best data structures courses this year with faded black background

7 Best Data Structures Courses of 2021 [Learn Data Structures ASAP]

What are data structures?

Data structures are used to store data in an organized way, making data manipulation more efficient. They’re a collection of:

  • data values
  • relationships
  • functions

These data structures help efficiently manage large amounts of data.

Some of the most popular data structures include:

arrayslinked lists
stacksqueues
hash tablestrees
heapsgraphs

That may not make much sense to you now, but it will after taking a course or two on data structures.

And today we’re showing you the best data structures courses for this year.

So whether you learn best by doing, by video, or a mix of the two, we think there are data structures courses for just about everyone.

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

TLDR: Best Data Structures Courses

🔥 Best Overall 🔥
Data Structures and Algorithms in Python: Educative.io

💥 Best for Newbies 💥
Introduction to Data Structures: Treehouse

💸 Best Value 💸
Master the Coding Interview: Data Structures + Algorithms: Zero to Mastery (use promo code FRIENDS10 for 10% off your order)

Data Structures Courses: At a Glance

Interactive or video-based learningCommunityDurationLevelCertificateCost
Data Structures and Algorithms in Python: Educative.ioInteractiveSee below19 hoursIntermediate$59 per year for course // $59 per month or $199 per year for all courses and Learning Paths
Master the Coding Interview: Data Structures + Algorithms: Zero to MasteryVideo19.5 hoursIntermediate$39 per month or $279 per year for all courses and Learning Paths
Introduction to Data Structures: TreehouseVideo2.75 hoursBeginner$25 per month for all courses and Learning Paths
Linear Data Structures: Codecademy ProBoth8 hoursIntermediate$39.99 per month or $239.88 per year for all courses and Learning Paths
Introduction to R: DataCampBoth4 hoursBeginner$25 per month for all courses and Learning Paths // $33.25 per month for all courses, Learning Paths and projects
Algorithms and Data Structures, Part 1: PluralsightVideo2.5 hoursBeginner$29 per month for all standard courses and Learning paths // $45 per month for advanced courses and projects
Data Structures: CourseraBothSee below25 hoursIntermediate$49 per month

Data Structures Courses

1. Data Structures and Algorithms in Python: Educative.io

Educative.io is one of our all-time favorite platforms because of its interactive learning environment. Each course is jam-packed with code snippets, coding playgrounds and exercises.

Data structures (and algorithms) are absolute fundamentals of Computer Science. You’ve just… you’ve got to know them.

With hands-on exercises, you’ll learn some of the most common data structures and algorithms.

💡 An algorithm is a step-by-step process to perform a specific task. Algorithms can use one or multiple data structures to solve a problem.

Course Layout

Educative.io is an interactive learning platform. This means that you’ll do all work within the same browser using coding playgrounds and challenges.

Data Structures and Algorithms in Python is packed to the brim with:

  • 14 coding challenges
  • 91 coding playgrounds
  • 8 quizzes

And 600 illustrations.

The course contains 11 modules where you’ll learn about various data structures and algorithms including:

  • lists
  • arrays
  • binary trees
  • recursion

And beyond.

educative diagram and code best algorithms courses
Circular linked lists in the course Data Structures and Algorithms in Python on Educative.io

Each module contains detailed lessons with exercises and quizzes. For example, in Circular Linked Lists, you’ll learn about things like insertion and remove node. Then you’ll work on the exercise Is Circular Linked List where you’ll determine if a given linked list is circular.

Community

While Educative.io doesn’t have a formal community, you can get help from instructors and other students at the end of each lesson.

💰 Cost: $59 per year for course // $59 per month or $199 per year for all courses and Learning Paths
⏲️ Duration: 19 hours
📉 Level: Intermediate
🖥️ Format: Interactive learning
🎖️ Certificate: Yes

🍷 Pairs well with the book Data Structures and Other Objects Using C++.

Read more: Is Educative Worth It?



2. Master the Coding Interview: Data Structures + Algorithms: Zero to Mastery

Andrei Neagoie headshot creator of The Complete Web Developer in 2020 Zero to Mastery
Andrei Neagoie

Zero to Mastery is the platform created by renowned and beloved instructor Andrei Neagoie.

You might know him from his highly-acclaimed bootcamp-style course The Complete Web Developer: Zero to Mastery. *insert fan girl scream here*

You’ll find that Zero to Mastery is much different than Educative.io. Instead of interactive learning, you’ll spend the majority of your time watching videos and then doing all work on your local machine instead of in the browser. In addition, you’ll find some downloadable readings.

💡 Because videos contain text, moving images and sound, they encourage multi-sensory learning. This enables you to make cognitive connections and think more deeply.

Master the Coding Interview touts itself as a coding interview bootcamp. So instead of going slow, you can expect a fast-paced, stimulating learning experience.

In addition to learning how implement and use different data structures and algorithms, you’ll learn how to ace the FAANG interview.

