Web scraping is a rapidly growing industry that’s constantly looking for experienced professionals in both development and data analysis. Acquiring these skills can open up huge swaths of the job market or provide a good source of inspiration for starting a business.
Yet, good courses on web scraping are still hard to find. As the industry is still somewhat young, the market for paid courses isn’t that large, so only a few creators have taken up the responsibility of guiding others through the process.
In this article, we’ve reviewed and listed the best sources for those looking to learn web scraping, data science, and any associated activities.
Scraping Experts is an online web data and scraping resource that provides lessons from a leading company in data acquisition solutions. While they are not structured as online courses, there are numerous lessons that tackle practical and niche topics, allowing people to acquire the most important web scraping skills.
There are numerous lessons, ranging from basic ways to scrape websites to building entire real-time monitoring systems. All of these web scraping lessons include numerous references for anything that’s cited during the video, which makes it easy to continue the learning process. Additionally, the creators of the online courses encourage students to send in questions by email for Oxylabs’ experts to answer.
Oxylabs also continually adds more lessons on various web scraping topics, from scaling systems to working with search engine optimization, allowing subscribers to get a constant feed of the most advanced industry knowledge.
All of those benefits are granted completely for free, so it’s a tremendous web scraping resource and an amazing starting point for nearly any skill level. The ability to ask any question and have it answered by a web scraping expert also adds immense value, which is hard to find in other online courses.
2.Web Scraping and API Fundamentals in Python
Offered by one of the largest online training courses providers, Udemy, the Web Scraping and API Fundamentals in Python course is a 4-hour long training material that mostly deals with website data acquisition and APIs. It’s a fairly extensive online course that builds a solid foundation about all things web scraping.
Throughout the web scraping course, students will learn everything they need, from the very basics, such as CSS Selectors, XML data, and others, to advanced techniques employed when making a web crawler and other similar software. It is clearly tailored towards those who have little knowledge and want to learn web scraping.
Additionally, there are several important lessons that go above the basics of extracting online data. Creating and using APIs is another important skill related to web scraping, so the course quickly goes through the fundamentals, allowing students to gain a better understanding of the industry.
While the course is quite expensive for web scraping basics, it still provides a lot of value to anyone looking to go above and beyond rudimentary free tutorials. Finally, Udemy often runs discounts on various online courses, so if such an opportunity arises, the lessons could be of even greater value.
The only real drawback is that instead of being focused on several programming languages, the web scraping course is intended only for Python. That is not much of an issue, however, as Python is the most popular language for building a web scraping tool.
It’s one of the longer courses that uses a popular programming language to teach those that are learning web scraping. The entire course is dedicated to more mid-level developers instead of complete beginners as it does list a basic understanding of HTML, Nodejs, and jQuery as requirements.
As such, it’s a great way to learn web scraping for those with some level of knowledge and experience in the field. Additionally, the course is filled with practical examples such as scraping web pages, usage of different libraries, and ways of extracting online data.
In the end, the course is great for those who already have some knowledge and want to try their hand at scraping real websites. Anything additional is simply a nice bonus that’s available for the students to learn.
4.Web Scraping in Python
Pricing: Highly variable, depending on the plan chosen on Datacamp.
Web Scraping in Python is one of the best online training courses to learn everything you need to know about data extraction. As mentioned earlier, web scraping with Python is one of the most popular approaches due to its ease of use when compared to other programming languages.
Additionally, the course, while only 4 hours long, purports to teach everything you need to know to learn web scraping at such a level that it would be enough to get hired for a job. Throughout the course, the most popular tools are used, such as the Beautiful Soup library, Selenium, and others that lead to building a powerful web scraper.
Outside of teaching the web scraping basics, the course also gives insights into how to properly engage with data parsing, an important topic in the field. In short, students will learn to scrape HTML pages in such a way that produces easily readable outputs at scale and with several file-saving options.
As a result, the web scraping with Python course is excellent for any newcomer to the industry. It not only teaches the most popular programming language but does so through the usage of the most common libraries and other tools, enabling people to easily transfer these skills to the real world.
5.Using Python to Access Web Data
Pricing: Free enrollment and financial aid available.
Using Python to Access Web Data is an intermediate level course that teaches web scraping with Python for those with some experience in the field. It is created and led by the University of Michigan as part of its Master’s Degree program, making it one of the best online training courses available.
Like many of the other courses, it purports to teach APIs, reading, parsing, and extracting data from multiple web pages, and formatting everything to HTML, XML, and JSON file formats. Additionally, the course includes a textbook that is considered required reading, so there’s plenty of supplemental material available.
One of the great benefits of the online course is that it provides a certification of completion. There are other courses that would combine into a full package of web scraping with Python knowledge, however, just the single one is already enough to get what’s necessary.