The world is becoming increasingly digital. As more of our lives moving online, people are hungrier for ways to acquire new skills in data science and coding.
If you're in that group, Datacamp could be the place to go.
With 9 million learners and over 2000 parent companies, including Google Uber and PayPal, this site claims to be one of the best ways to become equipped with the data science skills you need for the changing world of today.
But how does Datacamp work? What are the best courses? What are the pros and cons? How much does Datacamp cost?
And, most importantly, is Datacamp worth it?
If you're considering using Datacamp you’ve probably asked yourself these questions over and over. If that’s the case, then you’ve come to the right place.
I’ll answer all these questions and more so that you can decide whether or not Datacamp is right for you.
Here’s a quick summary of the article if you’re short on time.
- 350+ courses in data science technologies and topics
- Skills and Career tracks for honing specific abilities and occupations
- Spaces to practice coding
- The chance to work on projects
- Assessments and opportunity to become certified with Datacamp
- Live events
- Datacamp for businesses and teams
- The chance for certification
- Gives you practical skills you can apply to the modern workplace
- Teaches you how to be an all-round data scientists
- A range of choices in how you learn beyond traditional teaching
- Well organized and structured
- Methodically introduces challenging and useful concepts
- Combines traditional teaching with practical exercises
- Would benefit from even more content for advanced learners
- No refund (but there is free content for you to try first)
Best for: Anyone with an interest in data science, particularly if you want to apply a programming language, technology or concept to your career.
Overall: Datacamp is the place to learn how to be a data scientist. Although it could have more content for advanced learners, what is there will equip you with all you need to understand the world of data. The combination of quality teaching, practical exercises and other resources all combine to make this a great way to learn.
In this Datacamp review, we’ll be covering:
- What Datacamp is and who the instructors are
- How Datacamp works
- The cost and any free trials or refunds
- What a lesson is like
- The best Datacamp classes
- Datacamp for business
- Datacamp pros and cons
- Who Datacamp is for
- Tips for finding great courses
- Datacamp alternatives
- What others have said
- Is Datacamp worth it?
What is Datacamp?
With over 9 million users across 180 countries, Datacamp is one of the fastest-growing and most popular ways to learn about data science.
Founded in 2020 by a group of data scientists, the platform aims to close the data gap within companies and groups across the world by making access to data skills available to everyone.
As a result, they offer a wide range of opportunities for users of their sites, including over 350 courses dedicated to data science including coding with Python and R, skills and career tracks where you can hone in on your learning priorities and workspace areas where you can practice writing code.
There’s also a wide range of tools for you to practice with including competitions, projects and assessments.
All of this is done with the aim of making data science more acceptable for everyone.
Who are the instructors?
Datacamp was founded and is run by people who know and love data science.
So, based on that fact, you can probably imagine that there are some high-quality instructors on the site.
This includes professional data scientists working with Datacamp, external academics and consultants who lead Datacamp courses and sometimes even the Datacamp co-founders themselves.
What this essentially means is that you’re learning from the best in data science.
Before enrolling on any course, you can see who is leading the course you’ll be taking.
How does Datacamp work?
To get started with Datacamp, you need to make an account and sign in.
Once you’ve done this, you have the option of either learning for free or going straight to premium.
Choosing the former will get you access to a couple of introductory courses, plus the first chapter of every major course.
If you go straight to Premium, you’ll get access to all of the courses as well as the chance for certification.
Datacamp allows you to just learn courses as you please, but you also have the option to try out Skills Tracks that focus on specific coding or theory with quick videos and hands-on exercises.
You can also have a go with the Careers Track, which lets you in on all the tips about starting a career with data science in whatever language you choose.
There’s also the chance to engage in competitions, have a go at assessments, workspaces for personal practice and projects and live events for you to learn from.
Datacamp’s main focus is on data science, and all the skills, careers and theory related to the discipline.
Some of the main areas of teaching in the individual courses, Skills tracks and career tracks include:
- Data Science Theory
Each course in these areas will be led by a respective data science expert. The instructor and length of the course can be found on the courses page.
Once enrolled, you can complete the course in your own time, and Datacamp will track your progress.
Courses combine video and text lessons with practical exercises. The type of lesson will be denoted in the course outline.
