Udacity Data Science Nanodegree Review
We are watching natural selection at its finest right in front of our eyes. Long gone are the technologies of the past, making room for new, better, and more intelligent systems. These systems are being developed at an alarming rate, evolving faster than mankind could have ever predicted. This evolution has also launched the process of natural selection in the job market, creating newer and more technical jobs. One of the most sought-after skill among most of the top international companies is data science, as it gives businesses an inside look into the way their business functions like never before. Even if you are not directly involved in this type of career, you surely have heard the concept or term Big Data, as more and more companies are turning to this type of information to increase productivity.
Entry level jobs are paying out some of the largest salaries for new employees, with more demand for those employees that are experienced and certified in more specific concepts in the world of date science. Because of this, it is important to stay in the know, constantly refreshing or adding to your knowledge as a data scientist to learn how to use and manage data more efficiently and effectively. Udacity is a top-rated academy, and has several data science courses ranging from beginner to advanced levels. Here, we will introduce you to the data science nanodegree, a degree specifically designed to give learners a head-start into their career as a data scientist. We have provided some insight into the course, giving you all the information needed to decide if this is the right fit for you.
It has been speculated that the field of data science will continue to grow at a rapid rate over the next few years. This is because several companies have seen the benefits of using data to improve productivity. Currently, several businesses are still in process of converting, putting data scientists in high demand. Just to give you an idea, companies in collaboration with this program include: IBM, Kaggle, Starbucks, and Insight. These companies and others across the industry have provided learners with real-life examples and projects for learners to get hands-on experience to be ready to enter into the workforce right after successful completion of the course. All of the projects within the courses and lessons can be used to create an amazing portfolio, one that will be sure to impress future employers.
With Udacity, you’re getting more than just an opportunity to learn, you’re getting the opportunity to join a team that is full of leaders in the industry. First of all, you’ll be taught by several knowledgeable instructors that have years of experience. The instructors as part of this course are:
- Josh Bernhard – Data Scientist with Nerd Wallet
- Juno Lee – Data Scientist with experience building recommendation engines
- Luis Serrano – Former Machine Learning Engineer with Google
- Andrew Paster – Data Scientist who built his own jewelry business
- Mike Yi –Content Developer and support lead for Udacity
- David Drummond – VP of Engineering at Insight
- Judit Lantos – Senior Data Engineer at Netflix
Learning from such a powerful team of experienced and knowledgeable instructors is an equation for success, making it a good reason to take this course.
What’s the Course Like?
First of all, this is an advanced program that aims at preparing students for jobs in the field with successful completion of the course. That being said, you will need to be comfortable with a few concepts and topics before enrolling or thinking about enrolling.
- Machine Learning – Be comfortable with SQL and Python and working with Terminal
- Python – Have experience in writing functions and building apps using the language
- Statistics – Understand how to use statistics including sampling distributions in order to effectively analyze data
- Math – A bit of calculus would be great and great knowledge of algebra are best
- Data Wrangling – Know how to work with Matplotlib to make data visualizations
If these sound like concepts you know, then this course will help you apply that knowledge, helping you take it to the next level.
The course is broken down into 5 separate sections all with detailed lessons within. The course wastes no time giving an introduction to any of the concepts, jumping right in to problem solving. The structure is as follows:
- Solving Data Science Problems
Learn how the pros do it, starting with learning the process of data science. Put them together with visuals that create an image for better understanding and processing that can help you effectively communicate with stakeholders.
- Software Engineering for Data Scientists
In this part of the course, the lessons are more technical, teaching an essential yet complex part of data science; software engineering. Here, you will learn by creating unit tests and classes to start off, taking the skills leaned within this section and building on them as the lesson and course continues.
- Data Engineering for Data Scientists
This part of the course gives you a glimpse into how data runs throughout the entire process of data science. You’ll learn essential skills that are used to construct complex pipelines, transform data, and even help you understand the cloud’s relationship with data.
- Experiment Design and Recommendations
Here, you will design your own experiments. After the design learn how to analyze results with A/B test for the best and most beneficial results. You will also take a look into recommendation systems, learning how they are built.
- Data Science Projects
Taking all the knowledge and skills learned throughout the course, you will be given the freedom to build your very own open-ended project. This is not only a way to try out your overall understanding and test your new skill set but, it also helps you create a project that can be used to show off to future employers.
Once the above curriculum is successfully completed, a Udacity certificate with your name and nanodegree title are created. This will show up on your home profile page where you can take a look, print it out, and also share digital copies of your certificate of completion. A certificate from Udacity is starting to mean a lot more than it used to, with more and more companies partnering with the academy year after year. The more powerful companies and successful employees that come out of Udacity, the better a certificate will be valued. These are a perfect addition to resumes and portfolios.
Apart from a long list of amazing content which is included in each program, learners will be able to step out into the world of Data Science with confidence. Each Nanodegree program is created to give learners all they need in order to succeed. Carefully structured courses are made to help learners’ advance step by step, building a strong foundation in order to take on more complex concepts. As a graduate of any of the data science nanodegrees, learners will have a unique set of skills, making them a competitive candidate in the job market. Udacity aims at giving their learners the most well-rounded training, ensuring that they are prepared for any problems out in the real-world. On top of this approach to teaching and learning, nanodegree programs come with a few guarantees, all of which are aimed at the success of the learner. These guarantees include:
Not just your run of the mill end of course project, these are created by leaders in the industry that have partnered with the academy. Professionals from some of the biggest companies in the world of IT give students actual problems the companies are facing today. Learners are then asked to use their new skills to solve them, putting them into practice and gaining experience in the process.
