Must Love Data Mondays: Johns Hopkins University’s Data Science Specialization on Coursera

Today, I signed up for the start of the first course in Johns Hopkins University’s Data Science Specialization on Coursera.  The first course, “The Data Scientists Toolbox,” is to introduce you to the main tools and ideas in the data scientists toolbox.  The course is broken into two components:

  1. The ideas behind turning data into actionable knowledge.
  2. The tools used in the program like version control, markdown, git, Github, R, and RStudio.

I have experience with most of the tools so I’m thinking about taking the second course, R Programming, in the track along side of this course.  Course order recommendations only list a soft dependency for the Data Scientists Toolbox .

For the past week, I’ve been thinking about whether going with Coursera or Udacity’s Data Science program.  I’ve decided to go with Coursera because they give all the materials for the course if you choose to take the free option.  The only thing you don’t receive from Coursera with the free version is a certificate of completion which I don’t care about.  I’m more interested in getting more familiar with data science and the tools needed to complete work in the field, and complete relevant projects that can be added to my Github.  Udacity allows you to access the course materials but your projects are not graded and you’re now allowed to see the project reviews.  Another reason is that the Udacity website does not play on my work browser so I’m unable to watch any courses during my lunch hour.  It’s not their fault, it’s just my situation.

For the next few weeks, I’ll be writing about the course material, things I’m learning, and what I think about the program.