I first mentioned Coursera about a year ago, when I hired a new analyst in my core. This new hire came in as a very competent Python programmer with a molecular biology and microbial ecology background, but with very little experience in statistics. I got him to take Roger Peng’s Computing for Data Analysis course and Jeff Leek’s Data Analysis course, and four weeks later he was happily doing statistical analysis in R for gene expression experiments for several of our clients.

Today, Coursera announced *Specializations* – sequences of courses offered by the same institution, with the option of earning a specialization certificate from the University teaching the courses upon successful completion.

Among others, several specializations that look particularly interesting are:

**Johns Hopkins University’s Data Science Specialization**

This course, one of the longer specializations, is taught by Brian Caffo, Roger Peng, and Jeff Leek at Johns Hopkins. The courses in the specialization include:

The Data Scientist’s Toolbox
R Programming
Getting and Cleaning Data
Exploratory Data Analysis
Reproducible Research
Statistical Inference
Regression Models
Practical Machine Learning
Developing Data Products
A final Capstone Project
**Systems Biology (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sainai)**

Courses include:

Introduction to Systems Biology
Network Analysis in Systems Biology
Dynamical Modeling Methods for Systems Biology
Integrated Analysis in Systems Biology
A final Capstone Project
**Fundamentals of Computing (Rice University)**

Courses include:

An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python
Principles of Computing
Algorithmic Thinking
A final Capstone Project
Check out the Coursera Specializations page for other Coursera series.

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