Data science is a multidisciplinary field that aims to discover patterns and trends from raw data. These patterns are used by businesses and organizations to make predictive analytics and decisions. Data science combines multiple tools and algorithms along with machine learning principles to perform this task.
Recently, data science jobs have been deemed as the most popular jobs in IT. This is related to the surge of demand for data scientists across all industries. For this reason, competition in the field of data science is growing rapidly.
Because of the competition in the world of data science, certifications will help you stand out from the crowd. Certifications validate your skills, which further increases your chances of getting hired. Here we list the top certification programs to help you thrive as a data scientist.
What Do Data Scientists Do?
The job of data scientists is to design data modeling processes, as well as build algorithms and models to extract information. This information is then analyzed to draw meaningful insights about a business.
If you’re thinking about becoming a data scientist, then check out what it feels like to work in the field. We outlined a day in the life of a data scientist so you have a better understanding of what you’d be doing on the job if you pursue a career in data.
Data Science Certificates
A certificate in data science, also known as a ‘professional certificate’, is a way for data science professionals to sharpen their skills and build their portfolio. Pre-professional or undergraduate-level data science certifications are also being offered these days.
Certifications in data science shows that you have a basic understanding of the concepts and proficiency in your field. Certifications are usually for professionals with some experience in the field of computer science or business intelligence. If you have no experience, we recommend starting with Thinkful’s full-time Data Science course to get your career started first.
For continuing education, we recommend the following certificate programs.
Dell EMC Proven Professional Certification Program: This data science associate certification is offered by Dell EMC. According to Dell EMC, this program is extremely comprehensive. Clearing this certification will certify you as a proven professional.
This certification program has multiple levels like Data Scientist Associate (DCA), Data Scientist Specialist (DCS), Data Scientist Expert (DCE), and Data Scientist Master (DCM).
Cost: $200 for every Proven Professional exam.
Certified Analytics Professional (CAP): The data scientist certification provided by CAP is vendor-neutral, which tells your potential employers that you are not biased towards a particular software. CAP certification aids you in transforming complex data into insights and actions that are valuable for the employer’s business or organization. This certification shows that you can understand and analyze data, and you have the ability to draw logical conclusions from it.
This certification also has multiple levels. There is an entry-level Associate Certified Analytics Professional (aCAP) exam for beginners.
Cost: $495 for INFORM members and $695 for non-INFORM members.
Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): The MCSE certifications include various skills and IT specialties. For the certifications pertaining to data science, Microsoft offers two courses. One of their courses is focused on business applications and the other is focused on data management and analytics.
To take either of these courses, you will be required to have a certification from the MCSE Certification Program first.
Cost: $125 per exam.
Senior Data Scientist (SDS) certification by DASCA: The Senior Data Scientist certification by The Data Science Council of America (DASCA) is for data science and analytics professionals who are looking for more challenging roles. These professionals must have more than five years of professional experience in research and analytics.
Clearing the SDS exam will set you up to then take the Principle Data Scientist or PDS exam. Knowledge of spreadsheets, quantitative methods, the fundamentals of object-oriented programming and RDBMS, SPSS/SAS, and statistical analytics are required to clear the exam.
Principal Data Scientist (PDS) certification by DASCA: The Principal Data Scientist certification by The Data Science Council of America (DASCA) is exclusively for accomplished data scientists. PDS is vendor-neutral and is a noteworthy credential for distinguished big data architects and data scientists. This program has four tracks for interested professionals depending on where you are in your career:
Track 1- This is called the QualiFly Route. It is for the alums of The Data Science Council of America who have a master’s degree and a minimum of 10 years of experience in the field of technology. The cost of this exam is $850.
Track 2- This is for the data professionals who are working in an organization partnered with DASCA. They should have a master’s degree and a minimum of 10 years of experience. The cost of this exam is $850.
Track 3- This is for the professionals who have already earned their SDS certification. The cost of this exam is $300.
Track 4- This is for the open applications. A master’s degree along with at least 12 or more years of experience is needed for track 4. The cost of this exam is $950.
Google Certified Professional Data Engineer: A Professional Data Engineer collects, transforms, and publishes data to help with decision making. The exam for Professional Data Engineer evaluates the candidate’s ability to:
- Design data processing systems
- Build and operationalize data processing systems
- Operationalize machine learning models
- Ensure solution quality
The Google Certified Professional Data Engineer certification is for those professionals who have experience in designing and managing solutions using Google’s cloud platform (GCP).
SAS Certified Advanced Analytics Professional: This certification is for individuals who want to utilize various statistical analysis and predictive modeling techniques to analyze big data. It comprises nine courses and three mandatory exams. Recommended experience for this certification includes:
- At least six months of programming experience in SAS or another language.
- At least six months of programming experience or using mathematics or statistics in a business environment.
- Experience in machine learning and predictive modeling techniques, pattern detection, experimentation in business, and optimization techniques among other topics.
Cost: $180 per exam.
SAS Certified Big Data Professional: This certification covers SAS programming skills, working with data, improving data quality, communication skills, fundamentals of statistics and analytics, data visualization, and tools such as Hadoop, Hive, Pig, and SAS. At least six months of programming experience in SAS or any other language is required to be qualified for this exam.
Cost: $180 per exam.
SAS Certified Data Scientist: This certification covers programming skills, transforming, accessing and manipulating data, managing and improving data, and how to work with popular data visualization tools like Tableau. To be eligible for the exam of SAS Certified Data Scientist, you have to first earn the Big Data Professional and Advanced Analytics Professional certifications.
Google Data and Machine Learning: This certification comprises of three tracks:
- Track 1 for data analysts - This track focuses on gathering insights from Google Cloud Platform. It has a three-day module on the skills that you’ll need to be a successful data analyst or business analyst.
- Track 2 for data engineers - This track has a total of three modules that focus on machine learning and the fundamentals of data engineering, as well as a module for the exam preparation.
- Track 3 for data scientists - This track has a total of three modules on topics like GCP, machine learning, and TensorFlow.
Why Should You Earn A Data Science Certificate?
Some benefits of earning certifications in data science are:
- It improves your chances of getting a higher salary. This is because the certifications provide tangible proof of your skills to your potential employer.
- It provides credibility to your skills and validates your aptitude and dedication to learning.
- You learn valuable skills and techniques in coding, artificial intelligence, deep learning, and machine learning.
- Data science certifications cost less than a master’s degree and provide a focused approach to a particular skill-set.
The Value of A Data Science Bootcamp
Certifications are great if you want to add a line to your resume. But most certification courses won't offer the comprehensive introduction to data science that you need in order to actually start a career. If you want to transition into a the world of data from a different industry, then your best bet is an online data science bootcamp.
If you're interested in advancing your career in data science, check out our data science curriculum. And if you're still deciding whether this field is the right career path for you, browse our collection of data science articles to learn what data pros actually do day to day.