Photo of a review of Kaggle as a data science resource

A review of Kaggle as a data science resource – 2021 update

Hi, I’m Olga! I have years of experience in data science, most recently at eBay. Now I work as an industry mentor at Pathrise. I help data scientists land a great role through technical workshops and 1-on-1s. Check out my review of Kaggle.

Updated in 2021

What does Kaggle do?

Kaggle is a platform with resources for people who are current and aspiring data scientists. They have 19,000 public datasets and 200,000 public notebooks for people who are looking to get started or contribute to projects in order to advance their skills or build up their data science portfolios. They offer a no-setup, customizable, Jupyter Notebooks environment with access to free GPUs and a huge repository of community published data & code.

Photo of Kaggle platform

In addition, they have micro-courses on topics like machine learning, Python, deep learning, and more. These take about 3-7 hours to complete. Users can also participate in competitions to solve real-world data science problems. These give users the opportunity to put their skills to the test and learn from the community of over 3 million other data scientists. Some of the competitions also include prize money, which can be as much as $100,000.

On their blog, Kaggle provides even more data notes and sets. Plus, you can view news, tutorials, and interviews with prominent people in the field. They also have a job board where they source open data science positions from around the world. Candidates can subscribe to get openings directly in their inbox. 

Who is Kaggle for?

Data scientists of all levels can benefit from the resources and community on Kaggle. Whether you are a beginner, looking to learn new skills and contribute to projects, an advanced data scientist looking for competitions, or somewhere in between, Kaggle is a good place to go.

What does Kaggle cost? How much work is involved?

All of the resources on Kaggle are free. In order to access them, users just need to create an account using their email address or Google account. Some of the micro-courses have prerequisite knowledge that is needed in order to understand the content. This depends on the topic of the course.

Ratings and reviews

The Kaggle community highly rates the platform and the users really enjoy the competitions and opportunities to continue learning. There are lots of positive stories of novices in competitions who grow to become very strong, even winning some. 

That being said, for the most part, people describe Kaggle as beneficial for users who already have some background in data science. In fact, there is almost no introductory material. In addition, most of the micro-courses (and all of the competitions) require some background knowledge in data science languages (like R or Python) and machine learning. Once the user has this background, they can use Kaggle to continue learning and advancing their skills.

Alternatives to Kaggle

For data scientists who are looking to join a community and contribute to projects,

  • GitHub is a good alternative to Kaggle. There are 40 million developers, which includes software engineers and data scientists, on GitHub and a large number of open source projects.
  • For people with an interest in data science, Metis has part-time introduction courses as well as onsite and online bootcamp options. Learn more about Metis in our review.
  • Aspiring data scientists with graduate degrees in data-centric fields can check out The Data Incubator and Insight.
  • DataCamp, Dataquest, Promotable, Divergence Academy, K2 Data Science, and Data Science Dojo are also options for current and aspiring data scientists. They offer individual courses, as well as in-depth tracks.
  • You can check out Udacity and Springboard. These are online educational platforms that students can use to brush up on the basics or advance their current tech skills. Read more about Udacity and Springboard in our reviews.
  • Similarly, Codecademy is one of the most popular coding programs online. They provide free courses on many different programming languages. Learn more about Codecademy in our review.
More alternatives
  • edX is one of the largest online learning platforms. They have courses from top universities like Harvard and MIT as well as big tech companies like Microsoft. Learn more about edX in our review.
  • Users can also consider Udemy, Coursera, and Pluralsight, which are all online platforms that offer courses on a variety of topics within the umbrella of data science.
  • Free online resources, SoloLearn and the Mode tutorials have tracks in SQL, as well as other programming languages.
  • Coding Temple and RMOTR are Python data science and web development bootcamps, focusing on the fundamentals. Similarly, QuickStart has courses in web dev and data.
  • If you prefer in-person classes, check out Magnimind or Principal Analytics Prep, which have full-time and part-time data science courses.

For more alternatives, check out our best resources to learn data science.

How does Kaggle compare to Pathrise?

Kaggle is a community for data scientists that includes competitions, micro-courses, repositories, and datasets for projects. It is a great resource for people who are looking to expand their knowledge and keep their skills sharp.

At Pathrise, not only do we provide 1-on-1 and peer technical interview prep, including whiteboarding sessions, but we also work with our fellows on behavioral interviews, resume and LinkedIn optimization, portfolio building and strengthening, cold email and reverse recruiting, and negotiation templates and guidance. The community of current fellows, alumni, and of course our expert mentors support fellows in our program as they move through the job search.

That being said, there is definitely an opportunity for fellows to use Kaggle as a resource alongside Pathrise, especially for data scientists who want to use the competitions as interview prep. We always encourage fellows in our program to practice and learn as much as possible. That means that Kaggle is a good place to go for our data science fellows.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that works with students and professionals 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job in tech. With our tips and guidance, we’ve seen our fellows interview scores double.

If you want to work with any of our mentors 1-on-1 to get help with your technical and behavioral interviews or with any other aspect of the job search, become a Pathrise fellow. 

Apply today.

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