Classroom Vs MOOC Vs Online: Which Data Science Course Should You Go For?

The analytics industry is booming at a tremendous rate. In 2018, the Indian analytics industry was estimated at $2.71 billion annually in revenues. And this year, the industry has touched the $3.03 billion mark. That is not all, by 2025, the industry is prophesied to double by 2025. This skyrocketing rise in the market is not only driving advancements in the industry but also opening a lot of career opportunities for aspiring data scientists.


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Today, a significant number of people are making the transition to the data science — either they are getting trained and upskilled by their company itself or they are taking up data science course. And those who have still not entered the data science domain are in a huge dilemma regarding which type, of course, to opt for — tradition online course, classroom, or MOOC?

In this article, we are going to understand these three different types of courses and their pros and cons.

Traditional Online Course

As digital mediums continue to spread all across the globe with the ever-increasing access to the Internet, online education has witnessed gained significant traction. Colleges and universities, and even the government and the private companies have started to enter the online education space. And data science is one such domain that is witnessing the emergence of a massive amount of courses.

This form of education has made it really easy for people who can’t afford to spend time and money to get knowledge in classroom and institutes. The very idea of online data science is to provide quality content over the internet and content that people can access sitting at their homes. However, even the online education industry has also evolved, and it has different forms today. And the traditional online course format varies depending on the course provider.

Talking about the format, generally, the content is limited and cannot be accessed at all the instances. For example, the lectures or the talks would be available once or twice a week as they are not mostly pre-recorded, the materials would be available one time a week, content is often locked until the student completes one part etc. These are some of the major cons that didn’t let the traditional online course format to become a big thing.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)

As we have mentioned that the online education field has transformed over the years, massive open online courses (MOOC) are one form of it that has gained a significant amount of popularity — the data science industry today is flooded with it. And why not? People who are still working in some industry are also making transitions to data science and MOOCs are the best way to upskill.

Talking about the advantages of MOOC, it is best for working professionals and for those who don’t have time to attend a classroom to learn something extra. MOOC is a form of an online course that allows students to take up online courses and learn at their own pace. Unlike traditional online courses, MOOC let you access your course from anywhere, anytime you want. That is not all, you can also access future lessons without completing the previous ones. Today, even the top universities and companies are turning to MOOC and are making a huge impact on the education system.

For example, search giant Google has its free AI lessons called “Learn with Google AI”. The company focuses on bringing machine learning education to the masses for free. The course also includes a Machine Learning Crash Course that provides exercises, interactive visualisations, and instructional videos that anyone can use to learn and practice ML concepts. Further, Google is not the only one running the race, Microsoft has its “AI learning track” to the public that makes training courses available for everyone.

So, if you are someone who cannot afford to spend a huge amount of money and time on traditional data science courses then MOOCs are a good choice.

To have a clearer picture of MOOC, you can read our articles:

  1. Learning Data Science Via MOOCs-Methods, Yes. Applicability, Not So much. Domain Knowledge, Hardly.
  2. 6 Free Online Courses To Learn Data Science Fundamentals


Even though the online education field is booming, the classroom format is still there in the scenario and a significant number of people are taking up full-time data science courses. The major reason behind the popularity of this form of education is the fact that the quantity of content is significantly vast and the guidance that students get from faculties.

Another major advantage of the classroom format is the hand-holding that students get — compared to online courses, classroom training is more efficient when it comes to getting doubts clear. Practical sessions also play a major role in the popularity of classroom format of education. 

Data science is a vast domain, the level of knowledge and experience required to become a top data scientist is huge. And classroom sessions are proved to be one of the best when it comes to producing data scientists.

If you want to take your career completely towards data science and you are ready to spend a significant amount of money and time for the learning process, then classroom format is definitely the choice you should make.

You can also read:

  1. Top 10 Data Science Training Institutes In India – Ranking 2018
  2.  Top 10 Full-Time Data Science Courses In India- Ranking 2018

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Harshajit Sarmah
Harshajit is a writer / blogger / vlogger. A passionate music lover whose talents range from dance to video making to cooking. Football runs in his blood. Like literally! He is also a self-proclaimed technician and likes repairing and fixing stuff. When he is not writing or making videos, you can find him reading books/blogs or watching videos that motivate him or teaches him new things.

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