Course Layout

Zero to Mastery is a video-based platform where you’ll do all work outside of the browser. In Master the Coding Interview, you’ll be redirected to LeetCode to work on a few problems.

Master the Coding Interview is a massive course with 21 modules. However, 7 modules are dedicated exclusively to data structures.

Data structures lesson in the course Master the Coding Interview: Data Structures + Algorithms on Zero to Mastery

After the introduction the data structures, you’ll learn about:

arrayshash tableslinked lists
stacks + queuestreesgraphs

Each module contains a series of lessons where you’ll explore concepts and work on exercises.

For example, in Arrays, you’ll learn about static vs. dynamic arrays. Then you’ll discover implementing an array and more.

Community

Zero to Mastery has a bustling community on Discord and LinkedIn. You can also work on open source projects and check out their job board.

💰 Cost: $39 per month or $279 per year for all courses and Learning Paths
⏲️ Duration: 19.5 hours
📉 Level: Intermediate
🖥️ Format: Video
🎖️ Certificate: Yes

🍷 Pairs well with the book Problem Solving with Algorithms and Data Structures Using Python.

Read our full Zero to Mastery Review.

Use code FRIENDS10 and save 10% off your order


3. Introduction to Data Structures: Treehouse

Treehouse is similar to Zero to Mastery in that it’s a video-based course. But at only 2.75 hours, Introduction to Data Structures is much shorter than Master the Coding Interview.

So if you have a short attention span, this might be the course for you.

💡 Short courses can be beneficial for “taste-testing” a career path. You can see if you find the material interesting. Then you can pursue more in-depth courses.

Introduction to Data Structures focuses on two data structures: arrays and linked lists. Then you’ll merge data structures with algorithms to solve sorting data by using the merge sort algorithm.

Course Layout

Treehouse is a video-based platform where you’ll do all work outside of the platform on your local machine.

treehouse video of man speaking
Lesson in Introduction to Data Structures on Treehouse

Introduction to Data Structures contains 4 action-packed modules:

  • Exploring Arrays
  • Building a Linked List
  • The Merge Sort Algorithm
  • Merge Sort and Linked Lists

Each module contains a series of lessons. For example, in Exploring Arrays, you’ll learn about array basics, characteristics and operations. Then you’ll find code snippets and multiple choice quizzes.

Community

Treehouse has a community where you can get help from other students.

💰 Cost: $25 per month for all courses and Learning Paths
⏲️ Duration: 2.75 hours
📉 Level: Beginner
🖥️ Format: Video
🎖️ Certificate: No

🍷 Pairs well with the book Codeless Data Structures and Algorithms.

Read our full Treehouse Review.


4. Linear Data Structures: Codecademy Pro

Codecademy Pro is different than Educative.io, Zero to Mastery and Treehouse. They take a mash-up approach.

For example, in addition to Codecademy Pro’s interactive learning environment, you’ll find videos that introduce new concepts.

In Linear Data Structures, you’ll build fundamental data structures in computer science: lists, stacks and queues.

💡 Linear data structures contain elements that are arranged sequentially. So one element is connected to the previous and next element.

Course Layout

As we mentioned, Codecademy Pro uses a blend of interactive learning and videos to teach concepts. And like other interactive learning courses, you’ll do all work in the browser.

So there’s no need to set up your own developer environment.

You’ll learn data structures in Linear Data Structures with four modules:

  • Learn Nodes
  • Linked Lists
  • Learn Stacks
  • Learn Queues
Lesson on nodes in the course Linear Data Structures on Codecademy Pro

Each module has two lessons and two multiple choice quizzes. But the module Learn Stacks has something the other’s don’t: a project.

In the project Towers of Hanoi, you’ll use what you’ve learned about stacks to move a stack of disks from from Point A to Point C. But it’s not as simple as it seems: You can never place a larger disk on top of a smaller disk. 🤔

Towers of Hanoi project in the course Linear Data Structures on Codecademy Pro

Community

Codecademy has an active forum where you can get help from other students, share projects and more.

💰 Cost: $39.99 per month or $239.88 per year for all courses and Learning Paths
⏲️ Duration: 8 hours
📉 Level: Intermediate
🖥️ Format: Interactive learning and video
🎖️ Certificate: Yes

After Linear Data Structures, level up with the course Learn Complex Data Structures on Codecademy Pro.

Check out our full Codecademy Pro Review.


5. Introduction to R: DataCamp

Introduction to R is a much different course than any of the other data structures courses we’re looking at today.

That’s because R programming is related to data analysis and data science. So if you aren’t interested in learning data structures in data analysis, then Introduction to R probably isn’t for you.

In this course, you’ll learn the basics of data analysis by using data structures like vectors, data frames and matrices.

Course Layout

DataCamp has a very similar layout to Codecademy Pro. It’s an interactive learning platform sprinkled with videos to introduce new concepts. You’ll do all work inside the same browser with DataCamp’s embedded code editors.

