Data Science Certificates/Certifications in 2021

Data Science Certificates

If you search for data science on Quora, a number of questions emerge on the best suitable data science certifications to progress in one’s career. Getting a good data science certification is an important step toward a data science career for professionals or students without having a formal educational background in data science.
Now, though data science certification is important; however, it is not mandatory to get a job in data science. The recruiters don’t care much about any certification; rather, they care about the knowledge you have to showcase once you are selected. You must focus on learning the industry-relevant skills from any method, a self-paced program with relevant study materials, or any other training module that can help you gain in-depth knowledge.
The question now arises, why are certifications important? Read on.

How to select the best Data Science Certificate/Certification Program?

A quick search on Google will return many data science certification providers that give a certificate at the end of their programs. This is an easy part. The challenging part is which program to choose to accelerate your data science career. While selecting a certificate program, one should focus on two major points, i.e., return on investment(ROI) and return on effort (ROE), and analyze whether the certificate has value in the long term.

However, an aspirant should also consider taking deep dive with the following points before making any final decision for data science certification:

a) Contents(Industry oriented) of the program
b) Range of topics from certification(s)
c) Cost of the program
d) Prerequisite for the program
e) Time frame to learn and get the certification
f) Is certification cross-platform/vendor-neutral?
g) People involved (leadership/advisory panel) of the certification program.

The following are a few of the best Data Science Certifications in the world:

IBM Data Science Professional Certificate

Key Learnings: This is a Coursera-based IBM program covering Python, SQL, and machine learning with Python.

Investment: $39/month. $390 with a 10-month completion estimate. EdX is also providing a similar program.

Eligibility: None.

Time commitment: Varies; the average time to complete is ten months.

Cloudera University Data Analyst Course/Exam

Key Learnings: This course mainly focuses on using Apache products: Hadoop, Hive, and Impala. Basic SQL is also included in this, but it does not appear to cover programming in Python or R.

Investment: $2,235 for 180 days of access and certification cost is additional i.e. $295. Total = $2,530

Eligibility: Knowledge of SQL and Linux command lines is mandatory.

Time commitment: Roughly 5-9 hours per section (total around 15 self-paced sections).

Harvard/EdX Professional Certificate in Data Science

Key Learnings: This covers R, machine learning, statistics, and workflow skills.

Investment: $441.

Eligibility: None.

Time commitment: Minimum one year and five months.

Certified Lead Data Scientist (CLDS™) – USDSI™

Key Learnings: This certification program is designed by United States Data Science Institute (USDSI™), specializing in creating data science talent worldwide. You’ll learn advanced data science and relevant topics like Data Analytics, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, NLP, Text Analytics and more, specially designed for professionals who are in the mid-level of their careers.

Investment: $691 with study-kit comprising personalized study-books, videos, workshops, digital certificate worth up to $600 free.

Eligibility: There are four ways to enter the program with certain work experience and qualifications. One of the criteria says, if you have a Master’s degree with a basic knowledge of Python/R/Java, you do not require work experience to apply for the program.

Time commitment: This is an online and self-paced program that can be completed between 6 weeks to 6 months.

Certified Senior Data Scientist (CSDS™) – USDSI™

Key Learnings: This is an elite certification program designed by United States Data Science Institute (USDSI™) for senior professionals who are or want to enter into a decision-making role. You’ll learn the most advanced curriculum in the data science domain, such as NLP, Kubernetes, Docker, DevOps, Computer Vision, Data Lakes, and more.

Investment: $752 with study-kit comprising personalized study-books, e-learning videos, workshops, and practice code worth up to $650 free.

Eligibility: Mandatory fulfillment of the eligibility criteria to apply for the program.

Time commitment: This is an online and self-paced program that can be completed between 6 weeks to 6 months.

Certified Analytics Professional

Key Learnings: This is a certification exam (test Preparation materials are available separately). Basically, to test your data science knowledge.

Investment: $695 with limited preparation materials. Exhaustive preparation courses are available between $575 to $1,000.

Eligibility: Certification exam after registration

Time commitment: 6 to 8 weeks

From Data to Insights with Google Cloud

Key Learnings: This course covers SQL, data analysis with BigQuery, and Google Cloud’s data analysis tool.

Investment: $39/month.

Eligibility: Proficiency in ANSI SQL.

Time commitment: 2 months, and more

Microsoft MCSE: Data Management and Analytics

Key Learnings: Primarily SQL. Integrating SQL with Microsoft tools like SQL Server and Azure.
Investment: Free(if studied online). Three separate certification exams each costs $165. The total cost of certification is at least $495.

Eligibility: None.

Time commitment: Varies. The average time is six weeks to three months

These are just a few examples! There are many certification programs, but you should research each with the seven data points mentioned above for any course you are considering. A data science certificate will undoubtedly help you in your job and changing the field; however, it is not mandatory. In a recent study, many hiring managers and recruiters in the data science field were asked about what they want to see in data science job candidates. None of them mentioned certificates. For potential employers, the problem with data science certificates is that there is no universal standard, there is no one recognized certification body.

So Why Should You Go For Certificates/Certifications?

Data scientist certifications aren’t worthless after all. Almost every recruiter wants to get a candidate who can showcase a better qualification, learning, and one who is constantly improving. Certifications can help you have a competitive edge over others that showcases your specialization and gives the confidence to a recruiter that you are operation-ready or deploy-ready to start on a project very quickly with minimal or no training at all.
To make a long story short, find the program that best helps you learn key industry-relevant data