Best Data Science Certifications

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If you are looking to improve your data science skills or take your career to the next level, the best way to do it is by acquiring data science certification. A data science certificate is a credential that shows you have the skills and knowledge to work with data.

Many institutions offer data science certificates, including colleges and universities, professional organizations, and online learning platforms. But with the plethora of data science certifications available online, it can be tough to decide which one is best suited for you.

Are Data Science Certifications Worth It?

A data science certification can help you land a job in the field or advance your career. In addition, a data science certification can also help you earn more money in your career.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor’s Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, the median salary for a certified data scientist was $100,480 per year in 2021. In addition, the industry enjoys a growth rate of 31%, which is much faster than the U.S. average and is projected to have at least 100,000 new job openings in the U.S. by 2029.

Also read: Top Data Management Challenges and Opportunities Facing IT Leaders in 2022

What Can I Do With a Data Science Certificate?

With a data science certificate, you can work as a data scientist, data analyst, or data engineer. Moreover, you can use your data science skills to work in other fields, such as marketing, finance, and healthcare.

Some of the top job titles available after getting a data science certification include:

  • Data scientist
  • Data analyst
  • Data engineer
  • Machine learning engineer
  • Machine learning scientist
  • Application architect
  • Enterprise architect
  • Data architect

But in addition to being employed, a data science verification also opens up entrepreneurial possibilities. Many data science certificate holders use their skills to start their own businesses or consult for other companies.

8 Best Data Science Certifications

The following are eight of the best full online and self-paced data science certifications you can take in 2022.

Some of these courses do not have any learning prerequisites and are designed to impart IT professionals and novices alike with the necessary knowledge base and practical skills to tackle real-world data analysis challenges. And some are best suited for IT professionals with some data science experience who wish to deepen their knowledge and stay on top of the latest trends.

HarvardX Data Science Professional Certificate

The HarvardX Data Science Professional Certificate program consists of nine courses that cover topics such as data wrangling, visualization, probability, and statistics. The HarvardX program is designed for learners who have little to no prior experience with coding or data science. Upon completion of the program, students receive a certificate from HarvardX.

Course Content:

  • R Basics
  • Visualization
  • Probability
  • Inference and Modeling
  • Productivity Tools
  • Wrangling
  • Linear Regression
  • Machine Learning
  • Capstone

Duration: The course can be completed at your own pace but is designed to be completed in one year and five months, assuming a self-study pace of two to three hours per week.

Pricing: The usual cost of the program is $991; however, current sales prices have the program listed for $792.80.

IBM Data Science Professional Certificate

The IBM Data Science Professional Certificate program consists of 10 courses that equip learners with the latest data science skills and techniques. Python, databases and SQL, data visualization, data analysis, and machine learning are just a few of the topics available in this course.

In addition, you’ll get to use actual data science tools and real-world datasets in the IBM Cloud (at no additional cost).

Upon completion, learners earn a Professional Certificate and a digital badge from IBM, recognizing their proficiency in data science. 

The course is available at edX and Coursera. The course on Coursera also earns a learner credit towards completing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science Degree from the University of London.

Course Content:

  • What is Data Science?
  • Tools for Data Science
  • Data Science Methodology
  • Python for Data Science
  • Databases and SQL for Data Science
  • Python for Data Science Project
  • Data Visualization with Python
  • Data Analysis with Python
  • Machine Learning with Python
  • Applied Data Science Capstone

Duration: The course is designed to be completed in 11 months to a year, assuming three to six hours per week.

Pricing: The program costs $873 on edX, while Coursera allows staggered payments depending on an estimate of the number of hours you’ll need to learn each week to finish all courses. For example, the one-month fee for 20 hours a week is $39.

Microsoft Certified Azure Data Scientist Associate

The Microsoft Certified Azure Data Scientist Associate certification, available either through Microsoft or Coursera,  is designed for data science professionals who want to show their expertise in designing and implementing data science solutions on Microsoft Azure. In addition, you must have some intermediate-level knowledge in training machine learning models with Python and open-source frameworks such as TensorFlow, PyTorch, and scikit-Learn.