How much does Datacamp cost?
The Datacamp Premium option grants you access to all 350+ courses, the chance for certificates and all the top programs. This costs $224 per year.
Furthermore, if you manage a business or team, there are team purchasing options that allow you to assign learning targets and manage a leaderboard.
Again, this is typically $224 per year per user.
Before you purchase, remember these are lifelong data skills that can be applied in many ways, and reflect on that as a part of the cost.
Datacamp free trial
There are options for free learning with Datacamp.
When you first sign up you get the chance to learn for free.
This will get you access to the main introductory courses for each programme and learning track, as well as the chance to try assessments and use the workspace.
You’ll get access to the course’s first chapters as well as 6 whole courses.
This is ideal as you can get a real sample of what's on offer, including the style of teaching and the content itself.
After this, you can decide whether or not Datacamp is right for you.
What a lesson is like
Data science is a dense and wide-ranging discipline, and given that's what Datacamp is trying to cover, you can expect most lessons to vary depending on the topic.
However, there are some common tropes in Datacamp lessons:
- An instructor speaking in-depth in the screen corner
- The chance to read the lesson transcript
- Helpful visuals of the computer screen
- The chance to test what you’ve learnt in exercises
- A methodical breakdown of a new concept followed by examples
Best Datacamp classes
Datacamp is a massive range of courses on offer, all aimed at improving your skills in data science.
With such a range to choose from, it can be hard to know what course is the best for you. So I’ve spent some time going over and learning about the very best Datacamp has on offer.
Some of Datacamp’s most popular courses include:
- Introduction To Data Science In Python
- Introduction To R
- Data Science For Everyone
- Introduction To Python
- Data Science For Business
However, whether or not a course is right for you will depend on your learning experiences and preferences.
With that in mind, below are some of the top courses in the various categories offered by Datacamp.
Introduction To Python
This course is all about mastering the absolute fundamentals of Python. You’ll learn how to store and manipulate data with one of the most popular and in-demand programmes out there, with no prior experience required.
Introduction To Data Science In Python
Led by Hilary Green-Lerman, a lead data scientist with Looker, this course is all about getting you familiar with python syntax in a data science context, combining practical exercises and challenges with lessons on popular data science modules.
Introduction To R
Here, you’ll rapidly come to understand all the basics of one of the most popular open source programming languages. Taught by Datacamp co-founder Jonathan Cornelisseen, this course claims that the number of R users grows by 40% each year! You’ll be able to join that group in less than 4 hours with this course.
Even if you have a little experience, there’s always room for improvement. Data science instructor Filip Schouwenaars will help you build on what you’ve learnt in the above class by introducing conditional statements, loops and functions.
Introduction To Tableau
Companies like Amazon and Unilever use this business intelligence and analytics software in their day to day activities, so if you’re interested in the intersection between data and business, this is for you. You’ll learn how to present, visualize and analyze data using this popular tool.
Analyzing Data In Tableau
Turn your Tableau abilities up a notch with this course next. Through case studies and hands-on activities, you’ll develop skills in configuring data and time fields and customer analytics. This will be particularly useful if you’re a practical learner.
Introduction To SQL
SQL is used to extract raw data from relational databases. If that means nothing to you, then this course is a great place to start as it is absolutely fundamental for the functions of data science. Nick Carchedi is a product manager at Datacamp and he’ll have you working with databases in no time.
Joining Data In SQL
Dr Chester Ismay is an educator, professional data scientist and a consultant for R and Python, so he definitely is qualified to tell you everything you need to know about joining tables with SQL. A lot of the more challenging subjects, like subqueries, are taught visually, so this is ideal if you’re more of a visual learner.
Data Science For Everyone
Clues in the name for what this course teaches. Curriculum manager Sara Billen is here to give you hands-on exercises about the role of the data scientist and the foundational topics of the discipline. Check this course out if you’re interested in how data science works but are too afraid to ask.
Machine Learning For Everyone
This course will uncover the mysteries of all the tech you rely on in everyday life. This course is non-technical and there’s no coding. Instead, you’ll use hands-on exercises to understand the big questions behind the technologies we all take for granted.
