12 Data Analyst Certifications To Boost Your Career in 2022
In this article
More data is being generated on a daily basis than ever before. Whether it’s video and image content, written media, or sound files, everything online can be mined for and turned into massive amounts of data that can be analyzed for insights. But data analysis isn’t as simple as it sounds, as there’s no one right way to do it.
Data is a crude source of information that can be analyzed in a variety of different ways to produce more insights. And it’s the job of skilled data analysts to stay sharp by finding new ways to look at seemingly mundane data sets.
But how can data analysts keep up with the explosion of data and media types?
Data analyst certifications, online courses, and micro-degrees can help keep your knowledge up-to-date without having to restart your learning journey from square one. Not to mention, independent certification programs often offer hands-on learning opportunities that traditional learning institutions rarely provide for their students.
What Is a Data Analyst Certification?
A data analyst certification is a digital badge that authenticates your knowledge and expertise in a specific area in big data analysis. With so many data analytics tools and methodologies for businesses being created every day, finding a traditionally-trained data analyst who can use them is near impossible, even for major companies.
A data analyst’s certification demonstrates your proficiency and provides you with the necessary knowledge and training to use modern analytics tools. Additionally, independent certificate programs—whether offered by official education institutions, corporations, or non-profit organizations—often teach cutting-edge skills that deal with modern solutions using innovation
Best Data Analyst Certifications
In a vast and rapidly-growing industry like data science, it can be tricky to pinpoint the right data analyst certification to invest your time and money into. They all range in the minimum skill level they require, the orientation, and the field of focus.
To make it easier, we’ve compiled a list of the 12 best data analyst certifications to consider when it’s time for a career boost.
The Associate Certified Analytics Professional (aCAP) is an entry-level certification that provides proof of your education and skills in data analytics—even if you don’t have real world experience in the field. You don’t need any prior experience in data analytics or programming languages to participate. However, you must have a master’s degree—or its equivalent—in a STEM major, preferably technology.
The aCAP certification focuses on seven areas of specialty in the data analytics field: lifecycle management, model building, data structures, analytics problem framing, business problem framing, deployment, and methodology selection. Offered by the INFORMS foundation, the certification costs $300 with discounts for organization members.
Springboard’s Data Analytics career track is an online Bootcamp that teaches you all the technical skills and knowledge you’ll need to become a reliable data analyst. It’s aimed at complete beginners and doesn’t require a background in tech or programming.
With over 400 hours of educational content, the course covers everything from programming languages like Python and SQL to data visualization techniques, communication skills, and business problem analytics. The course has a 4.7/5 rating and costs $10,140, which can be broken down into convenient installments.
This is a certification program offered by Columbia University that allows you to develop foundational data science and analytics skills and knowledge. It’s aimed at students who already have a decent background in tech.
It requires 12 credits as a whole, and four of them must be exploratory data analysis and visualization, probability and statistics for data science, algorithms for data science, and machine learning for data science.
It’s a single-semester program, and the tuition is determined by Columbia University Engineering’s rates of tuition. But you should note that there’s a technology fee of $395 per course for online learning.
The Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) designation is an entry-level certification aimed at individuals lacking the technical background required for full-scale data analysis projects. However, you’re required to have a Master’s degree in a STEM field.
By passing the CAP exam, you’ll have learned the fundamentals of data analytics, including analytical and business problem framing, analytics methodology selection, and model building. This certificate is offered by the INFORMS organization. It costs $695 for nonmember individuals and a discounted rate of $495 for INFORMS members. It’s globally recognized by a myriad of educational institutions and could be just the career boost you need.
Cloudera’s CDP certification is a vendor-specific certificate that verifies your proficiency with the Cloudera Data Platform. The certification is a question-based exam that tests your skills and awards you a digital badge to use in online professional settings.
The CDP certificate provides the skills needed by tech administrators, developers, data analysts, data engineers, and data scientists. It costs $300 and is available for students online.
At the associate level, the EMC Proven Professional Data Scientists Associate (EMCDSA) certificate provides practical and foundation-level training to allow you to participate in big data analytics and data-based projects. It requires minimal past knowledge in tech, data science, and programming language.
Offered by Dell Education, the EMCDSA certificate will teach you the basics of data science and data analytics. It covers the role data scientists play in businesses and business decisions and how to communicate insights and information derived from data in a corporate setting.
The EMCDSA certificate costs $600 for self-learning at your own pace and $5,000 for instructor-led online learning.
This IBM course is for professionals who already have an official degree but are looking for a career in data science and machine learning (ML). The Data Science Professional certificate is beginner-friendly and requires no prior knowledge of computer science or programming languages.
You’ll learn general data science, big data analytics, Python programming, Python libraries such as Pandas, machine learning, and method analysis. The certificate is available for free on Coursera and can take up to 11 months to complete. Additionally, the material is available in multiple languages and the course has a rating of 4.6/5.
