The IBM Data Science Professional Certificate is a course that teaches students a range of skills and tools, languages and libraries that are used in the formation and work of a data scientist. It is currently available on both Coursera and EDX (July 2023).
What is Data Science ?
It should be remembered that data and information are two separate things. Data is essentially the raw numbers that a computer generates for all its work, and information is the collection and interpretation of those digits as to what they mean, similar to letters and a word.
Data Science is the process of studying data to interpret it in a meaningful way, to provide useful insights that can help business, government, finance, healthcare, non profits etc.
The volume of data generated and collected by organisations today is immense, by way of text, audio, video and imaging techniques.
A data scientist can work in a variety of fields, and it is a good idea to have some sense of where they might like to work, as this will allow them to see if the certificate is appropriate for them.
IBM Data Science Professional Certificate Course Syllabus / Content
The IBM Data Science professional certificate is made up of 10 individual courses, each with their own subsets, listed below
- What is Data Science
- Tools for Data Science
- Data Science methodology
- Python for Data Science, AI and Development
- Python project for Data Science
- Databases and SQL for Data Science with Python
- Data analysis with Python
- Data visualization with Python
- Machine learning with Python
- Applied Data Science Capstone
The certificate courses start with an overview of what Data Science is, the language of data Science and then an overview of Data Science tools.
These including packages, API’s, Data Sets and Models, Jupyter notebooks and JupyterLab, R studio and Github, as well as an optional model on IBM Watson studio.
The rest of the courses that make up the certificate tend to focus on Python and its application to data analysis, visualization and machine learning.
IBM Data Science Professional Certificate Cost
(as of July 2023)
Given that the certificate is made up of 10 courses, each with their own specific modules, all of which linked together, a significant time commitment is required in order to complete all the work.
This means impacts that the cost is also a real issue in terms of a significant financial outlay.
Coursea offers a seven-day free trial upon enrolment, after which a monthly charge of £39 is made for as long as the student continues to use the course.
What this means in practice is that the longer anyone takes to do the course the more they charge, but the overall cost is to an extent dependent on the students own situation.
EDX have an upfront cost of £764 reduced to £688, and they do offer a 14-day refund, either 14 days after the purchased date or 14 days after the course starts, whichever comes later.
IBM Data Science Internship
Like a lot of major Tech companies, IBM offer a number of internships throughout the year, ranging from a couple of months up to the year and a half.
These internships can be extremely demanding, and are sometimes conditional upon the student being in full-time education on a course that allows them to take this type of a break.
The value of being an intern at IBM is that it is a gateway into a company with huge experience and expertise not just in data Science, but in all areas of technology.
This can be especially valuable not just in terms of the knowledge gained of itself, but also as a lead in to a range of cyber security jobs.
The IBM careers page allows you to search for internships throughout the world, as well as listing the different teams that comprise IBM, and showing the number of job vacancies that are currently available within each team.
This can give a really good idea of the scope of jobs available in IBM, and the job descriptions gives some idea of the type of experience and qualifications needed. Current teams include :
- Infrastructure and Technology
- Enterprise Operations
- Design and UX
- Software Engineering
- Project Management
- Data and Analytics
IBM Data Science Professional Certificate Reviews
If used properly, student reviews of this course can give valuable insights to anyone thinking of undertaking it. People are quite often naturally reluctant to take reviews at face value, but that shouldn’t necessarily be an issue.
The thing to do is to look at the negative reviews, and see if there are any common threads that require further investigation.
With an online course like this, there are normally two or three things that stand out. Some people will complain that the course is to complicated, others will complain that the information is to old and out of date, all that some of the links don’t work.
If there are a number of people flagging up the same issue, then it can be a legitimate area to investigate to see how true it is from the perspective students point of view.
Both Coursera, and EDX, afford an opportunity to do this by way of a free seven day trial (Coursera) and a 14-day refund policy.
This should give any perspective student good time to check out the course content with a view to assessing whether any of the complaints in the reviews they have looked at are relevant to them.
IBM Data Science Salary
Data scientists are in huge demand at most big tech companies, as well as numerous other industry leaders. A recent posting at IBM for a Data Scientist job, with approximately three years experience in different areas; offers a projected minimum salary of $ 106,000 per year and a projected maximum salary of $198,000 per year.
What this shows more than anything is that data scientists jobs are in demand and can be extremely well paid. It also shows that there is a huge range of salary expectations that can vary given the nature of the job, where it is based, the type of machine learning involved, and the level of experience and qualifications candidate has.
Is the IBM Data Science Professional Certificate worth it?
This is a question that only a prospective student can really answer for themselves. This depends on that willingness to commit time and money to the course, as well as checking out the course syllabus and content themselves to see if it is really relevant to the work they want to do.
There is no doubt that the fact it has the name ibm behind it will give the course a high degree of credibility, and any employer should be willing to take this into account.
Employers also like experience as well as qualifications, often more so, and that might be a factor at any perspective student of this course needs to take into account.
If the courses that make up these certificate do not offer enough practical experience, then it should be possible for the student themselves to gain that experience through other avenues which can be used to supplement the academic content done on the IBM professional certificate.