By any number of metrics and rankings, the data science program at Harvard University has long been considered the premiere option for individuals looking to pursue careers in the field. As with any program at a prestigious Ivy League school, Harvard offers a combination of top-of-their-field instructors, outstanding networking potential, and practical and applied coursework that churn out skilled data science professionals year after year.
As with any demanding academic program, what happens inside the classroom is essential, but is not the only opportunity for you to maximize your education during your time in school. Data science is a tough field -- that’s why there’s so much demand for qualified data science professionals. As a result, data science programs are often considered among the most demanding of any postgraduate field of study.
This is where SoloLearn comes in -- with a suite of tools designed to help students gain additional practice opportunities, feedback, and answer questions that may not be covered during traditional studies, the SoloLearn app is the ideal way to “upgrade” your time studying data science at Harvard, and offers an invaluable resource right in your pocket to help you navigate the toughest aspects of your coursework.
In this guide we will first break down what to expect when entering the data science program at Harvard. Then, we will walk you through the many tools that SoloLearn can offer you to support your studies.
What To Expect From Harvard’s Data Science Program
In the words of the university, Harvard’s data science program “provides an opportunity for students to gain advanced quantitative methods skills while learning how to apply them to the most interesting and immediate social science questions”. In other words, Harvard’s program is lauded for offering a combination of technical knowledge and proof of application -- giving students the chance to apply what they learn in data science to actual questions and problems in the field.
The program is centered around a “Foundations of Data Science” requirement, which requires prospective students to couple their instruction with a series of dedicated methods courses (with some flexibility among specific courses to choose from) designed specifically for “students who have a strong interest in the social sciences but also want to gain the increasingly necessary skills of data analysis”.
There are several tangible and intangible benefits to this approach to teaching data science:
- Many novice data scientists struggle with developing the theoretical questions that allow them to apply their learning. Harvard’s focus on applications gives students the opportunity for hands-on experience with this practice, before ever entering the workforce.
- The applied/methods approach also allows Harvard to draw on its deep and talented alumni base, many of whom hold senior positions at the biggest names in tech, including Apple, Google, Facebook, and others.
- This integration with actual corporations and current experienced data scientists also offers students invaluable networking opportunities. The data science program allows students to cultivate job leads and internships well before their studies are completed.
But what courses would you take? While the data science program’s website can offer an exhaustive list, a few examples include:
Foundations of Data Science course list:
- Stat 139 (Linear Models)
- CS 109a/Stat 121a (Data Science 1: Intro to Data Science)
Advanced Methods course list:
- Gov 1005 (Data)
- Gov 1006 (Models)
- Gov 2001 (Advanced Quantitative Research Methodology)
- Gov 2002/Stat 186 (Causal Inference)
- Gov 2003 (Topics in Quantitative Methodology)
So now that you know what you can expect from the program, let’s explore how SoloLearn fits in.
How SoloLearn’s Suite of Tools Help Enhance Your Learning
SoloLearn, by design, is intended to be a valuable resource for students at all levels of experience with data science and programming writ large. With this focus, SoloLearn is structured to provide resources and opportunities to help students grow at their own pace -- or, in the case of a potential data science student, the ability to enhance your classroom learning with opportunities for practice, measuring gains, and getting questions answered.
So what tools are especially useful for you in a data science program? Here are just a few of the most practical features SoloLearn can offer to help you progress through the course load:
Courses Specifically Designed to Teach You Tools for Data Science
SoloLearn offers a variety of courses spanning many of the most popular and widely used programming languages and tools currently available. One that should be particularly interesting to data science students is the Python for Data Science course -- an overview of one of the most reliable platforms for performing advanced data science and actually applying the principles you would learn as part of your studies at Harvard.
So what would this online course offer in addition to your normal classes?
- Over thirty individual short lessons on major principles in using Python for data analysis - perfect for getting a refresher before an exam in class, or to clarify confusion that you might not have cleared up during lecture.
- An international community of thousands of fellow learners, all posting questions or offering advice together. Think of them as collaborators and teammates in your learning!
- Fun skill quizzes covering the various principles of Python - again, a perfect tool for studying or test preparation to ensure you understand and can apply the language before taking any exams in class.
In addition to the Python course, SoloLearn also offers useful data science courses in:
- Machine Learning - a rapidly expanding field that offers exciting career potential and a host of possibilities for developing systems and technology to power the future.
- Python 3 Tutorial - a foundational course that explores the basics of the powerful Python 3 language; especially useful for students who have less experience in programming.
- SQL Fundamentals - similarly, this course covers all of the basics of SQL, an essential tool for manipulating data sets and creating useful queries for data analysis and research.
Daily Learning Goals and Creator Tips
One of the best ways to stay on top of your studies in a demanding program like the Harvard data science courses is to create goals and milestones to motivate you and keep you on task. While some folks are better than others at creating goals and adhering to them, SoloLearn does the work for you and helps you stay motivated by measuring your progress and logging skills and particular subject areas you’ve mastered.
SoloLearn also offers other useful metrics for helping you stay on track and fill in your knowledge gaps as you progress through the data science program:
- Achievements and badges for your profile after completing quizzes, daily goals, and courses - these rewards help you stay motivated and gain confidence, which is particularly important when progressing through a demanding data science program.
- Daily creator tips and customized feedback, which provides the extra assistance you need to master a particularly difficult concept.
- A single useful dashboard for tracking questions you have posted, answers you have received, code you have created, and other important info to help you choose future courses and learning practices.
Enhance Your Data Science Coursework With SoloLearn
Convinced that SoloLearn is a useful tool to help you make the most of your time in the Harvard data science program? Great! We saved the best news for last - it’s incredibly easy to start using SoloLearn and reaping educational benefits today.
Download the app on your phone from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store -- it only takes a minute. Once in the app, create your own user account and choose a plan that makes sense for you. Once you’ve done this, you’ll have all of the resources, tools, and functions of SoloLearn to assist you as you master the skills of data science and move toward your career in the field!