In this gamified environment, you’ll get points for every lesson you complete. 🎮

💡 Gamified teaching is used to motivate students to learn by using gaming elements in learning environments.

Introduction to R contains 6 modules including three on data structures:

  • Vectors
  • Matrices
  • Data Frames

Each module contains a number of lessons in this exercise-heavy course. For example, in the Vectors module, you’ll work on sixteen exercises.

The other modules are similar in size.

Exercise on vector selection in the course Introduction to R on DataCamp

Community

DataCamp has a forum where you can:

  • chat with students
  • get the latest news
  • read the DataCamp blog
  • tune into the DataCamp podcast

And more.

💰 Cost: $25 per month for all courses and Learning Paths // $33.25 per month for all courses, Learning Paths and projects

⏲️ Duration: 4 hours

📉 Level: Beginner

🖥️ Format: Interactive learning and video

🎖️ Certificate: Yes

Find out what we think of DataCamp in our DataCamp Review.


6. Algorithms and Data Structures, Part 1: Pluralsight

Pluralsight is different than all of the other data structures courses on our list because it is strictly video-based. It’s perfect for beginners.

There are no downloadable resources, no on-platform quizzes, or anything else that would make it remotely interactive. Rather you’ll do all work on your local machine. But Pluralsight does a pretty good job of giving you instructions to get set up.

Algorithms and Data Structures, Part 1 is a beginner’s journey into learning core data structures and algorithms that are used in software development.

You’ll discover how to use these data structures in real-world applications to improve usability and increase performance… All while reducing the amount of code you use.

Course Layout

Algorithms and Data Structures, Part 1 contains 5 modules:

  • Storing and Accessing Data
  • Linked Lists
  • Stacks and Queues
  • Binary Search Trees
  • Hash Tables
pluralsight diagram and syllabus best algorithms courses
Video and syllabus for the course Algorithms and Data Structures, Part 1 on Pluralsight

Each module contains a series of video lessons as well as demos of particular concepts such as flight recorder logging.

Community

Pluralsight doesn’t have an official community, but encourages students to form guilds. ⚔️

💰 Cost: $29 per month for all standard courses and Learning paths // $45 per month for advanced courses and projects
⏲️ Duration: 2.5 hours
📉 Level: Beginner
🖥️ Format: Video
🎖️ Certificate: Yes

After Algorithms and Data Structures, Part 1, you can continue on your journey with Algorithms and Data Structures, Part 2.


7. Data Structures: Coursera

Coursera is similar to Zero to Mastery because it uses a blend of videos and readings.

In the course Data Structures, you’ll learn about data structures that are used to enable algorithms to efficiently manipulate data.

Course Layout

As we mentioned, Coursera is a video-based platform. But in this course, you’ll also participate in on-platform exercises and quizzes.

Data Structures is separated into week-long modules. These 4 modules cover:

  • basic data structures
  • arrays
  • queues
  • hash tables

And more.

Each module contains ample videos, readings and exercises or quizzes. For example, in the Hash Tables module, you’ll find 22 videos, 4 readings and 2 exercises.

You’ll learn all about hash tables in the course Data Structures on Coursera

Community

There are forums within courses where you can get help from mentors and other students.

💰 Cost: $49 per month
⏲️ Duration: 25 hours
📉 Level: Intermediate
🖥️ Format: Video and interactive learning
🎖️ Certificate: Yes


Data Structures Courses: Conclusion

Today we looked at the best data structures courses of this year, and three came out on top:

Best Overall
Data Structures and Algorithms in Python: Educative.io

Best for Newbies
Introduction to Data Structures: Treehouse

Best Value
Master the Coding Interview: Data Structures + Algorithms: Zero to Mastery

So whether you’re looking for value, newbie-friendliness or the best overall, we think there are data structures courses for just about everyone.


Up Next:


  1. What are the best data structures courses?

    Overall, we prefer Data Structures and Algorithms in Python by Educative.io. For newbies, we think Introduction to Data Structures by Treehouse is the way to go. And for value, we liked Master the Coding Interview: Data Structures + Algorithms by Zero to Mastery.

  2. What are data structures?

    Data structures are used to store data in an organized way, making data manipulation more efficient. They're a collection of data values, relationships and functions that can be applied to the data. These data structures help efficiently manage large amounts of data.

  3. Is the course Data Structures and Algorithms in Python worth it?

    We think the course Data Structures and Algorithms in Python on Educative.io is worth it. You'll learn some of the most common data structures and algorithms you'll see in interviews and your day to day work. You'll do all work within the same browser using coding playgrounds and challenges. Data Structures and Algorithms in Python is packed to the brim with 14 coding challenges, 91 coding playgrounds, 8 quizzes and 600 illustrations. The course contains 11 modules where you'll learn about various data structures and algorithms.