Data analytics is one of the hottest fields that you can get into right now. The demand is high and there are so many opportunities in a variety of companies and organizations. And the truth is, there are also an abundance of opportunities to learn data analytics online for free.
Learning for free
Typically people think of getting an education by paying to enroll at a university or college and going to a classroom to listen to an instructor give a lecture. This is one way.
But not the only way. These days, there are so many ways to learn, and not all of them cost money.
You can find all kinds of learning opportunities and not have to spend a dime.
One of the best ways I’ve found to learn anything I need to learn quickly is YouTube. This is usually for a task or a technique rather than an entire topic, but very effective for this purpose.
Example: I need to figure out how to change the serpentine belt on my 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan.
YouTube is the place to go. There is almost assuredly someone that has posted a video of themselves going through the process.
Another example: I need to figure out how to JOIN two tables in SQL in a way that will limit the results to just those rows that include people from the customer table that also have a record for a purchase in 2018 from the orders table.
YouTube. There will most likely be a bunch of videos of other data pros going over how to do that and perhaps the advantages of doing it one way over another.
So YouTube is a great resource if you just need to figure out how to learn something specific.
Online training companies
There is a seemingly unlimited supply of courses online for learning just about anything. But there are many different categories of training resources.
Here are some resources for online course providers, many of which are free:
- many others
Most of these sites offer either free courses, or an introductory period of free access to try out the courses.
This category of resources is companies that provide training as their business. Like I said above, some offer some of their courses free to give you a taste and hope that you’ll then pay for other courses.
Some of them offer free access for a time so that you will then pay for continued access once you’ve gotten a chance to try it and love it.
A lot of these courses are done by experts in the industry they are training in. This is a huge advantage over some other types of education choices where you may have an instructor who has either never put into practice the things they are teaching, or have been out of the game for long enough to perhaps be out-of-date.
Universities and other formal learning institutions
Many, if not most universities and colleges now offer online access to a huge portion of their courses. And so many of this content is free. Here is just a small list of some of the best I’ve seen and tried:
- The University of Texas
- Boston University
- The University of Queensland
- Sorbonne Universite
- The University of British Columbia
- Brown University
- Arizona State
- Seoul National University
- National University of Singapore
- The University of Edinburgh
- The University of Tokyo
- The University of Toronto
- The University of Chicago
- AND MORE!
I know I went a little overboard on that list, but it blows my mind how many world-class schools are offering their courses for free. This is a crazy time we live in and you and I can reap the benefits.
One of the ways you could use this knowledge is to learn the material before you actually enroll in a university and then be more prepared to take the course and graduate with your degree.
Or, you could even just take the course and use the knowledge in your career to get a new job, or get ahead in your current field.
Either way, you win.
Corporate courses on their own products and services
The third type of resource is the training provided by companies on their products or services, or on their industry.
Some companies have so much knowledge and expertise available, and to be helpful to the world or to build up the pool of people that can use their product or maybe come work for them, they share this knowledge.
Here is a list of companies that offer training:
- Amazon Web Services
- Home Depot
- SBA (even the US Govt)
Companies today understand that the more you know about their products and services, the more you will buy and use them. They are incentivized to train you and add to the community’s knowledge.
If you are interested in bettering yourself or just need to know something about a topic to help you get something done, there is no excuse today to not learn it. There are so many resources available for you to build your knowledge and skills for free.
As you learn, you improve yourself and the world you live in. The leading companies and organizations know this and have provided the free training you can use to get started on your quest.
A lot of what we’ve covered in this post is not only related to data analytics. Free training is available on almost any topic.
But the principle applies to data analytics perfectly. Look at resources from the industry, and find the ones for data analytics. It’s just a matter of narrowing your search.
Look around and you’ll find some of the greatest training for no cost to you.
Now, maybe the hardest thing you’ll have to deal with is where to start.