R is an open-source programming language that was created in 1993 by Statisticians. Since then, this flexible language has remained popular for those working with data analytics, data visualization, and statistical computing. When comparing types of R programming training, there are many factors to consider. Everyone learns differently, and choosing the proper training is critical to your experience.

Keep reading to learn more about the different formats of R programming training, how they compare, and how to determine which is 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. 

Training Formats for R Programming

If you are interested in studying R programming, the good news is that there are many excellent training options from top educational providers. For those interested in an overview of R or learning the basics of this language, self-paced R content like YouTube videos, online tutorials, and community forum posts are a good starting point. If you’re interested in a more structured learning environment, in-person and live online R classes and bootcamps are also available, which provide hands-on training from industry experts. Certificates in R are also offered by many providers in the in-person or live online format. These rigorous programs generally span several weeks or months and provide learners with comprehensive training on using R for basic and complex programming needs.

In-Person R Programming Training

In-person R training is an engaging and effective way to study this programming language. Those who enroll in classroom study have access to a computer lab equipped with the latest software and tools. In addition, participants receive instruction from an expert instructor, who is available to explain tricky concepts, provide guidance, and answer questions as they arise. Another perk of this type of study is that it facilitates networking and forming connections with other learners on the same programming study journey. However, one potential drawback to consider is that in-person R coursework requires attending regularly scheduled classes, which can involve taking off work, and the cost and time associated with commuting to and from campus for each meeting.

A variety of in-person R classes are offered for those new to this language and intermediate and advanced learners interested in mastering more complex R skills. Noble Desktop’s Data Analytics with R Bootcamp is an immersive class that covers various core concepts in the R language using the RStudio environment. Participants receive instruction on how R can synchronously interact with both online and local data sources and how to apply R toward visualizations and user interfaces that create output specific to the user’s specifications. Students explore data wrangling, conditionals, looping, the Shiny app, and SQL concepts. 

Noble also has a Data Science Certificate that prepares those enrolled to become Data Scientists. Students in this intensive, hands-on program work with Python for data analysis, use SQL to query databases, and design their own machine learning models. All students receive one-on-one mentoring from industry experts. Instruction is also available in R from NYC Data Science Academy. Its Data Science with R: Data Analysis and Visualization program offers a comprehensive overview of R, including instruction on data processing, manipulation, analysis, and visualization.

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.

Free Online 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.

In addition, edX’s R Programming Fundamentals is also offered. This free, self-paced class gives students an introduction to R, an overview of this language’s essential statistical functions, and tips for using variables and external datasets. edX also has R Shiny for Everyone, a hands-on course that teaches students how to design data-driven web apps. Those enrolled will create an interactive web application featuring a biodiversity calculator, interactive map, and trail journal.

For learners interested in studying how R is used in the larger field of data science, edX’s Data Science: R Basics provides a brief introduction to R programming and how they can apply it to real-world datasets about crime statistics in America. Students receive guidance on applying R skills to find answers to crime-related questions.

On-Demand Classes

Another way to study R is to enroll in self-paced R courses. Top educational providers like Codeacademy, Coursera, and edX offer on-demand R lessons and tutorials, which can help students study this programming language at their own pace and from their preferred location. Unlike in-person and live online study, asynchronous R classwork does not entail meeting at a regularly scheduled time to complete lessons. Instead, students work with pre-recorded videos, tutorials, and other learning materials, to gain an overview of core R concepts.

Self-paced learning doesn’t allow students to get support when they have questions, so this method is best for beginners interested in studying the basics of programming with R. To master more advanced programming concepts, it may be necessary to enroll in a course that provides real-time access to an instructor.

Comparison of R Programming Training Formats

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. 

Is it Possible to Teach Yourself R Programming?

If you’re interested in studying R programming, you may wonder if it’s possible to teach yourself this open-source language. Various online videos and tutorials are available for those who want to study R independently. These provide an overview of R and some basic programming concepts. Some R videos and tutorials are even free, making them a cost-effective learning option. However, knowing which online content is the most accurate and the most helpful for communicating fundamental R concepts can be challenging. 

While online resources are a good starting point for R study, if you’re learning R for professional reasons or to switch careers entirely, it’s important to have an instructor available who can provide correct, timely, and industry-relevant training. Since R is considered one of the more difficult programming languages to learn, it’s essential to study in a format in which you can ask questions in real-time and receive guidance.

How to Decide the Best Way to Learn R Programming

Deciding the best learning format for your R studies depends on several variables. Ultimately, the most important consideration is what you will use this skill for. For those new to R programming or programming in general, free self-paced introductory classes, webinars, or other online materials are a good starting point. Not only are these a cost-effective method for learning R, but they also allow the flexibility of balancing family and work commitments with learning since they’re pre-recorded. Noble Desktop’s Intro to Data Science webinar is an excellent resource for learners who want to explore the field of data science. This webinar also provides content on open-source software, the core tools Data Scientists use, and why Python has become the most popular language for working with data.

If you’re interested in a more thorough and detailed understanding of R programming to grow in your current career or plug a skill gap, you may consider Noble’s in-person or live online Data Analytics with R Bootcamp. In the small class setting, participants are taught by an expert instructor how to use R to transform data into meaningful, visible measures. Students explore R Studio, looping, conditionals, data wrangling, and the Shiny app. All participants can choose whether they prefer to study in person in Manhattan or complete the bootcamp remotely in the live online environment. Both options provide real-time support so students can ask questions and receive guidance along their learning path. 

A more intensive course of study might be a better match for those interested in mastering R programming to begin a new career or pivot to a new industry. Noble currently has an in-person or live online Data Science Certificate that provides hands-on training to prepare you to become a Data Scientist. Participants in this program work with industry experts to learn how to use Python for data analysis, construct machine learning models, and use SQL to query databases. All students have the option of a free retake to revisit course material and have access to one-on-one mentoring to help them learn more complicated data science 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.