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How can I get certified in data science?

Find out about all the different ways to get certified in data science and the factors you should consider when making your decision.

Data science certifications come in various forms. Some of them can be done part-time at low cost, while others will be more expensive and take up more of your time. Certifications can also vary based on what else they provide: some are certification-only, some come with a training period beforehand, and some will assist you in the process of landing a job afterward.

Ultimately deciding which certification you should pursue should be based on these four things:

There are a number of different organizations that offer data science certificates, but we’ll focus on four different types of providers:

  1. Higher education
  2. Certification only providers
  3. Certification and learning platforms
  4. Bootcamps

Higher education:

The most traditional option, going to university or college, is definitely a good one if you’re intent on data science as a career path, with more and more institutions offering data science courses. However, it is worth pointing out that you don’t necessarily need to study data science itself in order to land a job in the field. In many cases, job listings will ask for a “quantitative degree”, which can cover a broad range of numerical subjects—statistics, mathematics, economics, etc. Augmenting such a degree with an additional certification in data science can be a way to prove your interest to employers while at the same time keeping your options in other career fields open.

Certification only providers:

There are organizations that specifically tailor themselves to getting you certified in the form of chartership (Adasci in India and DASCA in the USA), so if you apply it will be assumed that you know all the underlying information already. Additionally, since they are staffed by researchers and industry experts their exams are constantly updated, so make sure you stay on top of data science news and trends!

Online learning platforms:

There are also websites whose certification services will encompass a quiz at the least—the sky’s the limit from there on out. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention DataCamp—our new certification service consists of various exam-style questions, assignments, and a live presentation delivered to experts and non-technical audiences, to ensure you are fully prepared for the challenges you might face in a data science career. Afterward, you will have access to our careers service, where advisors with industry links will be able to assist you in your job search.

"We had a whole conversation around my resume. Working with the DataCamp career services team really helped me position myself for success during my job search."

-Peter L’Oiseau, Sports Analyst for the Canadian Olympics Team

Other options include Coursera, who have partnered with IBM, Google, and the Indian Institute of Technology to create a variety of certification tracks suited to various data science professions; Udacity, who have partnerships with major companies including Kaggle, IBM, and Starbucks; and Google who have a Data Analytics Professional certification.

Bootcamps:

Bootcamps can be a great option if price is less of a concern than time. They generally take around two months to complete and cost upwards of $3,000. Some have excellent industry links and people who graduate from them can expect to get a job within 90 days.

"I enrolled in a full-stack web development bootcamp called Le Wagon where I was able to hone my skills through three months of intensive learning. After this, I went out and looked for employment within web development, and that was when I came across DataCamp."

-Jeremaia Harrison, Full Stack Web Developer at DataCamp

The most important thing to bear in mind when choosing a method is substance over style. A good certification should be reinforced with teaching by supportive experts, theory that is up-to-date, and practice exercises that reflect real-life scenarios. Learn in a way that challenges you but at the same time helps you retain everything, and you’ll know you’ll have found the right method.

Below are some examples of providers to help further guide your decision:

Online certifications

Organization Types of certification Cost ($) Time commitment
DataCamp Data Science Certification 29/month Own pace
Google Data Analytics Professional Certification 40/month 10hrs/week over 6 months
Udacity Data Science Nanodegree program 1.4K 10 hrs/week over 4 months
Coursera IBM Data Scientist 40-80/month 4 hrs/week, 11 months
IBM Data Analyst 40-80/month 3 hrs/week, 11 months
Google Data Analytics 40-80/month 10 hrs/week, 6 months
IIT Data Science & Machine learning cert 1.5K 6-8 hrs/week, 6 months
edX Harvard Data Science Professional 1K 2-3 hrs/week, 1.5 years
MIT Statistics & Data Science (MicoMasters) 1.5K 10-14 hrs/week, 1 year

Universities

Organization Types of certification Cost ($) Time commitment
Harvard Harvard Data Science Professional 800 2-3hrs/week over 1.5 years
Data Science Graduate Certificate 12K 1.5 years
University of Toronto Data Science certificate 4K or 1K/course 160 hrs
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee Data Science and Machine Learning Certificate 1.5K 8hrs/week over 6 months

Certification Providers

Organization Types of certification Cost ($) Time commitment
Certified Analytics Professionals (CAP) Associate certified analytics professional 700-1000 16-20 hours
Certified analytics professional 800-1100 18-25 hours
Data science council of America (DASCA) Big data engineering 500- 600 Self-paced depending on candidates experience
Big data analytics 585-620 Self-paced depending on candidates experience
Data scientist 650-950 Self-paced depending on candidates experience
The Open Group Three levels of certification: DS, Master Certified DS and Distinguished DS 150-400
Association of data scientists (Adasci) Chartered Data Scientist 250 3 hour exam

Bootcamps

Organization Types of certification Cost ($) Time commitment
Le Wagon Data Science course in London 10K 9 wks (full time)
General assembly Data Science immersive online 16K 2.5 months (full time)
Data Analytics course (beginner) 5K 40 hours
Data Science course (working professionals) 5K 60 hours
BrainStation Data Science Bootcamp online 15K 2.5 months
Data Science Course online 3.2K 1.5 month
Thinkful Data Science Bootcamp 18.5K 5-6 months

(Disclaimer: while the prices and other details listed were correct at the time of writing, they may have changed since then)

Interested in getting certified through DataCamp? Click here to find out more.