IBM data scientist
IBM’s data science certificate provides the skills and credentials to launch a career in data science.

In today's data-driven economy, the need for skilled professionals who can help manage and analyze this data is soaring. IBM, one of the pioneering institutions in the realm of data science, recognized this demand and introduced the IBM Data Science Professional Certificate. This certification offers a comprehensive introduction to the data science field.

The IBM data science professional certificate is a series of self-paced online courses offered through Coursera, a leading web-based learning platform. The program provides students with foundational data science skills, with a focus on Python development, preparing them for entry-level roles in data science, machine learning, data analytics and related fields.

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This page will provide a detailed review of IBM’s data science professional certificate, including the skills and platforms you'll learn, costs, benefits, training options, jobs and salaries you can pursue once certified, and FAQs from prospective students.

IBM Data Science Certificate Overview

  • Cost: 7-day free trial, then $49 per month via subscription on Coursera.
  • Format: Self-paced online lectures, course materials and assignments.
  • Duration: 176 hours, or about 5 months with 8 hours of study per week.
  • Skill level: Beginner. No previous data science experience is required.

IBM Data Science Certificate Syllabus

The IBM data science professional certificate is divided into 10 chapters (9 online classes plus a capstone project). Here’s an overview of the IBM data science certificate syllabus and some of the key skills you will learn in each course.

Course #1: What is Data Science?

The introductory course in IBM’s data science certification will delve into the definition, significance, career paths, and high demand for data science professionals in the modern era.

You will learn:

  • Data science background and key definitions
  • Data science significance in the workforce
  • Data scientist careers & earning potential
  • Insights from experienced data professionals
Course #2: Data Science Tools

This chapter of the IBM data science professional certificate will provide an introduction to the tools, technologies and programming languages used in data science.

You will learn:

  • Describe the data scientist's toolkit
  • Use the Python, R, and SQL languages
  • Jupyter notebooks and RStudio tools
  • Write and manage code in Git & GitHub
Course #3: Data Science Methodology

This chapter of the certificate focuses on understanding and applying systematic approaches to successfully complete data science projects.

You will learn:

  • The importance of data science methodologies
  • Cross-Industry Process for Data Mining (CRISP-DM)
  • Apply predictive, descriptive & classification models
  • Identify information sources for data science projects
Course #4: Python for Data Science, AI & Development

This IBM data science course offers a detailed look into using the high-level programming language, Python, for data science, artificial intelligence and software development projects.

You will learn:

  • Python basics: Data Types, Expressions, Variables & Structures
  • Python programming logic: Branching, Loops & OOP concepts
  • Use Python libraries like Pandas, Numpy, and Beautiful Soup
  • Fetch data via APIs and web scraping in Jupyter Notebooks
Course #5: Python Data Science Project

This chapter of the IBM data science professional certificate guides students through a hands-on project, emphasizing Python's pivotal role in data science.

You will learn:

  • Real-world data scientist / analyst project
  • Showcase your Python data science skills
  • Apply Python basics and data management
  • Build a dashboard with Python tools & libraries
Course #6: Databases & SQL for Data Science with Python

This portion of IBM’s data science certificate will go in-depth into SQL and Python-driven techniques for data cleansing, analysis, and predictive modeling.

You will learn:

  • Analyze databases using SQL and Python
  • Manage a relational cloud-based database
  • Learn how to utilize popular SQL statements
  • Powerful queries with advanced SQL techniques
Course #7: Python Data Analysis

In this course, IBM data science professionals will instruct students on leveraging Python for data preparation, exploration, manipulation, and predictive modeling.

You will learn:

  • Clean and prepare data using Python development
  • Use Python libraries to explore and analyze data
  • Manage data with DataFrames, correlations & pipelines
  • Create regression models with the ML scikit-learn library
Course #8: Data Visualization with Python

This lesson in the IBM data science professional certificate focuses on crafting useful and compelling visuals using Python's robust visualization tools.

