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The Ultimate Learning Path to Becoming a Data Scientist in 2018


So you’ve taken the plunge. You want to become a data scientist. But where to begin? There are far too many resources out there. How do you decide the starting point? Did you miss out on topics you should have studied? Which are the best resources to learn?

Don’t worry, we have you covered!

Analytics Vidhya’s learning path for 2016 saw 250,000+ views. In 2017, we went even further and saw an incredible 500,000+ views! So this year, we have made the learning path more interactive than ever before and we can’t wait for you to experience it yourself.


What changes have we made in the learning path?

This year, the learning path has been designed on a completely new LMS portal. This portal allows you to track your progress as your data science journey continues. We have designed questions and exercises after each module to test your understanding. You will also be able to access the related hackathons / practice problems from the same place.

We even have a discussion portal within the learning path where you can share your doubts and queries and even post the awesome projects you’re working on!

Take a sneak peek below of how the progress tracking looks like:

Here it is then – the ultimate learning path to becoming a Data Scientist in 2018!


Just a few things to note before you experience our new LMS portal:

  1. We have published the resources for January and February to get you started on your path. We will publish the remaining links in the next couple of weeks.
  2. The majority of this learning path is based on learning through Python. Why is this so – because we are increasingly getting convinced that Python is the way to go for complete beginners (at least for 2018).

Below is a summary of the learning path – an overview what you should follow throughout the year. Let’s get cracking



Getting Started with Data Science and Python

By the end of January, you’ll know what role data science plays in the industry. You’ll also be able to answer the burning question – why use Python and how is it useful?



Statistics, Data Exploration and Basic Data Visualization

Before this month is over, you should have a firm grasp over the basics of statistics. You should also be proficient at exploring the dataset given to you and know the role data visualization plays in this. The budding data scientist is slowly coming out!



Probability and Machine Learning Basics (Part I)

Time to get into machine learning!

By the end of the month, you should have a firm command on the basic machine learning topics like linear and logistic regression, among others. To test what you’ve learnt so far, we will provide you with two projects to apply your newly acquired data science skills!



Machine Learning Basics (Part II) and Feature Engineering

Continue learning the ML basics and by the end of April, you should know enough to take part in hackathons are secure a decent rank. Also, go in depth into feature engineering – one of the MOST important things in data science.



Build Your Data Science Persona

Building models is not enough. The real test of a data scientist comes in explaining the power of the model you’ve created to non-technical people. By the end of May, you should have structured your thinking and personality as a data scientist to be able to do this.

This is a very critical month in your progress. Attempt to get a high ranking in hackathons and competitions all the while learning how to make an impactful presentation of your work. Also, start looking for an internship; you should have enough knowledge by now to secure one.



Advanced Machine Learning and Time Series Modeling

Deep dive into advanced machine learning. With half the year behind you, you should be ready to tackle advanced ML algorithms and time series models.



Dealing with Unstructured Data

Unfortunately, most real-world data comes in an unstructured format. This month you should get a deeper understanding of how to deal with unstructured data in business scenarios including learning the Natural Language Processing field. At the end of the month, you will be given a few projects to apply your newly learned skills.



Introduction to Deep Learning

Here comes one of the hottest data science subjects around – Deep Learning! By the end of August, you should be able to deal with basic neural network problems. As usual, we will provide you with a couple of projects to test your mettle.


September – October


Practice is the name of the data science game. Keep checking your progress by taking part in competitions.

By the end of October, you should also be familiar with topics like recommendation methods, and reinforced learning. This is also when you should start taking up a language like SQL to interact with databases (a truly important skill for a data scientist).


November – December

Apply for jobs and further enhance your portfolio

If you have seriously followed this plan, you should be able to deal with interview questions. Continue to acquire new skills, delve into Big Data and make sure you stick to your plan!


A few things to keep in mind:

A few pointers to make this learning path (and 2018) super successful for you:

  • Follow and experience it on our new LMS. It will need a one time sign up, but once you are done (or you sign in with your existing Analytics Vidhya id), you can track your progress and assignment at a single place. It sounds like I am selling you our new LMS – but it is free and makes life super easy.
  • Learn, Engage, Compete and Get Hired! That is exactly what you need to do. Make sure you follow the activities mentioned. Data Science is all about learning through practice and showing curiosity through data. Follow these and you will be hired before the year finishes.
  • Remember – depth matters more than the breadth – So, whatever you do, do it well. While we have laid out things on a time line – you should be doing this on your own pace and time. If you need more time to grasp statistics – you take that. You are not missing a bus by grasping the fundamentals


Let’s get started

2018 – here we come! I hope this year our path gets 1,000,000+ visits! We have made sure that we put all our wisdom and experience in creating it. Having said that – Is there anything you feel we should have included?

Or if you had taken our learning path last year – what was your experience and how do you like the current changes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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  • Anil says:

    Tried to enroll LMS. But didn’t get any activation email(s). Tried with a couple of accounts. Still the same issue.

  • Eswar says:

    Thank you was waiting for this post from long time. Awesome, you guys rock !!

