How many data science professionals did the world need in 2020? An estimated 2.7 million (source: IBM)! And, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 11.5 million jobs in data science will be created by 2026.
Organizations of all sizes and across sectors are producing and gathering exponential amounts of data of all types, which will only push up further the demand for services from the data science industry as we head toward 2021. These will be critical in facilitating data-driven decision-making and developing business strategies for companies.
What work does a data scientist do?
In the course of a data science career, a data scientist handles various tasks combining engineering, mathematics, and statistics. Persistence is also critical, especially in the data processing and data cleaning stages. After these initial steps, next come finding patterns and building models geared toward better product prototypes or to better understand product usage and health.
It is no surprise that the work of 🔗data science professionals sees usage in sectors ranging from banking and finance to education and healthcare. And the growing focus on data has led to a boost in demand for related skills such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.
What salaries does a data science professional earn?
Salaries in the data science industry are impressive. The base annual pay for a data scientist in the US is USD 117,345, with a range of USD 86,000–157,000 (source: Glassdoor). Here is a look at estimated salaries for data scientists by experience level (source: ZipRecruiter):
👉Entry level: This refers to recent graduates or to experienced professionals switching over from different domains without relevant work experience. They tend to look more at learning new skills and practicing them, and they therefore receive proper training from their employers. The annual salary is estimated at USD 69,000.
👉Mid-level: The median annual salary is USD 89,000.
👉Experienced: These are professionals with extensive experience in their data science careers. They could earn median annual salaries of USD 1,28,000.
👉Experienced at manager level: The median annual salary could be as high as USD 184,000.
In terms of location, here are the estimated annual salaries:
· In India: INR 708,012 (approx USD 9,507, source: PayScale)
· In the US: USD 96,106 (source: PayScale)
How useful are online courses and certifications?
Those targeting a career in data science or already working in the field would do well to pick up a good data science certification. This is undeniable proof that the holder has skills going beyond the limitations of bookish knowledge.
The following are the advantages of taking up the best data science certifications:
· Highlight additional skills on portfolios and resumes
· Improved job prospects
· Access to career channels, hiring labs, and employer reviews
· Facilitating transition between career pathways
In other words, a certification can be a great boost to a 🔗data science career. Employers view certifications with much favor, letting the work performance and skill set speak for the employee. They also show that the person was willing to make extra effort to boost his or her skillset.
What are the top data science certifications available?
Here are some of the best data science certifications to pick from in 2021:
1. Professional Certificate in Data Science (Harvard University and edX)
This is an online certificate program covering skill-building courses in a self-paced structure. It covers the following skills:
· Fundamentals of R programming
· Inference, modeling, probability, and other statistical concepts as well as their practical application
· Data wrangling with dplyr, data visualization with ggplot2, and other aspects of experience with the tidyverse
· git and GitHub, RStudio, Unix/Linux, and other essential tools for data science professionals
· Machine learning algorithms
· Real-world case studies to illustrate fundamental data science concepts
📒No of courses: 9
⏲Duration: 17 months (at 2–3 hours a week)
2. Data Science Specialization (Johns Hopkins University and Coursera)
This program serves as an introduction to data science. The skills covered include the following:
· Cleaning, analyzing, and visualizing data with R
· Navigating the data science pipeline — from acquisition of data to its publication
· Managing data science projects with GitHub
· Using regression models for interference, least squares, and regression analysis
The final Capstone project requires participants to build a data product based on real-world data, by applying the skills learned. Beginner-level Python experience and familiarity with regression is recommended, and participants get a shareable certificate upon completing this flexible course.
📒No of courses: 10
⏲Duration: 11 months (at 7 hours a week)
3. Senior Big Data Analyst (Data Science Council of America — DASCA)
Senior Big Data Analyst — or SBDA™ — is the most credible third-party vendor-neutral certification in the world for professionals seeking accelerated growth in big data analytics. Recognized and accepted internationally, it is targeted at big data or market research professionals. It covers the following:
· Foundations of data science: Python & R
· The mathematics of data science: Important concepts in mathematics and statistics
· Dealing with data: Managing massive data using Python and R
· Doing data analytics: Analyzing big data with the Hadoop ecosystem
· Data visualization: Tableau to visualize and present results
· Big Data in machine learning and AI: Using R and Python in ML and AI applications
· Business implementation: Using R and Python in business-level data analytics
· Implementing analytics: MongoDB, Messaging, Enterprise Search, Cloud and Cluster
⏲Duration: 6 months
4. Applied Data Science with Python Specialization (University of Michigan and Coursera)
This program introduces learners to data science through Python, offering them the following skills:
· Conducting an inferential statistical analysis
· Discern if a data visualization is good or bad
· Enhancement of data analysis with applied machine learning
· Analyzing social network connectivity
The program is targeted at those with a basic background in Python or programming, and looking to apply Python toolkits for further operations.
📒No of courses: 5
⏲Duration: 5 months (at 7 hours a week)
These are the top four picks for the best data science certifications in 2021, and are a great way to start or boost a data science career!