Data science certificates are non-degree college programs designed to equip students with data science skills and hands-on experience. If you’re considering a career in this field, then enrolling in a data science certificate program is a good place to start.
You can find data science college certificate programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. With all of the solid options out there, choosing the right program can be tricky. Our comprehensive list of some of the best data science certificates can help. We’ve also included the jobs you can expect to get after graduating, as well as their salaries and job outlooks.
What Is a Data Science Certificate College Program?
A data science certificate college program is a short-duration, non-degree program in data science offered by degree-awarding colleges. Typically, a data science certificate program will include core courses, electives, and, in some cases, opportunities for data science projects and research.
What’s the Difference Between a College Data Science Certificate and Professional Certification in Data Science?
The difference between a college data science certificate and professional certification in data science lies in their aim. While the former educates or trains you in data science fundamentals and skills, the latter tests you to prove that you possess the data science knowledge and skills necessary to successfully apply them on the job.
Data Science College Certificate vs Data Science Certification: Key Differences
|Data Science Certificate||Data Science Certification|
|Always valid||Needs to be renewed|
|For undergraduate or graduate students||For professionals who need to verify their skills|
|Takes anywhere from one to three years to complete||Takes minutes or hours to complete|
How Long Does It Take To Get a Data Science Certificate at College?
It takes about one year to get a data science certificate at college. However, this duration can change depending on the exact certificate program and the level of certificate you are working toward.
Best Data Science Certificate Undergraduate Programs
|Florida Atlantic University||Certificate in Data Science||$203.29/credit (in state); $721.84/credit (out of state)|
|Purdue University||Applications in Data Science Undergraduate Certificate Program||$6,021/8+ credits (in state); $15,422/8+ credits (out of state)|
|Rutgers University||Certificate in Data Science||$404/credit (in state); $966/credit (out of state)|
|The University of Arizona||Undergraduate Certificate in Data Science and Visualization||$500/credit|
|University of Illinois||Certificate in Data Science||$416/credit|
|University of Missouri-St. Louis||Certificate in Data Science||$379/credit (in state); $1,019/credit (out of state)|
|The University of Texas at Austin||Certificate in Scientific Computation and Data Sciences||$5,883/12+ credits (in state); $20,442/12+ credits (out of state)|
|The University of Texas at San Antonio||Undergraduate Certificate in Data Science||$450/credit|
|University of Utah||Undergraduate Certificate in Data Science||$9,002/academic year (in state); $30,448/academic year (out of state)|
|University of Wisconsin-Madison||Certificate in Data Science||$4,748.40/15 credits (in state); $18,192.30/15 credits (out of state)|
Best Undergraduate Data Science Certificate Programs: Explained
The best undergraduate data science certificate programs offer the foundation that professionals need to succeed in the field, at an affordable price. These data science certificates are provided by prestigious, accredited schools that offer additional education in data science, including bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Data Science College Certificate Program vs Data Science Associate Degree
A data science certificate gives you a good foundation in data science and analytics. An Associate Degree in Data Science prepares you for more advanced studies and higher roles in the field. If you’re interested in beginners’ degree programs in data science, you might want to look into the best data science associate degree programs.
The two programs also differ in courses, duration, and cost. Here are the key factors that separate a data science college certificate program from a data science associate degree.
- Courses. Certificate programs offer fewer courses compared to associate degree programs. For a data science associate degree, you are required to complete more classes in more subjects.
- Duration. Data science college certificate programs are usually condensed and you can complete them, typically, within a year. However, most Associate Degrees in Data Science take two years to earn.
- Cost. Degree programs take longer and require more credit hours. Therefore, they cost more. If you want a more affordable way to learn about data science, then a certificate program is a good way to start.
- Skills. Degree programs are more extensive in their offerings. As a result, they offer more opportunities for students to gain valuable skills in data science. Certificate programs also equip students with specific skills, but are more limited in what they offer.
Best Online Associate Degrees
Best Associate Degrees
Is an Undergraduate Data Science Certificate Worth It?
Yes, an undergraduate data science certificate is worth it because it provides you with relevant skills and knowledge in the popular field of data science and analytics. If you’re already in the field or looking to enter it, a certificate program is an affordable and easy way to learn foundational concepts, methodologies, and tools that are commonly employed in data processing, analysis, and management.
Best Data Science Certificate Graduate Programs
|Boston University||Graduate Certificate in Data Analytics||$955/credit|
|George Mason University||Graduate Certificate in Data Science||$543/credit (in state); $1,431/credit (out of state)|
|The George Washington University||Graduate Certificate in Data Science||$1,885/credit|
|Harvard University||Graduate Certificate in Data Science||$745/credit|
|Michigan Technological University||Graduate Certificate in Data Science Foundations||$1,395/credit|
|University of California-Berkeley||Graduate Certificate in Applied Data Science||Included in graduate tuition (unless that tuition is on a per-credit bases, in which case there is a fee)|
|University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth||Graduate Certificate in Data Science||$682.92/credit (in state); $1,232.42/credit (out of state)|
|University of Michigan||Graduate Certificate in Data Science||N/A|
|University of New Hampshire||Graduate Certificate in Data Science||$785/credit (in state); $865/credit (out of state)|
|The University of Texas at San Antonio||Graduate Certificate in Data Science||$4,770.36/12 credits (in state); $16,735.56/12 credits (out of state)|
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Best Graduate Data Science Certificate Programs Explained
Graduate data certificates improve your competency in top-level data science skills and analytic technologies. The following is a list of some of the best graduate data science certificate programs, including a general overview of the program, the cost of the program, and program requirements.
