While the digital industry grows at an exponential rate, some parts of it are growing even faster. Some of those include data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI). That’s why so many people are trying to opt for data science certifications in recent times.
The role of a data analyst has been here for a while because data analytics is about business intelligence, data management, and data visualization. However, data science takes all of this a step ahead using complex algorithms, computer science, and predictive analytics.
You need a very specific skillset to become a data scientist, including learning programming languages like SQL, Python, and more. Along with that, you need to be well-versed with various software tools like SAS and Hadoop. It’s safe to say that if you want to become a data analyst, data engineer, or data scientist, you need some strong credentials to back you up.
In this article, we’ll go over some of the best data science certifications you can opt for this year to jumpstart your data science career.
Let’s dive right in.
7 Top Data Science Certification You Can Do Today
With the data scientist career becoming increasingly popular, it’s safe to say that the competition is intense. That means you’re going to have to go the extra mile to get your credentials.
However, doing a lot of data science certifications isn’t necessarily the answer. You have to focus on a data science certification that works for you, your specialization, and your industry.
Each certification program provides a slightly different outlook on the topic. Considering you get the basics, you need that specialization to set you apart and make a niche for yourself.
Technically, getting a data scientist certification from an accredited university may seem like the right decision. However, they tend to be more expensive, and if you’re already familiar with data science, you’re better off doing data science courses to hone your skills.
Moving on, the following are some of the best data science certifications and courses you can opt for.
1. Senior Data Scientist (SDS) by the Data Science Council of America (DASCA)
Price: $650 (All-Inclusive)
Validity: 5 years
The Data Science Council of America (DASCA) is the world’s best-known and largest standards and credentialing body for the data science profession and industry.
DASCA’s Senior Data Scientist certification program is designed for experienced data scientists and data engineers who’ve had around five or more years of experience in analytics. It delves into the functions of business intelligence, how it affects enterprise performance, and how you can leverage it for success.
Typically, it’s recommended for people who have a working knowledge of statistical analysis, spreadsheets, database management, SPSS, SAS, R programming, and various quantitative methods. Knowledge of machine learning models, predictive modeling, and natural language processing is not required, but it’s better to have it.
To become an SDS, there are five different tracks that cover Big Data professionals from different experience levels and backgrounds.
- SDS Track 1 – is for people with a Bachelor’s Degree in computer science or a related field with at least five years of experience.
- SDS Track 2 – is for people with a Master’s Degree in computer science or a related field with at least four years of experience.
- SDS Track 3 – is for people with a Bachelor’s degree (QualiFLY) in computer science or a related field from any DASCA-recognized institution, along with four years of experience working.
- SDS Track 4 – is for people with a Master’s Degree in computer science or a related field from any DASCA-recognized institution, along with three years of experience.
- SDS Track 5 – is for people who have a valid SBDA or SBDE credential from DASCA, along with four years of experience.
To learn more about the Data Science Council of America’s Senior Data Scientist certificate program, go here.
2. Principal Data Scientist (PDS) by the Data Science Council of America (DASCA)
Price: Track One ($850), Track Two ($850), Track Three ($300), and Track Four ($950)
Validity: For Life
The highest credentials DASCA offers is the Principal Data Scientist certification that is known throughout the industry as the final stepping stone for data science professionals.
Usually, this certificate program is for people who have at least ten or more years of experience in big data. Once you have a PDS certification, you are considered as one of the industry leaders because the certification exam is one of the hardest to pass.
When you’re going for the exam, you’ll see that it covers everything from basic data science principles and concepts to complex topics like scholastic modeling, neural networks, learning algorithms, regression, business analytics, data mining, and deep learning, among other things.
There are four different candidacy tracks for becoming a PDS based on your varying experience and backgrounds.
- PDS Track One – is the QualiFLY route where people who’ve graduated from DASCA-recognized institutes come in with a Master’s Degree and at least ten years of experience.
- PDS Track Two – is a corporate nomination for people with a Master’s Degree who are permitted to apply through one of DASCA’s partner organizations.
- PDS Track Three – is for SDS-certified people with a Master’s Degree and ten years of working experience. They also get exempted from the PDS Level 1 Exam.
- PDS Track Four – is an open application for any data scientist with a relevant Master’s Degree and at least 12 years of working experience.
You have to choose your track based on your experience, current credentials, and educational background.
To learn more about the Data Science Council of America’s Principal Data Scientist certificate program, go here.
3. IBM Data Science Professional Certificate on Coursera
Validity: For Life
Coursera is one of the biggest repositories of online courses, learning materials, and resources, with thousands of courses on countless topics. You’ll find a lot of data science-related courses on the site.
However, the best among them is the IBM Data Science Professional Certificate. It’s designed to help you jumpstart your data science career and build the right data science skills. You’ll also be learning SQL and Python while learning how to visualize data, build working machine learning models, and do interactive exercises to polish your programming skills.
Furthermore, you’ll be learning about data science methodology, open-source tools, and applied data science capstone.
Approximately 40% of people used this course to get started on their data science careers. Meanwhile, around 18% of people got a promotion or pay increase after completing the professional certification.
Upon completion of the course, you get a shareable certificate that you can share on your CV, website, LinkedIn, or other platforms.
If you put in four hours per week, it may take you around 12 months to complete the course in its entirety. Since there are no prerequisites or prior experience requirements, you can take as long as you want to complete the course.
Lastly, you will be getting access to case studies, data sets, time series examples, forecasting samples, and even GitHub samples.
