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7 data science certifications that will pay off

7 data science certifications that will pay off

Looking to get ahead as a data scientist? Earning one of these seven data science certs will help you stand out in one of the hottest careers in IT.

Data scientist is one of the hottest jobs in IT. What’s more, it's the best job you can get, period, according to data from Glassdoor. If you're looking to get into this field, or you want to stand out against the competition, look no further than data science certifications.

Data science is important to nearly every company and industry out there, but the skills that recruiters are looking for will vary across businesses and industries. Certifications are a great way to gain an edge because they allow you to hone niche skills that are hard to find in your desired industry. It’s also a way to back up your skills, so recruiters and hiring managers know what they’re getting if they hire you.

Whether you’re looking to earn a certification from an accredited university, gain some experience as a new grad, hone vendor-specific skills or demonstrate your broad knowledge of data analytics, at least one of these seven certifications will work for you.

Dell EMC Proven Professional certification program

Dell EMC offers a data science associate certification that promises a hands-on, practitioner approach in what it describes as the “industry’s most comprehensive learning and certification program.” Once you pass the exam, you’re considered “Proven Professional,” which tells hiring managers and recruiters that you have the necessary skills they want in a data scientist. The data science certification path offers an associate level and a specialist level, which is more advanced.

Cost: $200 per Proven Professional certification exam; you’ll also need to purchase any books or other course material.

Expiration: Valid for two years.

Certified Analytics Professional (CAP)

CAP offers a vender-neutral certification, which can show recruiters and hiring managers that you aren’t biased to specific software or services. It also shows that you have a broad range of knowledge in your field to balance out your more specific, well-honed skillsets. CAP promises to help you “transform complex data into valuable insights and actions,” which is exactly what businesses are looking for in a data scientist: someone who not only understands the data, but can draw logical conclusions and then express to key stakeholders why those data points are significant.

Cost: $495 for INFORMS members, $695 for non-members; team pricing for organizations is available on request.

Expiration: Valid for three years.

SAS Academy for Data Science

The SAS Academy for Data Science includes three programs: one that focuses on big data skills, another that focuses on data analytics skills and a third program that includes both data analytics and big data skills. It’s a great way to get exposure and experience using data science tools through hands-on learning, training, case studies and access to the SAS community. You can complete courses in person, which requires six weeks of instructor-led classes Monday through Friday. Or, you can choose the self-paced option and complete the course on your own time over six months.

Cost: Individual certification courses start at $2,250, while in-person classroom courses start at $9,000. Completing both courses at once costs $4,400 and $16,000, respectively.

Expiration: Credentials do not expire, but some exams may be retired as software changes.

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)

MCSE certifications cover a wide variety of IT specialties and skills, including data science. For data science certifications, Microsoft offers two courses, one that focuses on business applications, and another that focuses on data management and analytics. However, each course requires prior certification under the MCSE Certification program, so you’ll want to make sure you check the requirements first.

Cost: $125 per exam, per attempt.

Expiration: Valid for three years.

Cloudera Certified Associate (CCA)

The CCA exam demonstrates your foundational knowledge as a developer, data analyst and administrator of Cloudera’s enterprise software. Passing a CCA exam and earning your certification will show employers that you have a handle on the basic skills required to be a data scientist. It’s also a great way to prove your skills if you’re just starting out and lack a strong portfolio or past work experience.

Cost: $295 per exam specialty and per attempt.

Expiration: Valid for two years.

Cloudera Certified Professional: CCP Data Engineer

Once you earn your CCA, you can move onto the CCP exam, which Cloudera touts as one of the most rigorous and “demanding performance-based certifications.” It focuses on mastering skills and testing your expertise in data science. According to the website, those looking to earn their CCP need to bring “in-depth experience developing data engineering solutions” to the table, as well as a “high-level of mastery” of common data science skills.

Cost: $600 per attempt — each attempt includes three exams.

Expiration: Valid for three years.

Data Science Certificate – Harvard Extension School

To earn a data science certificate from the Harvard Extension School, you’ll need to complete and earn at least a B grade in four certification courses within three years. You can choose two electives from a select group, one required data science course from another select group and both an entry-level and advanced-level statistics course. This certification is best for those who already have knowledge of programming — specifically Python — and those looking to pursue graduate credits.

Cost: $2,700 per course, with a required three to five courses.

Expiration: Certificate degree will not expire.

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