A data scientist is one of the hottest jobs in IT today. Companies are always on the lookout to hire data scientists to make sense of all the data that they collect every single day. So, what does it take to break into this exciting field? There are many different routes that you can consider, but a data science certificate may be the ticket to standing out above your competition. What are the best data science certificates, and do you really need one? See below for answers to these questions and more.
What Is Data Science?
It’s hard to pin down the exact definition of data science. However, it can be explained as an interdisciplinary science that uses scientific methods, processes, and algorithms to gain insight into both structured and unstructured data.
More simply, data science is the study of data that is being produced every single day. A data scientist works to analyze, study, and record data and then extract useful information to gather specific insights. Data science uses many different techniques and theories from the fields of mathematics, statistics, computer sciences, and information science.
So, What Does a Data Scientist Do?
It is estimated that 1.7MB of data is created every second for every person on earth. But where does the data come from? Data is basically generated every time you use an app or browse the internet. Data scientists are tasked to analyze this data and then report the findings back to their employer to gauge what it means for their respective businesses.
The information is then used to demonstrate how a company can improve its offerings. For example, if a data scientist is employed by a retail store, they will use their data findings to recommend products to customers.
In short, a data scientist:
- Starts the process.
- Acquires the data.
- Processes and cleans the data.
- Integrates and stores the data.
- Analyzes the data.
- Chooses one or more potential models and algorithms
- Applies the data science methods and techniques
- Measures the results.
- Presents these results to investors.
- Adjusts if needed.
- Repeats the process.
Who Employs Data Scientists?
Corporations employ data scientists, but the government can also use their services. Another option for data scientists is independent consulting. As an independent consultant, you have the option of making a large amount of money in a short amount of time using strategy, consulting, development, and training.
What Traits Make a Great Data Scientist?
To be a successful data scientist, you must be a critical thinker, a terrific problem solver, and have a business mindset. You must also have experience organizing data, working with statistics, and data wrangling. According to Indeed, a data scientist makes an average of $124,189 a year in the United States. Of course, there will be other factors, such as company and location, that could affect your specific salary.
What Does the Future Look like for Data Scientists?
Data scientist positions are on the rise. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 11.5 million jobs in the data sciences will be created by 2026. It is said that in 2020 alone, there will be 3,000 more positions available. Based on these figures, it is evident that the career is not going anywhere soon. Therefore, if you have been planning to break into this field, now would be the perfect time to do so.
Do You Need a Data Science Certificate to Land a Good Position in Tech?
Certificates are used to demonstrate your proficiency to potential employers and validate the skills that you have learned. They can also illustrate that you are interested in learning and developing new abilities. Furthermore, certificates on your resume show recruiters that you are ambitious and skilled in the position for which you are applying to. While recruiters love to see these certifications on resumes, are they critical to success in the industry? The short answer is no. However, they can be extremely beneficial to those looking to rise in the ranks of the tech industry.
It’s no secret that the path to becoming a data scientist is not a straight one. There are several different options to choose once you set your sights on becoming a data scientist. You can opt for the traditional education route and attend an accredited university for a degree in a related field. You could also further this education by obtaining a master’s degree. You can also choose to go the much challenging way of self-learning. Additionally, you could attend a coding bootcamp to expand your skills.
A data science certificate, while certainly not necessary for success, does set you apart from other applicants in the field. With this being a desirable field, it is crucial for you to stand out from the crowd. Furthermore, certificates are an excellent way for entry-level applicants to demonstrate that they are well-versed in the necessary skills since they won’t have any work experience yet to back the application up.
On the downside, certifications are often drastically different, and just because they are advertised as being issued from a university doesn’t mean they are. Additionally, recruiters simply don’t have the time to investigate every certification on applicants’ resumes. They are more likely to spend the time looking at your experience or past projects.
If you are a recent college graduate, or just trying to demonstrate your analytic data knowledge, then a certification might be right for you. Essentially, if you have the time and the money to get a certification, then there is no harm in doing so. Occasionally and in some circumstances, a certification can lead to a salary increase depending on where you are in your career.
What Are Some of the Best Data Science Certificates?
If you choose to move forward in the process of getting certified in the data sciences, there are different certifications that you can choose from. Make sure to consider all your options before enrolling in one and pick the one that aligns the most with your career goals. Here are some of the top five certificates for the data sciences:
- Certified Analytics Professional (CAP)
This is a global professional certificate that is used to enhance your ability to turn data into valuable insights and actions. The base price for this certification is $695.
- Cloudera Certified Associate: Data Analyst
This certification teaches how to perform the core competencies required in Cloudera’s CDH environment using Impala and HIVE. The base price for this certification is $295.
- Cloudera Certified Professional: CCP Data Engineer
This certification improves your data engineering skills. It also teaches data transformation, storage, and analysis. The cost for this certificate is $400.
- Data Science Council of America (DASCA) Senior Data Scientist (SDS)
This certification is intended for data science professionals who want to further their careers into more challenging roles such as data scientists or analysts. The cost of this certification is $650.
- Data Science Council of America (DASCA) Principle Data Scientist (PDS)
This certification is for the most experienced data scientists. This is essential for the stamp of approval for the most elite of data scientists. The cost of this certification ranges from $300-$950.
Find Your Career Path
While not all paths are the same, however, they do all lead to the same place—and that is obtaining the position of a data scientist. Decide what is best for you before committing to any specific education.