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.

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, 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. We strongly recommend Datacamp to everyone who wishes to build on their skills for data science, so don’t hesitate and enrol now!

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