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Michigan fans watch the action on court during the first round of the 2022 NCAA women’s basketball tournament as seen in Ann Arbor, Michigan in March 2022. (Photo by Tim Fuller – NCAA Photos/Getty Images)
About 10 years ago, Harvard Business Review dubbed data science “the sexist job of the 21st century” – largely due to its new and growing role in American business and the “phenomenal” demand from companies. While the role has changed over the past decade, the demand for data scientists continues to grow, according to a July 2022 HBR article.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of data science jobs is projected to grow 36% between 2021 and 2031 — much faster than any other occupation. Not only is the demand for these jobs high, salaries are also increasing. The median salary for data scientists in the US is more than $100,000, BLS figures show. Some data scientists — particularly those with a master’s degree — can make upwards of $200,000, Glassdoor shows.
One way to start a career in data science is to start with the basics: coding. A common programming language is Python, which is commonly used for website and software development, automation, and data analysis and visualization.
Even if you don’t intend to be a data scientist or data analyst, Python is a useful skill to know. As the workforce becomes increasingly focused on technological advancements and digital transformation, it is imperative that teams with mixed expertise can communicate effectively. In fact, learning to code is such a valuable skill that Columbia Business School is ranked as one of the top business schools by Columbia Business School wealth, introduced Python courses to his MBA students. While MBA graduates don’t necessarily have to become full-time programmers or data scientists upon graduation, the skills translate well to team collaboration, explains Costis Maglaras, CBS dean.
“Maybe they program a bit; maybe they’re a little more data savvy,” Maglaras said wealth in a recent interview. “But everyone will probably have to work with people who write code.”
Whether you are interested in a data-centric career or want to become a better team player, wealth has compiled a list of free online Python courses hosted at top universities.
Harvard University, the wealth Considered the best full-time MBA program in the country, it hosts a free online course called Introduction to Programming with Python that helps participants learn the basics of the programming language. Participants will be able to read, write, test and debug Python.
The nine-week course requires between three and nine hours per week. The self-paced course is taught by David J. Malan, a renowned computer scientist and Harvard professor. He teaches CS50 (a computer science course), which is the largest free online course offered at Harvard with 3.5 million enrollments.
University of Michigan
For people who want to take multiple online courses on Python, the University of Michigan offers a Python for Everybody specialization, which includes five courses on the programming languages. The specialization begins with Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python), an introductory course that can also be taken individually. The course covers the fundamentals of the programming language, and the remaining classes in the specialization build on what was learned in the first course, including Python data structures, using Python to access web data, and using databases with Python.
The specialization takes about eight months.
MIT, one of the top tech-focused schools in the country, offers a free online course, Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python, that introduces learners to the programming language and also teaches them how to test and debug. The course also covers topics such as data structures and simple algorithms.
The course is the first in a two-class sequence (the second is Introduction to Computational Thinking and Data Science), both intended for learners without a computer science background or training. The course only lasts nine weeks but requires around 14 to 16 hours of work per week.
University of Pennsylvania
Java is another common programming language for people just getting an introduction to computer science and data science. The University of Pennsylvania offers a free online Python and Java specialization for beginners called Introduction to Programming with Python and Java. The four-course sequence introduces both programming languages and also goes into data analysis and data structures.
This entry-level specialization takes about four months and participants receive a certificate upon completion. The program is taught by Brandon Krakowsky, an associate professor at Penn Engineering, and also includes an applied learning project in which students write fully functional Python programs.
Check out all Wealth’s rankings of the degree programs and find out more about specific career paths.