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Best Data Science Certification Online & Courses [2019 Updated]

 

If you do a simple search on “Best Data Science Certification” or “Best Data Science Course”, you will get tens of ads. Amid all of this noise, it becomes difficult to chaff out the real data science certifications that will really help you.

 

Thankfully at TrumpLearning, 40+ experts have put together a list of the best data science certifications and courses that will not only help you learn the ropes but also put you in good stead for jobs. But first take a look at the criteria that these experts followed to assemble the list.

 

Criteria for Selecting the Best Data Science Certification Online:

  • The course should be a healthy mix of theory and practical. Data Science is like swimming; it is no good until and unless one practices.
  • There should be enough exercises and projects.
  • Every course should go over the entire data science process.
  • As far as possible, the course must use open source programming tools and libraries
  • Instructors should carry practical experience rather than a theoretical or academic background
  • Course should have on-demand videos for students to learn anytime

 

Based on the above criteria, following is the list of the best data science certifications and courses.

 

10 Best Data Science Certifications Online

  1. Data Science Certification from Harvard University [edX]
  2. IBM Data Science Professional Certification [Coursera]
  3. MicroMasters Program in Statistics & Data Science by MIT [on edX]
  4. Data Science MicroMasters Program by University of California (San Diego)[on edX]
  5. Data Science Specialization from John Hopkins University [on Coursera]
  6. Data Science Nanodegree Programs from Udacity
  7. Applied Data Science Specialization with Python from Michigan University [on Coursera]
  8. Introduction to Data Science by Metis
  9. Data Science Career Path by Codecademy
  10. Microsoft Professional Program in Data Science [on edX]

 

1. Online Data Science Certification from Harvard University

 

If an online certification is coming from Harvard, one can be rest assured that it will be of top quality and a closer look at this online data science certification will only cement that faith.

 

Led by Prof. Rafael Irizarry, who is a professor of biostatistics at Harvard, this online data science course takes learners from basic topics like R programming fundamentals to advanced concepts of machine learning.

 

Key USPs –

 

  1. The course is neatly divided into separate sections
    • Getting to know the language (R Programming)
    • Understanding statistical concepts
    • Data Visualization
    • Data Wrangling
    • Machine Learning Algorithms
  2. Fundamentals of R programming langauge
  3. Experience with Tidyverse, special R package designed for data science
  4. Learn data visualization with ggplot2 and data wrangling with dyplyr
  5. Implement machine learning algorithm for example – Movie Recommendation Engine
  6. Real world case studies & Capstone Project to help you master the concepts

 

Snapshot of Online Data Science Certification from Harvard University

 

Delivery Online
Duration 9 courses, 2 to 8 weeks per course, 2 to 4 hours per week
Certification Yes
Main Languages R Programming
Free/Paid Paid

 

2. IBM Data Science Professional Certification

 

What would you say about a certification that has been enrolled by more than 70,000 learners? Pretty good, right! Well Data Science Professional Certification from IBM is one such program.

Led by 5 IBM faculties, out of which 3 are PHd, this data science certification program is one of the most exhaustive ones that require no prior programming skills, start small and then build up to complex problems.

 

The professional certification covers 9 individual courses –

  1. What is Data Science?
  2. Open Source tools for Data Science
  3. Data Science Methodology
  4. Python for Data Science & AI
  5. Databases & SQL for Data Science
  6. Data Analysis with Python
  7. Data Visualization with Python
  8. Machine Learning with Python
  9. Applied Data Science Capstone

 

Key USPs –

  • The program builds beautifully from absolute basics to advanced complex problems
  • Sufficient time (approx 150 hours over 3 months) to build on the learning
  • No prior programming experience required to take up this data science certification
  • Work on IBM cloud using real world data
  • Receive digital badge from IBM

 

Snapshot of IBM Data Science Professional Certification

 

Delivery Online
Duration 3 Months (12 Hours per week)
Certification Yes
Main Languages Python
Free/Paid 7 Day Free Trial

