Top Free Online Data Science Courses For 2020

Organisations across the world are turning to data science professionals to help businesses extract insights from the vast reserves of data. This means that there is a resilient push by recruitment agencies for people skilled in data mining, programming, and statistical modelling, among others.

Although the demand for talent is high, it is a travesty that this has not been met by appropriate skill sets among people. How can candidates plug this gap without taking on the burden of a massive education loan?

With the proliferation of online courses and tutorials, students can enhance their knowledge for a lucrative career in data science. What is more, a lot of these courses are available for free.

With so many courses available, you can compare and choose the best for your requirement and also use these platforms to connect with people who may have taken the course before. Although the courses in this list are long, we have collated some of the top online data science courses that must have slipped under your radar.

Listed in no particular order, explore these courses to build your professional skills and connect with experts: 

Computer Science & Programming Using Python

Offered by: MITx on edX
Duration: 9 weeks
Skill level: Introductory
Technology requirements: Basic algebra and some background knowledge of programming

Course leads
John Guttag, Dugald C Jackson Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
Eric Grimson, Bernard Gordon Professor of Medical Engineering, Professor of Computer Science
Ana Bell, Lecturer, Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

About the course
Designed to help students think computationally and write programs that help tackle real-world analytical problems using Python 3.5. This course lays the foundation for more advanced computer science courses.

Using videos, lectures, and problem sets, students will be introduced to many topics that will guide them to think about how to use computation in their career. At the end of the course, students will have a good understanding of computation, Python, testing and debugging, algorithmic complexity, and data structures.

Although it is a free course, you will need to pay Rs 5,547 if you want a verified certificate after completion.

Apply here for the course.

Data Science: Machine Learning

Offered by: Harvard on edX
Duration: 8 weeks
Skill level: Introductory
Technology requirements: An up-to-date browser to enable programming directly in a browser-based interface.

Course lead
Rafael Irizarry, Professor of Biostatistics at Harvard University

About the course
This course will teach you some popular machine learning (ML) algorithms and principal component analysis. You will also learn regularisation by building a movie recommendation system, getting good exposure to one of the most successful data science techniques.

By the end of this course, you will be able to use a data set to discover potentially predictive relationships and training algorithms — skills that are fundamental to ML.

In addition to the basics of ML, the course also covers cross-validation to avoid overtraining and comes with an (optional) verified certificate for just Rs 3,624. 

Apply here for the course.

ALSO READ: Five Free Data Science Course For Beginners

Statistics With Python Specialization

Offered by: University of Michigan on Coursera
Duration: 8 weeks
Skill level: Introductory
Technology requirements: Basic linear algebra & calculus

Course leads
Brenda Gunderson, Lecturer IV and Research Fellow, Department of Statistics
Brady T West, Research Associate Professor, Institute for Social Research
Kerby Sheddon, Professor, Department of Statistics

About the course
This course will give learners ample exposure to statistical analysis using Python. They will learn everything from where data comes from to what are the types, and also study data management, and how to create and interpret data visualisations.

At the end of the course, learners will know how to interpret inferential procedures when analysing real-world data, apply statistical modelling techniques, as well as get a fair understanding of how they can connect research questions to data analysis methods.

Coming with a self-paced learning option, students can make use of videos, reading lists, quizzes, and assignments with peer feedback to get the most out of the course.

Apply here for the course.

Data Analysis & Visualization

Offered by: Georgia Tech on Udacity
Duration: 16 weeks
Skill level: Intermediate
Technology requirements: Programming experience, basic linear algebra & calculus

Course lead
Arpan Chakraborty, Senior Deep Learning Engineer and PhD from North Carolina State University

About the course
Without any need for a background in machine learning, this course introduces students to concepts that help analyse complex high dimensional data. It covers the state-of-the-art in data modelling and visualisation techniques using the R programming language.

Using rich content, instructor-led videos, interactive quizzes, and several case studies, learners can take advantage of a student support community to study at their own pace. This course is a good springboard to other (free) courses as well, including Intro to TensorFlow for Deep Learning and Advanced Android with Kotlin.

Apply here for the course.

ALSO READ: Six Free Online Courses To Learn Data Science Fundamentals

Data Science Ethics

Offered by: University of Michigan on Coursera
Duration: 4 weeks
Skill level: Introductory

Course lead
H V Jagadish, Bernard A Galler Collegiate Professor, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

About the course
This course seeks to answer some of the most profound questions of the technological age. This includes exploring the ethical considerations around the privacy of consumer information, especially in light of recent large-scale data breaches.

With no specific domain knowledge needed, this course can and should be taken by anyone who handles data. It will provide them with a good framework to analyse the most pressing concerns around privacy and the broader implications of collecting big data.

The course will also help you answer who owns data, how you can receive informed consent, and what it means to be fair, accountable and transparent.

Apply here for the course.

In addition to these, there are other websites that provide free material to study data science. These include:


Open to people with no coding experience as well, Konvinity offers intensive online coding courses curated by a team from IIT Delhi. Additionally, it also helps students with interview training, one-on-one mentorship, and assistance in finding a job.

Although the courses offered are free and there are no up-front costs involved, students are expected to pay if they land a job later that pays them over Rs 6 lakh per annum. 


Much like Konvinity, Skillathon’s data science program is free — until you are placed in a job. The three-month-long program includes live weekend sessions led by industry experts, and some reading material to take you through the rest of the week. 

It also includes projects for you to practice your skills on and comes with the support of mentors who are available 24/7. Other features include mock interviews and resume-building exercises.


With over 1000 courses available across a range of disciplines including data science, AI and machine learning, this platform is absolutely free, interactive and customisable.

Learners can choose courses between short-term certificate courses, diploma courses and longer-term learning paths.


As mentioned above, although all these courses are available for free, some may charge a token amount for certification after the completion of the course. Also, although some may not have a proper roadmap and cover only fundamentals of the topic, this is not true for all free online courses.

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Anu Thomas
Anu is a writer who stews in existential angst and actively seeks what’s broken. Lover of avant-garde films and BoJack Horseman fan theories, she has previously worked for Economic Times. Contact:

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