DataCamp vs Coursera: Which Has Better Online Courses?

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Coursera vs Datacamp - who has the best online courses

Sophie Anderson

With 1.7 megabytes of data being created every second for each person on Earth, information has become one of the most valuable commodities in our digital age. (6)

The big question is — how do we harness the power of all this data? This is where the quickly-growing field of data science comes in.

To put it very simply, data science essentially involves the collection and analysis of data for useful insights and decision-making.

The interesting thing about data science is that it can be used across almost any industry for multiple purposes.

Businesses and institutions have applied it to gain customer insights, increase security, predict future market trends, and much more.

It’s no wonder that the demand for data scientists has gone up 650% since 2012 in the US. And it even ranked #3 in technology jobs according to U.S. News & World Report. (1, 2, 3)

The great thing is that you don’t need to become a full-fledged data scientist to reap the benefits. Even having some fundamental skills can go a long way for most professionals.

If you’re interested in exploring the field of data science, it can be confusing to know where to start learning about it.

This is why we’ve narrowed down two top online data science course providers for our review here — DataCamp and Coursera.

While both are great choices for online data science education, you need to be aware of some key differences.

So keep reading to find out which is right for you!

 

Can you learn data science online? 

Data science is great for learning online because a lot of the concepts don’t require in-person interactions for learners to grasp. 

In many instances, course content will involve computer programming, math, and graphs, which can be easily presented digitally. In fact, the online environment actually makes it easier for students to practice what they’ve learned and gain feedback on exercises. 

Which deep learning courses can you learn online?

There are plenty of deep learning courses to take online that range from introductory to advanced. Some of the most popular courses on DataCamp and Coursera courses you can learn online include:

DataCamp

  • Deep Learning in Python
  • Advanced Deep Learning with Keras
  • Deep Learning with PyTorch

Coursera

Andrew Ng (co-founder of Coursera) offers a Deep Learning Specialization that is especially popular on Coursera. He is a well-known name in the field of data science and has been credited with popularizing deep learning among programmers. (5)  

Along with this specialization, there are many different certificates and short courses offered by various reputable institutions like IBM, Imperial College London, University of Colorado Boulder, and more.  

Deep learning vs. data science

Deep learning is a sub-branch of machine learning, and both of them come under the broader term of artificial intelligence (AI). Data science makes use of AI to collect and analyze data. (4)

Recently, there’s been a lot of interest in deep learning specifically because it’s better at handling large amounts of data.  

Once you already have a foundation in machine learning, then deep learning is a specialty you might want to explore. 

About DataCamp 

DataCamp is an online course provider that specializes in data science topics (including machine learning, deep learning, and artificial intelligence).

They cater to beginners through to advanced learners and provide certification for their courses.

Their instructors come from highly reputable organizations like Duke University and Caltech. 

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About Coursera 

Coursera delivers thousands of online courses from 12+ subjects to learners globally. Some of their most subscribed topics include data science, business, and health.

They remain one of the most popular massive open online course (MOOC) platforms because their courses are delivered by reputable partner universities and institutions — like Stanford, Duke University, and IBM. 

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DataCamp vs. Coursera

What’s the main difference between DataCamp and Coursera? 

DataCamp focuses solely on data science courses. While Coursera offers a wider range of topics. This ranges from management to humanities and computer sciences (including data science). 

Pricing difference between DataCamp and Coursera

Pricing starts from $13 a month with DataCamp (though there is a free tier with limited features). 

Coursera pricing varies greatly because there is more variety in terms of the types of courses.

Professional certificates and specializations range from $49-$474 (depending on how long you take to complete the course). Their monthly plan allows you access to all of their courses for $59 a month or $399 a year.

While full degrees start from $9,000. 

DataCamp

Coursera

Number of Courses Available 350+ 7,000+
Course Topics Data Science 12+ categories including data science
Price From $13 per month Free for some short courses (no certification)

From $49-$79 a month for professional certificates and specializations 

From $59 a month for access to all their courses

From $9,000 for full degrees

Course Format  Includes:

Online lectures

Practical assignments

Slack discussion forum

Depending on the course, there will be:

Online lectures

Student discussion forums

Online assignments 

Quizzes or exams

Virtual labs

Average Course Length Individual courses: 4-6 hours

Career tracks: 40-100 hours

Courses: 4-12 hours

Professional certificates and specializations: 1-6 months

Degrees: 2-4 years 

Instructors Includes faculty from reputable universities and experts from the field Reputable universities and organizations (250+)
Certificates Certificates provided Guided Projects

Specializations

Professional Certificates

MasterTrack Certificates

Degrees

Tech/Learning Support FAQs

Chat

Email

FAQs 

Chat

Email

Ease of Use Easy Easy 
Free Trial Free tier available, with limited functions 1,500+ courses are totally free (no certification)

7-day free trial for Coursera Plus (unlimited access to 7,000+ courses)

External Reviews 4.5/5 stars from 439 users

(Course Report and G2)

3.2/5 stars from 1,289 users 

(Influenster and Consumer Affairs)

Special Offers Learn data and AI skills: Datacamp Unlock Google AI Essentials at no cost: Coursera 

 

Datacamp review

Learn data and AI skills: Datacamp

DataCamp review

DataCamp was started in 2013 by Martijn Theuwissen, Jonathan Cornelissen, and Dieter De Mesmaeker with the mission of making data science learning accessible to the world. 

Unlike the first wave of MOOC platforms that aimed to bring as many different topics to learners, the founders wanted to become specialists in data science education. 

This targeted approach allowed them to provide a higher level of personalization and engagement to learners, and it paid off. 

Now, DataCamp is used by 2,000+ companies like Google and PayPal for employee training. 

How DataCamp works

Here’s a quick look at how to get started with DataCamp:

  1. Sign up for your free account — DataCamp has a free tier that allows you limited access to their courses. 
  2. Upgrade to a paid subscription for full access — Learn everything from coding languages like Python to machine learning and data engineering topics.   
  3. Complete your course and get certified — Access all your lectures and assignments from your online DataCamp account.  

One unique thing about DataCamp is how they’ve neatly organized their courses into careers and skills tracks. 

In the careers track, DataCamp gives you the exact courses you need to start your new role in data science. So, for example, to become a “Python Programmer,” you’ll need to complete 15 courses of about 59 hours of learning. 

The skills track categorizes courses based on specific areas of learning to boost your career. For example, you can focus on “Data Visualization,” which has 3 courses with about 12 hours of learning. 

Certified learners also get access to the DataCamp career services team that can help with job matching and personal branding.  

How is teaching done on DataCamp?

DataCamp uses a mixture of online lectures, hands-on exercises, and a Slack community to deliver learning content. 

Course chapters are broken up into small, bite-sized modules to maximize learning. 

The skills taught also have a very practical focus that can be applied to real-world settings. 

Datacamp review

Learn data and AI skills: Datacamp

DataCamp course topics 

DataCamp courses cover the following topics: 

  • Programming: R, Python, SQL, and more 
  • Data Engineering 
  • Importing & Cleaning Data 
  • Data Manipulation 
  • Data Visualization 
  • Probability & Statistics 
  • Machine Learning 
  • Applied Finance 
  • Reporting 
  • And more

Is DataCamp good for machine learning?

DataCamp is good for machine learning because it has 80+ individual courses for both beginner and advanced learners. Some of them don’t even have any coding involved. 

Here’s a look at a few of its popular machine-learning courses:

  • Understanding Machine Learning
  • Supervised Learning with scikit-learn
  • Unsupervised Learning in Python
  • Introduction to Natural Language Processing in Python

Is DataCamp really good?

DataCamp is a highly specialized MOOC that focuses on data science education. Here’s a look at some of its benefits:

  • Online learning is flexible and convenient
  • Bite-sized lessons for optimal learning 
  • Career track
  • Skills track
  • Paid-tier learners can access certification
  • Learn on the go with the DataCamp App — used for both lecture access and coding exercises 

Pros and cons of DataCamp

Pros

Cons

300+ data science courses Only focuses on data science
Instructors come from reputable institutions and companies Cannot buy courses one-off
Certification offered Does not offer degrees
Hands-on learning with practical exercises Knowing which course to pick can be confusing
Bite-sized lessons for optimal learning
User-friendly interface
Used by beginners to experts
Learn on mobile or desktop
Learn on your own time

 

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Are DataCamp certificates recognized?

Although DataCamp certificates are not accredited by any organization, they’re still recognized within the industry. 

However, remember that certificates can only get you so far in your career. It’s essential that you demonstrate that you have the necessary skills when looking for jobs.  

This is why DataCamp’s added portfolio sharing can be useful for easily showcasing your abilities to potential recruiters.  

DataCamp pricing

DataCamp has two pricing tiers to cater to different users:

  • Basic (free): Has limited functions, but you can access six complete courses and the first chapter of other courses for free. Certification not included. 
  • Premium (starting from $13/month): Unlimited access to all courses, career services, and certificates. 

Is it worth taking out the DataCamp subscription?

If you’re serious about pursuing a career in data science, it’s definitely worth it to subscribe to their paid tier. 

They have many post-course bonuses like job matching, career planning, and networking workshops to help users take their next steps after their course. 

Datacamp review

Learn data and AI skills: Datacamp

Datacamp reviews from past users

DataCamp scored 4.5/5 stars from 439 users across two platforms (Course Report and G2). 

Overall, many people had good things to say about their courses — especially in terms of how the instructors managed to make very difficult topics easy to understand. 

The hands-on practice was also very valuable to users for gaining experience with what was taught in lectures. 

Several also mentioned that the interface is well-designed and user-friendly. 

A small minority faced technical issues with assignments. And some said that the monthly cost may deter people early in their careers. Overall, most were satisfied with their DataCamp Experience, as shown in the reviews below: 

Datacamp review

Datacamp review

DataCamp alternatives 

Edureka is a close alternative to DataCamp as it focuses on IT topics (data science included). You can see our full Edureka vs Udemy review here.

Are DataCamp courses worth it?

DataCamp courses are worth it if you’re looking for hands-on data science courses that cater to both beginners and advanced learners. 

The free tier is ideal for those who are still considering whether or not this is the right field for them. While the paid tier is most useful for those who are serious about embarking on their new data science career. 

Having access to their career services team is a big perk as well as they can help with job matching, networking, and personal branding.   

Mid-level data scientists can also use DataCamp to advance and upgrade their skills.  

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Coursera Review

Coursera review

Coursera  is one of the pioneers in popularizing the MOOC movement. 

They’re known for partnering with reputable universities and institutions (like Stanford, Duke University, and Google) to deliver their course content to learners globally.   

There are over 7,000+ courses on offer. And some of their most popular teaching areas include data science, business, management, and computer science topics. 

How Coursera works

Here’s a quick look at how to get started with Coursera:

  1. Sign up for your account — setting this up is free. 
  2. Choose your course and subscription option — Coursera offers 7,000+ courses in total, with 1,500+ being free. If you need a certificate of completion, you must opt for the paid tier.  
  3. Begin and complete your course — You can access all your lectures and assignments through your online Coursera account. 

If you’re planning on taking their degree courses, there may be some additional prerequisites you have to fulfill before Coursera can accept you. 

How is teaching done on Coursera?

The bulk of Coursera content is presented through video lectures. 

But, many of their instructors also use a mix of quizzes, external reading, assignments, projects, virtual labs, and the online class forum to assist learning. 

Coursera Review

Unlock Google AI Essentials at no cost: Coursera

What kind of courses does Coursera have? 

Coursera has 7,000+ courses spread across 12 main subjects — which include management, arts, science, and computer programming.

Basically, most university topics that don’t require in-person learning can be found on Coursera.

Like DataCamp, Coursera also offers data science as a subject. It caters to different learners, with full degrees for those just entering the field, to specializations for current data scientists.

You can learn programming languages like Python, AI product management, and much more.  

Its most popular data science courses include Google Data Analytics and Deep Learning Specialization by Andrew Ng. 

Benefits of Coursera 

Coursera is great for people who want an online learning platform that:

  • Has courses that are conducted by reputable universities.
  • Has certification that’s well-recognized (e.g., their degrees are accredited by the universities that conduct them).  
  • Conveniently conducts all classes and assignments through their online platform. 
  • Lets you learn on your own time.
  • Is more affordable than in-person courses. 
  • Has some free courses. 
  • Has an app available.

Pros and cons of Coursera

Pros

Cons

Learn on your own time Descriptions of assessment can be vague in course information
Courses are conducted by famous institutions Not the cheapest online course
Certifications are one of the most reputable online programs Customer support is difficult to contact
Less expensive than in-person courses Free tier only available on some courses
Short courses to complete degrees available
Offers free courses (1,800+)
Subscription available (Coursera Plus — unlimited access to 7,000+ courses)
Coursera Plus has a free trial
App available
Subtitles in several languages
Interface is user-friendly

 

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Are Coursera certificates recognized?

Coursera is one of the most recognized online course providers because they partner with reputable institutions.

But it also depends on what course you take. For example, a full degree on Coursera may be more recognized than short courses.

Also, remember that it’s important to back up your certificate with skills you learned in the course. A certificate alone is usually not enough to show what value you can add to recruiters.

Coursera Review

Unlock Google AI Essentials at no cost: Coursera 

How much is Coursera?

You can pay for individual courses in single payments or subscriptions (generally $49/month). 

They also have a range of free courses (although certification is not included with these). 

For subscriptions, there is no limit to when you must complete courses. 

But when you do single payments, you have to complete the course by a certain time. Here is a guideline for the single payment pricing of various types of courses: 

  • Guided Projects (1-2 hours): Starts from $9.99
  • Specializations (1-3 months): $49-$240
  • Professional Certificates (1-6 months): $39-$474
  • MasterTrack Certificates (4-7 months): Starts from $2,000 — these credits can go towards a degree
  • Degrees (2-4 years): Starts from $9,000

But if you plan on taking multiple courses, you may want to consider “Coursera Plus.” 

This is the monthly/yearly subscription version of Coursera (starting from $59 per month). And you’ll get unlimited access to 7,000+ courses. 

Is the Coursera subscription worth it?

If you plan on taking multiple courses, the Coursera Plus subscription (starting from $59 per month) definitely adds more value. 

You can easily start different courses at the same time or switch with ease. And there are no extra costs, no matter how many certificates you earn. 

Coursera reviews from past users

Reviewers (1,289 in total) from two different platforms (Influenster and Consumer Affairs) gave Coursera an average of 3.2/5 stars. 

Many people mentioned how they liked that courses were presented by reputable institutions. And this was also reflected in the high quality of the content produced. 

There was a good mix of people using it for college prepping, career advancement, and personal enjoyment. 

The variety of courses was also a big plus to many users. And some of their most popular courses included computer science, management, and health topics. 

For those who used it for career purposes, quite a few commented about how their certificates were valuable when presenting them to employers.

Overall, their interface was also user-friendly to many. But most negative comments were about contacting customer service and confusion about canceling subscriptions. 

Here’s a look at what some customers thought about Coursera: 

Coursera Review

Coursera Review

Coursera alternatives

If you’re looking for a good alternative to Coursera, you can try edX, which also works with top-rated universities (like Harvard and MIT) to develop their courses. (See our Coursera vs. edX review here.)

Is Coursera worth the price?

Coursera is worth it for those who want online courses which are delivered by reputable universities. Their certificates are also generally one of the most well-recognized by different industries. 

With over 7,000+ courses that cover most standard university topics (including data science and business), most people will be able to find something for their needs. 

Even though they don’t focus solely on data science, their courses on this topic are highly respected within the industry. 

They even offer full degrees that can help you start a new career or specializations that let you upgrade your skills.  

Coursera Plus 7-day free trial

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Is DataCamp or Coursera better?

Datacamp is better for those who want an online learning platform that focuses solely on data science and also provides career services.  

On the other hand, Coursera suits people who want to learn about data science along with a wide variety of other courses like business and humanities.

They’re both reputable MOOCs with instructors from famous institutions. And with their online format, lessons are flexible and convenient. 

However, there are also some key differences to take note of:           

Comparing courses 

Coursera definitely beats DataCamp in terms of course number and variety (7,000+ vs. 350+), respectively. But it’s important to note that they’re targeting very different learners. 

DataCamp is only focused on data science, while Coursera is run like a virtual university with many of the standard tertiary subjects available. 

That said, Coursera is also well known for its data science courses, even though it’s not specialized in the topic. 

This is because it was founded by a prominent data scientist who also developed the first few data science courses on the platform. And they remain popular to this day. 

Comparing certification

Both DataCamp and Coursera offer certification, but Coursera may have a slight edge over DataCamp in this area. 

Coursera certificates will show the name of the course developer. And in many cases, it can be reputable universities like Imperial College London and the University of Michigan. 

This alone may not be enough to help you secure a job. But in some cases, it might just be what you need to get an interview with recruiters.

Although DataCamp may not have the reputation of well-known universities, their certificates are still well-recognized in the industry. And 2,000+ big companies like Google and Intel even use it for employee training.  

It’s a small difference, but it can affect learners who prefer to have the name of a reputable institution on their certificate. 

Comparing pricing

If you look at the per-month pricing, DataCamp (which starts from $13 a month) is cheaper than Coursera (which starts from $49/month for many courses).

But you can save on Coursera if you choose the one-off payment option and select the shortest completion time frame. 

Some courses will be just $49 on Coursera if you can finish them within one month.  

Overall, both are great choices for online learning (especially for data science) and advancing your career.

The great thing is that some of the course content is also free. So, you can always try out a lesson or two before signing up! 

Data science & AI code-alongs

Start learning for free: Datacamp

Coursera Plus 7-day free trial

Claim a 7-day free trial here: Coursera Plus 

Unlock Google AI Essentials at no cost.

DataCamp FAQs

Is DataCamp completely free? 

DataCamp offers a free subscription tier. But you will only be able to access six beginner courses and get the first chapter of their other courses. Certification is also not included in this tier. 

How can I get free DataCamp courses? 

You can sign up for their basic plan, which gives you access to six courses for free (plus the first chapter of all other courses). 

If you need certification or want access to their other courses, you can upgrade to a paid subscription, which starts from $13/month.

Is DataCamp good for SQL?

DataCamp is a good platform for learning SQL because it has over 25+ courses that cater to both beginner and advanced learners. 

It also caters to various learning styles by using a mix of video and practical exercises. 

Is DataCamp good for beginners?

DataCamp is good for beginners because it offers a free tier that gives an introduction to the basics of data science along with fundamental programming languages like (Python, R, and SQL). 

This allows you a chance to test the waters to see if it’s right for you. If you choose to progress to their paid tier, it’s still very beginner-friendly. And many of the beginner coding exercises are scaffolded — you fill in the blanks rather than writing code from scratch.   

Can two people use DataCamp?

DataCamp can only be used by one user at a time per subscription. 

Is DataCamp a MOOC? 

Yes, DataCamp is a MOOC that specializes in data science topics. 

Is DataCamp good for resumes?

DataCamp can be good for resumes as it offers certifications for its courses, which many in the data science industry recognize. 

But there are also two other things to consider. Firstly, it’s not accredited or exactly the same as a degree, and some companies may require this for hiring. However, your skill level is usually what most hirers are interested in rather than just the certification itself. 

So, whatever course you take, ensure that you will be able to demonstrate what you have learned.  

Data science & AI code-alongs

Start learning for free: Datacamp

Coursera FAQs

Is Coursera legit? 

Yes, Coursera is a legitimate online course provider that partners with reputable universities (like Stanford and Duke University) to create and deliver its courses. 

Is a Coursera certificate a degree? 

Coursera does offer some degree certificates. 

Does Coursera charge monthly?

Yes, Coursera charges monthly for its courses until you complete the course. Or, you can also opt for a one-time payment with a deadline for course completion. 

It also has a Coursera Plus option where you pay a monthly fee to gain unlimited access to 7,000+ courses. 

Coursera Plus 7-day free trial

Claim a 7-day free trial here: Coursera Plus

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