Data Science Graduate Certificate Program vs Data Science Master’s Degree
Data science graduate certificates and master’s degrees are both graduate-level programs dealing with advanced topics in data science, giving students advanced knowledge and hands-on experience. They mostly differ in program length and careers available after graduation. Here is a closer look at their differences.
- Length of program. Data science graduate certificates typically take less time to complete, up to one year. Master’s degree programs are slightly longer and require more credit hours.
- Career outlook. Data science jobs have different educational requirements. If you’re looking for better or higher-paying roles, then you might want to get a data science master’s degree. However, if you’re already in the field and want to advance your career in less time, a graduate certificate may be the way to go.
- Breadth of experience. A graduate certificate program provides in-depth and experiential training in a specific area of interest. A master’s degree is also focused and in-depth but provides a wider breadth of knowledge and experience.
- Continuing education paths. Do you plan to pursue a Doctoral Degree in Data Science? Then you should consider a data science master’s degree instead of a graduate certificate. If your goal is simply to gain more edge at work or improve your skills, then a graduate certificate suffices.
Best Online Master’s Degrees
Best Master’s Degrees
Is a Graduate Data Science Certificate Worth It?
Yes, a graduate data science certificate is worth it because it provides competency in high-level data science skills. With one, you not only improve your in-depth knowledge but also position yourself for better roles in the massive, growing field of data science.
Data Science Certificate Program Coursework
Getting a data science certificate, whether undergraduate or graduate, will typically require you to take three to six courses. Some of the more popular courses are detailed below.
In data architecture, students learn about large data sets and databases. Students will be exposed to SQL databases and NoSQL databases, and will be able to execute distributed computing by the end of the course. They will also learn about the essential tools used in data architecture.
A course in applied static covers scientific methods, data analysis, probability, sampling, and hypothesis testing. Students learn how to analyze and interpret a given set of data using various statistical concepts. The course also covers basic principles and techniques of statistics as well as various statistical models.
This program focuses on machine learning while teaching students how to develop predictive models via the Python programming language. Most programs emphasize the application of techniques learned using real data sets to demonstrate proficiency and build students’ technical skills.
Data mining teaches students how to discover and determine patterns in a set of data. It is an essential skill in the discipline of data science. In this course, students learn how to extract and analyze these patterns from raw data and translate them into information applicable in a given context or scenario.
Data visualization helps students appreciate the use of various visualization tools and their application in statistical and computational analysis. Students learn how to use different visualization software, simulation tools, and other resources, as applied to data science and visual analytics.
Best Online College Courses for Credit
What Can You Do With a Data Science Certificate from College?
With a data science certificate, you can work as a data scientist, data analyst, machine learning engineer, application architect, data architect, and more. Like other tech roles, these roles are typically high-paying. You can also easily switch from one role to another, which increases your career options.
Best Data Science Jobs and Careers With a Certificate
|Job Role||Average Salary|
|Machine Learning Engineer||$112,709|
|Statistical Data Analyst||$84,285|
Best Data Science Certificate Jobs and Careers: Explained
The best data science certificate jobs include database architects, machine learning engineers, data scientists, and statistical data analysts. The following provides a description of each of these jobs as well as their average salary, anticipated job growth, and education requirements beyond a certificate.
Should I Also Get a Data Science Certification?
Yes, you should also get a data science certification. A professional certification demonstrates to employers that you possess the relevant skills, experience, and technical knowledge for the role.
As these certifications are issued by independent bodies and professional organizations, rather than degree and certificate-granting schools, they are more unbiased standards. Learn more about several data science certification programs below.
Best Data Science Certifications
- Certified Analytics Professional (CAP). Candidates must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree. In addition, they will need five years of data science experience with a bachelor’s degree or three years of experience with a master’s degree. The exam fee for an INFORMS member is $495 and $695 for non-members.
- Google Professional Data Engineer. This certification exam tests candidates’ ability to design, monitor, and secure data processing systems. The registration fee is $200, and three-plus years of experience is recommended.
- Cloudera Certified Data Engineer. The Cloudera Certified Data Engineer certification tests a candidate’s proficiency in developing engineering solutions. It consists of five to 10 performance-based tasks.
Best Professional Certifications
Is a College Certificate for Data Science Worth It?
Yes, a college certificate in data science is worth it. Employers will look for qualifications that indicate a candidate is the best fit for a role. A data science certificate adds to the strength of your job applications while setting you up for further education in data science or a related field.
Data Science Certificates FAQ
Yes, you can get a scholarship for your data science certificate program. However, the chances are very slim. The majority of scholarships are for degree-awarding programs like bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.
Yes, you can work as a data scientist with a data science certificate. The certificate, in addition to substantial experience, meet the requirements of many employers.
No, you cannot enroll in a master’s program with a graduate certificate in data science. A master’s program will require a bachelor’s degree for admission. Plus, some data science graduate certificate programs require you to already be enrolled in a master’s program to apply.
The difference between a data science certificate and an applied data science certificate program is that the latter places a stronger focus on using data and statistics to solve real-world problems.
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