I have an undergraduate degree in political science and a post-graduate degree in publishing, but consider edX’s 3-month Python course the crown jewel on my resume. I work in marketing research, and the software traditionally used in this industry is SPSS. It’s slow, difficult to learn, and expensive.
I was sure there had to be a better way to crunch data than using this old-school program, so in September 2012 I decided to get serious about data analysis. I noticed edX was offering MITx Intro to Computer Science using Python. I took the course and loved it. At the time when I’d sent my soon-to-be employers my resume (with the edX/MITx Python course listed on it) they were not even aware of Python. It was only during my interview that it became clear that they understood Python to be a programming language, and that the course I had taken was from a reputable U.S. university – both of those factors reassured them that I had the skills needed to manage the data automation job I was applying for.
Once I got started in my new position, my new employers became excited about how I was using Python, instead of SPSS, to speed up automated data analysis processes. Some of my colleagues have become enthusiastic as well, and have signed up for the latest Intro to CompSci using Python from MITxon the edx.org platform. Our company is gradually adopting Python as the primary tool to automate data analysis, giving us a substantial competitive advantage in our market. I brought Python to this new company and filled a gap in their structure that they were not aware they had. This never would have come about had it not been for that edX course.
I gratefully count myself amongst the large number of students who have used edX to boost their careers. After taking the Python course in 2012, I took BerkeleyX Intro to Statistics trilogy in 2013. I’m currently taking the Linux course and have signed up to the follow-up MITx Introduction to Computational Thinking and Data Science course that starts in October. Lifelong education is the way to go!