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Is a Data Science Certificate Worth it?

One of the most common questions that every aspiring data scientist wants to know is 'Is a data science certificate worth it?'. Although the knowledge is useful to become a successful data scientist, for those who don't have a formal educational background, obtaining some sort of certification might be an important step for a career in data science.

You don't need to have any kind of data science certificate to get a data science job. Recruiters or employers just don't care about what data science certification you have. What matters is your skills. You should choose a learning platform based on the skills you require.

In simple words, data science certificate can be worth it but not because of the certificate itself but because of the data science skills you've gained from that certification course.

Why are Data Science Certificates Not Worth it?

The reason a data science certificate doesn't matter is that it won't help you get a job. There are too many data science certification programs so the standards for obtaining a data science certificate are not meticulous. There are so many problems an employer has to face while assessing a data science certificate. Some of them are:

  • Employers can't invest their time to research whether the certification program is legitimate or not.
  • There is no form of identity verification for many programs.
  • Many programs just teach popular skills like machine learning, and barely cover important topics like SQL.
  • University programs are often administered by third-party companies.
  • Many online programs are a series of video lectures with multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank coding questions. So, it might be possible to get a data science certificate without writing a single line of code.

Recruiters receive tons of applications and they have no time to assess your certifications and check its authenticity. They just focus on the skillsets you have and the projects you completed.

What About University and Other Popular Certificates?

What about university and other popular data science certification program? Are they worth it? Some data science programs including bootcamps require prerequisites and specific qualifications. It means you can't just jump into the courses. Always consider the time, cost, and application fees of such programs when you compare them with the other available options.

There are many data science certification program - websites, schools, and online platforms all issue their own data science certificates. And generally, their assessment standards are low. That means it's hard to know what kind of training that certification program offers.

About university certificates, many of these online programs are often administered by third-party companies. That means the programs are not administered by the schools themselves.

Employers don't have enough time to assess your certification and know whether your certificate worth it or not. The average time of a recruiter's attention on a resume is about 30 seconds. So, rather than focusing on getting data science certificate, you should focus on showing your ability and skills.

What learning program do we recommend?

Taking the decision to undergo a course or program is difficult. It’s difficult to decide whether a course or program is worth learning or not. It's a strong bet if you are able to choose the right one for you and build your skillset. We recommend three major points to consider while choosing a learning course or program:

1. Skills: The first thing is to select the languages, tools, and other skills you want to learn and then match them to the course curriculum.

2. Mentors: The right mentor can help you stay on track, build connections, and support in making tough decisions. Your journey is unique and a good mentor can guide you through the way - all the better if your mentor has been there before.

3. Prerequisites: Make sure that you go through the prerequisites and qualification required mentioned in the program or course.

End Notes

Here's the final note on 'Is a Data Science Certificate Worth it?'. The reality is that a data science certificate proves nothing! The data science certification is worthless unless the skills complement it. Always look for a learning program or course that adds value to your skills and not just get you the certificate.

There are lots of great options for you to learn data science. Just remember that the course or program you're going to choose is based on the skills you need, not on certificate brand you think can impress an employer.