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Learn web scraping with online courses and programs

Web scraping is the process of pulling large amounts of information from the internet. Professionals who work with data can learn web scraping techniques and advance their career with courses delivered through edX.

What is web scraping?

Web scraping is a method for gathering and extracting data from a website. Automated web scraping tools can simplify the process by sending an HTTP request to a website. When the site sends an HTML file in response, the software scans the data and extracts relevant details. It may do so through a combination of lexical, syntax, and semantic analysis to identify appropriate data for scraping.

When marketing teams need to research competitors, web scraping can help them quickly compile the data they need. When a company needs to understand how consumers use its products or services, web scraping can uncover meaningful insights from thousands of data touchpoints. Regardless of your data needs, learning web scraping can make the process of collecting and sorting through large amounts of information more efficient.

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Web scraping tutorial curriculum

Web scraping is a data automation tool that can speed up the data collection process for market research or business analysis. These tools can also provide content for aggregator websites or help with sales prospecting. 

If you want to learn techniques to perform this process, a web scraping tutorial can cover many different topics, including but not limited to: 

  • Web scraping basics, including an overview of what it is and how it can be used in different fields. 

  • HTML basics, including understanding the structure and elements of HTML which is important for extracting data from web pages

  • Web scraping libraries and frameworks, such as BeautifulSoup, Scrapy, and Selenium, and the different capabilities of each. 

  • Data extraction techniques that enable you to extract text, links, images, tables, and more from web pages. 

  • Techniques for data cleaning and parsing to help make data usable. 

You may also study more advanced topics like how to handle websites that load their content dynamically and how to avoid anti-scraping measures. And you may have a chance to analyze web scraping use cases and build your own practical projects. 

edX offers a variety of educational opportunities for learners interested in studying how to work with data. A boot camp can provide flexible, hands-on learning for those who want to upskill quickly, while executive education courses are designed for busy professionals. You can also pursue a more comprehensive curriculum through a bachelor’s degree program or, for more advanced learners, a master’s degree program. Find the right learning path for you with edX.

Explore jobs that use web scraping skills

When businesses leverage data, they can make informed decisions based on the insights they collect. No matter the industry, professionals with web scraping skills can increase organizational efficiency and drive meaningful change. Jobs in which knowledge of web scraping can come in handy include:

  • Data scientist: Works directly with large volumes of data. They collect, clean, and analyze the data to provide useful insights for their employer. Data scientists might use web scraping tools to automate data collection.Footnote 1

  • Market researcher: Works with data to help a business understand its consumers. They may conduct surveys, focus groups, and interviews, as well as gather data from various web sources to analyze markets and industry trends. Learning various web scraping techniques can help market researchers compile data efficiently.Footnote 2

  • Digital marketer: Leverages digital channels to help a business target and reach specific customer audiences. They might work directly with data, create marketing strategies, write ads, or manage the advertising creative process. Web scraping courses can help digital marketers better understand where and how to gather appropriate data.Footnote 3

  • Business intelligence analyst: Helps a business understand its data and how to use it effectively. These analysts might be responsible for developing reports, identifying trends or patterns, and sharing data-driven insights with executive leadership teams.Footnote 4

  • Software engineer: Develops and maintains software applications. This role benefits from programming skills like Python, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and web scraping.Footnote 5

Each of these roles will have different education and skill requirements. For example, a data analytics boot camp may enable you to develop the skills you need to extract insights required for roles in marketing or business intelligence. You may also be able to build critical programming skills in a coding boot camp. However, some employers may seek candidates with a higher level degree in data science, depending on the level of the role. Before deciding on a specific learning path, research the positions you hope to pursue, and align your coursework with your career goals.

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