Data science studies how different forms of data are used to answer a variety of questions. A part of various analytical type jobs, it draws on information, applying it to everyday situations. The discipline is often referred to as data mining. Nearly all data is in the form of statistical numbers used to generate probabilities.

This is why probability and statistics courses can be so valuable. Here are seven online statistics courses to improve your knowledge about data science. Free opportunities are presented first, ending with alternatives that require a fee. Each course requires a minimal understanding of statistics and probability.

1. Foundations of Data Analysis – Part 1: Statistics Using R – The University of Texas at Austin

This is the first half of a two-part study of statistical principles used for analyzing data. The course is a tremendous place to begin your study. Since it is free, you can learn some useful principles, even if you haven’t yet decided to work in the field of data science.

  • Statistical theories are examined using entertaining videos.
  • Foundations of Data Analysis – Part 1 employs tutorial videos that explain statistical problems using the R Scaffolded learning platform.
  • Each tutorial includes guided questions and answers, with a wrap-up quiz after each segment to challenge your understanding of data science applications.

2. Intro to Data Science by Udacity

The previous course is a great starting point. However, it can mesh very well with this course in the Udacity catalog. They both are free, and Udacity allows you to progress at your own pace. This curriculum is a perfect complement to basic online statistics courses to build a foundation.

  • Intro to Data Science addresses statistics and probability concepts for data mining in a broader sense. You will not have to worry about bumping into in-depth models that can be difficult to master.
  • The class is structured especially for students who have not yet made a commitment to a career in data science. It will only take a 2-month window of study to find out.
  • You will learn what it takes to be successful in the data science field, studying at your own pace. The course format is an excellent tool if you’re a new student learning how to manage your education.

3. Dataquest – Becoming a Data Scientist

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Dataquest offers online statistics courses to help train you at multiple levels as a data scientist. Their content is not associated with any university or college. You gain free entrance to course materials simply by registering with Dataquest. There are premium options as well that require a fee in exchange for additional benefits.

  • You can choose between three ways called paths These are data analyst, data scientist or data engineer.
  • Dataquest – Becoming a Data Scientist offers endorsements from Uber, Amazon, and Spotify. These endorsements allow you to explore data science for free.
  • The course provides a solid foundation for inspecting data. It also shows you how to make predictions using that data.

4. Data Science Essentials – Microsoft Program with Duke University

Microsoft Professional Program Certificate in Data Science is offered as a part of this free edX course. It will expose you to industry standards practiced by professional data scientists. You will gain a strong understanding of how data are acquired and how the information is prepared for analysis. You will finish by learning how to make practical applications using the data.

  • Part of the Data Science Essentials online statistics course involves the exploration of the data science process. You will learn how statistics and probability are used to shape decisions from that data.
  • You will find an in-depth look at the different strategies data scientists draw on to absorb and then transform data into a usable format.
  • The course will help you apply a combination of R statistical theory, Python, and Microsoft Azure Machine Learning.

5. Learning from Data from California Institute of Technology

Many of the basic online statistics course options spend most of the curriculum on the basics. This course ventures deeper into machine learning though. It is a free introductory alternative for what is an integral part of data sciences. Learning from Data lectures are accessible thanks to world-renowned Caltech Professor Yaser Abu-Mostafa.

  • Learning from Data is a telecourse that offers detailed lectures to help you understand the theory behind the various algorithms and applications of statistics in data science.
  • You can explore 18 available video lectures at your own pace. You will also gain access to an extensive library of videos related to a multitude of data science concepts.
  • Since this course uses machine learning concepts, it is strongly recommended that you have a viable understanding of matrices and basic calculus. Basic math knowledge is not enough to be successful in this course.

6. Introduction to Probability and Data – From Coursera, Created by Duke University

Coursera is one of the largest platforms for online statistics courses. In fact, you can probably find a college-type study on about any subject on their website. The MOOC studies on Coursera offer an authentic certificate of completion. The average cost for such a diploma is $49. Introduction to Probability and Data is a course created by Duke University and explores the concept of applying statistics to the study of data forms.

  • Introduction to Probability and Data requires a 5-week commitment and around 5 to 7 hours of your time per week. This is important because you need to pass assignments to earn a certificate.
  • Each week is a stage in the course. There are video lectures followed by testing quizzes to help you improve your understanding before moving on to the subsequent section.
  • During weeks 2 and 3, you will have an opportunity to work in a lab-type format to better appreciate data and how probabilities are applied to data.

7. Data Science A to Z ™: Real Life Data Science Exercises by Udemy

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As with most Udemy courses, if you’re patient you can gain full access by taking advantage of a discount. This course is listed at $200. On the other hand, you can secure 94% savings and register for the full course for only $11.99. Be ready for a number of challenges in this course. It is designed to test your learning level with each new section.

  • Data Science A to Z™ ventures deep into the anomalies of data science. You will learn how data scientists address corrupt data and how to account for irregular data situations.
  • This is a great course for learning how to model certain types of data to analyze different business situations.
  • You can access all course materials on a mobile device, computer or TV. You will be given access forever once you submit your registration and tuition fee.


There is a growing demand for data scientists nowadays. Employers are beginning to appreciate how much an understanding of data can help their businesses. If you complete any combination of these online statistics course options, you will expand your understanding of how these principles can be applied to all forms of data.

Data science theories are used in a variety of industries. You can work to help perfect artificial intelligence, work with the development of self-driving cars or learn to caption images automatically. These courses are an excellent place to just learn concepts or begin a career in the data sciences.

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