per month for all courses / $33.25 per month for all courses and projects
⏲️ Duration: 100 hours
📉 Level: Beginner
🖥️ Format: Interactive learning and video
🎖️ Certificate: Yes


ii. Data Scientist Career Path – Codecademy Pro

Data Scientist is meant to give you a complete education in the field of data science.

By the end of this career path, you may be prepared to get hired for an entry-level data science position.

With Codecademy Pro’s Data Scientist career path, you’ll learn how to:

  • analyze data
  • communicate your findings
  • draw predictions using machine learning

And much more.

Throughout the learning path, you’ll build various mini projects such as:

Honey Production – Fit a line to data about the honeybee decline.

Sublime Limes’ Line Graphs – Practicing making line graphs.

Two projects you’ll build in the Data Scientist career path on Codecademy Pro

In addition to mini projects, you’ll work on quizzes and code challenges to reinforce concepts throughout the career path.

Codecademy Pro is an interactive learning platform with an embedded code editor.

So you’ll do all work in the same browser alongside exercise instructions.

💰 Price: $39.99 per month / $239.88 per year ($19.99/mo)
⏲️ Duration: 35 weeks
📉 Level: Beginner
🖥️ Format: Interactive lesson
🎖️ Certificate: Yes


iii. Beginning Data Science Track – Treehouse

Beginning Data Science is a massive track containing 15 courses, 2 workshops and 2 instructions.

You’ll start by learning the basics such as data analysis and Python programming basics.

Then you’ll move onto more advanced courses such as:

  • Python Sequences
  • Introducing Tuples
  • Object-Oriented Python
  • Introduction to Data Visualization with Matplotlib
  • Scraping Data from the Web
  • Machine Learning Basics

And beyond.

Workshops include an introduction to Anaconda and Jupyter notebooks.

And the instructions include learning SQL and data visualization libraries.

By the end of this Beginning Data Science track, you’ll have everything you need to apply to an entry-level data science position.

Intro to Data Analysis course in the Beginning Data Science track on Treehouse

Treehouse is a video-based learning platform.

But there are occasional interactive learning sections where you’ll do all work within the same browser.

However, you’ll still be doing the majority of your work outside of the browser.

💰 Price: $29.99 per month / $239.88 per year ($19.99/mo)
⏲️ Duration: 26 hours
📉 Level: Beginner
🖥️ Format: Video and interactive learning
🎖️ Certificate: Yes


iv. Introduction to Data Science Specialization – Coursera

The Introduction to Data Science Specialization is ideal for students who are completely new to data science.

But it won’t give you a complete education.

We recommend pairing it with a DataCamp or Codecademy data science career path.

There are 4 courses in Introduction to Data Science:

  • What is Data Science?
  • Tools for Data Science
  • Data Science Methodology
  • Databases and SQL for Data Science

So you’ll learn plenty of data science fundamentals.

For example, you’ll learn what data science is, its uses, and what data scientists actually do all day.

Then you’ll learn how to think like a data scientist.

In addition, you’ll become introduced to tools like R Studio, GitHub and Watson Studio.

Finally, you’ll dabble in writing SQL statements and using Jupyter notebooks.

Coursera is a video-based learning platform, so you’ll be doing all work outside the browser.

However, there are also plenty of readings and quizzes you’ll work on directly on the platform.

💰 Price: $39 per month
⏲️ Duration: 4 months
📉 Level: Beginner
🖥️ Format: Video and readings
🎖️ Certificate: Yes



Best Data Science Courses for Beginners: Conclusion

Today we picked the best data science courses for beginners based on these three criteria:

Best Overall
Grokking Data Science – Educative.io

Best for Newbies
Complete Machine Learning and Data Science – Zero to Mastery

Best Value
Data Science for Everyone Career Track – DataCamp

So whether you’re on a budget, are a newbie, or are looking for top-of-the-line, we think there’s a data science course for every beginner.


Up Next:

  1. What are the best data science courses for beginners?

    We picked the best data science courses for beginners based on these three criteria. For best overall, we chose Grokking Data Science by Educative.io. For newbies, we recommend Complete Machine Learning and Data Science by Zero to Mastery. And for best value, we recommend the Data Science for Everyone career track by DataCamp. So whether you're on a budget, are a newbie, or are looking for top-of-the-line, we think there's a data science course for every beginner.

  2. Where can I find data science courses?

    There are a few platforms that have quality data science courses. First of all we recommend DataCamp. You can also find quality data science courses and learning paths on Codecademy, Educative.io, Zero to Mastery, Treehouse, Coursera and Pluralsight.

  3. What is DataCamp?

    DataCamp is an online learning platform designed for data science students. They offer courses and career tracks with options ranging from Python, to R, SQL and more. DataCamp offers numerous free lessons, along with paid monthly and yearly subscription options.