Throughout the duration of the course, learners will have a strong support system which includes a mentor.
This mentor is there to provide 1 on 1 support and guidance from the start of your course until your successful incorporation into your next company. They are there to answer any questions no matter how complex the concept and are also there to keep you on track. Most of the knowledgeable mentors have been in the learner’s shoes and know how tough it can be and are there to cheer you on every step of the way.
- Career Coaching
Apart from a mentor, you’ll also have access to Udacity experts that provide coaching sessions. These sessions are added to show that you’re just as dynamic in person as you are on paper. Use these skills to set yourself from all the other candidates out there and land your dream job. You’ll receive a customized career plan along with interview questions and prep.
- Customized Learning
Nothing is set in stone, as Udacity understands that people are busy. Nanodegree programs can be tailored to fit your schedule, helping you succeed by setting a pace that fits your lifestyle. All of the same useful content is available for the learner, throughout the entirety of the course making it a breeze for learners to be successful and start the career of their dreams.
Majority of graduates from some of the top universities are intimidated or even scared by the same thing; the interview process. in the world are Before ever stepping foot in an office or beginning the job hunt online, learners will be able to get assistance creating a killer resume. Career coaching professionals know what companies are looking for and therefore offer expert advice and review for all graduates of the nanodegree date science program. Apart from critiquing and improving resumes, career coaches will help graduates with their LinkedIn profile, making sure that it sends the right message for the career of their dreams. LinkedIn has become an important resource for professionals around the world, offering a unique way to showcase individuality. The wrong message or sloppy displays could give off a negative vibe to the future company looking to hire data scientists. Graduates that use the platform GitHub will also have a shot to get an expert review of their profile, making sure that they are polished and professional from all angles, making it to the top of the candidate list.
Udacity does a lot to ensure that their graduates are confident when stepping out into the real world. They are confident that graduates have a great knowledge base, and therefore continue to make connections with companies looking for new talent. There are several large companies that have partnered with the academy, giving out jobs to graduates of nanodegree programs at a higher rate. In order to participate, Udacity graduates will need to enroll in the Udacity Talent Program, helping graduates get noticed. Graduates can join the program starting with creating their profile. This profile gives partners a chance to see applicants as individuals, not just based on their skillset. Once profile is completed, it is added to the talent database where a large network of employers is waiting for new and fresh graduates. Udacity technology attempts to match applicants with their perfect company or employees can invite applicants for an interview within the database.
So, we’re sure you’re all wondering about the price. For all that is included, you’d think it comes with a pretty hefty price tag. Depends on the way you look at it but, if you compare the cost of traditional degree programs, it is pennies. Compared to other programs of its type, pricing actually falls right in the middle. However, most courses don’t provide the same extras. The Udacity support team, your own mentor, and job assistance make it worthwhile. So, the total cost of the course and certificate are, $1279.00. This includes 4 months of access to all services, which is the average time it takes for students to complete when dedicating 10 hours per week. This can be paid all together or broken down in to monthly payments of $399. If learners need more than 4 months to complete the course, you can add on more months but beware it is for another monthly payment. For this reason, the 4-month plan and learning pace is recommended. Let have a chat with team
What are others Saying?
Out of the 67 reviews, the course has an overall rating of 4.3 out of 5. Most of the higher rated reviews comment on the projects, stating that those are their favorite part of the course. Among the higher rated reviews, learners wrote,
“This program is sooo great! I can learn many things relate data science and involving to real case problem through projects!” – Umar A.
“Good syllabus and having a hands-on is an added advantage. It’s very beneficial to my learning. Have come across lot of trainings and courses throughout my 10 years of experience.” – Balachandar P.
As far as the negative end, there are a lot of learners that would like a more in-depth look into some of the more difficult math problems and concepts. A few reviewers mention the mentoring program in term 2, however this is a technical issue that Udacity has solved. Lower rated reviews read,
“Good overall introduction. needs a lot more math.” Clarence H.
“In the second part “Deep learning”, the video and content is easy, but the project is so difficult. It needs more tutorials. I really enjoyed the mentorship with 1-to-1 conversation with a mentor.” Yingying X.
Overall, this course has a higher than average rating, providing learners with a way toward success with an online course that suits their schedule and their needs. Among many of the top forums like Reddit and Quora, the academy tends to have overall positive feedback though, we all know, you can’t please everyone.
The job market is evolving at a rapid pace following the trends of technology. For those that are brand new to the industry, now is the perfect time to start to stay ahead of the curve and begin the learning process today. For those that are already in the field of data science, staying current and up to date with new methods and technologies is crucial. Udacity is perfect in both cases, giving learners of every level a chance to enhance their skills. Data Science isn’t going anywhere, as a matter of fact there is more of a need than ever with businesses turning toward data use to increase productivity. This has created a large demand for professionals with the knowledge to solve problems faced by these companies, requiring a well-rounded, quick thinking, and critical problem-solving expert. The more advanced technology becomes, the more advanced and difficult the problems to be solved become. This is why a continued and more advanced approach to data science practices it key. Udacity offers learners a chance to be all that and beyond with structured lessons and tools that make them competitive candidates. Land your dream job or change your career with Udacity.