Datacamp vs. Dataquest: Which Data Science Course is Better?

By Jeremy Kallowitz | Course Wars

Feb 11

Data Science is becoming an extremely attractive field in this day and age. Not only is it extremely profitable, it also offers great utility to various other fields. In and of itself, data science can be used for predicting possibilities, prescribing behaviour, determining trends and making predictions based on hidden patterns.

Among students and researchers, there’s a lot of interest in this field, which is why so many online courses are available. Hence, we’ve decided to keep the focus of this article on Datacamp vs. Dataquest, two solid options for data science. Let’s compare and contrast to see which is the better learning platform.

Spoiler Alert! Want to get straight to the point?

We've prepared a detail comparison and review of both Datacamp and Dataquest below - but if you'd like to get straight to the point you can read this section instead.

Datacamp and Dataquest are both great programs that can help you on your journey to becoming a data scientist however we've compared the features of both of them below and we have concluded that Datacamp is the best value for money. But is there any better options out there? Yes!

While Datacamp and Dataquest are the main online learning platforms focused on data science, there is actually a third contender that trumps them both in terms of value for money, quality of content, support and certification. That contender is Pluralsight

Pluralsight is a well known online education platform, but did you know they have a thriving data science section?

The benefits with Pluralsight over Datacamp or Dataquest are plenty, but some of them are:

  • Are you a beginner or intermediate in computer science?  Datacamp or Dataquest may be not be the best place to start. With Pluralsight they have a massive collection of Python and other programming courses to get your skill level up enough that you can tackle the complex problems within data science.
  • Dabbled in programming, but not sure what level you are at? Pluralsight has a solution for that. Their SkillIQ technology tests your current knowledge level and then tells you what courses you need to do and which ones you can skip. This is an incredibly useful feature as I'm sure anyone who has done an online course before knows - having to watch courses with information that you already know is incredibly frustrating!
  • Dataquest and Datacamp are limited to data science related learning, however Pluralsight has a wide range of courses in fields such as Cyber Security, Architecture And Construction, Business, and many more. You can view their full catalog of courses here. The thing about data science is that on it's own it is practically worthless - it needs to be combined with other skills to get useful information out of it. Want to create a data science app? With Pluralsight you can learn both mobile development as well as data science for a similar monthly fee as Dataquest or Datacamp.
  • When you complete a course on Pluralsight, you get a certification that shows you completed the course. Because of Pluralsight's reputation in the industry, this certificate can mean a lot to potential employers and looks great on a Linkedin Profile.
  • Pluralsight has a 100% free trial so you can get a taste of the platform and find out whether it suits your learning style or not without any upfront investment. You can sign up for their free trial here.

Whether you're a beginner or someone looking to expand their existing skill-set, we recommend Pluralsight over Dataquest and Datacamp for the value for money, wide variety of courses and high level of reputation.

Get Started In Your Data Science Career For Free

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Datacamp

Datacamp was among the first online platforms geared for an optimal data science learning environment. Over the years, they have helped train more than 500,000 data scientists across 150 countries. All beginner courses are provided for free (which you can access here), while premium courses are available for $29 a month.

Datacamp also has a large number of partnerships with both companies and educational institutions. Companies include the likes of Microsoft, IBM, Pluralsight, RStudio and Kaggle. Educational institutions include: Duke, University of Washington and Princeton.

Courses

The available courses cover the following disciplines:

  • R
  • SQL
  • Shell
  • Python
  • Git
  • Spreadsheets

The R courses happen to be the most comprehensive and detailed, providing you with access to everything you will ever need to know, although for SQL there is only an introductory one, leaving a lot to be desired.

