One of the fastest growing careers out there is that of a data scientist. The reason may be that people are drawn to the hefty six figure salaries or that they have a knack for data analysis and love working with big data.
DataCamp is the best source of reference material for data science. It is the first online learning platform dedicated to providing data science training to professionals seeking the knowledge and understanding of the topic. Established in 2014, DataCamp is a MOOC-providing platform. MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Courses meaning that the company specializes in providing online courses to students all over the world.
In this Datacamp review, I am going to tell how easy it is to use DataCamp then touch on the quality of courses offered. I’ll follow with telling you about some of the features you will find with DataCamp and how you can start exploring DataCamp for free before finishing up the review with the pricing and whether or not it is worth paying for DataCamp.
Ease of Use
When you first arrive at the DataCamp main page, you will notice that DataCamp is organized for you to learn, practice and participate in projects. Once you have selected a course to learn, DataCamp will setup a dashboard for you where half of the screen contains the instruction box and the other half of the screen is the coding box. The instructions teach you about the syntax of a language then present you with some sample code and an exercise. Here is where you get some practice coding. You enter code in the coding box and you can run the code and test the results and when you are satisfied with your code, you submit your code. You earn XP points if you get it correct, otherwise you are told that you did not code it right.
The nice thing about DataCamp is that the instructions is both text-based and video driven. This is quite refreshing in my opinion because it is like attending school. There is reading material and instructor led instruction in the form of videos.
Another great thing about DataCamp is that it will quiz you along the way. Instead of a coding exercise, it will give you a multiple choice question to which you must select the right answer and submit.
There are 314 courses in DataCamp and the number is growing steadily. As for the quality of each course, I would give it a rating of 9.0 out of 10.0. I hardly give out 10.0 ratings because I always leave room for improvement and with DataCamp, I think the quality is good to excellent but it is not perfect. I think DataCamp’s instructors can add a bit of real world experience in each course and give us an idea to some of the problems we will see in the real world situations. We need to see real life problems that naturally occur in today’s environments and how to apply our new skills towards solving them.
As a MOOC-based platform, DataCamp tries to be unique and provide a competitive edge when it comes to online training. Here are some features that DataCamp provides:
- XP or Experience Points earned whenever you submit the correct answer to exercises or when completing courses. This is purely used to motivate learning.
- No ads, no promotion and no distractions. During a course, DataCamp does not clutter the screen with ads or promotions that otherwise distracts you. Instead you get a dedicated and focused training session. It’s like taking a one-on-one class between you and the instructor.
- Built-in interpreter. No need to install software on your own machine because DataCamp provides a scripting window or coding box that runs on your browser.
- No fixed time schedule. Training is flexible and can be tailored to anyone’s schedules.
DataCamp is available for both the individual and for businesses. As an individual, you have three plans to choose from. Starting from the lowest level, an individual can sign up for free. This is an excellent way to start off and to give the platform a test drive. It will give you access to all courses but only one chapter per course. This may not sound like much but it would give you a chance to see the quality of training available and whether DataCamp is a good fit for you or not.
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The next level which is the basic plan costs $25 per month and you get access to forty-four courses. The premium level costs $29 per month and you get access to over three hundred fourteen courses. Instead of seven projects, you get all eighty-one projects to work on. This is considerably more than the basic level and it is worth the money.
As a business, there are two plans: the Professional and the Enterprise. The Professional costs $300 per user per year and the Enterprise costs $499 per user per year. Both plans get access to all core courses and early access to new courses.
Are DataCamp Courses Good?
Everyone agrees that DataCamp is really good at providing training to a particular skill but not so good at imparting critical thinking that is needed to solve complex problems or giving the confidence to work as a data scientist when facing unforeseen challenges. Still DataCamp’s approach to simplifying concreteness and interactivity is innovative.
Is DataCamp Worth it?
With DataCamp training, you will learn the skills needed to become a successful data scientist but will DataCamp help you land a job? Once you have completed your training on DataCamp, the real question is whether the Statement of Accomplishment, a certificate available from DataCamp to signify that you have completed data science training is worth anything in the real world?
Unfortunately, most employers don’t think this certificate tells them anything about your skill or ability. It simply signifies that you took the initiative to self improve yourself from an academic point of view but it doesn’t certify you as an expert data scientist.
If it’s certification that you are looking for then no, DataCamp is not worth it. But if it’s data science training or preparation for working in the data science field then DataCamp is your best bet.