 

3. MicroMasters Program in Statistics & Data Science by MIT

 

On one hand there are data science courses & data science certifications and on the other there is MicroMasters Program. This is akin to a series of graduate level courses which is equivalent to the first semester of Master’s degree. Here is what MicroMasters program is all about –

 

 

Spread over a year’s time covering 5 graduate level courses and taught by a dozen of interdisciplinary faculty, this program builds learning from the basics to the most advanced topics. Courses covered under this MicroMasters programs are –

 

  1. Probability – The Science of Uncertainty & Data
  2. Data Analysis in Social Science – Assessing Your Knowledge
  3. Fundamentals of Statistics
  4. Machine Learning with Python – from Linear Models to Deep Learning
  5. Capstone Exam in Statistics & Data Science

 

Key USPs –

  • Most comprehensive data science certification program (600-840 Hours of effort)
  • Takes university approach to learning
  • Starts from the basics of statistics
  • Instructor led assignments and exams
  • Akin to first semester of Master’s degree and credits can be adjusted from Master’s degree
  • Tons of real life projects like Automatic Review Analyzer, Digit Recognition with Neural Networks, Reinforcement Learning etc.

 

Snapshot of MicroMasters Program in Statistics &amp; Data Science by MIT

 

Delivery Online
Duration 1 Year (600-840 Hours of Effort)
Certification Yes
Main Languages Python
Free/Paid Paid

 

4. Data Science MicroMasters Program by University of California (San Diego)

 

This is also a MicroMasters program being offered by University of California, San Diego. Spread over 4 different courses, this program is clearly divided into 2 aspects of data science – mathematical and application. This division can also be seen in the courses that becomes part of the program. Here is the list of the courses.

 

Key USPs –

  • Equivalent to first semester of Master’s degree
  • Credits can be adjusted in Master’s degree credits
  • Hands-on experience with Python, Numpy, Matplotlib, pandas and Scipy, the Jupyter
  • Working experience with Apache Spark

 

Snapshot of Data Science MicroMasters Program by University of California (San Diego)

 

Delivery Online
Duration 80-150 hours per course, 4 Courses
Certification Yes
Main Languages Python
Free/Paid Paid

 

5. Data Science Specialization from John Hopkins University

 

This data science specialization is perhaps the most enrolled (250,000+) data science certification program on the internet. Led by illustrious trio of Jeff Leek, Brian Caffo and Roger D. Peng, who all are professors of biostatistics, this specialization is spread over 10 courses and takes around 8 months time to master.

Following are the courses that make up this data science certification –

 

  1. The Data Scientist Toolbox
  2. R Programming
  3. Getting & Cleaning Data
  4. Exploratory Data Analysis
  5. Reproducible Research
  6. Statistical Inference
  7. Regression Models
  8. Practical Machine Learning
  9. Developing Data Products
  10. Data Science Capstone

 

Key USPs –

  • Enables learners to ask the right questions, manipulate data and create visualization to tell the story
  • Covers the breadth and the depth of data science
  • Capstone Project
  • Perhaps the only data science certification that put quite a bit of emphasis on statistics

 

Note: Prior some knowledge of working with Python is expected.

 

Snapshot of Data Science Specialization from John Hopkins University

 

Delivery Online
Duration 8 months (5 hours per week)
Certification Yes
Main Languages R Programming
Free/Paid 7 Days Free Trial

 

6. Data Science Nanodegree Programs from Udacity

 

Udacity has a separate School for Data Science, which shows how much importance it attaches to the field. Subsequently Udacity doesn’t offer one data science certification program but has many nanodegree programs mapped with different career paths.

The Career paths that it caters to are –

  • Data Analyst
  • Data Scientist
  • Data Engineer
  • Business Analyst

 

For each of these career paths, there are well defined programs that the learner should take. Here are the programs for Data Analyst.

