What are Data Science Graduate Certificates? How are they different from a Data Science Masters Degree?


Data science is one of the most in-demand careers today. The data scientist career profile is one of the top ten occupations in the United States, according to LinkedIn. As per the Economic Times, work listings for the data science profile have increased by more than 400% in the last year. Every day, approximately 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are stored in the modern world. A data scientist will arrange and interpret this massive volume of data in order to make it useful for running a successful company. For example, a company might use data science to remind customers of their regular transactions. And if you want to start your career as a data scientist you must take up a certificate or a masters degree. But how will you choose between them? Here’s how…

What is a Graduate Certificate Program?

Certificate programs usually train students to work or upgrade their professional abilities in a specific industry. It is offered both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. It sets you apart from other applicants when an employer sees a certificate on your resume. 

Online Graduate Certificate in Data Science for the Chemical Industry from Georgia Tech School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Companies in the chemical, oil, and manufacturing industries are rushing to capitalize on big data developments in what has become known as Industry 4.0. Professionals with deep domain expertise in chemical engineering who are specialized in data science techniques and can lead data-driven initiatives in their organizations are in high demand in this field.

One of the world’s leading chemical engineering departments, Georgia Tech’s School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering (ChBE), has introduced a completely online graduate certificate to prepare advanced chemical engineers for this important area. Core classes are taught by Georgia Tech ChBE’s world-renowned faculty, and the program is open to non-degree applicants.

Data Science Certificate Online from  Worcester Polytechnic Institute

WPI’s Data Science graduate certificate program provides cutting-edge training in the field of Big Data. The program is offered fully online, so students can access the course wherever they are.  The program’s flexibility in course selection helps students to tailor it to their current data science expertise as well as their career goals in computer science, economics, industry, and other fields.

Online Data Science Graduate Certificate Program from Indiana University-Bloomington

This online Graduate Certificate in Data Science was designed to help students learn new skills in areas like data processing, cloud computing, health and medicine, statistics, and data mining quickly and easily. It’s the optimal solution for a compelling problem.

How long does it take to complete the Data Science Certificate?

Data science certificate programs take less time compared to masters degrees. Usually between 12 – 24 months. The duration may vary depending on courses offered, institution, mode of the program and students’ effort.

Duration of Online Graduate Certificate in Data Science for the Chemical Industry from Georgia Tech School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

The degree will take four semesters to complete and most students will take one course each semester. So normally, this program can be completed within 1 – 2 years. Duration of Data Science Certificate Online from  Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Duration of Online Data Science Graduate Certificate Program from Indiana University-Bloomington

You must take DS 501 in order to receive a certificate in Data Science. A total of 12 credits are required, including an introduction to data science, core coursework in two fields, and an elective. So usually, the program can be completed in 1 – 2 years depending on how many hours students invest in learning.

Duration of Online Data Science Graduate Certificate Program from Indiana University-Bloomington

The certificate can be obtained entirely online in as little as two semesters or as much as four semesters, allowing students the freedom to create a course schedule that fits their timetable.

What do you learn In a Data Science Certificate?

What do you learn in Online Graduate Certificate in Data Science for the Chemical Industry from Georgia Tech School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

This graduate certificate in data science for the chemical industry is designed to be completed in one to two years and consists of six hours of core coursework on fundamental data science processes, with a heavy focus on applications in the chemical process industry. Six additional hours of electives will allow students to concentrate on a new field of interest and will be chosen from Georgia Tech’s highly competitive online master’s degree in analytics.

Courses offered in Online Graduate Certificate in Data Science for the Chemical Industry from Georgia Tech School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Core Courses

  • Data Analytics for Chemical Engineers
  • Data-driven Process Systems Engineering

Elective Courses (You can select 2 courses)

  • Introduction to Information Security
  • Database Systems Concepts and Design
  • Computing for Data Analysis
  • Introduction to Analytics Modeling
  • Computational Data Analysis
  • Data Mining and Statistical Learning
  • Topics on High-Dimensional Data Analytics
  • Data Analytics in Business
  • Data Analysis for Continuous Improvement
  • Information Policy and Management

What do you learn in the Data Science Certificate Online from  Worcester Polytechnic Institute?

