A common question students ask is what data science certification programs they should apply for? Most data scientists who are experts now are self-taught and haven’t received formal training. However, universities these days are offering promising programs that help students advance their careers faster.

Getting a data science certificate will show employers you are serious about your career and truly invested. But keep in mind that certification courses do not guarantee you a job. Your role in a company will fully depend upon your portfolio so you should choose your courses carefully. Do some research before you apply for these courses because every data science certification is not the same. You should also take into account the return on investment and know what skills you will gain by the end of the course.

Benefits of Getting a Data Science Certification

Data science certifications help learners acquire niche-specific skills in the industry. It shows employers you are serious about your career and have a broad range of knowledge. Working as a data scientist is one of the most challenging roles in any company, and these professionals are responsible for helping businesses grow with their insights. Most professionals choose to get their qualifications from an accredited university, and there are many online data science courses you can apply to. You will validate the skills you learn throughout your coursework and have capstone projects which can be featured on your portfolio.

Requirements for Data Science Certifications

A data science certification can start at a price of $300 to $400, depending on the program you apply for. The cost can go up to $1000 based on the role and niche you’re working towards. Some accredited universities allow students to pay in EMIs or installments for attending courses and there are subscription models available. If you are learning just to acquire new skills, you can pay for data science courses online for a one-time fee and get full access to the lessons. For those who are learning at their own pace, this is the best option.

Prior experience with Linux Command Line and SQL is important. Most courses expect students to have an understanding of statistics, advanced math, and other coding languages.

What Do You Learn in A Data Science Certification?

A comprehensive certification program helps students master the fundamentals and get their foot into the industry. Great Learning’s Data scientist courses cover various topics such as data storytelling, wrangling, machine learning, inferential statistics, and data science at scale. There are modules on mock interviews, networking support, career opportunities, and career guidance incorporated into these programs.

Students also get 1-on-1 personalized coaching with industry mentors and work on building multiple real-world projects which they can showcase in their portfolios. Most graduates of such courses report high rates of job satisfaction with average yearly salary hikes of USD 25,000 and upwards. The course duration depends on the type you apply to, but the average duration is between 6 to 12 months.  Students usually need to dedicate 15 to 20 hours to learn every week.

Courses test candidates on their machine learning skills, data-driven decision-making, design, data collection, transformation, and publication skills.  Students gain experience by working through real-world case studies and get a hands-on understanding of essential tools like GitHub, RStudio, Unix/Linux, and Git.  A minimum of 2 to 3 hours a week is required for learning, and a majority of online courses are self-paced, which means learners can fit them into their busy schedules.  There are multiple learning paths offered, and if you are signing up for an intensive program, you will get access to 1-on-1 meetings with industry experts, personalized coaching, and career guidance.

Networking is one of the biggest benefits of attending these courses since students get to interact with influencers in the industry and learn directly from them.

How Much Can You Make After Getting Certified?

The average salary of a data scientist in India is INR 500,000 per year, and mid-level data scientists with at least 4 years of experience can make up to INR 10 lacs or upwards. As you progress through your career and become a senior data scientist, your value as a professional will go up. Data engineers are in huge demand, and companies are willing to pay big money to hire these professionals. Some organizations offer remote working opportunities and are willing to work on a freelance basis.

The salary of a freelance data scientist will completely depend on the number of projects he/she successfully completes. You can work from home and not be restricted to any specific geographic location. The top trending job roles in the industry are  – data analyst, data scientist, AI engineer, business analyst, statistician, business analyst, data architect, and database administrator. The best part about getting a Great Learning data science online certificate is not just the salary but getting the opportunity to see your projects go live. Data scientists have to identify trends or patterns in companies and assist them in making key business decisions. They design cutting-edge products and enhance their business performance, which is why they are in high demand.

What to Look for In a Data Science Certification Course?

You’ll need to look for career support and guidance before you apply for any data science online certificate. Make sure the course is self-paced and doesn’t impact your everyday life. To maximize your chances of success, look for student testimonials before applying. As you can notice, the graduates of these courses earn good salaries after completing the course; it’s a strong indicator that you’re on the right track.


Most employers aren’t going to look at your certificates but evaluate your skills and see if you can do the job. Certificates have minimal impact on your resume. However, they do highlight that you’ve been actively engaged in learning. It’s not possible for all students to commit to university programs, and tuition can get expensive. These courses fill in those gaps, are self-paced, and gently introduce learners to the basics and advanced topics. The goal of getting a data scientist certificate is to acquire the skills you don’t possess yet for the job. Think of these as supplements to your career roadmap.