The role-based exam tests your ability to complete everyday data science tasks using Azure Machine Learning Service. Once you pass the exam, you’ll earn the Microsoft Certified Azure Data Scientist Associate certification that you can share with your professional network.

Course Content:

  • Create machine learning models in Microsoft Azure
  • Microsoft Azure AI Fundamentals: Explore visual tools for machine learning
  • Build and operate machine learning solutions with Azure Machine Learning
  • Build and operate machine learning solutions with Azure Databricks

Duration: It takes approximately seven months to complete at an assumed four hours per week.

Pricing: The program is free to learn without an instructor on the Microsoft website. However, instructor-led learning for the Designing and Implementing a Data Science Solution on Azure module on the Microsoft website costs $1,795.

On Coursera, you can enroll in a single course and make payments based on an estimate of the number of hours you intend to study per week. For example, $49 per month for 20 hours a week.

The certification exam costs $165, with prices varying based on the exam center’s location.

Data Science Certification (SAS)

The SAS Certified Data Scientist is a global credential that validates your skills in data exploration, model development and deployment, and big data technologies. Learners need 2-3 months of hands-on experience using SAS Data Management Tools and applications and third-party data tools such as Hadoop, Hive/HiveQL, PIG/PIGLATIN.

The certification program consists of three professional-level credentials, Data Curation, Advanced Analytics, and AI and Machine Learning. Upon completing all three credentials, you earn the full SAS Certified Data Scientist certification.

During training, you also get unlimited, full access to SAS software in the cloud, which helps you put concepts you’ve learned into practice.

Course Content:

Data Curation Professional

  • Introduction to Data Curation for SAS Data Scientists
  • SAS Data Management Tools and Applications
  • SAS and Hadoop
  • Additional SAS Data Management Tools and Applications

Advanced Analytics Professional

  • Applied Analytics Using SAS Enterprise Miner
  • Neural Network Modeling
  • Predictive Modeling Using Logistic Regression
  • Data Mining Techniques: Predictive Analysis on Big Data
  • Using SAS to Put Open Source Models Into Production
  • Text Analytics Using SAS Text Miner
  • Time Series Modeling Essentials
  • Experimentation in Data Science
  • Optimization Concepts for Data Science

AI & Machine Learning Professional

  • Machine Learning Using SAS Viya
  • SAS Visual Text Analytics in SAS Viya
  • Deep Learning Using SAS Software
  • Forecasting Using Model Studio in SAS Viya
  • Optimization Concepts for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence

Duration: For either Data Curation for SAS Data Scientist, Advanced Analytics Professional, and AI & Machine Learning Professional certifications, you have 12 months to complete the credential at your own pace.


  • Data Curation for SAS Data Scientists: $1,295 per year and an exam fee of $180 in the U.S. 
  • Advanced Analytics Professional: $1,295 per year and a fee of $180 to $250 per exam in the U.S. There are three exams in this module.
  • AI & Machine Learning Professional: $1,295 per year and an exam fee of $180 per exam in the US. There are three exams in this module.

The company also offers discounts and special offers for bundled training when this course is taken together with other SAS certifications.

Data Science Specialization by John Hopkins University

This Data Science Specialization provided by Johns Hopkins University on Coursera covers the concepts and tools you’ll need throughout the entire data science pipeline, from asking the right kinds of questions to making inferences and publishing results.

You’ll learn how to use R to clean, analyze, and visualize data as well as to perform common statistical operations like t-tests, linear regression, and regression trees.

You will need beginner-level experience in Python and some familiarity with regression.

Course Content:

  • The Data Scientist’s Toolbox
  • R Programming
  • Getting and Cleaning Data
  • Exploratory Data Analysis
  • Reproducible Research
  • Statistical Inference
  • Regression Models
  • Practical Machine Learning
  • Developing Data Products
  • Data Science Capstone

Duration: It takes 11 months to complete at a pace of seven hours per week.

Pricing: As with most Coursera courses, you can enroll in a single course and make payments based on an estimate of the number of hours you intend to study per week. In this case, $49 per month for 20 hours a week.