Spreadsheets & Excel
Data Analysis In Excel
Excel is an essential tool for companies across the world. Jen Bricker is head of instructor success at Datacamp and she’ll teach you all about keyboard shortcuts, converting and cleaning data types and building conditional aggregations. If you want your online education to improve employability, this course is an obvious candidate.
Data Analysis In Spreadsheets
Software engineer Vincent Vankrunkelsven leads a course on the core functions of google sheets. Pre-defined functions are taught and brought to an everyday analysis of school grades and company statistics. This is another great choice if you want to increase productivity or add to your CV.
Data Manipulation With Pandas
Not that kind of panda. This course is all about data manipulation with the world’s most popular Python library. Curriculum manager Maggie Matsui teaches you all about extracting, filtering and transforming data frames and goes over core data science concepts. This is particularly useful if you’ve already gone through the introductory Python courses.
Analyzing Police Activity With Pandas
Once you’ve completed the course above, it’s time to apply it to the real world. With Data School founder Kevin Markham, you’ll explore the impact of gender on police behavior using the real Stanford Open Policing Project dataset. This will give you experience with cleaning data, creating visuals and manipulating data.
Introduction To Power BI
Lis Sulmont is a workspace architect at Datacamp and they teach this course in Power BI, a widely popular business intelligence platform. Again, this is ideal for those who want to incorporate data science into their business and work life, as you learn how to transform data, create visualizations and make your reports interactive.
Introduction To Data Visualization With Matplotlib
Ariel Rokem is a senior data scientist at the University of Washington, so they know what they’re talking about when it comes to data visualization. Matplotlib is a Python data visualization library and is also the topic of this course. You don’t need any experience, but once completed, you’ll be able to create, customize and share powerful data visualizations.
Reporting With R Markdown
R markdown is a formatting language used for revealing insights about your data. Amy Peterson, Head of Curriculum at Datacamp will give you hands-on experience with real reports that will equip you with the skills to apply this outside of Datacamp.
Data Communication Concepts
Communicating data is just as important as understanding it. This course will help you understand how to communicate your data analysis through written and oral formats so that stakeholders can understand and make decisions based on your work. This is perfect for anyone working in a profession that utilizes data science but is also subject to human decision making and ideas.
Probability And Statistics
Statistical Thinking In Python (Part 1)
Once you’ve acquired all your data, it’s important to know what conclusions you can draw from it. Justin Bois is a lecturer at the California Institute of Technology. Who better to teach you about the fundamentals of statistical inference and thinking. If you work with numbers, this one shouldn’t be avoided.
Introduction To Statistics In R
In this course, you’ll combine R with statistical skills like scatter plots, probability, averages and correlations. These theoretical themes are essential in the day to day workings of most professions, so this is definitely a course that will add to your skillset.
Introduction To Python For Finance
Python is growing in popularity within the world of finance as a tool for analysis and programming. Academic and data scientist Adina Howe will teach you, through practical exercises, how to use Python structures to store and manipulate data in order to identify trends. This is ideal if you work, are aspiring to work or just have a casual interest in the financial sector.
Introduction To Portfolio Analysis In R
This course is all about critically analyzing portfolio returns. You’ll learn how to estimate portfolio weights that effectively balance risks and returns and use real-life examples of equity portfolios. All this is taught by Professor of Finance, Kris Boudt. This is an introductory course, but background knowledge of financial markets would be helpful.
Importing And Cleaning Data
Clearing Data In Python
Adel Nehme is a content developer at Datacamp and they lead this course on cleaning data, which he claims data scientists spend 80% of their time doing. This is vital as it prevents inaccuracy. This course is essential if you are starting the path to becoming a full-fledged data analyst.
Introduction To Importing Data In Python
Before you can do any analysis or manipulation, you need to master getting data from one place to another. In this case, getting it into Python. Hugo Bowne-Anderson is the data scientist at Datacamp who will give you all the key knowledge for performing this. Again, this is another essential course for mastering Python.
Datacamp for business
Datacamp also has options available for businesses.
This is ideal if your company has established or is gradually integrating new technologies and data science in your work and want to make sure employees’ skills are kept up to date.
The best option for businesses is Teams. This costs $224 per user per year but is subject to sales and promos, so make sure you check and refresh the main page before purchasing.
This will grant you access to everything you get in a premium subscription, as well as the chance to manage the group, track progress and activity and access to license management tools.
There is also Enterprise, which offers everything in Teams, as well as the chance for personalized learning paths and advanced analytics and report integrations.
You’ll need to get a quote for this one.
How I reviewed Datacamp
I took several steps to make sure this was a balanced, fair and comprehensive review of Datacamp.
This included researching in-depth the site's various prices and offers, for individuals and businesses, browsing various courses as well as any additional tools and resources and taking a look at the site's history and mission statement.
I’ve also done some research into alternatives and other reviews and user comments in order to make this review as unbiased as possible.
What I liked about Datacamp
Practical exercises and teaching
By far Datacamp’s biggest asset, at least in my opinion, is the practical skills it equips you with.
This site aims solely at providing learners with the means of getting equipped with the rapidly changing and expanding world of data science.
Instead of vague postulations and jargon, the very first lessons you take here will see you learn something new.
A lot of this has to do with the content.
Each course features comprehensive dives into whatever skill you’re learning, whether it’s a new language or a data concept more broadly.
The teaching style and how lessons are put together is also a massive contributing factor in how Datacamp can teach practical skills so effectively.
Each new idea or concept is broken down methodically by the instructor, with examples and concepts clearly explained on a slide.
This will often be followed by a practical exercise where you're invited to test what you’ve learnt.
This combination is a foolproof method for new students when it comes to acquiring and demonstrating new information.
On top of this, Datacamp offers Career and Skill tracks for you to hone in on your technique with the aim of applying it to your day to day work.
Datacamp is very beginner-friendly.
Part of this is to do with the layout. It was obvious where to go and what to try first as a beginner even after first signing up (more on that later).
But even the courses themselves are very beginner-friendly. I found that it was easy to pick up new concepts and ideas. Yet, I also felt challenged and recognised that the Datacamp instructors were trying to help rather than talk down to me.
Many of Datacamp’s most popular courses are for beginners, and you can see why.
The site tries to bridge the gap between the world of data science and the rest of us, and they truly succeed in doing so.
Lots of choice
I was amazed by how many choices there were on this site. This was twofold.
First is the range of courses.
It would be enough for Datacamp to offer the courses that they do in the range of languages that they cover.
Python, R, SQL etc. are all massively in demand by companies and institutions right now, so getting equipped using Datacamp is very beneficial whatever your background.
But the site also goes into detail when it comes to the theory of data science and machine learning, and how they can apply to the world of finance, statistics, programming and much more.
Whereas other courses will just teach you how to code, Datacamp gives you the means to become a data scientist.
Second, there’s the range of methods.
With over 350 courses in the above areas, you won’t run out of learning material. But there are also different ways to learn with Datacamp.
The Skills and Careers track allows you to hone your abilities with expert-led videos and practical exercises, preparing you for a particular career field.
There’s also the chance to complete assessments, enter competitions, develop projects, use practice and workspaces and much more.
This means that whatever your learning preference or priority, Datacamp has you covered.
Well organized and structured
This is a smaller, but important, point I would like to make.
I was a big fan of how everything was laid out here.
Like I said, for beginners entering a new and technical field like data science can be quite daunting.
So how companies present themselves and guide you through the first steps of using the site can be instrumental in shaping your experience.
With Datacamp, this is done very well.
Everything was laid out clearly, the choices of learning were made obvious and as a beginner, I knew what courses were available that were at my speed.
What could be improved
Could Be More Sophisticated
As you can see, I am quite a big fan of Datacamp, and my experience has been a positive one.
But there is always room for improvement.
I feel Datacamp could do this in two primary ways:
By expanding their content and making any new courses more geared towards professionals and skilled individuals.
Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot to learn here.
But data science is a constantly expanding, innovating and massive discipline, which Datacamp has nowhere near exhausted.
Some competitors geared to education more generally have way more courses in the fields of technology, even if they miss out on Datacamp’s focus.
By adding new languages and applications of data science, Datacamp would ensure that they have all bases covered and would truly live up to the aim of making their students into prominent data scientists.
Now, the site is relatively new in the grand scheme of things so they are likely to expand their number of courses.
This leads me to my second point.
Any new courses added should be geared to more professional and experienced data scientists.
I’m a beginner in this world myself, but even I noticed the lack of advanced courses and found some of the exercises to be a little bit ‘fill-in-the-blanks.’
This opinion was backed up when I did some research on how actual data scientists felt about the site.
As I said, the discipline is massive and constantly changing, so advanced individuals will still have something to learn.
This didn’t detract from my own experience of Datacamp, but it’s definitely a way in which they could improve.
Who Datacamp is for
Data science is becoming a bigger part of our world every day, so there are lots of people who would benefit from trying it out.
This includes but isn’t limited to:
- Anyone looking to make a career jump into data
- Beginners aiming to ease their way into data and computer science
- Managers and entrepreneurs who want to upskill their time
- Learners who prefer a combination of practical exercises and taught lessons
- Data scientists looking for spaces to practice and try out projects and assignments
- Anyone with a general interest in coding and the world of data
Can I buy Datacamp as a gift?
Datacamp doesn’t offer gift options.
There are no gift cards or promos available and there isn’t the option to purchase an individual course for someone.
However, if there is someone who you think would be the ideal user of Datacamp then you can purchase a subscription yourself and give them your sign in details.
Tips to finding great courses on Datacamp
Trying to learn data science for the first time can be daunting, but luckily Datacamp makes it very clear and straightforward for you to find the right course.
There are a couple of tips I have for finding great courses on Datacamp. Some ways of browsing courses include searching by:
- Most Relevant
Topic is probably the best way to search for courses if you are an absolute beginner. You probably won’t know which language is which, so you can browse the Topics and see what area of knowledge you’re most interested in.
- Applied Finance
- Data Manipulation
- Data Visualization
And much more.
You can also browse through Technologies. If there is a particular one you're interested in or something you know is a good skill to acquire, such as Python or Excel, then you’ll be able to find introductory courses by browsing with this method.
I’d recommend this for someone with a little more data experience. If you are an absolute beginner, checking out the Theory page in the technologies section is a good way to get started when it comes to intuition and data science thinking.
If none of these tips work for you, you can’t go wrong with browsing by Newest and Most Relevant.
Some people aren’t as interested in the other courses but want to go straight to the other resources on offer, like Skills and Career track, but also competitions, projects and workspaces,
If that’s you, first of all, you’re braver than me, and second, you can do that easily by scrolling through the right-hand tab on the main page.
Is Datacamp legit?
With all of this on offer, it seems too good to be true that Datacamp offers all this education for the fees they charge.
However, although we learn in different ways and have different preferences, I’m sure everyone can agree that Datacamp is a legitimate site.
Having tried Datacamp myself, I can definitely confirm this is true.
The platform was established a while ago and has since gone on to have over 9 million users as well as partnering with world-renowned companies.
The courses offered will tell you the instructors before you enroll, so there is always the chance to look them up and see their credentials for yourself.
Datacamp does not offer a refund policy.
So any purchase you make will not be eligible for a refund.
If you believe that there is a valid case for you to be exempt from this no refund policy get in contact with the Datacamp team.
You can email them at email@example.com or submit a ticket with the Help Center.
We’ve talked already about just how important and popular data science is becoming, so it makes sense that there are a lot of alternatives to Datacamp when it comes to teaching similar concepts.
One of the most popular is Codecademy.
This online interactive platform offers 12 different programming languages, as well as the opportunity to delve into their Skill and Career paths.
There is also a massive range of resources here, including challenges, blogs, articles and videos.
However, some of the best data and computing courses come from sites that offer education more broadly, rather than just data science.
EdX offers a massive range of courses in an incredible amount of disciplines, typically purchased individually.
The site includes courses on everything to do with data science, technology and computing that you can imagine.
But where edX is different is its partner institutions.
Paid certificates offered by edX are accredited by some of the world's leading colleges, including Harvard, MIT and Yale.
Coursea is another MOOC provider. Like edX, it partners with universities across the world to provide certifiable and recognised online learning content.
Finally, Udemy has some cracking courses available including the Complete Python Development Programme: From Zero To Hero which we review in our full Udemy Review. Popular IT and Software courses on Udemy tend to be around $50 per course though Udemy do have frequent sales.
