For the past four months I have been working on the Verified Data Science Certificate offered by John Hopkins University in conjunction with Coursera. I have so far completed the Data Scientist’s Toolbox, R Programming, and Getting and Cleaning Data. Here is my opinion so far on the ease, applicability, and relevance of these 3 courses (there are 9 total + a capstone project).
The Data Scientist’s Toolbox is very informative and can bring someone up to speed on using Git, citing data, etc.. For my I have already been accustomed to Git and Github so this first course was relatively easy.
R Programming I found to be very informative and the homework was definitely rigorous. Even though I have been using R since my first grad school class at Stanford in Advanced Statistics I found that I could be doing things to make my life easier and that I could be using apply, lapply, and tapply a lot more in my code rather than for loops. I felt this was a great module even for someone who has been using R for 3 years+.
Getting and Cleaning Data as instructive in connecting to a web site and downloading data pro-grammatically or through an API. How to clean, sort, and pre-process that data and also how to take advantage of R’s Data Tables. I have often used Data Frames and was not aware of the compute time advantages of using Data Tables especially for large data sets.
For just $50/course I think this is one of the best cost/value certificates one can do for Data Science. Of course there is University of Washington’s Online Data Science Certificate which may carry more prestige but I think this is a great investment none the less for someone looking for value in their Data Science Training.
Here are links to my certificates so far: