Want To Learn About Data Science, But You’re Not Sure Where To Start? This Course Could Be Of Use

Farai Mudzingwa Avatar

The importance of data science in today’s workplace is becoming more apparent to workers by the day. The biggest problem has been where do people who want to learn about this field start?

I’ve referrenced a number of free courses in the past but another course I feel might make a difference for beginners looking to learn about this field is being offered by Gradient Boost.

The Gradient Boost is an online mentor guided data science school for the African continent. The thinking behind this platform is that people work better with mentor guidance.

We believe that people learn better with the guidance of a mentor. You see this in the work environment where a junior learns and grows under the mentorship of someone more experienced. We want to create an online learning experience that simulates this process.

Gradient Boost press release

The Data Science course by Gradient Boost has a 3-4 month timeline and includes modules on Python, SQL, Statistics, Data Visualization, Linear Algebra and Machine Learning.

Each module ties into the previous module so at each point you are building up on things you previously learnt. Once a week students will also get to access 2 live tutorials in groups of 5, something done to make the course more practical.

These tutorials are primarily an opportunity for students to ask questions to their respective mentors regarding topics, assignments and projects they may be struggling with.

Sample of the Introduction to Machine Learning Module

The opportunity

Gradient Boost is looking to fill a number of gaps;

  1. MOOCs are great for learning theory, but for the most part not very practical.
  2. Data Science bootcamps typically lean a lot more towards the practical side, however they often lack in theory with the assumption that you will pick up more theory once you are employed.
  3. Bootcamps are also priced out of the reach of most average Africans

For Gradient Boost one of the aims is “to create an online school that is a good balance between theory and practicality, is entirely online and accessible by anyone with a laptop around Africa and also caters for students with little to no programming and/or statistics background who want to get into Data Science.”

If I sign up, when can I start and how much will it cost?

The first class will commence on the 18th of May and the intake is being limited to 25 students only. There will be a 5:1 student to mentor ratio. The course has been revised to $200 from $350 as Gradient Boost acknowledges the financial strain on people at the time.

If all this sounds like something that you would want to look into a bit more, you can check out Gradient Boost’s website here.

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