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Data Science Certifications

March 31, 2021 | Staff Writers

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Data science is arguably one of the magnificent careers in the IT field. A rising number of companies lean towards relying on data mining, yearning to employ data professionals that have the expertise to make sense out of the data collected by the companies. Should you consider exploring the lucrative data science field, certification is key. Taking a data science course or a data science degree is not enough to penetrate this highly competitive field. Handling big data requires more than a degree or certification.

A degree in data science is essential, don’t get it twisted. However, certifications in data science are equally important. Data science certifications are an ideal way to secure a competitive advantage since it helps you acquire difficult skills in this field. These certifications are also a great method to substantiate the competence you possess as a data scientist so that recruiters are more aware of what they will get once they have you on board.

To get a more in-depth insight into data science certification, let’s explore the following essential aspects of data science certification:

  1. The types of certifications for data science
  2. The pros and cons of getting a data science certification before a degree in data science
  3. Who data science certificates are designed for
  4. The typical outcomes of a data science certification program

Types of Certifications for Data Science

Before venturing into the types of data science certification, it is common courtesy to introduce what data science is. Data science is a multidisciplinary field that incorporates scientific processes, methods, systems, and algorithms to extract knowledge from any form of data.

The scope of data science spans around the following key aspects:

  • analysis of trends
  • clicks on a web analysis
  • Plotting
  • Business analytics
  • informatics
  • words analysis
  • machine learning
  • numerical analysis
  • artificial intelligence

Fast forward to the 21st century, every business and organization wants to hire data scientists. Since data science identifies and predicts trends, it has become a hot cake in the financial world and other industries. Handling big data is becoming a critical need in these businesses, and so is the need for competent data scientists. 

What Are the Different Types of Certifications For Data Science?

Data science certifications supplement data science degree programs by expanding the skill-set of data scientists. Courses such as a software developer degree often require you to get data science certification to guarantee that you are skilled enough to be up to the task in your field of work. Suppose you are looking to get a certification in data science from accredited learning institutions, gain immense experience as a new graduate, or demonstrate your data analytics skills. In that case, you should consider the following certifications:

Certified Analytics Professional (CAP)

This certification is key in validating your expertise in transforming multifaceted information into useful data and actions. Before taking this certification exam, you need to meet the minimum qualifications. The validity of this certification currently stands at three years, upon which it is renewable.

Cloudera Certified Associate Data Analyst

This certification showcases your abilities and skills as an SQL developer in generating reports from the CDH environment of Cloudera by utilizing Hive and Impala. The exam for this certification lasts 120 minutes, and you receive twelve customer problems having a unique CDH cluster as well as data set. The assessment will be based on your expertise in analyzing every question and your solution to handling the said questions, with precision being of value.

Cloudera Certified Professional Data Engineer

This demanding and meticulous certification is primarily based on performance. Should you look forward to getting this certification, you need to have immense know-how in data engineering as well as basic skills in data science. The exam consists of about five or ten performance-based questions based on Cloudera Enterprise collection and takes about four hours. To pass it, you are required to earn at least 70% in the exam.

Data Science Council of America Senior Data Scientist (SDS)

This certification is for experts possessing at least a five-year of experience in analytics as well as research. Its exam entails essential aspects such as databases, quantitative methods, statistical analytics, spreadsheets, and SPSS/SAS and R. An undergraduate degree in a data science field or a related field is the educational qualification required to pursue this certification.

Other essential data science certifications include the following:

  • SAS Certified AI & Machine Learning Professional
  • Data Science Council of America Principal Data Scientist
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Scientist Associate
  • TensorFlow Developer Certificate
  • Dell EMC Data Science Track
  • SAS Certified Data Scientist
  • Google Professional Data Engineer Certification
  • Open Certified Data Scientist
  • IBM Data Science Professional Certificate
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Fundamentals
  • SAS Certified Big Data Professional

Which Certifications for Data Science Are in High Demand And Why?

