A Data Science certificate can increase your chances of launching a successful career in the field. It provides the technical knowledge and practical skills needed to succeed in industry and demonstrate your abilities to recruiters and managers in the field.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a Data Science certificate program, including cost, curriculum, duration, and more. Consider your learning goals and needs, prefer programs with strong career support services if your aim is employment, and choose a program that offers one-on-one counseling if you prefer personalized guidance.
What is a data science certification?
Don't confuse certifications with certificates! While they may sound alike, they serve different purposes. Certificates, like IBM's Data Science Professional Certificate, are a testament to your completion of a training program or course. On the other hand, certifications, such as those offered by DASCA, are globally recognized credentials earned by passing a standardized exam.
Data science and data analytics may seem similar, but they have distinct differences. Data analysts uncover insights from existing data, while data scientists create innovative methods and systems to gather and prepare data for analysis. With a data science certificate, you'll gain a unique set of skills, including proficiency in Python and SQL, data analysis and visualization, and the ability to design machine learning models.
Best Data Science certifications
Professional Data Engineer (Google)
The Google Professional Data Engineer certification is a suitable option for aspiring data scientists looking to showcase their expertise in using data science techniques in the Google Cloud ecosystem. This exam-based certificate is intended for individuals with 3 or more years of industry experience and at least 1 year of experience managing Google Cloud solutions. The exam assesses your ability to drive data-driven decision-making through data collection, transformation, and publishing. The certificate also evaluates your skills in designing and implementing secure, scalable, accurate, and portable systems, as well as your proficiency in machine learning.
Data Science Certification (SAS)
Want to be a SAS Certified Data Scientist? This professional-level certification requires a combination of credentials related to data curation, advanced analytics, and machine learning. You'll need to complete relevant coursework and pass exams to earn each credential. If you have experience with SAS programming, data manipulation, and SQL processing, you're on the right track. The Data Science Certification is flexible and can be tailored to your interests and career goals. You must earn the Data Curation Professional credential and then choose to pair it with the Advanced Analytics Professional or AI and Machine Learning Professional program.
Data Science Professional Certificate (IBM)
The IBM Data Science Professional Certificate is an introductory course for those new to the field of data science. It teaches the basics of data science, including tools, programming languages, and libraries commonly used by professionals. Learners will learn how to handle, analyze, and present data and receive an introduction to machine learning with Python. The course culminates with a capstone project that mimics a real-world scenario. The project tasks learners to assume the role of a data scientist working for a SpaceX competitor, where they must make predictions to inform the company's bidding decisions against SpaceX. The project is engaging and adds a fun element to the learning experience.
Azure Data Scientist Associate (Microsoft)
The Microsoft Certified Azure Data Scientist Associate designation is perfect for those looking to showcase expertise in Azure tools such as the Azure Machine Learning workspace and Azure Databricks. Though not a requirement in all data science positions, this certification sets you apart from other candidates by highlighting your specialized knowledge to potential employers. The certification, earned through a series of exams, attests to your ability to utilize Azure resources for machine learning, model training, data experimentation, and deployment of reliable AI solutions. To earn this certification, you can embark on various learning journeys to gain knowledge in machine learning models, Azure AI fundamentals, and other relevant topics.
Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Fundamentals
The Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Fundamentals certification is perfect for data scientists starting in the artificial intelligence (AI) world. You need to gain extensive experience using Azure for machine learning (ML) or AI to qualify for this entry-level certification. Depending on your background, it's recommended that you utilize Microsoft's free study materials to either acquire the necessary skills for the exam or refresh your knowledge. You'll be tested on various topics during the exam, such as describing AI workloads, ML basics, computer vision, and NLP on Azure. Interestingly, these cloud-based data science skills overlap with some of the skills of a data engineer. Once you pass, you'll earn a highly-regarded certification and digital badge from Microsoft.
Open Certified Data Scientist (Open CDS)
The Certified Data Scientist (CDS) program may be the perfect fit for those seeking a unique certification process. Instead of solely relying on written exams, this certification involves a combination of written applications and peer interviews to showcase your abilities and expertise. With three different levels to strive for - Certified, Master Certified, and Distinguished Data Scientist - this program allows you to set your own pace and reach for a level that aligns with your experience. You must complete various milestone assessments and earn badges to attain each level. The more advanced the level, the more badges are required.
University of Colorado Boulder's Data Science Graduate Certificate
The University of Colorado Boulder offers a unique Data Science Graduate Certificate for individuals looking to advance their data science careers. Unlike other professional certificates provided by companies, this program is part of the path toward earning a Master's degree in Data Science. During the 6-9 month program, students will earn 12 credit hours and receive interdisciplinary training in various data science techniques such as statistical analysis, data mining, and machine learning. While there are no formal requirements to take the exam, it is advisable to have prior knowledge of mathematics (calculus and linear algebra) and programming languages (Python and R).
Is a Data Science certificate worth it?
Having a data science certificate may not guarantee a job. Still, it can help you build the hands-on experience and professional portfolio required to pursue a career in this field. The most effective certification programs in data science will provide you with the technical skills through practical projects, allowing you to create a compelling portfolio that showcases your ability to handle real-world data science situations.
A precious data science certification will hone your technical abilities and emphasize the practical application of these skills in a business setting. To succeed in the industry, it's crucial to showcase your technical expertise and ability to translate business challenges into data-driven solutions and effectively communicate their impact through data storytelling. A top-notch certification program should equip you with both the technical and interpersonal skills necessary to be a successful data scientist in the workforce.
To sum it up
As a data scientist, you are a skilled professional who leverages statistical and programming tools to gather, organize, and analyze data. Your role is to improve business operations, maximize efficiency, and make data-driven predictions about future trends.
Obtaining certifications in data science from educational institutions and online platforms can help you sharpen your skills and advance your career in this field.