Online data science courses
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6 online data science courses to launch your career

11 Jul 2017

Want to be a data scientist? Third-level institutions and full-time education aren’t the only way you can learn essential data science skills.

Data science is still one of the most in-demand career sectors. Plenty of third-level institutes and other educational facilities are beginning to offer degree programmes specifically engineered for a career in data science.

However, as bigger institutions play catch-up, online courses have been filling the education gap. For those looking to upskill in the data science realm or interested in switching to an unusual data science career, these courses could be the way to go.

Better still, many of the high-quality courses on offer are reasonably priced or even free of charge.

Here are just some of the top data science courses available online.

Digital Skills Academy

If you’re seeking full degree accreditation without the need to attend physical classes, the Digital Skills Academy offers a BSc degree in in digital technology, design and innovation, available to complete online in one year, part-time.

The course has a specific data science stream, which includes in-demand skills for the industry. As it is a fully accredited degree, it is a little pricey, but it has the comforts and pacing of an online course.


For those looking for more of an introduction than a full degree in data science, Udacity offers a number of free courses, including ‘Intro to Data Science’.

This two-month course will give students the opportunity to work through a data science project, end to end. Did we mention it’s free?


While various e-learning platforms have subscription services, the access to the wide range of courses is often worth it – especially if you’re diving deep into the world of data science.

After a free trial, DataCamp is $29 per month for access to all courses, including training on R, Python and data science.


Coursera has partnerships with some of the best universities in the US, and offers high-quality education in various topics online.

This includes a plethora of courses within the data science specialisation. You can access the course for free, including the lectures and discussions, but to be eligible to earn a certificate, there is an enrolment fee.


For those who want an introduction to data science, check out ‘Data Science 101’ at Cognitive Class, IBM’s online education portal. This programme covers data science methodology, hands-on applications, programming in R, and open source tools.

Data Science 101 is a three-hour, free introduction to the sector, but there are plenty of other courses on IBM’s portal to give you more insight to further develop your skills.


Dataquest offers free access to the introductory part of its course materials on data science.

Similar to DataCamp, you can sign up to a basic package for $29 per month, but you can also pay for premium services, which include tutored projects.

It offers three paths – data analyst, data scientist and data engineer – and has endorsements from Uber, Amazon and Spotify.

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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