Are data science certificates worth it? (15 recruiters say it all) (2023)

October 14, 2022

Are data science certificates worth it? (15 recruiters say it all) (1)

Want a data science job ASAP? You're probably wondering what certifications you need.

In fact, one of the most common data sciencesQuestions on Quorais: "What data science certificate should I get?"

We spoke to 15 hiring leaders in the industry, and here's what they had to say:They donoYou need a data science certificate to land a data science job.

That's right, recruiters care much more about your skills than your certifications.

Does this mean certificates are worthless? No problems. In this article, we explain what hiring manager certifications really mean and compare some of the best industry certifications currently available.

Bonus: We reveal some of recruiters' best-kept secrets, including what they look for most when deleting resumes.

How Data Science Certificates Affect Your Job Search

Surely data science certificates aren't useless, are they? To know, weI've spoken with over a dozen hiring managers and data science about what they want to see on candidate resumes.

None of them mentioned certificates. none.

Here's what we learned: Certificates certainly won't hurt your job search, as long as they're presented correctly. But they probably won't help much.

Why data science certificates are falling short

You might be wondering why these certificates aren't worth the paper they're printed on.

The problem is that there is no universal standard and no universally accredited certification body. Different websites, schools and online learning platforms issue their own certificates. This means that these documents could mean anything, or they could mean nothing at all!

Because of this, employers tend to only give a cursory glance when evaluating candidates.

So what is the purpose of certification?

If certifications won't help you land a data science job, what's the point of getting one? That's a great question!

Finally, data scientist certifications aren't entirely useless. At Dataquest, we issue certificates when users complete one of theour data science courses🇧🇷 Because? Because it's a great way for students to show that they're actively involved in learning new skills.

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recruiteragainI like to see candidates constantly trying to improve. The list of data science certificates can help you in your application in this way.

What's better than a data science certificate? A portfolio!

The most important thing for recruiters is whether you can actually do the job. Certificates are not proof of actual skills.

So what can you do to showcase your data science skills? complete aproject portfolio!

Portfolios are like the holy grail of data science skills. That's why hiring managers look at them first. Depending on what they see in your portfolio, they will either reject your application or send you on to the next round of the recruitment process.

Most Dataquest courses include interactive projects that you will complete to help you build your portfolio. These are just some of them:

  • prison Break— Have fun using Python and Jupyter Notebook to analyze a helicopter escape dataset.
  • Search hacking news posts— Work a log of submissions to Hacker News, a popular tech site.
  • Search car sales data on eBay— Use Python to work with a dataset obtained from used cars from eBay Kleinwerbung, a classifieds section of the German eBay website.

You can register for free! Checkour courses here.

To sum up:Data science certifications are unlikely to help your resume stand out.

When considering which certification to pursue, don't focus on "which data science certification is best". Instead, find the platform that best helps you learn.basic data science skills🇧🇷 This will help you to get a job in this field.

How to Choose a Data Science Certification Program in 5 Steps

Finding a data science program that offers a certificate is easy. A quick Google search will return dozens.

Unfortunately, you must make a difficult decision. You should compare all these programs to decide if the certificate is worth your time and money.

Let's simplify this process. Here are five important things to consider when looking for a data science certification:

  • program content
  • program costs
  • Required prerequisites or qualifications
  • time required
  • feedback from past students

Now let's see some real life examples for comparison.

Top Data Science Certifications

Are data science certificates worth it? (15 recruiters say it all) (2)

data search

What you will learn:Data Search Offersfour different careerscovering the skills needed to become a data analyst, data scientist and/or data engineer. The specific skills covered will vary depending on the path you choose.

Topics include:

  • Programming in Python and R
  • SQL e PostgreSQL
  • Odds and Statistics
  • machine learning
  • Workflow knowledge such as Git, the command line (bash/shell)
  • And more

Cost:An annual premium subscription for $399. Monthly subscriptions are also available.

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previous requirements:None. There is no application process (everyone canSign up and start learning today🇧🇷 No prior knowledge of applied statistics or programming is required.

time spent:Varies. Dataquest is an interactive self-service learning platform. Most students find that they can reach their study goals in six months if they study less than ten hours a week. Learning objectives can be accelerated at a greater expense of time.


  • 4.85/5 average inchange(301 comments)
  • 4.76/5 for the topcourse report(19 comments)
  • 4.7/5 inchesG2(46 comments)
Are data science certificates worth it? (15 recruiters say it all) (3)

Cloudera University Data Analyst Course/Exam

What you will learn: This coursefocuses on data analysis using Apache products: Hadoop, Hive, and Impala. Covers some SQL, but not Python or R programming.

Cost:The on-demand version costs $2,235 (180 days of access). Certification exams are an additional cost.

previous requirements:Some prior knowledge of SQL and Linux command line is required.

time spent:Varies. As this is a self-paced course, users have access for 180 days to complete 15 sections. Each section is expected to last between 5 and 9 hours. The time required is between 75 and 135 hours. If you invest less than an hour a day, you can use the full 180 days. If you can put in 9 hours or more a day, it might take a couple of weeks to finish.