  • Programming for Data Science with Python: Beginner level program
  • Data Analyst: Intermediate Level
  • Data Structures & Algorithms: Advanced Level

 

Key USPs –

  • Clear career paths to choose from
  • Course Curriculum specially catered for the chosen career path
  • Real World Projects shared by companies
  • Resume shared with partner companies
  • Personal career coach and career services
  • Community support

 

Note: Udacity offer career guide. Download the career guide from here

 

7. Applied Data Science Specialization with Python from Michigan University

This data science certification is essentially a skill building specialization where learners are expected to have basic python background and then build on that knowledge to apply statistical, machine learning, information visualization, text analysis, and social network analysis techniques.

Spread over 5 months, learners go through the  following 5 courses –

 

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

 

Key USPs –

  • Is heavily biased towards implementation of specific use cases therefore better suited for intermediate level learners
  • Hands-on experience with popular python packages like pandas, matplotlib, scikit-learn, nltk, and networkx

 

Snapshot of Data Science Specialization with Python from Michigan University

 

Delivery Online
Duration 5 months (7 hours per week)
Certification Yes
Main Languages Python
Free/Paid 7 Days Free Trial

 

8. Introduction to Data Science by Metis

 

Metis is a leading provider of data science training to individuals and businesses and comes from Kaplan New Skills Training unit. It is one of the few accredited data science bootcamps.

Led by Nathan, who has rich experience of data science in Fintech, this data science course is spread over 6 weeks with detailed syllabus for each week.

Learners are required to have prerequisite knowledge of basic statistics and Python. Since this is accredited, learners also receive continuing education units.

 

Key USPs –

  • Basics of statistics and Python are covered in Week 1
  • Hands-on experience with Python Panda by working on a real project
  • Supervised & Unsupervised learning
  • Data visualization
  • Advanced topics like DBSCAN
  • Live interactive session with the instructor and fellow mates
  • Earn 3.3. Continuing Education Units

 

Snapshot of  Data Science by Metis

 

Delivery Online
Duration 6 Weeks
Certification Yes
Main Languages Python
Free/Paid Paid

 

9. Data Science Career Path by Codecademy

 

Spread over 35 weeks, the offering from Codecademy is best suited for beginners in data science. The program literally starts off with basics and the very first topic is SQL.

Over the duration of the course, learners go through 26 learning units starting from SQL to Python, from data visualization to Machine learning algorithms and Neural Networks.

 

Key USPs –

  • Beginners are welcome
  • Evenly spread out
  • Small learning units with specific outcomes
  • Lots of projects like Honey Production

 

Snapshot of Data Science Career Path by Codecademy

 

Delivery Online
Duration 35 weeks
Certification Yes
Main Languages Python
Free/Paid Paid

 

10.  Microsoft Professional Program in Data Science

 

When everyone big tech company is coming out with its data science certification, how could Microsoft be left behind?

This professional program from Microsoft is an extensive one with 10 courses and 16-32 hours of effort per course. 10 courses are grouped into 4 units with well defined learning outcomes. Learners go from basics of data visualization (in excel and Power BI) to advanced topics like Machine learning.

 

Key USPs –

  • 3 Languages to choose from – Python, R and Excel
  • Hands-on experience with working on Microsoft Azure Machine Learning
  • Implementing Predictive Analytics using Spark
  • Capstone Project
  • Lots of practical exercises

 

Snapshot of Microsoft Professional Program in Data Science

 

Delivery Online
Duration 10 courses with 16-32 hours per course
Certification Yes
Main Languages Python or R or Excel
Free/Paid Paid

 

Final thoughts:

When it comes to learning data science, you need to choose a course which not only teaches you practical skills but also lets you apply those skills and knowledge to a real-world project. This would help to make your understanding more concrete and give you a real flavour of the kind of problems you will solve on the job. All above 10 data science certifications provide that opportunity to learners.

 

Do share with us if you feel we missed out on an important course.