Everyone likes to help each other out. This is just as true in the technology world as it is anywhere else. If someone had a question that I knew the answer, I would help them as soon as they asked. They may return the favor someday, either to me or someone else. It's how we are wired.
The kind of Python help I need however, is not technical in nature. You see, I am writing an article about tutorials and course providers who charge hundreds of dollars for an introductory Python course.
The kind of help I need is informational. I am simply asking to provide answers to some questions and maybe some related comments. I am targeting two groups:
What I am asking is to answer questions that I pose to you if who fall in one of the two categories. You may answer the questions in the comments below or you can reach out to me directly with the following email:
firstname.lastname@example.org (please, no spam! It will be deleted!)
Here is my list of questions:
Questions for People Trying to Learn Python
How much would you be willing to pay for an introductory course to Python?
Would there be reasons for you to purchase beginning courses for Python that costs several hundreds of dollars?
What would you expect to be different with the higher-paid courses?
Have you spent several hundreds of dollars on an introductory Python course and was it worth it?
Have you taken a free or low-cost Python course after taking a high-cost course? Did you feel the high-cost course gave you more value?
How would you feel if you took a high-priced course and found out it offered similar teachings to a lower-priced course?
You may comment on anything else you feel about this issue. Please though, keep it confined to this topic!
Questions for Course Providers
Do you offer an introductory Python course? How much do you charge?
What does your course offer that isn't provided in the free or low-cost Python courses?
Have you taken any free or low-cost Python courses and if so, do they provide enough knowledge for people to learn Python?
Do you have any plans of lowering your prices in the near future?
You can add anything relevant to this topic that you feel would add to your position. Also, I will allow linking to your course or website (no affiliate links, please!) as a thank you for answering the questions, as long as it is relevant to this case study.
The Goal for My Future Article on Python
As you can surmise from my website, I review products and services related to data science. I try to provide readers with the best resources available to learn data science. I also want them to do so at the lowest cost possible. I want to feel confident with my recommendations.
I don't understand course providers who charge hundreds of dollars or more for an introductory course on Python. That is why I started this initiative: to better understand the motivations behind such high prices. I want to get a sense of how people learning Python feel about this.
Note: I am not including courses that are part of a matriculated college degree. Colleges charge per credit and is likely to be high for all courses that students take. This is an apples-to-oranges comparison. If you are a representative of a college answering these questions, I will exclude your answers for this reason! However, if your college offers a low-cost or free introductory Python course, I will include your response!
Not a Witch Hunt
I realize it may seem like I am picking on high-priced course providers. I am not. But, as part of reviewing products and services, I want to justify the costs associated with these resources to my readers. If they seem out-of-line, I want my readers to be aware. Readers may still choose the higher-priced options and that is fine.
Further, this is an opportunity for Python course providers to pitch their reasons for charging the prices they charge. If readers accept the reasons, they can link from the comments in this article and I will include the links in the future article that I create from this case study.
I realize that the questions may be a bit leading and biased towards my readers. It may even be putting high-priced course creators on the defensive. I stand by my position. This website is geared towards people trying to learn and break into data science. As mentioned, I do not understand charging a large sum of money to teach beginning Python courses.
My original intent was to create an article that tried to project why vendors would charge this large sum of money. However, I felt the case study you are reading now would give vendors the opportunity to have a voice. If the voice is convincing enough, they may even get sales from their courses. I won't edit their reasons or what they write (unless it's spam or affiliate links). However, that doesn't mean I will agree with the reasons if they are weak.
There are courses that could and probably should command higher prices than others. Alternatively, a website that offers many courses may be subscription-based, which is acceptable too, assuming the subscription costs are reasonable. For instance, an advanced course on machine learning that includes several case studies and real world examples may justify a higher price.
Thank you to everyone who participates in this case study. I believe it will offer value to all. I look forward to your responses. Please share, too!