How to Learn R Programming Online

Explore the potential of R programming, a versatile and in-demand skill in the modern data-driven industry. Discover various resources for learning R, understand the benefits of using R for data analysis, statistical analysis, and data visualization tasks, and explore potential career paths in this field.

Key Insights

  • R, a free, open-source programming language, is highly valued in the field of data analysis and visualization, often used by Data Scientists, Business Analysts, Data Analysts, and those working in academia or science.
  • Beyond data analysis, R also offers extensive graphical tools and techniques, making it an excellent choice for creating publication-quality plots, especially those incorporating formulas or mathematical symbols.
  • R programming classes can be accessed through various methods, including live online and on-demand training, with providers such as Noble Desktop offering interactive, comprehensive classes and bootcamps.
  • For those interested in pursuing a career in data science, Noble Desktop offers a Data Science Certificate that includes instruction on programming fundamentals, creating machine learning models, and using Python to automate tasks.
  • Balancing R studies with other commitments is possible through self-paced, on-demand training, which is often more cost-effective than in-person or live online classes.
  • According to various industry reports, positions requiring R programming skills, such as Data Scientists and Business Analysts, often command competitive salaries, further demonstrating the value of learning this programming language.

If you’re just starting to learn a new skill, you can find dozens of tips and resources online; learning R programming is no different.R is a free, open-source programming language that has a range of uses for statistical analysis, as well as data visualization. If you’ve always wanted to learn R programming, plenty of options are available at your fingertips. From free tutorials to live classes, your learning choices are outlined here so you can decide how to study this language in a way that works best for you. 

What is R Programming?

R is a programming language that statisticians created for statistical data analytics. This popular language has a range of applications for performing statistical computing and creating data visualizations. It is often used by Data Scientists, Business Analysts, Data Analysts, and those working in academia or science for tasks specifically involving statistical analysis. R is currently available for free and can run on Windows and Mac OS, as well as a variety of UNIX platforms and related systems.

R provides users with a range of graphical and statistical techniques, such as time-series analysis, clustering, classification, and linear and nonlinear modeling. One of the benefits of working with R is that it simplifies the process of creating publication-quality plots, especially those that incorporate formulas or mathematical symbols. This versatile language includes a fully integrated suite of software tools, such as a data storage and handling facility, operations for performing calculations on arrays, an extensive, integrated set of data analytics tools, and graphical tools designed to analyze and visualize data.

Read more about what R programming is and why you should learn it.

What Can You Do with R Programming?

R was created to primarily help with graphics and statistical computations. This language can accomplish various tasks, from data storage to data analysis to generating statistical models. Of all the available programming languages, R is considered to be the one with the most tools devoted exclusively to statistics. This language can aid with descriptive statistics tasks, like calculating standard deviations and designing models for mapping linear regression.

One of R’s most useful features is its ability to help users create customized data visualizations and dashboards. Some consider R’s ggplot2 package the best data visualization tool available. This package allows users to draw nearly any plot they can conceive. In addition, those who wish to take their data visualizations in R to the next level can combine ggplot2’s syntax with Plotly’s interactive features to make dashboards that are as engaging as they are interactive. 

R draws from various machine learning tools so that users can make accurate, data-driven predictions. Users can select from an array of machine learning models, which have applications for creating predictive models, such as movie recommendation systems and churn models. In addition, R users can automate reporting by using R Markdown documents. R Markdown offers a straightforward, accessible syntax to generate various reports, such as presentations, books, or other written documents. This helps R users easily communicate data analysis results with others. 

Live Online R Programming Training

Another effective and engaging way to learn R is through live online training. Just like in-person study, this form of study allows students to connect with an expert instructor in real-time, who’s available to offer support and guidance and answer questions as they arise. Participants in live online R courses have the added perk of working from the comfort of their home or office space without the hassle of commuting to and from class and battling rush-hour traffic. However, one point to consider is that live online study still requires attending regularly scheduled class meetings, which can mean taking time off work to learn R. 

