Choosing the best certification for a data science career

If you are someone enamored by the idea of data science as a career, then you are not alone! Data science is now one of the most sought-after career options, an exciting and growing field.

The data science industry has become a force to reckon with, because of:

  • The emergence of big data
  • The need to gather and manage the growing amounts of incoming data
  • The requirement to analyze it well to extract useful insights

Why should one become a data scientist?

There are a number of reasons to consider becoming a data science professional. Some of these are mentioned below:

  • Attractive pay packages
  • A lot of job opportunities
  • Interesting work
  • A steep growth path
  • Exposure to diverse sectors

Should I get certified?

Getting one of the best data science certifications is a good idea if you are serious about a career in data science. A certification is a testimony to your possessing the necessary skillset from an accredited institution, and demonstrates your desire to do well and your seriousness about your work.

The top choices in certifications for data science” professionals include the following:

Columbia University

The university offers the Certification of Professional Achievement in Data Sciences. Key features of the certification are as given below:

  • Targeted at students looking to develop fundamental data science skills to expand their career prospects or change their career paths
  • Requires an undergraduate degree, prior quantitative coursework, and prior familiarity with computer programming
  • Twelve credits to be completed, including four compulsory courses

Data Science Council of America

The Data Science Council of America – or DASCA – is an independent, third–party, international credentialing organization for Big Data professionals. DASCA credentialing programs are based on the world’s first vendor–neutral standards – the five–pronged DASCA Essential Knowledge Framework (EKF™).

DASCA offers some of the best data science certifications, including the following:

  • Associate Big Data Engineer (ABDE): for graduating tech engineering students about to start their careers in software engineering with the Big Data industry
  • Senior Big Data Engineer (SBDE): for experienced programmers and software engineers looking to move into the Big Data space or to grow faster in their careers
  • Associate Big Data Analyst (ABDA): for graduating students majoring in business, management, economics, statistics, or allied disciplines, and planning an analytics career in Big Data
  • Senior Big Data Analyst (SBDA): for experienced analytics, marketing, and research professionals intending to move into Big Data or to grow faster in their Big Data careers
  • Senior Data Scientist (SDS): for senior Big Data Analysts and Engineers looking to move to Data Scientist roles
  • Principal Data Scientist (PDS): for experienced Data Science professionals looking at more challenging roles in their careers

Harvard University

Harvard offers the Professional Certificate in Data Science. The features of the certificate are given below:

  • Nine courses, including R Basics, Visualization, Inference and Modeling, Wrangling, Machine Learning, Capstone, and more
  • Experience with the tidyverse, including data visualization with ggplot2 and data wrangling with dplyr.
  • Knowledge of fundamental data science concepts with case studies from the real world

IBM

IBM offers the IBM Data Science Professional Certificate. This serves as a great way to begin a career in the data science industry, and offers the following:

  • Nine courses covering diverse topics such as open source tools, data science methodology, Python for data science and AI, databases and SQL for data science, and more
  • The option to practice on the IBM Cloud to get hands-on experience
  • Practical data science tools to work on real-world data sets that seek to solve real-world problems
  • No prior programming or computer skills needed to enroll for the course
  • Several assignments designed to hone practical knowledge and aptitude
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