COVID-19 has afflicted the whole world — not only are working professionals getting laid-off, but students are also sitting idle at home. However, this has also provided people with enough time to upskill themselves. To further help aspirants and students learn new data science skills while being quarantined, various ed-tech firms have made some of their courses free to support aspirants who wish to learn cutting-edge technologies.
While there are already numerous free data science courses in the market that one can enrol in, the premium courses, which have been made free recently, have various advantages. These include mentor support, in-depth teaching, project reviews, and access to a community of like-minded people who are taking the same courses.
Here are the top six ed-tech platforms that have made data science courses free for students, data science aspirants, and working professionals.
Simplilearn announced its offering of 13 foundational courses related to AI, data science, and big data analytics, among others, for free on its Android mobile app. Learners will also receive certificates on successful completion of the courses.
With the rapid development and adoption of new technologies, it has become a necessity for professionals to upskill themselves to stay ahead of the curve,” said Krishna Kumar, CEO and founder at Simplilearn. “Considering the ongoing situation with professionals staying away from workplaces, this is an ideal opportunity to utilize time to learn new skills effectively,” he added.
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Coursera has collaborated with universities that have taken a hit due to COVID-19 to offer free access to its course catalogue. The paid programs have been made free until July 31 through its ‘Coursera for Campus’ initiative. Learners who enrol before July-end are still able to gain access to the courses until September 30.
“We are going to make our paid courses freely available to any college or university in the world that is impacted by the coronavirus, thereby ensuring minimal impact on the students’ community,” said Leah Belsky, chief enterprise officer and senior vice president at Coursera.
Currently, Coursera has over 5 million learners enrolled on its platform from India. By allowing its 3,800 courses and 400 specializations for free, it will further gain aspirants of the latest technologies on its platform.
On March 11, edX announced the offering of its paid courses for free to address the growing concern around jobs and education amid the spread of COVID-19. With free courses through its Remote Access Program, it aims to assist universities by delivering educational content for their students.
“We want to assist our university partners in supporting their students during this tough time. We believe that by sharing access to content across a global group of universities, we can unite like-minded students and instructors to learn as a digital community,” said Anant Agarwal.
The open learning platform has opened up its courses for teachers to engage students in a learning process during the current COVID-19 crisis. The AI4ALL Open Learning also included lessons on how AI is being used to tackle COVID-19 outbreak and its potential in solving other problems. Its program is implemented across different durations — starting from 10 hours, to up to 30.
While the 10-hour program includes basics of AI and mostly focuses on what AI can and cannot do, the 20-hour program is devised to teach students how to explore data in AI, how to wrangle data and gain insights from it. The 30-hour program goes above the other two and assists students in exploring job opportunities. In other words, it makes students job-ready in the competitive data science landscape.
Udacity is one of the most popular platforms that offers premium data science courses through its Nanodegree, which include technical mentor support, personal career coach and career services, student community, among others. The ed-tech firm is providing free access to its Nanodegree programs for a month.
However, this initiative by Udacity is only for users based out of the US and Europe. Check out the course catalogue and enrol according to your needs. Nevertheless, Udacity had mentioned in its blog that it would be announcing new initiatives over the coming weeks and months. Therefore, you can expect it to increase its ambit to include more countries.
GreyAtom is an upskilling platform for emerging technologies like AI/ ML and Data Sciences. It is opening premium content along with Access to Mentor during the COVID-19 Lockdown. Also, it includes data science content, video call based technical mentor support, webinars on career services, access to proprietary learning platform ‘GLabs’ among others.
The ed-tech firm is providing free access to its select programs till the lockdown. This is a Global Initiative.