In the current market, there is no doubt that data scientists and analysts are highly sought employees. A data science certification will give you an edge over the rest in this competitive field. Below are some of the top data science certifications that are highly-sought after in the industry.

Certification of Professional Achievement in Data Sciences

This certification is a hot one in the market because of one simple reason; it equips you with foundational data science skills. Many companies looking to employ data scientists watch out for this certification as validation that the potential employee will be a professional. 

Certified Analytics Professional

This certificate is yet another important option in the data science field. It certifies that you understand analytic and business problems for acquiring data, model lifecycle management, model building, and data analysis methodology. This certification also incorporates the adherence to a set of code of ethics set by CAP before completion.

The following certifications are equally essential because they major in the core principles of data science that are marketable in these modern times:

  • Cloudera Certified Associate (CCA) Data Analyst
  • Microsoft Certified Azure Data Scientist Associate
  • SAS Certified Data Scientist Using SAS 9
  • EMC Proven Professional Data Scientist Associate
  • IBM Data Science Professional Certificate
  • Certification of Professional Achievement in Data Sciences
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Data Management and Analytics
  • Certified Analytics Professional
  • Open Certified Data Scientist

With one or more certifications on this list, you are assured of a smooth journey in the data science career path.

Pros and Cons of Getting a Data Science Certification Before a Degree in Data Science

You are probably wondering whether it will serve you right or not to get a data science certification before acquiring a data science degree. Data science certification carries a big package of advantages as well as disadvantages.

Here are some of the pros of having a certification in data science:

It helps you stick to the essentials

As a graduate with a data science degree, no employer will expect you to work on AI algorithms or any other unrelated principle. Data science certification will come in handy to help you focus on the essential skills needed in the industry, but this does not mean that other unrelated skills are not important, only that certifications are specific when it comes to skills. 

You get to learn from experienced professionals

Data science certifications might be essential in this century, but a degree in data science is also vital. Data science is hailed as “the sexiest job of the 21st century” due to its lucrative nature as well as vast job opportunities. This reputation has given rise to data science certifications, which have helped shape data scientists’ professional career paths. However, there are many limitations of a data science certification when compared to a data science degree for a data analyst. 

You get to work with the most advanced technology

Quick question: Who would be most likely to land you a job- a data scientist working using past principles and technology or a data scientist professional working with the latest technology to solve data science problems? It is undoubtedly true that experienced professionals will guide you in choosing the relevant technology that suits your data science career path.

You get individual attention

It is common not to get individual attention from your lecturers in university or colleges owing to the large student to lecturer ratio. Data science is a relatively large field that incorporates a vast range of key certifications, each focusing on an important principle. Certification programs ensure that every student receives sufficient training and assessment to determine their skills in data science. 

Other advantages include:

  • It offers a mentoring opportunity to students
  • It aids in placement for jobs
  • It teaches critical non-technical career skills, including communication, networking, and teamwork
  • It builds on your career experience, e.g., an IBM certified data scientist has a validation that they are competent in their profession. 

The cons associated with data science certifications are not pronounced. Some of them are highlighted below.

  • There are a lot of data science certifications that threaten to contradict each other. 
  • Some of the data science certifications are very expensive, especially for new graduates trying to penetrate the industry.
  • Data science certification does not include unrelated principles that are equally important to the field, such as cybersecurity principles.

What Are the Limitations of a Data Science Certification When Compared to A Degree in Data Science?

Data science certifications might be essential in this century, but a degree in data science is also vital. Data science is hailed as “the sexiest job of the 21st century” due to its lucrative nature as well as vast job opportunities. This gave rise to data science certifications, which have helped shape data scientists’ professional career paths. However, there are numerous limitations of a data science certification compared to a data science degree for a data analyst. 

Below is a highlight of the limitations of the certifications of data science:

  • Some data science certifications can confuse you if you cannot understand the fundamental principles of data science, which are often taught in the degree program of data science.
  • According to the industry, data science certifications are an additional expense that most students are unable to afford, making them “less professional”.
  • There are many data science certifications, some of which are a mirror image of the other, making them less effective in assessing students’ skills.

