Fast-track your career in data science with these certifications

Data scientists use their skills and qualifications to help businesses identify opportunities, define goals, tackle issues, and ultimately make better, more profitable decisions. 

By U2B Staff 

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Data science careers have seen a massive growth over the years; the role is especially ideal for those who love solving problems or crunching numbers.

Organisations increasingly acknowledge that they are sitting on treasure troves of data, bolstering the need to analyse and generate ROI from them. 

Back in 2017, an IBM report predicted that there would be a shortage of data scientists by 2020. Quant Hub confirmed their prediction. Four years later, not much has changed. 

Both large businesses and smaller startups understand the significance of having a data scientist on board to facilitate growth. Many data science certification programmes are available for those who are fresh to the field or for those who are already established but are looking to upskill themselves with new skills.


So what exactly does a data scientist do? These professionals are trained to identify data that stands out. 

This information helps businesses deliver the right products to their consumers at the right time, in accordance with their needs. To sum it up: a skilled data scientist uses their skills and qualifications to help businesses identify opportunities, define goals, tackle issues, and ultimately make better, more profitable decisions. 

If you’re looking to fast-track your career in data science with the right certification, these programmes could help:

Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Scientist Associate

Microsoft offers a data science certificate that aims to measure a learner’s ability to run experiments, train machine learning models, optimise a model’s performance, and deploy it using the Azure Machine Learning workspace.

To obtain this certificate, participants will need to pass one exam that can be prepped for in one of two ways. For independent learners, Microsoft offers free online materials that you can self-study. Alternatively, you can also pay for an Azure machine learning instructor. The exam costs around US$165 –– prices vary based on the country the test is proctored from.

IBM Data Science Professional Certificate

Understand the nuts and bolts of data science with this IBM Data Science Professional Certificate on Coursera.

You’ll be equipped 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.

Google Professional Data Engineer Certification

Google’s professional data engineer certification aims to examine the skills professionals  need to be qualified as data engineers. A data engineer can make data-driven decisions, build reliable models, train, test and optimise them.

You can get this certificate by applying directly through the official Google certificate page, or by taking a course series and the certificate on Coursera. These courses are equipped to teach learners all they need to know about machine learning and AI fundamentals as well as the skills needed to build efficient data pipelines and analytics. To access the course series on Coursera, learners will need to either sign up for Coursera Plus or pay a fee of US$49 per month for as many months as they need.

Cloudera Certified Professional (CCP) Data Engineer

Cloudera targets open-source developers and offers the CCP Data Engineer certificate for developers looking to test their ability to collect, process, and analyse data efficiently on the Cloudera CDH environment.


To pass this exam, participants will be given five to 10 data science problems, each with its own large dataset and CDH cluster. Their task will be to find a high-precision solution for each of these problems and implement it correctly. Learners will need to score at least 70% in the exam – which is online, four hours long, and priced at US$400. 

Data Science Professional Certificate by Harvard University

If you have more time on your hands, this comprehensive programme by Harvard University takes approximately a year and five months to complete. The self-paced nature of the course, however, means you can learn in your own time. 

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.