Another vendor-specific certification is the Microsoft Certified Azure Data Scientist Associate. While it’s geared towards data scientists, the certification is needed in a variety of fields where data is involved—including STEM and engineering—but in the Azure cloud environment. While this vendor-specific certification may limit you to working with Microsoft Power BI and Azure-reliant companies, it should be easy to find employers for your new skillset.
It’s best to have prior knowledge in data science and using Azure Machine Learning and Azure Databricks. The course is available both for self-learning and instructor-led learning for a fee. There is also a standard exam fee of $165.
Becoming a Certified Data Analyst Associate with Microsoft gives you the opportunity to work directly with businesses to help them maximize the value of their data assets. This course requires minimal experience with data science and related programming languages. It focuses on your ability to design and build scalable data models, clean and transform data, and enable advanced analytic capabilities.
All learning materials are available online for free, but you can also take an instructor-led version for a fee. The certification exam costs $165 and can be taken in a variety of languages.
The Open Certified Data Scientist (CDS) certificate is a globally recognized certification that demonstrates your skills, knowledge, and experience in data science. The certification—which remains valid for three years—can only be earned by passing three levels of training. The skills included range from data-focused programming languages and database structures to big data analytics and business analytics.
As for training, the first level costs $400, the second $500, and the third $550 for a total of $1,450 in training fees. There are no certification fees, but some charges apply to earn digital badges and maintain them.
This SAS certificate is designed primarily for individuals looking to enter the corporate world through big data. Some knowledge in data science and tech is preferred, as you’ll be learning ML modeling techniques, ML applications, pattern detection, experimentation in business, data optimization techniques, and time series forecasting.
Online courses are available in both instructor-led and self-pacing options. In order to obtain the certification, you’ll have to pass three separate exams. First is the SAS Advanced Predictive Modeling exam. Second is the SAS Text Analytics, Time Series, Experimentation, and Optimization exam. Both of these exams cost $180 each. The third and final exam is the Predictive Modeling Using SAS Enterprise Miner, at a cost of $250.
This SAS certificate aims to validate your ability to manipulate and draw insights from data structures using a variety of SAS tools, as well as open-source tools and methodologies. It doesn’t mandate a strong background in data analytics and tech, but it’s aimed at individuals looking to work on the business side of data analytics. The goal is to create complex machine learning models that offer business data-based recommendations.
Similar to other SAS certificates, to become a certified data scientist with SAS, you’ll need to pass a combination of three SAS certificates. These are the SAS Data Curation Professional, SAS Advanced Analytics Professional, and the SAS AI & Machine Learning Professional. Each credential costs $180 for a total of $540. As for exam preparation and training, SAS offers comprehensive learning materials on its SAS Academy platform for an annual subscription of $1,295.
Are Data Analytics Certifications Worth It?
Not all data analytics certifications have the same value for an aspiring data analyst. There’s a lot to consider before dedicating your time and energy to a specific certification program to further advance your standing in your industry. These considerations include:
Avoid being a trailblazer and stick to courses with high student reviews and recommendation rates. Also, make sure the certificate is recognized within your current region.
Self-learning still requires the guidance and support of skilled teachers and enthusiastic classmates. Aim for courses that have a community of passionate learners and lecturers instead of only static learning materials.
Jobs and Earning Power:
A certificate in data analytics qualifies you for a variety of high-standing occupations. For instance, you could become a data engineer and earn a six-figure salary with just a few years of experience. Another option would be to work in marketing as a marketing analyst, who usually have a starting salary of $65,000.
FAQs About Data Analyst Certifications
Is Data Analytics Hard To Learn?
Unlike other fields in tech, data analytics isn’t hard to break into. The bar is relatively low for the skills and knowledge you need to begin working in the field. Not to mention, you’ll be able to acquire all the necessary skills along the way as you grow. But you should note that becoming a data analytics professional also requires being a forever student, meaning you’ll need to continuously update your knowledge and learn new techniques, tools, and skills to keep up.
Can You Get a Data Analytics Job With Just a Certificate?
Data analytics is one of the few fields where a traditional bachelor’s degree isn’t strictly necessary. You’ll need a handful of data analyst certifications to validate your knowledge and expertise, and it may take you slightly longer to make your way up the corporate ladder, but it’s doable.
How Long Does It Take To Transition Into Data Analytics?
Transitioning into data analytics can take anywhere from a few months to four years. It largely depends on the time and effort you dedicate towards learning new skills and tools, as well as your current knowledge and occupation.
Is Data Analytics a Good Career?
It’s estimated that nearly 70% of all businesses in the U.S. will favor job applicants with data skills on their resumes in the upcoming years. Not to mention, you’re almost guaranteed a high salary at the beginning and a steady, six-figure income later on in your career.
Since you’re here…
Switching to a career in data analytics is possible, no matter your background. We’ve helped over 10,000 students make it happen. Check out our free data analytics curriculum to gauge your interest, or go all-in with our Data Analytics Bootcamp.