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By DAVID VENTURI

With the recent advances in affordable, reputable online education, going back to college/university seems irresponsible

I dropped out of a top computer science program to teach myself data science using online resources like Udacity, edX, and Coursera. The decision was not difficult. I could learn the content I wanted to faster, more efficiently, and for a fraction of the cost. I already had a university degree and, perhaps more importantly, I already had the university experience. Paying $30K+ to go back to school seemed irresponsible.

Here are my curriculum choices and the rationale behind them. Using thousands of course ratings and reviews from Class Central, I selected the best computer science, data science, and machine learning courses from world-class institutions like Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Berkeley, Google, and Facebook. …


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History of Crayola Colors by Stephen Wagner via Tableau Public.

A year ago, I dropped out of one of the best computer science programs in Canada. I started creating my own data science master’s program using online resources. I realized that I could learn everything I needed through edX, Coursera, and Udacity instead. And I could learn it faster, more efficiently, and for a fraction of the cost.

I’m almost finished now. I’ve taken many data science-related courses and audited portions of many more. I know the options out there, and what skills are needed for learners preparing for a data analyst or data scientist role.


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Photo by Quinlan Pfiffer

A year and a half ago, I dropped out of one of the best computer science programs in Canada. I started creating my own data science master’s program using online resources. I realized that I could learn everything I needed through edX, Coursera, and Udacity instead. And I could learn it faster, more efficiently, and for a fraction of the cost.

I’m almost finished now. I’ve taken many data science-related courses and audited portions of many more. I know the options out there, and what skills are needed for learners preparing for a data analyst or data scientist role.


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Wooden Robot by Kaboompics

A year and a half ago, I dropped out of one of the best computer science programs in Canada. I started creating my own data science master’s program using online resources. I realized that I could learn everything I needed through edX, Coursera, and Udacity instead. And I could learn it faster, more efficiently, and for a fraction of the cost.

I’m almost finished now. I’ve taken many data science-related courses and audited portions of many more. I know the options out there, and what skills are needed for learners preparing for a data analyst or data scientist role.


In honor of Bell Let’s Talk Day, here are four examples of using artificial intelligence to combat mental health issues

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discussing mental health awareness on Bell Let’s Talk Day 2016. Photo via Bell Media.

This year’s Bell Let’s Talk Day fell on January 25th, 2017. If you’re unfamiliar, Bell is a Canadian telecom and media company that started a wildly successful mental health awareness campaign in 2010. The basics: for every text and call sent from a Bell phone, tweet and Instagram post with #BellLetsTalk, view of their campaign video on Facebook, and Snapchat geofilter use on that day, Bell contributes 5¢ to mental health initiatives. From their website:

[In 2010], most people were not talking about mental illness. But the numbers spoke volumes about the urgent need for action. Millions of Canadians, including leading personalities engaged in an open discussion about mental illness, offering new ideas and hope for those who struggle, with numbers growing every year. …


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Data visualization by Alanah Ryding

A year ago, I dropped out of one of the best computer science programs in Canada. I started creating my own data science master’s program using online resources. I realized that I could learn everything I needed through edX, Coursera, and Udacity instead. And I could learn it faster, more efficiently, and for a fraction of the cost.

I’m almost finished now. I’ve taken many data science-related courses and audited portions of many more. I know the options out there, and what skills are needed for learners preparing for a data analyst or data scientist role.


Four complete years of their courses on edX were analyzed, resulting in one of the largest surveys of MOOCs ever

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HarvardX’s Word Wall

A joint research team from Harvard University and MIT recently released their findings from four years’ worth of their courses on edX. According to their report, the release represents one of the largest surveys of massive open online courses (MOOCs) to date.

Predictably, the data produced piles of interesting facts about the state of online education. Here are seven insights from HarvardX and MITx’s “Year 4 Report” that caught my eye.

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Serious scale

Fact: From the summer of 2012 through to the fall of 2016, 290 courses went live, 245,000 certificates were awarded, and 2.4 …


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Udacity’s Data Analyst Nanodegre program

Udacity’s Data Analyst Nanodegree program was one of the first online data science programs in the online education revolution. It aims to “ensure you master the exact skills necessary to build a career in data science.” Does it accomplish its goal? Is it the best option available?

I completed the program in Fall 2016. Using inspiration from Class Central’s open-source review template, here is my review for Udacity’s Data Analyst Nanodegree program.

The program’s Welcome video, featuring Mat Leonard

UPDATE: The Data Analyst Nanodegree program was refreshed with new content and student services in September 2017. Details here. I was also brought on board to help recreate some of this new content. The majority of this review is unchanged.


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Image credit

A year ago, I was a numbers geek with no coding background. After trying an online programming course, I was so inspired that I enrolled in one of the best computer science programs in Canada.

Two weeks later, I realized that I could learn everything I needed through edX, Coursera, and Udacity instead. So I dropped out.

The decision was not difficult. I could learn the content I wanted to faster, more efficiently, and for a fraction of the cost.

I already had a university degree and, perhaps more importantly, I already had the university experience. …

About

David Venturi

I created my own data science master’s program.

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