What is the next big thing in the tech world? The answer is data science and that was an easy one to guess. The data today that companies have to deal with is immense. Handling it, making sense of it and manipulating it to gain competitive advantage or organizational excellence is a task of professionals. The demand, skill gap and the pay scale all put a career in Data Science in the ‘must haves’ list of any IT professional. While you start with software engineering for data science engineering or go for a math, statistics or logic background for data science analysts, a certification defines your niche in data science.
Often times when you embark on the path to select Data science certification the confusion is what to pick and the quintessential ‘why’ should you pick the one you picked. Certifications are not college degrees, you need to find a niche that is the best complement for your skills at work.
Cloudera Certified Professional: Data Science going by the acronym CCP:DS is one of the top 5 in big data and data analytics certificates. The certification is your hands-on foundation for data science that allows you to start with a niche. The exam tests the programing and data skills on a real-to-life large datasets. Before you appear for the tests you need to have on-the-job or first-hand experience in handling big data tools and technologies like Python, R, Apache Hadoop, Apache Spark with an in depth understanding of Data Science as a subject. While you solve the test problem, Cloudera allows you to take your pick of the technology or program to get through the solution. There are three examinations and the cost of each exam is $600:
- DS700 – Descriptive and Inferential Statistics on Big Data
- DS701 – Advanced Analytical Techniques on Big Data
- DS702 – Machine Learning at Scale
Certification of Professional Achievement in Data Sciences – Columbia University is in the league of Data science certifications that is crafted for professionals who want to make a career move in to big data sphere. The course is for people with an aptitude and knowledge in various quantitative concepts like Calculus, Linear Algebra etc. In fact, this is one of their requirements and may be a setback for those who want to be in data science but do not possess the knowledge of quantitative. The certification requires candidates to undertake these four programs:
- CSOR W4246 Algorithms for Data Science
- COMS W4721 Machine Learning for Data Science
- STAT W4701 Exploratory Data Analysis and Visualization
- STAT W5701 Probability and Statistics
Columbia University has a technology fee of $395 per course with Columbia Engineering’s tuition rate of $1858 per credit.
Data Science Council of America – Senior Data Scientist is another certification aimed at professionals with 5 or more years of experience. Once you register for the certification DASCA provides you with two physical handbooks for Data Science and a digital workbook to get in the exam groove. The pre-requisites for the exam is an undergraduate degree in Computer Science, Mathematics, Applied Sciences, Economics and Management. The exam covers the following areas in varying percentage to create a harmony of skill and sub-skills:
- Data Science for Business Stakeholders
- Data Science
- Business Potential of Big Data
- Building Cross-Organizational Support
- Data Science Fundamentals for Data Scientists
- Data Science Essentials for Data Scientists
- Advanced Data Science for Data Scientists
The certification program fee is $650 and that includes the entire exam preparation structure.
Coursera John Hopkins Data Science Certifications gives you a good head start into data science in terms of knowledge and fundamental knowhow. The concept here is of multiple short courses and capstone projects that complete all 9-10 modules. The courses are for free, so, you can sit through them at no cost. The certification or the exams that get you through an industry accepted validation costs $49 per module. The total cost comes out to be $490, which is economical when look at the top courses in the industry.
INFORMS Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) is for professionals who have been there in analytics for three to seven years. The level of expertise it requires might not make it an entry level best choice. The focus is on Business analytics and problem framing, model building and deployment, methodology selection and lifecycle management.
The certification courses add niche to your skills in Data Science. None of them are in ‘Back to School’ format, which helps you to take the entirely new career path as data science professional while learning the skills on-the-job or in hands-on format. The scope of data science is immense and the potentials out there to explore can turn professionals into explorers, logic-experimenters and the future blue-eyed-boy (or girl) of the company. The way forward is all skill driven.