If you’re interested in studying R in the live online environment, excellent learning options are available from Noble Desktop and other top educational providers. Live online R programming classes are offered for those new to coding and advanced programmers interested in taking their R skills to the next level. Noble’s Data Analytics with R Bootcamp is a live, interactive class that students can complete entirely on Zoom. Participants receive instruction on core programming concepts, such as performing data wrangling, using SQL, creating charts with ggplot2, and working with the Shiny app. 

Noble also has a Data Science Certificate for those interested in becoming Data Scientists. All participants receive hands-on training from industry experts, have access to one-on-one mentoring, and can retake the course for up to a year at no additional cost to revisit the material. In addition to programming fundamentals like reading and writing database queries, those enrolled also receive instruction on creating machine learning models and using Python to automate tasks.

Live online R instruction is also offered from NYC Data Science Academy in the Data Science with R: Data Analysis and Visualization class. This program prepares students to create data visualizations and reports and process and analyze data.

On-Demand R Programming Classes

In addition to in-person and live online R training, you can study this programming language in the asynchronous learning environment. Self-paced R programming training provides much more flexibility than in-person and live online study. Since content is pre-recorded, it can be watched at any time, from any location, which makes it a suitable learning method for those who must balance their R study with other commitments, such as full-time work or a family. In addition, because the content is pre-recorded, it can be paused as often as needed for note-taking and can be watched and re-watched to help with retention.

On-demand R study is a much more cost-effective learning option than in-person or live online classes. Unlike bootcamps or certificates, which can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars, self-paced content is often available for a much lower cost; some are even provided for free. Because of the popularity of the R programming language, there are many options from which to select. When deciding which is best for you, it’s important to ensure the content is up-to-date and provides real-world examples to help you retain and apply the lessons.

One of the main challenges of on-demand R study is that no instructor is available to answer questions. This can make it difficult for some learners to grasp complex programming concepts. This is why self-paced R training is a good way to begin learning about R. However, if you are interested in more than an overview of this language, in-person or live online study may be a better option because of the guidance these learning methods provide. 

Free Intro Courses & Tutorials

Are you looking instead for an overview of R programming before diving into an entire course? If this sounds like you, you can begin learning about R programming and other core data science concepts for free online. In this free Intro to Data Science seminar offered by Noble Desktop, you’ll receive an 80-minute overview of how Python is used in data science. This webinar covers the advantages of working with Python in data science and an introduction to the field of data science. This seminar is a great way to learn about data science before enrolling in a class or certificate program.

Other top educational providers also provide free beginner-friendly R materials. Coursera’s R Programming is a fully online, intermediate-level R class that spans 57 hours. Participants learn how R is used for data analysis and different practical issues that can occur in statistical computing, such as using R loop functions and debugging tools. Udemy’s R Basics: R Programming Language Introduction is a free, beginner-friendly class in which participants study how to navigate the RStudio interface, create basic graphs, and execute common commands using R. Udemy also offers a business-specific R course: learn R for Business Analytics. Those enrolled receive instruction on how to leverage R for business analytics. Topics covered include leading packages into R, importing data into R, and running various macros with this programming language.

Read more about free R programming videos and online tutorials.

Comparing Online Methods with In-Person Learning 

Learning R has never been more accessible, thanks to the available in-person and online learning resources. For those interested in studying R in a traditional classroom, in-person R programming classes are a great option. Students who choose this interactive, engaging learning format have access to a computer lab that’s stocked with the most up-to-date software and hardware. They also have access to an expert instructor, who is available to provide support and guidance, explain complicated topics, and field questions. In addition, because in-person study takes place in a small classroom environment, students can network with classmates and receive support as they build their professional portfolios.

For learners who wish to connect with an instructor in real time but don’t want the hassle of driving to and from campus for each class meeting, live online R classes are an excellent alternative. Those enrolled in live online R coursework have access to the same course material and instruction as those in the classroom but can complete all coursework from the comfort of their home or office. This accessible learning option also provides a way for learners to take classes offered out of town or even out of state, which would not be possible to attend in person. Various live online R courses are currently available, such as bootcamps and certificates in data science, data analytics, and R programming.

Asynchronous R study is an alternative you may consider if you are more interested in an overview of R programming rather than a regularly scheduled class. Often, self-paced R study is much more affordable than in-person or live online classes. Some on-demand content is even available for free. Unlike the live formats for studying R, learners who elect to study it asynchronously can watch pre-recorded videos and webinars on their own time and at their own pace. They can pause and rewind as necessary when taking notes and revisit any video content. 