You will learn:

  • Use Python libraries to create an effective data narrative
  • Charts and plots: line, area, histogram, scatter, pie & more
  • Advanced visualizations: waffle charts, word clouds & more
  • Build interactive dashboards with Dash framework and Plotly
Course #9: Machine Learning with Python

In the penultimate IBM data science professional course, students will learn about ML algorithms, classification methods, and evaluation techniques using Python.

You will learn:

  • Machine learning algorithms and their applications
  • Multiclass prediction, SVMs and logistic regression
  • Write Python code to implement classifications
  • Evaluate the results of complex data analyses
Course #10: Applied Data Science Capstone

Finally, the capstone project will task students with a hands-on application of data science techniques, working through a real-world dataset from collection through model evaluation.

You will learn:

  • Exhibit data science and machine learning proficiency
  • Perform data collection, exploration, visualization & evaluation
  • Write Python code to create effective machine learning models
  • Compare ML model outcomes and pinpoint the best solution

IBM Data Science Professional Exam

Upon completion of the aforementioned classes, students will earn their IBM Data Science Professional Certificate. Unlike some other IT certifications, there is no final exam, however, there will be assignments in each course that you must pass to become certified; these include quizzes, short answer questions, and practical lab exercises.

IBM Data Science Professional Training

Including the official certificate program from Coursera which is linked below, these online courses and degrees relate to the syllabus of IBM’s data science professional certificate.

  • Earn IBM's Data Science Certificate
  • Use the Python, R & SQL Languages
  • AI & Machine Learning with Python
  • Build a Portfolio of Data Projects
Southern New Hampshire University
  • Leverage Data to Drive Business Goals
  • Big Data Analysis and Visualization
  • Learn Python, SQL, Tableau and R
  • Data Analytics Project Management

IBM Data Science Certificate Salary

Earning IBM’s data science professional certificate can help prepare you for a range of entry-level jobs in the field. Here are some popular positions you can pursue with an IBM data science pro certification.

Data Science Career Average Salary
Database Manager $64,000
Junior Data Analyst $67,000
Junior SQL Developer $77,000
Business Analyst $82,000
Data Architect $83,000
Data Analyst $84,000
Junior Python Developer $92,000
Data Scientist $143,000

This table shows the average earnings for data science jobs in the US. If you’re new to the field and just earned a IBM data science pro certificate, your starting salary may come in below the national average.

Source for salary data:

IBM Data Science Pro Certificate Cost

The IBM data science professional certificate is available to begin with a 7-day free trial on Coursera, followed by a $49 per month subscription charge if you decide to continue. If you complete the IBM data science cert in the average completion time of 5 months, this program will cost $245. Of course it can cost less or more depending on how much time it takes you to finish the training.

IBM Data Science Certificate FAQs

IT and education insiders answer frequently asked questions from prospective students in the IBM data science certificate program.

Will I get college credit for the IBM data science professional certificate?

Yes, the American Council on Education (ACE) recommends 12 credits for students who complete the IBM data science professional certificate. The breakdown of college credits by subject is 3 credits in each of these four subjects: introduction to data science, advanced topics in data science, introduction to Python programming, and introduction to SQL programming.

Is the IBM data science professional certificate worth it?

Yes. With a thorough curriculum taught by expert instructors, flexible online schedule and a low cost, earning your IBM professional certificate in data science is a worthy investment in your future.

Which platforms will I learn in the IBM data science certificate?

The syllabus for IBM’s data science professional certificate includes training in a range of platforms, languages and libraries, including Python, SQL, Jupyter, RStudio, Pandas, Github, Numpy, Seaborn, Folium, ScikitLearn, Scippy, Matplotlib, Watson Studio and more.

Is the IBM data science professional certificate free?

No. The price for IBM's data science certificate is $49 per month via Coursera subscription, however you can try out the program for free with a 7-day trial. Most students complete the IBM data science certificate within five months, which would come out to a total cost of $245.

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About the Author

IT Subject Matter ExpertDaniel Greenspan is the founder and Editor-in-chief of ITCareerFinder. Working closely with IT professionals, world-class trainers, and hiring managers since 2005 has given him unique insight into the information technology job market and the skills and credentials IT pros need to succeed.