14 Online Data Science Certifications Worth Pursuing
Learn Data Science from the comfort of your home or office, at your own pace with amazing online programs and set yourself up for a lucrative career in this exciting IT field.
Data Science is one of the hottest careers in the IT field. Organizations are increasingly relying on data for business decisions. As such, the demand for qualified data scientists who can make sense of the information these organizations are gathering is on the rise. If you are hoping to start a career in this lucrative field, or want to stand out from competition, a certification is key.
Online data science certification programs are an excellent way to gain a competitive edge because they enable you to develop the skills you need to land your dream job. They are also important when you are looking to validate your skills, so potential employers get to know what they are getting when they hire you.
We compiled average course rating as well as the number of reviews from various review platforms to calculate a weighted average rating for each online certification program. Additionally, we read text reviews and utilized this feedback to supplement the overall rating.
We then made subjective syllabus judgment call based on these two factors:
- Coverage of the data science process
Does the online certification program skip or brush over certain subjects? Does it provide an in-depth coverage of each subject?
- Application of common data science tools
Is the program taught using popular programming tools like R and/or Python? While these are not mandatory, they are helpful in most cases hence preference is given to courses facilitated with these programs.
Finally, we have filtered the programs based on the following criteria:
- The program takes learners through the entire data science process
- The program covers the basic, most popular data science and machine learning algorithms
- The program utilizes popular open-source programming libraries and tools
- The program has a good mix of theory and application
- There are hands-on assignments and projects that reinforce learning
- The tutors are engaging and personable
- The program has excellent rating – generally greater than or equal to 4.5/5
Top 14 data science certification programs worth pursuing online
1. Data Science Specialization from The Johns Hopkins University
This is one of the most sought after and highly rated online data science certification program. Offered by the prestigious John Hopkins University, this online learning program’s curriculum offers an excellent balance of breadth and depth. One of the inclusions in this program that usually misses from other data science programs is a complete section on statistics, which is basically the backbone of data science.
Generally, this certification is a great mix of theory and application using the R programming language. As a prerequisite, you need to have some programming background (not necessarily R). Additionally, you need to have sound understanding of Algebra. Prior knowledge of Linear Algebra and/or Calculus is not mandatory, though it is helpful.
- Students will be introduced to the Data Scientist’s Toolbox
- Students will learn how to use R programming to extract and clean data
- Students will be introduced to exploratory Data Analysis, Statistical Inference, Regression Models, and Practical Machine Learning
- The course ends with a Data Science Capstone
2. Machine Learning By Udacity
If you are interested in the Machine Learning sub-discipline of data science, then you are better off signing up for Udacity’s Machine Learning online certification program. This program provides a comprehensive knowledge of different Machine Learning principles and how they can be implemented in the business world. This popular Machine Learning course offers not only real-life projects but also ensures that the course content are related to the industry.
- The course is taught by professionals with vast knowledge in the field, thus you can be sure that the content is of superior quality
- Students get to learn end-to-end process of analyzing huge datasets using powerful Machine Learning Tools
- Students learn how to evaluate the performance of their Machine Learning algorithms
- This program is ideal for data analytics experts seeking to gain a quick experience of various Machine Learning techniques.
3. Genomic Data Science Specialization by Coursera
If you are specifically interested in Genomic Data Science, then here is the right online certification program for you. Offered by Johns Hopkins University in collaboration with Coursera, this advanced data science program is broken down into each separate unit dealing with specific tools and concepts. Some of the notable tools include Python, R, the command line, Galaxy, and Bioconductor.
- The program is curated in a hands-on project manner, this ensures that students are able to master the principles they have learned through practice.
- The program utilizes the most common algorithms used in DNA sequencing to help learners analyze them more creatively
- The program also touches on statistical challenges that arise in Genomic data science projects and gives suggestions on how to fix them
- Students get to learn how to master tools from the Bioconductor project for purposes of accurate analysis of Genomic data.
4. Applied Data Science with Python Certification
This is one of the best online data science certification programs that offer Python programming language and covers the entire Python toolkit like matplotlip, pandas, nltk, and networks. It also covers Charting, Data Representation, Applied Plotting, and Applied Machine Learning in Python. You will also learn Applied Text Mining as well as Social Network Analysis. At the end of the program, you will be able to analyze social networks in order to generate traffic and run profitable digital marketing campaigns.
- The program focuses on the fundamentals of Python programming language
- Students learn how to manipulate CSV or Excel files for building relational database and the numpy library
- Students learn text mining, Data Mining, and social media mining to experience real-life challenges and how to fix them
- Students learn how to generate a visual representation of data and evaluating the performance and the state of the presentation.
5. IBM Data Science Certification Program
If you have made up your mind that you want to pursue a career in Data Science or Machine Learning then this is definitely one of the best online courses you should consider. This program consists of 9 courses that will help you acquire the essential skills you need to work on different kinds of projects. Some of the topics covered in the lectures include data analysis, visualization, libraries, and open source tools.
This certification is specifically designed for aspiring data analysts and scientists. Learners will experience hands-on practice in the IBM Cloud using real world data sets and real data science tools.
- Students will be introduced to the basics of data science, tools, and methodologies
- Students will learn how to perform data analysis using Python
- Students will learn machine learning with Python
- Students will complete an applied data science capstone project at the end of the program to reinforce what they have learned.
6. Machine Learning Certification by Sanford University - FREE CERTIFICATION
Basically, Machine Learning is the science of getting computers to act without any explicit programming. In this online certification program, you will learn about the most effective machine learning techniques and master how to implement them to deliver on certain goals. Andrew Ng, course instructor, will introduce you into some of Silicon Valley’s best practices in innovation with respect to Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.