However, one potential drawback to consider with self-paced R study is that no instructor is available, making it difficult to find answers to questions. In addition, it may be challenging to find the most up-to-date material on R. On-demand R training is a good first step for those new to R, but if you’re interested in mastering more advanced coding skills, live online or in-person study may be a better option. 

Tips to Succeed when Learning R Programming Online

Studying R in the online setting can be a rewarding process, but it also can present challenges. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your online study and to ensure that your R learning journey is as successful as it can be:

  • Before embarking on your R learning path, you should ensure you have your computer's most up-to-date version of R. This language is supported for macOS, Linux, and Windows but is not supported on Windows XP. 
  • Learning a programming language online requires self-discipline and time. You must choose a learning format that covers the most up-to-date version of R and includes real-world examples. Whether you decide to study via online tutorial, video, or course, you’ll have to ensure the content you select is from a reputable source and will apply to your professional goals. If you choose a self-paced learning format, you won’t have access to an instructor for support or guidance, which means you’ll need to find avenues of support to help you on your R learning journey.
  • Becoming familiar with this language's syntax is a great starting point in your R studies. RStudio Education is a great resource to begin learning this syntax. This tutorial is broken into beginner, intermediate, and expert categories so that R learners can find instruction in this language at all levels.
  • Online study demands the same focus and commitment as in-person coursework. That’s why it’s essential to have a quiet place to study, such as a home office with a good internet connection.
  • Even if you learn R in the online, asynchronous format, you don’t need to go about your studies alone. The RStudio Community provides an outstanding resource where you can post any coding-related questions, receive help with projects, and connect with others who use the R language for programming. This online community has nearly 50K members. Some of them are skilled Data Scientists or Statisticians who can provide guidance on a range of R-related topics, such as working with Shiny, using R Markdown, or navigating RStudio.
  • Don’t expect to learn R all at once. While it may be tempting to try and complete lessons quickly to learn R as fast as possible, a much more effective learning method is to break it down into smaller steps. Once you master core concepts such as basic syntax, you can progress to more advanced programming skills. 

Learn R Programming with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

Noble Desktop has several excellent learning options for those new to R and courses for more advanced programmers interested in mastering complex R skills. Noble’s Data Analytics with R Bootcamp is an immersive class designed to take participants from the basics of coding to a portfolio showcasing your experience working with R. Those enrolled receive expert instruction and can retake the class for up to one year to brush up on course materials. 

Noble also offers a variety of in-person and live online coding classes that prepare participants to become Data Scientists or Web Developers. Courses are available in popular programming languages such as JavaScript and Python, as well as front end and full stack web development. Certificates are also offered in software engineering and data science. For students seeking instruction about using programming for finance technology, Noble currently has a FinTech bootcamp available as well, which includes one-on-one mentoring for all participants.

In addition to the variety of programming courses Noble teaches, this top educational provider also has several in-person and live online Data Analytics classes. Noble’s Data Analytics Technologies Bootcamp is a beginner-friendly course that prepares students to work with core data analytics tools like SQL, Excel, and Tableau. In addition, a certificate in data analytics is also available for those interested in becoming a Business Analyst or Data Analyst. This rigorous learning opportunity prepares students to perform data analysis, statistical analysis, and data visualization, as well as how to use relational databases. All students receive one-on-one mentoring to help with their learning process.

Key Insights

  • R is a versatile programming language that can help with data analysis, statistical analysis, and data visualization tasks.
  • If you want to learn how to program with R, various online resources are available to help with your studies, such as live online coursework, webinars, tutorials, community forums, and blogs.
  • Like any skill, learning R programming requires time, commitment, and patience. Those who choose to learn this language online can find answers to their questions at the RStudio Community forum. They can also use RStudio Education, a free resource, to begin learning basic R syntax.
  • Enrolling in one of Noble Desktop’s in-person or live online R classes is a great way to learn more about programming with R.

How to Learn R Programming

Master R programming with hands-on training. Used commonly for data science and data analytics,R is free and open-source, making it a popular choice for programmers of all experience levels.

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