8 Data Science skills
1.5 million jobs

Opportunities for data scientists—one of today’s hottest jobs—are rapidly growing in response to the exponential amounts of data being captured and analyzed. Companies hire data scientists to find insights and to solve meaningful business problems. Get the real-world knowledge and hands-on experience that can help you succeed in one of these new jobs.

Prove that you have what it takes in the Microsoft Professional Program.

BETA release

Data science track in the Microsoft Professional Program

Microsoft consulted data scientists and the companies that employ them to identify the core skills they need to be successful. We then developed a curriculum to teach these functional and technical skills, combining highly rated online courses with hands-on labs, concluding in a final capstone project. Individuals can earn a digitally sharable, résumé-worthy credential that confirms mastery of these critical skills.

Course schedule is now available

Why choose the Microsoft Professional Program for your data science career?

Gain the skills you need to help you get the job you want

When you apply for a job in data science, employers want to know if you can analyze and visualize data with Excel or Power BI and whether you can use R or Python to explore the data. They also want to know that you understand key topics, like statistics and machine learning. To see each concept and its associated skills and courses, click the following topics.

Instructions

These courses are presented in a suggested order, to guide you as you build your skills, but this order is only a suggestion. If you prefer, you may take them in a different order. You may also take them simultaneously or one at a time, so long as each course is completed within its specified session dates.

If multiple course options are listed, you are required to complete only one of the options to satisfy the requirements for graduation.

Available

16 May 2016 -through 28 July 2017

Price

You may audit any courses, including the associated hands-on labs, for free. However, to receive credit towards completing the data science track in the Microsoft Professional Program, you must obtain a Verified Certificate for each of the ten courses you successfully complete in the curriculum. During this BETA for the data science track, a Verified Certificate for the orientation course is US $25, and the Verified Certificate for “Statistical Thinking for Data Science and Analytics” is US $99. All other courses offer Verified Certificates for US $49 each. For more information, visit edX. Please note, pricing is subject to change. Additional charges may apply.

  • Data Science Orientation

    Delivered by Microsoft

    Course session: Now -through 31 March 2017 (Enrollment open: Now -through 24 March 2017)

    Course session: 01 April 2017 -through 30 June 2017 (Enrollment open: 24 March 2017 -through 23 June 2017

    Get started on your data science journey, as you learn what it takes to become a Data Scientist. Learn to work with and explore data using a variety of visualization, analytical, and statistical techniques.

  • Querying Data with Transact-SQL

    Delivered by Microsoft

    Course session: Now -through 31 March 2017 (Enrollment open: Now -through 24 March 2017)

    Course session: 01 April 2017 -through 30 June 2017 (Enrollment open: 24 March 2017 -through 23 June 2017

    Explore Transact-SQL, an essential skill for database professionals and developers working with SQL databases. Go from your first SELECT statement through to implementing transactional programmatic logic. Focus on querying and modifying data in Microsoft SQL Server or Azure SQL Database.

  • Option 1
    Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Excel

    Delivered by Microsoft

    Course session: Now -through 31 March 2017 (Enrollment open: Now -through 24 March 2017)

    Course session: 01 April 2017 -through 30 June 2017 (Enrollment open: 24 March 2017 -through 23 June 2017

    Explore tools in Excel that enable the analysis of more data than ever before, with improved visualizations and more sophisticated business logic. Learn how to import data from different sources, create mashups between data sources, and prepare data for analysis.

  • Option 2
    Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Power BI

    Delivered by Microsoft

    Course session: Now -through 31 March 2017 (Enrollment open: Now -through 24 March 2017)

    Course session: 01 April 2017 -through 30 June 2017 (Enrollment open: 24 March 2017 -through 23 June 2017

    Learn how to connect and visualize your data with Microsoft Power BI. Find out how to import your data, author reports using Power BI Desktop, and publish those reports to the Power BI service. Create dashboards and share with business users—on the web and on mobile devices.

  • Statistical Thinking for Data Science and Analytics

    Delivered by Columbia

    Course session: Now -through 10 March 2017 (Enrollment open: Now -through 02 March 2017)

    Learn how statistics plays a central role in the data science approach and how data scientists exercise statistical thinking in designing data collection, derive insights from visualizing data, obtain supporting evidence for data-based decisions, and construct models for predicting future trends.

  • Option 1
    Introduction to R for Data Science

    Delivered by Microsoft

    Course session: Now -through 31 March 2017 (Enrollment open: Now -through 24 March 2017)

    Course session: 01 April 2017 -through 30 June 2017 (Enrollment open: 24 March 2017 -through 23 June 2017

    Learn the R statistical programming language, the tool of choice for data science professionals. Discover its basic syntax, starting with variables and basic operations, and then learn how to handle data structures, such as vectors, matrices, data frames, and lists.

  • Option 2
    Introduction to Python for Data Science

    Delivered by Microsoft

    Course session: Now -through 31 March 2017 (Enrollment open: Now -through 24 March 2017)

    Course session: 01 April 2017 -through 30 June 2017 (Enrollment open: 24 March 2017 -through 23 June 2017

    Learn the basics of Python, including simple arithmetic operations, variables, and data structures. Explore Python functions and control flow, and create your own visualizations based on real data.

  • Data Science Essentials

    Delivered by Microsoft

    Course session: Now -through 31 March 2017 (Enrollment open: Now -through 24 March 2017)

    Course session: 01 April 2017 -through 30 June 2017 (Enrollment open: 24 March 2017 -through 23 June 2017

    Learn key concepts and techniques used to perform data science; including statistical analysis, data cleansing and transformation, and data visualization with R, Python, and Microsoft Azure Machine Learning.