With Datacamp, you can also make use of career tracks. These are specifically crafted syllabuses designed to accommodate those with specific goals. Currently there are 7 available paths:

  • R Programmer
  • Data Scientist (with R)
  • Data Analyst (with R)
  • Quantitative Analyst (with R)
  • Python Programmer
  • Data Scientist (with Python)
  • Data Analyst (with Python)

Overview

Signing up with Datacamp is extremely rewarding because all of their lessons are designed to be interactive and simple. Videos are also provided to help you understand more easily. These video lectures aren’t long. They are short and are directly relevant to the given exercise. Each lesson also has intuitive examples incorporated to further deepen your understanding. The $29 price point also makes for a very affordable option.

But there is one problem to be aware of: there isn’t much additional help beyond what is provided in the lesson. Also, Datacamp’s assignments aren’t very open-ended, which means there’s no incentive to devise creative solutions.

Dataquest

This online platform offers you the opportunity to tackle data science through 24-week project-based courses. You will be able to develop your data science skillset through a step by step approach, with an instruction team prepared to guide you as necessary. Assigned projects can also be used to develop your portfolio for future employers’ consideration.

Courses

Dataquest offers a wide number of courses, some of which are focused on:

  • R
  • Python
  • SQL
  • Git
  • Machine Learning
  • Kaggle

You also have access to specific paths. Dataquest offers these 4:

  • Data Analyst (with R)
  • Data Analyst (with Python)
  • Data Scientist (with Python)
  • Data Engineer

Overview

Dataquest has the benefit of providing many courses along with a very hands-on approach to make sure students understand what they’re learning. With Dataquest, the biggest priority is application, so there are many opportunities to apply what you’ve learned. They also provide office hours so you can reach out to their data scientists for help, and you also get to be a part of their active Slack community.

You will also note that beginner courses are provided for free, but Dataquest has two paid plans as well. One of the deals is $29 a month, and the other is $49 a month.

Comparison

When addressing the topic of Datacamp vs. Dataquest fairly, it would be helpful to assess the quality of both options.

Dataquest

First, let’s take a look at some pros and cons of Dataquest.

Dataquest has a wide range of courses one can enrol in and the challenges and assignments you have to complete are challenging enough to help you learn better.

However, a big drawback would have to be the lack of videos which can make it more challenging to understand certain concepts which are best understood with visual aids. You will also feel the need to support Dataquest lessons with other material (textbooks, YouTube tutorials, etc.) to fully grasp the concepts being explained.

Additionally, Dataquest’s price point for their premium access is much more expensive at $49. There have also been reports that the platform is prone to bugs. Also, getting the Dataquest certification isn’t entirely useful since employers usually don’t consider it. Lastly, there aren’t many career paths available.

Datacamp

In Datacamp’s case, it’s important to remember that there isn’t much support provided beyond the tutorials that come with the lessons. This can prove to be a challenge for some. Additionally, Datacamp’s lesson structure can be unappealing to some, as they don’t expect learners to do everything from scratch.

But at the same time, their lessons are designed with the intention of promoting interactivity by providing examples so that you can understand the core concepts better. Full access to Datacamp is also much cheaper at $29.

With most alternatives, complex topics are handled in ways that aren’t beginner-friendly. Datacamp offers the opportunity to understand these complex topics in a simplified manner that everyone can easily comprehend. Also note about Datacamp that it allows you to have a great deal of focus with its courses, so developing individual skills is much easier.

Conclusion

Ultimately, the winner in Dataquest vs. Datacamp is the latter. With a cheaper price point and great interactivity, it has much more to offer those who are looking to expand on their data science skills in an affordable way. The extended career paths are also a great utility for those who are working towards specific goals.

Even though Dataquest happens to get more mainstream attention, Datacamp manages to hold its ground and provide a competitive platform. 

HOWEVER, as we detailed in the beginning of this blog post, there is a better alternative out there. That would be Pluralsight. Pluralsight provides not only an extensive data science course selection, but can help you get up to date in different skills as well for a similar price to both Dataquest and Datacamp. We recommend you take their SkillIQ test to find out where you should start in your journey to improve your skill-set and achieve the goals you have set out for yourself.

Get Started In Your Data Science Career For Free

Get Free Education From Pluralsight and Become Certified!

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