Assessments:Third party reviews for this program are hard to come by.

Are data science certificates worth it? (15 recruiters say it all) (4)

IBM Data Science Professional-Zertifikat

What you will learn:That isCoursera-based programcovers Python and SQL. This includes some machine learning skills using Python.

Cost:A Coursera subscription, which is required. Based on Coursera's 10-month completion estimate, the approximate total cost of the program is $390.similar programis also available on EdX.

previous requirements:None.

time spent:Varies. Coursera suggests that the average time to complete this certificate is ten months.

Assessments:Quantitative third-party reviews are hard to come by.

  • Average 4.6/5 on the Coursera website (57,501 reviews)

Harvard/EdX Professional Certificate in Data Science

What you will learn:That isEdX based programIt includes R, some machine learning features, and some statistics and workflow features. It doesn't appear to contain any SQL.

Cost:792,80 $

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previous requirements:None.

time spent:One year and five months. Course progress does not carry over from session to session, so it may take longer if you are unable to complete a course within its duration.

Assessments:Quantitative third-party reviews are hard to come by.

Certified Analysis Professional

What you will learn:Potentially nothing, that's justa certification exam🇧🇷 However, exam preparation courses are offered.

Cost:The certification test costs $695 and includes limited preparation materials. devotedpreparatory courses offeredextra cost.

previous requirements:An application is required to take the certification exam. As no courses are included, you will need to learn the necessary information yourself or enroll in a separate course.

time spent:The exam itself is relatively short. Special preparatory courses last from 1 to 2 months, depending on the option. You are not required to take the exam.

Assessments:Quantitative third-party reviews are hard to come by. Here are some independent opinions about certification:

Are data science certificates worth it? (15 recruiters say it all) (5)

From Data to Information with Google Cloud

What you will learn: This courseIncludes SQL data analysis skills with a focus on using BigQuery and the Google Cloud data analysis tool.

Cost:A Coursera subscription, which is mandatory, costs $39/month. Coursera estimates that it will take most students two months to complete the program.

previous requirements:The course page states: "We recommend that students be proficient in ANSI SQL." It is not clear what level of SQL knowledge is required.

time spent:Coursera estimates that it will take most students two months to complete the program, but students are free to work at their own pace. However, courses start on the prescribed dates.

Assessments:Quantitative third-party reviews are hard to come by, but:

  • Rated 4.7/5 on Coursera (3,712 reviews)

Tip: Pay attention to the requirements and qualifications!

Before you start looking for data science courses and certifications, there is something you should consider.

While some programs like Dataquest, Coursera, and Udemy don't require any special experience or industry knowledge, many others do.againYou have specific requirements.

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For example, the DASCA Senior Data Scientist certification paths require at least a bachelor's degree (some paths require a master's degree). That adds up to at least 3-5 years of professional data experience!

Some programs, especiallyBootcamps offline, also require special qualifications or have lengthy application processes. Translation? You won't be able to jump right in and start learning. When making your selection, you need to consider the time cost and application fees for these programs.

What about university certificates in data science?

If you're considering getting a data science certificate from a university, don't.

Many of the expensive certificate programs offered online by branded schools are not very meaningful to potential employers. This includes those offered by Ivy League schools.

In fact, many of these online programs are not even run by the schools themselves. Instead they runby for-profit third-party companies known as Online Program Managers.

What's worse is that data science recruiters know. That's right, employers are aware that a Harvard-affiliated EdX certificate and a Harvard University degree are twovery differentStuff.

Plus, most HR hiring managers don't have time to research the academic rigor of every data science certification they see on a resume. Even if your college certificate is actually worth something, recruiters are unlikely to notice.

On average, most resumes only take 30 seconds to review. Since certificates don't say much about a candidate's skills, more attention is paid to skills and projects.

Entry-level candidates will be evaluated against data science projects listed on their resume or found on GitHub. Higher level candidates are evaluated based on previous industry experience and completed projects, not certifications.

The shock of college transcription stickers

University certificates are usually very expensive. For example, consider the cost of some of the more popular options:

Get the data science skills employers want

We found that data science recruiters and hiring managers are looking for hands-on skills, not certifications. What's the best way to get the necessary skills?

Without a doubt, the best way to acquire compelling data science skills is to dig deep and get your hands dirty with real data.

Choose a data science course that lets you complete projects while you learn. Then showcase your expertise with digital portfolios that employers can access when reviewing your application.

At Dataquest, our courses are interactive andproject based🇧🇷 They are designed to allow students to immediately apply what they've learned and document their new skills to grab the attention of recruiters.register for freeStart your career in the growing field of data science today!


1. Are Online Certificates Worth It? | HarvardX, Coursera, Stanford, edX, etc.
2. Are Certifications a Waste of Time if You're a Data Scientist or Engineer?
3. FASTEST Way to Become a Data Analyst and ACTUALLY Get a Job
4. Are Extra Job Certifications Worth It? (Here’s How You Can Tell)
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5. Real Talk with A Spotify Data Scientist (landed 7 tech job offers)
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6. Top 5 Online Certificates That Are Actually Worth It | For students


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