What Sort of Continuing Education Can You Apply for If You Have A Data Science Certificate And Would Like To Go For Your Degree?

Despite the critical limitations of data science certifications, there are plenty of degree courses that you can pursue when you have bagged a data science certificate. These programs are offered both online and in-person, from community-level colleges to international universities across the United States and beyond. Have a look at some of the programs, including one-year master’s programs, that you can study with data science certification.

  • Business Analytics Program: This course will equip you with data and analytics skills to manage companies and organizations at the industry’s forefront. The program takes nine months to complete.
  • Artificial Intelligence Online Short Course: This program is specially designed to teach you strategic decision-making skills, lead information, and augment business performance by integrating critical artificial information principles in your company or organization.
  • Internet of Things (IoT): As simple as it reads, this is an essential program that data science certificate owners can pursue. It provides you with competent skills in organizational leadership and IoT technologies while examining how the two work together to increase productivity in an organization.

Other essential programs include:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Analysis

Who Data Science Certificates Are Designed For

Data science programs are often accompanied by data science certification to build on an individual’s level of experience. It is common for those undertaking a data science degree to find themselves also taking one or more certification courses such as Dell EMC Data Science Track (EMCDS) or Data Science Council of America (DASCA) Principal Data Scientist (PDS), or any other of their choice. But who specifically are data science certificates designed for? 

Take a look at some of the professionals who depend on data science certifications to better their careers and skill set.

Managers

Managers in most, if not all, companies and organizations often deal with large amounts of data. Their job description covers a vast and critical business area, ranging from leadership to organization of activities. To be a competent manager, your data handling skills need to be top-notch. Therefore, managers actively seek data science certifications to enable them to carry out their functions effectively.

Business analyst

A business analyst is a data scientist who blends business acumen and data skills to benefit analytics-oriented organizations. To excel in this field, you need to have a set of data science certifications. These include Certified Analytics Professional and IIBA Certified Business Analysis Professional, among many more.

Finance professionals

Finance professionals such as accountants and financial managers handle large volumes of financial data, including invoices. Such complex data requires a unique set of skills to decode all the meaningful messages from them. Data science certifications come in handy by equipping them with the vital expertise, techniques, and practices in using data science models in financial projects.

Some other key personnel that greatly benefit from data science certification include:

  • Project managers
  • Students
  • Non-programmers

What Sort of Financial Aid Can You Apply for While Achieving Your Data Science Certifications?

It is common knowledge not all of us were born into well-off families. Some students will often rely on financial aids to go through a course they have enrolled in. If you wish to pursue a data science certification, here are some of the financial aids that may come through for you.

Scholarships

Students wishing to undertake data science certifications can receive scholarships from many private and nonprofit organizations, which helps you settle your college fees and is mostly granted to students based on academic merit, talent, or a specific certification. 

Work-study jobs

This option is ideal for you as a working individual and wants to get a data science certification without interrupting your work. You have an opportunity to earn money that will help you cover the fees associated with the program.

These are the two main financial aids that work excellently with data science certification. However, there are other types of financial aids that are also useful. These are:

  • Loans
  • Federal Government Aid
  • Aid from your College

What Else Should You Know About Data Science Certifications?

Most people presume that data science certifications are difficult. But are they really difficult? Well, the level of difficulty depends on you as an individual. If you laze around, you are doomed. Should you be serious about getting the certification, you are already a step closer to bagging it. To add to this, you need:

  • Dedication to study
  • Previous education in data science will help you understand the concepts

It is that simple!

Typical Outcomes of a Data Science Certification Program

When it comes to data science certification, you don’t need to have a data science background. Whether you are a student, a fresher interested in data science, or a data scientist or professional looking to gain experience in the sector, data science certification is an option for you. Therefore, you need to understand what prerequisites for data science certification. 

Here are the main requirements for a data science certificate program.

Education

Some data science certifications require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree before you are given the go-ahead to enroll for the certification course. The best degrees are a degree in data science and closely related programs for these certifications. 

