Data Science Certifications

In the previous article we had a simplistic look at what Data Science is about and how it differs from Business Intelligence. Now it’s time to take a look at what qualifications can get you on your way!

Generally there aren’t as many data science academic programmes worldwide as you would expect. This is because this is quite a new field even though certain aspects of it have been around for some time. Here and there you will find a Master’s degree on Data Science but mostly you will find short courses and professional certifications.

As you search for data science certifications you will come across the term Apache Hadoop. This is an open source Framework for storing large datasets. Vendors then run their own distributions of Apache Hadoop and sell services on those distributions. Examples of such vendors include Cloudera and Hortonworks. Microsoft does not have its own distribution but runs its offering Azure HDInsight on top of the Hortonworks distribution. To read more about the Apache Hadoop project you can check out this link:

There are many data science certifications so I will just choose 4 to dwell on

  1. Certified Analytics Professional- Informs:
  • This is a vendor neutral certification, which is to say it doesn’t focus on particular technologies or vendors. Instead it focuses on examining you to see if you understand the analytics process. So this would be very useful for example if you were a consultant doing project management in the data analytics areas.
  • The Exam:
  • Focuses on: Business Problem Framing, Analytics Problem Framing, Data, Methodology Selection, Model Building, Deployment, Lifecycle Management
  • The cost will be $695 for non-members, $495 for members
  1. Hortonworks HDP Certified Developer (HDPCD)
  • Exam:
  • Will cost you $250
  • Written online.
  • This is a practical exam where you are given tasks and you perform them. Results will be emailed in 5 days
  • Exam Objectives include importing data, data transformation and data analysis on Hadoop: Objectives Link
  1. Cloudera runs leading distribution of Hadoop. Currently they offer four certifications
  • Cloudera Certified Associate: This has three options each with one exam costing $295:
  • CCA Spark and Hadoop Developer: generally this is for you if you intend to do coding and maintenance on Apache Hadoop. You will be coding in Python and Apache Hadoop, see Link
  • CCA Data Analyst: focuses on querying and analysing data. Check out the exam format and requirements here: Link
  • CCA Administrator: cluster administration skills. Check out the requirements here: Link.
  • CCP Data Engineer: This has a cost of $400
  • The training costs are a bit pricy: view costs, but like all certifications you can skip official courses and find material objective by objective.
  • The exams can be written from anywhere, even at your home, as long as there is a good connection a good pc and a webcam. The exam will consist of hands on tasks. The results are emailed to you the same day you write your exam. 
  1. Microsoft: offers different programmes on Data Science
  • Microsoft Professional Program Certificate in Data Science: this has 10 modules each of which will cost you between $25-99. Each course will earn you a certificate. You can also do the course for free if you do not want a certificate. All the modules are offered online via and the exercises are also done on the same platform.
  • Data Science Orientation
  • Query Relational Data
  • Analyse and Visualize Data
  • Understand Statistics
  • Explore Data with Code
  • Understand Core Data Science Concepts
  • Understand Machine Learning
  • Use Code to Manipulate and Model Data
  • Applied Data Science
  • Final Project: This will be a practical project which implements what you learnt
  • MCSA Data Science: has two exams which focus on Azure Data Services
  • Exam 70-773: Analyzing Big Data with Microsoft R
  • Exam 70-774: Perform Cloud Data Science with Azure Machine Learning

At the time of this writing (12/05/2017), these exams are still at Beta Stage. For latest information check this link: Microsoft Data Science

The choice for a certification will depend absolutely on your target market.  

Author: Edmore Munedzimwe