  • George says:

    One month is not enough for the topics listed. Even one year wouldn’t be enough to master the topics.

  • Anubhav says:

    Its a great initiative. Could we have the course in R as well?

  • Vijayasankar K says:

    Thanks Kunal for this great initiative. I was looking exactly for some thing like this from AV team. I am sure lot of newbies like me will be beneficial from this new effort from your side.

  • udit says:

    Tried to enroll LMS. But didn’t get any activation email(s). Please look in the matter sir . Thank you.

  • stevenferrer says:

    This is my most awaited post from AV. Thank you very much!

  • Pardeep says:

    Tried to enroll LMS. But didn’t get any activation email(s). Tried with a couple of accounts. Still the same issue.

  • Mathew says:

    Hi, not getting any activation mails to log into the LMS. Kindly look into this issue.

  • Arjit Kandpal says:

    You guyz are awesome. Same question can we have a course in R?

  • Abhishek Garg says:

    Unable to enrol and begin learning. Please suggest

  • Sorath Soomro says:

    I have logged into the LMS, where is the 2018 learning path? or do we use the same links as in the 2017 one?

  • Bala Vedam says:

    I am getting an error when submitting answers to questions in the course.
    “We’re sorry, there was an error with processing your request. Please try reloading your page and trying again.”

  • Bhavya says:

    (1)What is the difference in all kinds of analysts like investment,business,testing ,financial ,operation,quality ,data,etc and do they all come under the same roof!!?.
    (2)And can any of the analyst can become a data scientist.
    (3) Also if everyone tries to become a data scientiist there would be a sudden hype in this field.!Any views to stay motivated.Initially I liked this field coz I found it unique and gave satisfaction atleast in the crowd I am familiar with. Any opinion to keep me motivated.
    (4)Also machine learning can and AI some day seem to take over all the data science jobs with a better efficiency.Your views on this!

  • niks_6600 says:

    Hi Kunal.
    This is what i was looking for.But the above course on data science is in Python but is there any on r also?
    You wrote “Something on R is on the way – but it would take a few weeks” isn’t the complete course like above on r?

    • Kunal Jain says:

      The one on R would be an updated learning path on R – so it would focus specifically on teaching data science on R. This takes a bit more holistic approach with an aim to get you a job in a year. For example, the learning path on R would not talk about attending meetups / conference. It would start with what you need to learn R and achieve that objective.

      • Sorath Soomro says:

        For now shall us that want to use R instead of Python start this course (e.g the statistics components)? Will it be the same content just with R?

  • Parul Pandey says:

    I have been an avid reader of AV’s all blog posts which i feel are always very well written: Crisp & Precise. My tryst with AV began a couple of years back when i thought of diving into the world of Data Science and since then no day has passed when I don’t refer to AV for any slightest doubt or syntax or query …almost everything.I believe the resources available for Data science are immense which makes us drown in so much of data. AV on the other hand acts a guiding mentor in leading us towards the right material .The learning paths are one such ‘Guru’ which is a blessing for all the newbies and especially for the ones like me who believe in following a Schedule . But the Learning Path for 2018 has surpassed all my expectations . It now seems like a virtual tutor with ready made recipes. I am sure people are going to be benefitted greatly .Hope to continue the good work in the field of ‘Free Education for All’.
    (sorry for the long post but was thinking of writing it since a long time)

  • Prateek says:

    Thanks Kunal. This was useful and informative. Will look forward to get enrolled in this learning path

  • Sorath says:

    Eagerly waiting for the one with R! How much longer do we need to wait?

  • Leo Wang says:

    waiting for the R version

  • Deepak M says:

    Is LMS a Paid service? How do I enroll for this?

    • Aishwarya Singh says:

      Hi deepak,

      You can use this link to access the course.

      • kishore says:


        Tried as you said, but getting below answer.
        “Note : Past discussion for this course is temporarily not visible, you will get to see in next few days.


        Analytics Vidhya Team”

        can you please let me know when the course visible .

        • Aishwarya Singh says:


          You are currently at the home page of the course. You will see a ‘course’ tab on the screen. You can access the course from there.
          Let us know if you still face any difficulty.

  • Tomi says:

    Hello, I just enrolled and I am starting from January will I be able to complete it say June 2019

    • Aishwarya Singh says:

      Hi Tomi,

      Starting now, you certainly will be able to finish this by June 2019 (or even before that).

      Good Luck!


    Could you please suggest best training/tutorials/ videos to follow the above plan.

    ex –
    Statistics, Data Exploration and Basic Data Visualization
    What is the best source to learn.

    This will really help me to stop reinventing wheel.


  • Nivedita Koneri says:

    I have enrolled for this course. I have installed Gitbash and Miniconda3 as per instructions given. But afterwards I am not able to follow the instructions. Can someone guide me step by step? Thanks in advance.

  • Shubham Gupta says:

    Hello Team,

    Thank you for sharing this article. Its already been July end and I will be starting with the First Course and hope to continue it within the year.