Students across the world have used Springboard courses to help advance their skills and their data science careers and they’ve proudly displayed their Springboard certifications for the world to see. Many of them, before they sign up, wonder whether or not the Springboard program is a good fit for them. In order to simplify that process, we’ve prepared the following article and infographic to show exactly what the top picks are for data science certificates out there.

Here’s the information you need to make the right choice:

  • Ratings on review sites such as Switchup and CourseReport from verified students. This is critically important when you consider the worth of data science certificates.
  • The cost of the course with an eye towards those that provide the most value when it comes to the data science certificates they dispense.
  • The duration of the course with an eye towards the right balance between the time it takes to learn a skill and the urgency you have to apply those skills in practice (or in a new career!).
  • 1:1 instruction and personalized learning. Online data science courses can now provide the best teacher: student ratio there is out there, and you’ll want to take full advantage as you look for the best data science certificate.

These criterion balance against one another. You can get a certificate for much cheaper with certain options, but you won’t have the benefit of personalized mentorship or get as much value out of career outcomes and average salaries. You’ll want to consider them each carefully as you decide to choose which data science course will get you the best online data science certificate.  It’s also worth reviewing the definition of data science to ensure you have an idea of where you will fit in upon completing a certificate.

Pursuing a degree instead?  Here’s how to prepare for a data science major.


Top Data Science Certificates

Want more details?  We’ve broken out each certificate into more detail after the graphic!

data science courses

More details:

Harvard: Data Science Certificate

Overseen by the Harvard Extension School, this data science program requires 4 courses in order to earn the certificate and focuses on everything from data wrangling to cleaning and analysis.


Coursera: Data Science at Scale Specialization

Created by the University of Washington, this is an intermediate data science certificate course made up of 4 core modules.  Participants should have some related experience in data science and will be required to complete a capstone project in order to earn the certificate.


Coursera: Data Science Specialization

This is a robust data science certificate designed by Johns Hopkins and geared towards beginners looking to understand the entire data science process.  It’s made up of 10 modules, multiple projects, and allows participants to complete the course with a portfolio of work.


Coursera: Executive Data Science Specialization

Though touted as a beginner course, this certification is designed for anyone looking to manage and oversee a data science team.  Created by Johns Hopkins, it consists of 4 core modules and a capstone project.


UW: Data Science Certificate

Available online or in the classroom, University of Washington’s Data Science Certificate course is aimed at helping familiarize technically-proficient students with the tools and processes needed to collect and evaluate data.


UCI: Data Science Certificate

UCI’s online data science program is aimed at professionals already working with data in their current role and who want to better understand how to interpret it.  Participants must take 2 required courses and 2-3 electives in order to achieve the credit hours needed to obtain the certificate.


Simplilearn: Data Science Masters Program

As the name implies, the Masters certification program from Simplilearn is one of the more comprehensive on this list.  Consisting of multiple projects and spanning an estimated 4 months, its goal is to get each student familiar with the most common tools and methods used in Data Science.


Edureka: Data Science

The goal of Eureka’s Data Science certificate is to get you proficient in popular machine learning algorithms.  It accomplishes this through case studies based on real companies, projects with real data, and live instructors to guide you through all of it.


ACADG LD: Data Science Bundle

Made up of 3 separate courses, the Data Science Bundle from ACADG LD should take close to a year to complete.  Students who finish all modules will walk away with knowledge in Spark, Hadoop, Excel and Tableau and be well equipped for most data science roles.


EdX: Data Science and Analytics

EdX puts the focus on statistics and analytics for this data science course with a curriculum that is based on statistical thinking, modeling, and visualization.  Designed for beginners, students who earn this certificate will learn how to use data to drive decisions within their organization.

Your choice will boil down to whether or not you want to look at the best-reviewed courses, the ones that are the least expensive, or the ones that have the shortest duration. The data science certificates offered by graduate schools such as the Harvard Extension School and the University of Washington might be a great fit for you if you’re looking for immersion into data science over a long period of time. If you’re looking for some of the least expensive options, online courses such as Coursera offer great content even if there is no personalized instruction. If you want to get something that’s well-reviewed and balanced, there are plenty of options from our Springboard courses, to other courses from Thinkful to Udacity.

Longer-duration courses can be especially helpful with quantitative methods and the linear algebra that forms the basis of data science. Shorter-duration courses will be more helpful on the technical side with a focus on big data tools such as Hadoop and the technical implementation of different analytics techniques to data science problems.

A data science certificate can be a great way to show potential employers that you understand the fundamentals of data science, from Python, R and computer science fundamentals, to cloud computing and data management skills to data visualization skills. It can demonstrate your competency for data mining and business analytics roles and flesh out your ability to build impactful predictive analytics, without the need of pursuing a master’s degree in the field. It’ll show your ability to build a capstone project and apply cutting-edge practices in data mining, big data and machine learning towards the goal of becoming a data scientist.

A good certificate in data science can help propel your career forward, and get you hands-on experience with data sets and data analytics skills you’ll need to work for a stellar company such as Facebook or Linkedin. An online program can be the perfect mix between flexibility and return for you.

You’ll want to be careful about choosing the one that provides the most value for you — in the long run, it’ll pay off in spades.

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