To learn more about the IBM Data Science Professional Certificate on Coursera, you can go here.
4. Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Fundamentals
Price: $99 for the Certification Exam
Validity: For Life
Microsoft offers official certification exams for various fields. They have a dedicated certification program for data engineering and data science.
For the basic version, Microsoft offers the Azure AI Fundamentals certification. It’s designed for people who have basic knowledge of artificial intelligence and machine learning, along with Microsoft Azure services.
This particular certification focuses on how you can use your machine learning and AI knowledge and implement it on Azure. Since the certification is for both technical and non-technical backgrounds people, anyone can opt for it. There are no prior experience requirements, but it’s best to have general programming knowledge.
To prepare for the certification program, you can either study online for free or opt for a paid instructor-led class.
There are five learning paths with different modules.
- Getting Started with Artificial Intelligence on Azure
- Creating No-Code Predictive Models Using Azure Machine Learning
- Exploring Computer Vision in Microsoft Azure
- Exploring Natural Language Processing
- Exploring Conversational AI
In total, there are 16 modules you should complete to prepare for the certification exam. When you’re done, you’ll be giving Exam AI-900: Microsoft Azure AI Fundamentals.
You can also check out some official practice tests before going for the exam to ensure that you’re prepared.
If you’re interested in learning more about Microsoft’s Azure AI Fundamentals certification, you can go here.
5. Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Scientist Associate
Validity: For Life
Microsoft offers certifications for professionals in all stages of their careers. The Azure Data Scientist Associate certification is for people who have some experience in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Along with that, it also focuses on your ability to manage workloads on Azure.
You’ll be tested on your knowledge of data science and machine learning through the following methods.
- You’ll be setting up an Azure Machine Learning workspace
- Optimize and manage various models
- Run experiments and train models for optimization
- Deploy and consume models
You can prepare for the certification exam in two ways. You can either do it online for free or opt for the paid instructor-led resource.
If you opt for online, you’ll be focusing on the following learning paths.
- Creating Machine Learning Models
- Creating No-Code Predictive Models Using Azure Machine Learning
- Building AI Solutions with Azure Machine Learning
In total, you’ll be completing 23 modules during your preparation. If you’ve already prepared for and gotten the Azure AI Fundamentals certification, the preparation will be easier.
After preparation, you’ll be giving Exam DP-100: Designing and Implementing a Data Science Solution on Azure.
You can check out some of the official practice tests by Microsoft to make sure you’re adequately prepared for the certification exam.
To learn more about Microsoft’s Azure Data Scientist Associate certification, you can go here.
6. SAS Certified Data Scientist
Price: $180 Per Exam
Validity: For Life
SAS is one of the leading names in the data science industry. They offer a multitude of services that also includes certification programs.
The SAS Certified Data Scientist certification is a combination of multiple certifications offered under the SAS name. They cover everything from programming skills to data manipulation, data analysis, and visualization techniques and tools.
It’s designed for people who can actively gain insights from big data with various open-source tools, use machine learning models, and deploy them using the SAS environment.
To become a certified data scientist, you first have to focus on these two certifications.
- Data Curation – In this certification, you gain an understanding of data management, Hadoop, and other important concepts.
- Advanced Analytics – With this certification, you expand your analytical skills by learning various analytics technologies, predictive modeling, and machine learning.
- AI & Machine Learning Professional – You can either opt for the Advanced Analytics certification or this one. If you’re interested in AI, you should opt for this certification as it delves into how you can solve complex business problems and improve decision-making using AI and machine learning.
You will be completing 18 courses and will have to pass five exams between two different certifications. The pricing is based on a per-exam basis, so you’ll have to plan it out accordingly.
Once you’re SAS-certified, you can also opt for other more advanced data science certifications offered by the company. You can also join the SAS Academy for Data Science to master your skills.
To learn more about the SAS Certified Data Scientist certification, you can go here.
7. Data Science V2 by Dell EMC
Price: $230 Per Proven Professional Certification Exam
Validity: Two Years
Dell EMC offers a Proven Professional Certification Program that comprises some of the industry’s most comprehensive learning and certification programs. Passing a certification in your field makes you a ‘Proven Professional’ of your craft.
For data science, Dell EMC offers Data Science V2 for associate-level data scientists. The certification focuses on the foundation-level training that’s needed to counter big data and other analytical projects.
There are two steps to the program.
- Step One – Complete the recommended training options. You can choose between a virtual class, an on-demand class, or an on-demand class with a lab.
- Step Two – Pass the DEA-7TT2 exam. You can check out the practice tests to make sure you’re ready for the exam.
You’ll also find plenty of other resources that you can use to prepare for the certification program and exam.
Once you pass this certification exam, you can opt for the specialist certification, where you’ll have to give two different exams.
If you want to learn more about the Data Science V2 certification by Dell EMC, you can go here.
Choosing the Right Data Science Certification for You
There are a lot of data science certifications you can opt for, but choosing the right one depends on your specialization, educational background, and your level of experience.
For example, if you have a data analytics degree, you may be better off opting for advanced data science certifications.
To prepare, you may opt for data analyst training programs, online tutorials, or data science bootcamps. However, it’s best to also go through the training material and coursework provided by the certification program itself.
Most importantly, you have to work on your analytical, research, and programming skills to succeed. A data science certification helps you become certified and teach you superficially, but it’s your job to ensure you understand every single topic accurately.
Therefore, focus on increasing your data science knowledge, learn about various tools and concepts, and then opt for a data science certification that works for you.