- Students will be introduced to supervised learning including parametric and non-parametric algorithms, kernels, supportive vector machines, and neural networks.
- Students will learn unsupervised learning including clustering, recommender systems, dimensionality reduction, and deep learning.
- Students will learn the best practices in machine learning including innovation process in machine learning and Artificial Intelligence, and bias/variance theory.
- Finally, students will be introduced to numerous case studies and applications necessary to apply learning algorithms to build smart robots (perception, control), text understanding (anti-spam, web search), medical informatics, computer vision, database mining, audio, and other disciplines.
7. Data Science with Python
This is one of the leading online Data Science certification programs out there. The program allows you to learn the basics of Python and master the programming language’s major concepts like file operations, object-oriented programming, and data operations. You will master a number of Python libraries like Pandas, Numpy, and Matplotlib that are a critical aspect of Data Science.
- Learners will access instructor-led training sessions by Data Science experts
- Each class session comes with practical assignments
- Learners will have access to real-life projects and case studies that involve Data Science implementation using Python
- A life-long access to Learning Management System with presentations, installation guides, quizzes, as well as class recordings
- Learners will have a 60-day access to cloud labs. This is important for gaining hands-on skills in a pre-configured environment
8. Big Data Integration and Processing Certification by UC San Diego
This compelling online certification program focuses on an in-depth analysis of Big Data. The program aims to provide students with knowledge and resources required for analysis and processing of actual business data. Designed for beginners and experienced data scientists alike, this course can be taken by pretty much anyone with interest in learning or perfecting existing skills.
- This program takes students through retrieval and storage of big datasets from industrial data management systems.
- Learners are taught how to use Hadoop and Apache Spark platforms for integrating and processing big data
- Learners acquire the skills necessary for handling real-world big data problems with ease
- Learning is reinforced with multiple assignments and exercises
9. R Programming
This online data science certification program is offered by Johns Hopkins University and provides learners with a comprehensive of the R Programming language. Contrary to its elaborate usage in the data science field, the number of materials to learn is relatively short in comparison to Python and SQL languages. This program aims to take care of this problem by providing aspiring data scientists with a platform for learning R programming.
- Students learn how to install the essential programs and configure the environment for programming with R
- The program covers a lot of ground, from basic R concepts and advanced use of R in big data analysis
- Students learn to debug R programs more effectively at the end of this program
- Students also learn how to simulate business data in R and profile them effectively
10. Mastering Data Analysis in Excel
This is an excellent online data analytics course for learners aspiring to analyze large scale business data in Excel. It shows learners how to design and implement realistic predictive models based on Excel data that can be applied directly in real-world projects. The program also comes with multiple exercises necessary to reinforce learning and master the concepts.
- An excellent online certification program for mastering data analysis within a short timeframe
- Learners gain adequate Excel knowledge so they can design their own data analysis models
- This is one of the few data science programs that come with advanced data analytics techniques like regression, binary classification, entropy measures, and information theory.
11. Introduction to Probability and Data by Duke University
Your expertise as a data scientist depends on how you can accurately predict the future where probability and statistics are applied to examine samples. This online certification program covers multiple sample methods to explore data using R studio. The program also includes lab exercises as well as a final project.
- Learners are introduced to an in-depth analysis of probability and statistics using multiple sample methods including numeric summary statistics and basic data visualization
- Students learn how to use supervised and unsupervised learning methods using labeled as well as un-labeled rich-data problems
- Students learn how to use presentation of data pipelines and evaluate advanced models using cross-validation and bootstrapping
- Finally, students learn how they can generalize their models as simple as possible
12. The Data Scientist’s Toolbox by Johns Hopkins University
Most often, results generated after applying data science become useless when there is no proper tool to communicate the outcome. This online certification program focuses on using efficient tools that should be implemented as a data scientist. It also introduces learners to the process of turning data into meaningful information.
- Students will learn how to install and use data scientist’s toolbox, including R Studio, Python, and GitHub among others
- Students will get a practical overview of Machine Learning to generate reproducible research and regression models
- This program focuses on multiple concepts from hypothesis generation to hypothesis testing and error estimating
- Students will learn how to identify data problems and find the actions needed for future outcome
13. Data – Driven Decision Making by PwC
This online data science certification program is designed for learners who want to master the techniques necessary for deploying a data-centric approach in business cases. If you are looking for an online course that will prepare you for success, then look no further than this 4-week course. Every business deals a large amount of data and hence the need to find ways of collecting actionable information from critical datasets.
- This program focuses on data representation through various elements like graphs, charts, maps, and other data visualization tools in order to make out the relations between data, outliners, patterns, and trends.
- Students learn many frameworks to be able to analyze data problems involved in Big Data
- Students will learn to make decisions using results and information extracted after implementing data science on a given dataset
14. Deep Learning Certification
This comprehensive deep learning certification program is created by deeplearning.ai and is specifically designed for learners who want to master their Deep Learning skills. You will learn how to use machine learning for building neural networks. Additionally, you will learn about Dropout, LSTM, Adam, RNNs, Convolutional networks, Xavier initialization, BatchNorm. Finally, you will be taken through case studies to reinforce the skills you have learned in Data Science.
- This course will help learners who want to specialize in Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning
- Students will learn to use Xavier initialization, a process of eliminating outlier data like those that are either too large or too small. Additionally, students will learn how to prepare the batch norm to improve the performance, speed, and stability of AI.
- Students will learn how to get better data representation or visualization like convolutional networks, a subset of neural network.
- Students will be able to use CNNs to obtain beneficial image recognition and classification results.
There you have it! If you are still trying to pick the best online Data Science certification program to enroll in, then this list settles it for you. All you need to do is pick a certification that addresses your learning needs and goals. Choosing the right Data Science program will propel your career in a huge way. Happy learning!