Online data science certifications to advance your career

SOURCE: Apple Inc./AFP
Apple data scientist Yael Garten, one of the speakers at The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference.

By U2B Staff 

Read all stories

In 2017, a report by IBM predicted that by 2020 there would be a shortage in data scientists. Quant Hub confirmed their prediction to be accurate. Both larger scale businesses and smaller startups understand the significance of having a data scientist on board to progress. Many data science certification programmes are available today to those who are fresh to the field or established and looking to upskill with the latest technologies.

Data scientists are trained to identify data that stands out the most. With businesses being data-rich, professionals in this field provide key information. This information helps businesses deliver the right products at the right time, in accordance with a customer’s needs. A skilled data scientist utilises their knowledge to help businesses identify opportunities, define goals, tackle issues, and influence better decisions. 


If you are looking to begin your journey in data science: 

IBM Data Science Professional Certificate

To learn about what Data Science truly is, this free data science certification programme, hosted by Coursera and offered by IBM, offers nine online courses that ensures job-readiness. These courses collectively equip learners with skills in open source tools and libraries, Python, databases, SQL, data visualisation, data analysis, statistical analysis, predictive modeling, and machine learning algorithms. Coursera reports that 46% of programme finishers have begun new careers while 19% have received a promotion or an increase in salary.

Data Science Professional Certificate by Harvard University

For those with more time to invest, this comprehensive programme by Harvard University takes approximately a year and five months to complete. However, it is self-paced which allows progression at any speed. The course spans R basics, visualisation, probability, inference and modeling, wrangling, linear regression, machine learning, and much more. The programme is hosted by leading e-learning platform, edX.


If you are looking to further develop your existing skills:

Advanced Business Analytics Specialisation by the University of Colorado, Boulder

This free intermediate-level course is hosted on Coursera and developed by the University of Colorado, Boulder. This course teaches the basics of data analysis, DataViz, mathematical optimisation, SQL, data model and quality, regression analysis, data cleansing, predictive modeling, simulation, exploratory data analysis and business analytics. Coursera reports that 50% of learners began new careers upon completion of this specialisation. 

Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Scientist Associate

This advanced programme by Microsoft grants learners certification upon completion of a 180-minute exam that costs US$165. It is aimed for data scientists who would like to apply their knowledge of data science and machine learning to implement and run machine learning workloads on Azure. Learning materials and modules are available for free to assist with exam preparation.

MicroMasters in Statistics & Data Science

EdX‘s MicroMasters programmes are graduate-level courses developed by top universities. This MicroMasters programme helps learners master the foundations of data science, statistics, and machine learning. Certificate holders can eventually apply towards a PhD in Social and Engineering Systems (SES) through the MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS) or accelerate their paths towards a Master’s degree at other universities around the world.

This instructor-led programme takes approximately 17 months to complete, with the full programme experience costing US$1,350.