Programming

You don’t need to be a guru in programming to qualify for data science certification programs. Some certification programs require you to possess the necessary programming skills in concepts such as C, Java, or C++. These certifications often use these programming skills as the fundamental concepts of their course.

SQL

Standard Query Language, commonly known as SQL, is a primary tool that is necessary when programming in data science. A data scientist will often spend quality time writing SQL and all scripts associated with handling data types efficiently. Therefore, some data science certifications require basic SQL skills as a prerequisite to joining the program.

Business Acumen

Data science was designed to help businesses solve any data-related problem as well as identify any problem areas. It would be pointless to possess excellent technical skills in data analysis and be nil when it comes to basic business concepts. Most data science certifications will require you to show evidence that you know basic business concepts before enrolling in the programs.

Excellent Communication Skills

As easy as it may sound, having excellent data science skills is essential as it will help you explain the message behind complex data to people in a “language” they understand. It is worth noting that data science certifications are primarily meant to validate your skills in data science. Excellent communication skill is one of the key skills you need to have before enrolling in a data science certificate program. 

What Are the General Immediate Outcomes of Earning A Data Science Certification?

Data science certifications are a force to reckon with, especially when accompanied by other degrees such as a master’s program in data science or other related programs. Once you finish and pass your data science certification program, you will feel the change almost immediately. Some of the outcomes you are bound to experience are as follows:

  • Increased skill set: Data science certifications will improve your data analytics skills in your field of career.
  • Increased job opportunities that you qualify for: A data science certificate is an additional strength in your CV, and this will open more job opportunities, especially those you previously hadn’t qualified.
  • You get a better chance to advance your education: Some people are locked out of pursuing an advanced education level such as a master’s program or a doctorate because of a lack of specific skill sets. There is a wide range of data science certifications that validate different skills, which can help you secure a chance to advance your education.

What Are the General Long-Term Outcomes of Earning A Data Science Certification?

Not only do data science certifications come with short-term outcomes, but they also feature long-term outcomes. These certifications are vital in anyone’s career and life because they are there to stay with you, I guess “till death do you apart”. It is an important validation that you can use in your career and education. 

Here are the general long-term outcomes of earning a data science certification.

  • Increased experience in data science multi-disciplines: This certification will expand your experience in the diverse data science disciplines. You will possess the knowledge to work with different disciplines comfortably, making you extremely marketable in the competitive field.
  • Increased high-state job opportunities: With advanced education and skill-sets comes more high-profile job opportunities. Many employers are ready to trust you with their work when you possess most of the skills they are after. These certifications are a sure way to equip yourself with more skills, which are desirable in high-profile jobs. 

In Summary

In today’s world, data science is critical for measuring success in business and other sectors. Data scientists have made this efficient through their skills in examining data and interpreting it accurately. Data science certifications are an essential aspect of the data science field as they validate specific data science skills in people. A lot of employers rely on these certifications to gauge your expertise in this field.

There are diverse data science certification programs taught in the 21st century. More companies are leaning towards full Depending on data scientists for the success of their business. The different certifications focus on specific data science principles, equipping you with validating your proficiency in them. 

Like any other program, data science certification comes with pros and cons when you get it before you have a degree. With a certification in data science, there is plenty you can do without necessarily having a degree. However, there are numerous limitations that you will experience when you possess these certifications when compared to a data science degree. Despite the limitations, you still have an opportunity to apply for continuing education at a bachelor’s degree level. These include a degree in data science, data analytics, and other related programs.

Data science certificates are primarily designed for every professional in the data science field or any other related field. These certifications are meant to improve a skill set and validate your expertise in them. One advantage of this certification is the ability to pursue them using financial aids. Data science certifications come with tons of outcomes once you bag it successfully, including increased job opportunities and increased experience. You will not have to worry about the journey as a data scientist if you receive proper certifications.

In a world that is dynamic and changing quickly, businesses will continue relying on data scientists to guarantee their success. Data science certifications will remain the top skill validation programs that supplement data science-related degrees, master’s, and doctorate programs. 

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