Applied Data Science With Python (University of Michigan)

Applied Data Science with Python Specialization is a skills-based certification program provided by the University of Michigan that consists of three courses covering various aspects of data science, such as Python programming, machine learning, statistical foundations, and more.

Available on Coursera, the program requires a basic Python or programming background and is intended for individuals who wish to apply common Python libraries like pandas, matplotlib, scikit-learn, NLTK, and NetworkX to their data to gain insights.

Course Content:

  • Course 1: Introduction to Data Science in Python
  • Course 2: Applied Plotting, Charting & Data Representation in Python
  • Course 3: Applied Machine Learning in Python
  • Course 4: Applied Text Mining in Python
  • Course 5: Applied Social Network Analysis in Python

Duration: The course takes five months to complete at a pace of seven hours per week.

Pricing: Standard Coursera pricing based on hours: $49 per month for 20 hours a week.

Principal Data Scientist (PDS)

The DASCA (Data Science Council of America) certification program demystifies data science and provides a comprehensive overview of the data science field. It is ideal for professionals who want to prove and reinforce their stature as thought leaders and influencers in data science.

Learners must have a proven track record of professional contribution and an express potential to advance data science, create business intelligence for organizations, and make data the driving force behind their company’s efficiency, profitability, and market share.

PDS currently accepts applications on four tracks throughout the year.

  • PDS Track 1: Invite Only
  • PDS Track 2: Corporate Nomination
  • PDS Track 3: Senior Data Scientist (SDS)-certified
  • PDS Track 4: Open Applications

Course Content:

  • Data Science Applications in Business
  • The Functional Framework of Data Science
  • Driving Business Through Big Data Analytics
  • Building Pan-Organization Support
  • Data Science Essentials for Data Scientists
  • Big Data Analytics Essentials for Data Scientists
  • Advanced Data Science for Data Scientists

Duration: You can complete the certification in three months but are allowed up to one year.

Pricing: Pricing depends on your track as follows:

  • PDS Track 1: $850
  • PDS Track 2: $1,250
  • PDS Track 3 (Upgrade from SDS): $ 750
  • PDS Track 4: 1,450

Springboard Data Science Bootcamp

The Springboard Data Science Bootcamp is an online, immersive program that helps you transition into a career in data science. The course covers topics such as SQL, R, Python, Tableau, and machine learning.

In addition to the technical curriculum, the bootcamp also focuses on developing critical job skills such as résumé-building, interviewing, and networking. The course features one-on-one video calls and on-demand mentor calls.

Course Content:

  • The Python Data Science Stack
  • Data Wrangling
  • The Data Story
  • Statistical Inference
  • Machine Learning
  • Software Engineering for Data Science
  • Data Science at Scale
  • Advanced Machine Learning

Duration: The course takes 500 hours or about six months to complete; although, students are given up to one year to finish the program.

Pricing: The tuition fee is $11,340 with a 13% discount when you pay upfront. You can also opt for a deferred tuition plan where you pay a $700 refundable deposit and $450 monthly after starting a new job based on your new qualifications. The fees are refundable if you don’t get a job within six months of completion.

Choosing a Data Science Certification Course

The best data science certification for you will depend on your goals, objectives, and budget. For example, if you want to learn the basics of data science and become proficient in using various data science tools, opt for a course HarvardX Data Science Professional Certificate or a Coursera course like IBM, Michigan, and John Hopkins if you want staggered payments.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to establish yourself as a thought leader and influencer in the data science community, the DASCA certification might be a better fit. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which course best meets your needs.

Read next: Best Data Visualization Tools & Software

Kihara Kimachia
Kihara Kimachia
Kihara Kimachia is a writer and digital marketing consultant with over a decade of experience covering issues in emerging technology and innovation. In addition to appearing regularly in Enterprise Networking Planet, his work has been published in many leading technology publications, including TechRepublic, eSecurity Planet, Server Watch, Channel Insider, IT Business Edge, and Enterprise Storage Forum.

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