Harvard Data Science Course vs. MIT Data Science Course


With most working professionals and students confined indoors waiting it out for offices to open, there was never a better time to upskill than now. Students who wanted to go for a formal university course and were unable to can now register for any of the online courses conducted by leading universities and learn from the comfort of home. Working professionals looking at ways to upskill for a steeper career trajectory can take courses that align with their field of work. Many have lost their jobs and would like to make use of the time to learn courses that re-launch their career.  Online Data Science Boot Camps are the ultimate answer for graduates and working executives looking for a learning path that meets the demands of a data-driven job market.

For the curious minds, let us explore the available Data Science Bootcamps.

As the demand for skilled Data Science practitioners grows, there arises the need for expertise in the techniques and tools used for data analysis. For the Analytics newbie, a fundamental understanding of the statistical concepts and Data Science tools helps to kick-start a career in Data Science. The Harvard Data Science Online Bootcamp is one of the best available for beginners. The more advanced programs provide rigorous learning and hands-on experience with live projects, such as the MIT Data Science and the NYC Data Science Academy.

The Harvard Data Science Course 

The Harvard Data Science Professional Certification is delivered via the edX online platform for self-paced learning. It does not have any prerequisites to register. The course is designed to help students and executives achieve proficiency in basic academic learning as well as gain proficiency in the tools and skills needed to land a Data Science job.

The program runs for 1 year and 5 months and requires you to take Capstone Exams at the end of each week for 2 weeks. Once you have completed all the modules at your own pace, taken the Capstone exams and satisfied the exam criteria, you are eligible for the Harvard Data Science Professional Certificate as per the terms of the edX honor code.

What to expect:

  • Basic skills in R programming and use of various packages to wrangle, visualize and analyze data
  • Introduction to Statistical concepts like probability, inference, linear progression, and modeling
  • Practice with the necessary Data Science tools, undertake projects using Unix/Linux, GitHub, and on the RStudio
  • Execution of  machine learning algorithms and practice with recommendations systems

Additionally, you are taught

  • The fundamental concepts of Data Science  through real-world case studies, and
  • The Theory of Probability.

Embed Youtube Video URL here: https://www.youtube.com/embed/NaUB716dMpQ

MIT Data Science Course

The MIT Data Science Course is offered at the edX online platform as an expert instructor-led course: the MicroMasters Program in Statistics and Data Science. A prerequisite is university graduation and a strong aptitude for mathematics and statistics. A programming language like R or Python is an added advantage, although not compulsory. The course is designed for the Data Science practitioner or researcher to help solve complex real-world problems. The program has a series of five graduate-level courses from top universities geared to prepare you with necessary learning and in-demand skills for the job market.

The edX-MIT program trains the learner in strong analytical skills. It aims at giving the learner a thorough understanding of statistical concepts, data analysis, and machine learning and achieve proficiency in Data Science tools and techniques.

The program runs for 1 year and 2 months and requires you to complete the assignments and Capstone Exams on the given dates. Once you have completed all the modules, demonstrating your knowledge and skills in the assessments, you earn a verified certificate. To be eligible for the MIT Data Statistics and Data Science Certification as per the terms of the edX honor code, learners must earn a verified certificate in four courses and succeed in a virtually-led Capstone Exam.

What to expect:

  • Foundational knowledge of data science and probabilistic models
  • Introduction to Statistical Concepts and principles of statistical inference
  • Execution of  machine learning algorithms and practice with recommendations systems
  • Practice in machine learning, linear models and deep learning methods with the use of Python
  • Analytical techniques in various real-world challenges

Harvard Data Science course vs. MIT Data Science course 

There are plenty of University-led Online Data Science courses to choose from. So what makes the Harvard Data Science Course better or the MIT Data Science? How do they compare?

These online Bootcamps are conducted by some of the best universities in the world. Their structured learning is combined with exams and projects that you must pass for earning a Verified Certificate. These certifications are trusted by leading global companies and institutions for their world-class curriculum and projects.

Most of these courses offer a similar curriculum and structure. However, some differences come into play when choosing the Data Science Bootcamp to enroll in.

The Harvard Data Science Course is meant for the analytics beginner and priced suitably lower. Besides, it is self-paced and convenient for any student or working executive to take alongside his other curriculum or job.  However, the MIT Data Science Course is more advanced, meant for graduates or postgraduates, with a deeper focus on statistical techniques and their use cases. It is priced at more than double that of the Harvard Bootcamp. As the learning is more structured and exams held on fixed dates, learners require more discipline if they are taking this course alongside their job.

The MIT Bootcamp counts as credit toward completing a Master’s degree program. Learners who earned the MicroMasters program certificate are eligible for enrolling at several Master’s programs, like the MIT Doctoral Program in Social and Engineering Systems (SES), and earn credit at several global for a Master’s degree.


At the end of the day, you must ask yourself what you want out of the online Bootcamp? Where do you see yourself at the end of the course? How much are you willing to spend? Are you ready to devote the time required for the course?

Address these questions and opt for the Data Science Online Bootcamp that suits you best, and watch your career take off!