Data Science and Machine Learning for Beginners: DataCamp versus the Academic Approach

Benjamin Obi Tayo Ph.D.
4 min readOct 8, 2018

Data Science, Machine Learning, and Analytics are considered to be among the hottest career paths. The demand for skilled data science practitioners in industry, academia, and government is rapidly growing. The ongoing “data rush” is therefore attracting so many professionals with diverse backgrounds such as physics, mathematics, statistics, economics, and engineering. The job outlook for data scientists is very positive. The IBM predicts the demand for data scientist to soar 28% by 2020:

With so many professionals interested in data science, what is the best way to learn the fundamentals of data science?

Data Science is such a broad field that includes several subdivisions like data preparation and exploration; data representation and transformation; data visualization and presentation; predictive analytics; machine learning, etc. For beginners, learning the fundamentals of data science can be a very daunting task especially if you don’t have proper guidance as to the necessary training required, or what courses to take, and in what order?

I started learning about data science about a year ago. It was quite challenging from the beginning, but let me share with you the approach that worked for me.

Tips for learning data science and machine learning

A) Do not be in a rush

If you have not read this article: “Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years” by Peter Norvig (Director of Machine Learning at Google), I encourage you to do so. Here is a link to the article:

The point here is that you don’t need ten years to learn the basics of data science, but learning data science in a rush is certainty not helpful.

B) DataCamp versus the Academic Approach

DataCamp ( is certainly a good website where you can learn lots of different skills from basic programming concepts to advance skills such as data science and machine…



Benjamin Obi Tayo Ph.D.

Dr. Tayo is a data science educator, tutor, coach, mentor, and consultant. Contact me for more information about our services and pricing: