Data is fueling business, and those who can use data mining to extract insights gain huge benefits. This need for insight drives demand for all levels of data scientists capable of effective data mining.
If a job candidate does not have data science degrees, they can show their skills in data mining through certificates. Certificates are typically issued from educational institutions, industry associations, and vendors, which each have different characteristics.
The level of the data mining market isn’t at a point where we can judge the value of these certificates by the number of job listings that require certification to qualify for the position. Instead, data mining job listings usually list the required knowledge, and job seekers will need to ensure their overall experience and skills match the job requirements, partly through certifications.
Here are some of the top data mining certificates in the market:
See more: What is Data Mining? Types & Examples
Educational Institution Certificates
Most certificates issued by colleges and universities focus on working professionals. However, some available certificates help certify students working toward undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Costs, course content, prerequisites, and application processes vary wildly from program to program; however, most require students to be well versed in math and programming. Courses are typically offered directly through the universities, such as Ohio State University, or through educational platforms such as edX.
The classes needed to earn these certificates will generally be conducted in the university’s native language. Most educational materials offer a remote-learning option, but some courses will require in-person education.
Great Learning Data Mining Certificate
Created in collaboration with the University of Texas at Austin, the data mining course can be taken through Great Learning at no cost to the student. Students have no prerequisites, but will find it difficult without understanding a variety of tools and programming languages such as Python and Matplotlib.
The certificate verifies the student watched the 2.5 hours of video instruction and passed a quiz covering syllabus topics such as data manipulation, visualizing outliers, and linear regression.
New Jersey Institute of Technology, Certificate in Data Mining
Available to students enrolled in the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), the certificate in data mining counts towards earning other computer science and data science degrees. Tuition at NJIT runs $17,674 for two semesters for in-state residents and $33,386 for non-residents.
To take the course, students must apply to the program and should be familiar with the C programming language and be well-versed in statistics and other advanced math. The certificate requires the completion of at least 12 credits of courses that cover topics such as web systems development, data analytics for information systems, and data mining.
Stanford University Data Mining and Applications Graduate Program
The Stanford University Data Mining and Applications Graduate Program aims to provide working professionals with a certificate that shows the student can use statistical methods, predictive models, and analytics to extract meaning from large datasets to make strategic decisions.
The course costs $1,352 per unit and the student must finish five classes of three to five units, making the minimum cost to earn the certificate $20,280. Students must apply to this program and demonstrate knowledge of programming languages, statistics, and linear algebra prior to being accepted.
Industry Association Certificates
Oriented towards experienced professionals, industry association certificates test existing knowledge and may not provide training. These English-language-only programs also will be vendor agnostic and avoid using any specific programming languages or tools.
Certified Analytics Professional Certification
Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) certification costs $495 for members and $695 for non-members to take the three-hour test. To apply for the CAP certification, applicants need to verify work experience of three to seven years of work in data science depending upon their level of education. The exam covers problem framing, methodology selection, model building, deployment and lifecycle management. Non-mandatory courses are available starting at $615.
A less rigorous associate certificate (aCAP) is available and can be earned by passing a three hour test that costs $200 for members and $300 for non-members. This exam covers the same topics, but does not require at least three years of work experience. No courses are offered, but study materials are available for purchase.
Open Certified Data Scientist Certification
The Open Group offers three levels of certification for data scientists:
- Certified Data Scientist ($650)
- Master Certified Data Scientist ($750)
- Distinguished Data Scientist ($800)
No courses or work experience are required but applicants should take the self-assessments to determine if they might be successful in earning the certificate. This unusual certification consists of various milestone projects reviewed by a panel of certified experts after completion.
The projects require candidates to integrate statistical, economic, and computer science techniques to address business problems. Candidates must obtain the certificates in order.
Data Science Council of America Certification
- Associate Big Data Engineer ($585)
- Senior Big Data Engineer ($620)
- Associate Big Data Analyst ($585)
- Senior Big Data Analyst ($620)
- Senior Data Scientist ($650)
- Principal Data Scientist ($850+)
While the specific requirements and topics vary by exam, all certifications require candidates to already possess:
- Strong exposure and knowledge of programming (Java, SQL, Perl, Ruby, etc.)
- Familiarity with Linux and Unix environments
- Confidence in handling databases and spreadsheets
- A basic understanding of Big Data needs and techniques
The test requirements start at a minimum of a four-year degree in a related major or two years of work experience and an associate degree in a related major.
The examination fees cover printed handbooks, online learning and preparation materials, and the test. The topics covered in each exam will also vary, but all exams cover topics such as data science, data processing frameworks, big data analytics, machine learning, data architectures, and data analytics implementation.
Although vendor-sponsored, these certificates often mix proprietary tools with general principles and make some of these certificates easily applicable to other tools.
Cloudera Data Platform Certification
Cloudera Data Platform (CDP) certification may be obtained at two levels, Generalist or Administrator—Private Cloud Base. Either English-language exam costs $300, is purchased directly from Cloudera, and is delivered online via Questionmark.
Both exams test candidates on the very specific subject of the Cloudera CDP platform, so these certificates might not be accepted as validation on different platforms. Training is recommended, but neither required nor offered through Cloudera.
Google Data Analytics Certificate
Google offers a Data Analytics certificate through the Coursera platform which costs $39 per month. The English-language course is estimated to take six months to complete and no degree or prior experience is required. Google’s broad certification course teaches topics such as data cleansing, data analysis, data visualization, SQL, data collections, and data ethics.
The 180 hours of self-paced coursework concludes with a hands-on applied learning project that simulates real-world data analytics. Even though developed by a vendor, Google generally uses industry standard tools, such as Tableau, and the R programming language.
A unique feature of this certificate program is that completion unlocks access to a career center. Over 150 employers currently belong to the employer consortium and actively hire candidates that have earned Google certification.
IBM Data Science Certificates
IBM offers three beginner-level certification programs through the Coursera platform with a monthly cost of $39:
- IBM Data Science Professional
- IBM Data Analytics with Excel and R
- IBM Data Analyst
The IBM certification programs use some IBM proprietary tools, such as IBM Cognos Analytics, and they also use widely used SQL, Microsoft Excel, GitHub, and Jupyter notebooks. One program uses R, but the other two programs use the Python programming language.
The contents of each 11-month-long class will vary, but all cover data analytics, data modeling, programming basics, and hands-on application of knowledge. Each also concludes with a hands-on capstone project that can be used to demonstrate capabilities to future employers.
SAS Data Science Certifications
SAS offers three levels of data science certification:
- Data Curation Professional (one exam, $180)
- Advanced Analytics Professional (three exams)
- AI & Machine Learning Professional (three certificates)
Pearson VUE and SAS jointly administer the fundamental Data Curation Professional exam which consists of 65–72 multiple choice, short answer, and interactive questions that simulate an SAS environment. The exam’s focus on the SAS ecosystem may limit the universal acceptance of this certificate.
Candidates are recommended to receive training or have work experience prior to taking the exam. Candidates should also be familiar with Hadoop, HIVE/HIVEQS, and PIG/PIGLATIN third-party tools.
For preparation for the SAS Data Science Certification, check out these courses!
See more: 5 Data Mining Use Cases