Datacamp reviews: What others have said
To keep this Datacamp review fair and balanced, I’ve searched the internet to find comments and statements on how people feel about what Datacamp offers.
I have to say, this will often entail a mixed response, even for some of the most popular e-learning platforms out there.
People have entirely different learning experiences and preferences, and the beauty of the internet is everyone can have their say.
However, with Datacamp, the response was very positive. There was a very strong consensus about how well this site worked.
Criticisms were certainly in the minority, but there were still a few.
One person commented that, despite liking the content, they didn’t like how it was put forward:
“The content is excellent, however I really didn't like the format. It becomes "fill-in-the-blanks" after a while.” - Reddit commenter
I don’t necessarily agree, but I do sympathize.
The exercises, while helpful, could benefit from a little more sophistication once you get to higher levels of skill (not that I’m anywhere near there!).
Another comment had concerns that chimed with this:
“If you already have few years of experience in data analysis and want to learn data science stuff, I would say it is still decent. If you already have few years of experience in DS and DA, then I wouldn’t get datacamp as it is mainly tailored for people new to the field and don’t dive into any technical details.” - Reddit commenter
This isn't really a critique. Datacamp’s purpose is education and the people most eager to learn are beginners.
It’s just something to keep in mind.
These were the only two negative opinions I could find. Everyone else seemed to be very enthusiastic about their time using Datacamp.
One individual from the data field said not only his beginner sister was learning from the site, but he was as well:
“I have bought datacamp annual subscription last year, it wasn’t so much for me as I have been working on the data field for few years. The main reason I bought it because my sister is learning python. She had benefited from several courses and really was worth it. I too took deep learning course with PyTorch and two other courses. It’s really good investment.” - Reddit commenter
However, I think this comment nicely sums up the majority of views I found:
“Yes! I can't recommend DataCamp enough. You will learn a lot and have a lot exercises to practice.” - Reddit commenter
Features: Unlimited access to thousands of courses, the chance to use Datacamp workspaces and learning tracks, projects, assignments, competitions and more!
Content quality: Hours of course content well explained by experts with plenty of practice exercises to keep you on your toes.
Content breadth: Covers some of the major programming languages and topics in data science including Python, R, Spreadsheets, SQL and Theory
Teachers: Teachers are top quality data scientists, some are full time with Datacamp whilst others are researchers and teachers for other major platforms and institutions.
Supporting materials: Lecture transcripts and the chance to download certificates.
Payments & refunds: $224 per person, though this is subject to sales and promos. There is no refund available.
How to open a Datacamp account
Opening a Datacamp account is incredibly straightforward:
- Open the main page
- Select whether you want to learn for free or go straight to the premium option
- Create an account using either your email, Facebook or Google
Is Datacamp worth it?
The answer to this question ultimately depends on both your learning preferences and background.
There are probably places that go into a little more detail and sophistication and are broader.
If you already have experience, it’s probably better that you search for individual courses on major education platforms that will fill specific gaps in your knowledge.
But for intermediates and beginners like me, Datacamp is ideal.
Concepts are broken down methodically, with practical exercise and an all-round focus on making you a better data scientist rather than just someone who can type out a few lines of code.
I was also impressed by how everything was laid out so neatly and coherently and by the range of resources available, including workspaces, competitions, projects and more.
You have the chance to learn both the specific technology and how to apply them to external concepts like statistics and finance.
Whilst there is no refund, you can’t really put a price on the skills taught here, especially when you keep in mind that a lot of content is there for free.
Frequently asked questions
Datacamp is $224 per year, but this is subject to various sales and promos that they run.
No, Datacamp does not run a refund policy.
350+ courses as well as Skills Pathways and Careers Pathways.
Datacamp does offer you the chance to learn for free, granting you access to 6 courses and the first chapter of every course.
Datacamp gives you the chance to be certified as either a Data analyst or Data scientist, which can add massive value to your resume and impress your friends.
Datacamp is available in English, Spanish, French, Chinese [simplified], Portuguese, German, Korean, Japanese, Russian, and Italian.
Charlie is a student reading politics at King’s College London. He is also a passionate musician with over 14 years of experience. In his free time, he also enjoys cinema, long-distance running and learning new things.