  • Principles of Machine Learning

    Delivered by Microsoft

    Course session: Now -through 31 March 2017 (Enrollment open: Now -through 24 March 2017)

    Course session: 01 April 2017 -through 30 June 2017 (Enrollment open: 24 March 2017 -through 23 June 2017

    Learn how to build, evaluate, and optimize machine learning models; including classification, regression, clustering, and recommendation.

  • Option 1
    Programming with R for Data Science

    Delivered by Microsoft

    Course session: Now -through 31 March 2017 (Enrollment open: Now -through 24 March 2017)

    Course session: 01 April 2017 -through 30 June 2017 (Enrollment open: 24 March 2017 -through 23 June 2017

    Get up to speed with programming in R. Explore R data structures and syntaxes, see how to read and write data from a local file to a cloud-hosted database, work with data, get summaries, and transform them to fit your needs.

  • Option 2
    Programming with Python for Data Science

    Delivered by Microsoft

    Course session: Now -through 31 March 2017 (Enrollment open: Now -through 24 March 2017)

    Course session: 01 April 2017 -through 30 June 2017 (Enrollment open: 24 March 2017 -through 23 June 2017

    Learn to use Python to apply efficient, well-known mining models to unearth useful intelligence. Explore data visualization, feature importance and selection, dimensionality reduction, clustering, classification, and more.

  • Option 1
    Applied Machine Learning

    Delivered by Microsoft

    Course session: Now -through 31 March 2017 (Enrollment open: Now -through 24 March 2017)

    Course session: 01 April 2017 -through 30 June 2017 (Enrollment open: 24 March 2017 -through 23 June 2017

    Learn how to apply machine learning to solve common predictive problems, including text analytics, spatial data analysis, image processing, and time series forecasting.

  • Option 2
    Implementing Predictive Solutions with Spark in HDInsight

    Delivered by Microsoft

    Course session: Now -through 31 March 2017 (Enrollment open: Now -through 24 March 2017)

    Course session: 01 April 2017 -through 30 June 2017 (Enrollment open: 24 March 2017 -through 23 June 2017

    Learn how to use Spark in Microsoft Azure HDInsight to create predictive analytics and machine learning solutions. Find out how to cleanse and transform data, build machine learning models, and create real-time machine learning solutions using Python, Scala, and R with Apache Spark.

  • Option 3
    Developing Intelligent Applications

    Delivered by Microsoft

    Course session: Now -through 31 March 2017 (Enrollment open: Now -through 24 March 2017)

    Course session: 01 April 2017 -through 30 June 2017 (Enrollment open: 24 March 2017 -through 23 June 2017

    Learn how to develop smart applications that use machine learning to engage intelligently with users in imaginative ways.

  • Data Science Challenge

    Delivered by Microsoft

    Course session: 15 March 2017 -through 28 April 2017 (Enrollment open: 08 March 2017 -through 14 April 2017

    Course session: 15 June 2017 -through 28 July 2017 (Enrollment open: 08 June 2017 -through 14 July 2017

    Put everything you've learned into practice by participating in a data science challenge and competing with your fellow students. Take on a challenge on the Cortana Intelligence platform, where you develop and deploy a solution that is tested and scored to determine your grade.

Microsoft Professional Program Certificate in Data Science

Use the latest tools to solve real-world data problems

It takes more than knowledge to be effective as a data scientist—technical skills and real-world experience with data are critical. The courses in the Microsoft Professional Program include hands-on labs so you can practice with tools used by data scientists in the field today. Plus, each course includes assessments to ensure that you have mastered these new skills.

Learning online doesn’t mean learning alone

  • Graeme Malcom Graeme Malcom

    Senior Content Developer, Microsoft

  • Gerry O'Brien Gerry O'Brien

    Senior Content Developer, Microsoft

  • Liberty Munson Liberty J. Munson

    Principal Psychometrician and Quality Lead, Microsoft

  • Authman Apatira Authman Apatira

    Lead Instructor, Coding Dojo

  • Amy Nicholson Amy Nicholson

    Technical Evangelist, Microsoft

  • Richard Conway Richard Conway

    Microsoft MVP

When you’re learning online, it can be tough to get your questions answered. Courses in the Microsoft Professional Program include discussion groups which are actively monitored by Microsoft-trained teaching assistants. These teaching assistants, along with expert instructors and your fellow students, are there to share their knowledge and help you through the challenging parts.

Capstone project: Put your skills to the test

Cortana Intelligence Competitions logo

After successfully completing all courses and passing the individual assessments, demonstrate what you learned by solving a real-world data science problem. This capstone project takes the form of a challenge leveraging the Cortana Intelligence Platform, where you develop and deploy a solution using this fully managed big data and advanced analytics suite. Your solution is then tested and scored to determine your grade.

Frequently asked questions

Question What is the Microsoft Professional Program?

Answer Recognizing a shortage of qualified individuals to fill the growing need for specific job roles, Microsoft Professional Program is a new way to learn the skills and get the hands-on experience these roles require. After passing all courses in the curriculum and completing a final project, individuals earn a digitally sharable, résumé-worthy credential that confirms mastery of these functional and technical skills.

Question Will there be other subjects offered in addition to data science?

Answer Our initial program focuses on data science and is currently open for enrollment, with courses available at edX. Curriculum and courses for additional tracks are in-development. We expect future tracks to open in 2017 and include topics like Big Data Engineering and Front End Web Development.

Question Why should I consider participating?

Answer Data science is currently one of the hottest areas in technology and the need for data scientists is only expected to grow. To succeed in one of these new jobs, you’ll need real-world knowledge as well as hands-on experience. The curriculum for the data science track of the Microsoft Professional Program is delivered by experts in the theory and practice of data science from Microsoft and beyond and is designed to deliver the skills employers are looking for.