Students who complete the Data Science certificate program will be able to harness, process, and visualize data in real-world applications. A total of 12 credits are included with this certificate. The program’s flexibility in course selection helps students to tailor it to their current data science expertise as well as their career goals in computer science, economics, industry, and other fields.

Courses offered in Data Science Certificate Online from  Worcester Polytechnic Institute

  • Introduction to Data Science
  • Mathematical Analytics
  • Data Access and Management
  • Data Analytics and Mining
  • Business Intelligence and Case Studies

What do you learn in an Online Data Science Graduate Certificate Program from Indiana University-Bloomington?

The Graduate Certificate in Data Science (GCDS) is an entirely online graduate curriculum that covers subjects including cloud computing, simulation, high-performance computing, computer learning, and data processing. Students may adapt their program to suit their preferences with this technical credential.

Students will apply earned credits toward the Online Master of Science in Data Science after successfully completing the Graduate Certificate in Data Science. Direct Admission to the MS program will be granted to those who apply by the deadlines, and credits received will be transferred automatically.

Courses offered in Online Data Science Graduate Certificate Program from Indiana University-Bloomington

You can select the 4 courses from the list

  • Applied Algorithms
  • Elements of Artificial Intelligence
  • Advanced Database Concepts
  • Computer Vision
  • topics in Data Science
  • Machine Learning for Signal Processing
  • Engineering Cloud Computing
  • High Performance Computing
  • Deep Learning Systems
  • Big Data Applications
  • Information Visualization
  • Advanced Cloud Computing
  • Data Semantics
  • Social Media Mining
  • Security for Networked Systems
  • Organizational Informatics and Economics of Security
  • Applied Machine Learning
  • Machine Learning in Bioinformatics
  • Systems and Protocol Security and Information Assurance
  • Management, Access, and Use of Big and Complex Data
  • Network Science
  • Data Analysis and Modeling for Public Affairs
  • Statistical Analysis for Effective Decision-making
  • Introduction to Statistics
  • Topics in Applied Statistics

How much does a Data Science Certificate Cost?

The cost of a data science certificate may vary by many factors like institution, curriculum offered, students’ residential status, and the model(on-campus or online) of the program students enrolled in. Usually, the total cost can range between $3,500 – $20,000. 

Tuition cost of Online Graduate Certificate in Data Science for the Chemical Industry from Georgia Tech School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Total number of course – 4 courses

Cost per course – $3,611

Total program cost – $15,000

Tuition cost of Data Science Certificate Online from Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Total number of credits – 12 credits

Cost per credit – $1,610

Total tuition cost – $19,320

Tuition cost of Online Data Science Graduate Certificate Program from Indiana University-Bloomington

Total number of credits – 12 credits

Cost per credit – $690

Total tuition cost – $8,280

What are the career benefits of doing a Certificate in Data Science?

Data science is a broad term that encompasses a variety of tasks such as data analysis, statistical analysis, machine learning, and even basic computer science. This could be a very lucrative and thrilling career path for you if you are familiar with the new technologies on the market and are comfortable with statistics and figures. There are different directions you can take depending on what career you are involved in. Others can make more use of your talents than others, so it’s still a good idea to weigh all of your choices before settling on a course.

A certificate in data science offers professionals a competitive advantage over their peers. If you’re either a student or a graduate, this is a chance to study data science and comfortably move into the wide world of data science.

What is an Online Data Science Master’s Degree?

A Data Science Master’s degree is a modern graduate program that incorporates fundamental principles from math, computer science, analytics, and information science to help data scientists leverage knowledge and develop organizational and business processes. A Data Science master’s degree is ideal for someone who wants to advance their data science career or learn more about machine learning, cluster processing, databases, data visualization, statistics, data mining, and other topics.

Online Masters of Science in Data Science from Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Master of Science in Data Science is a four-semester, 16-course (48-credit) program that eventually results in a capstone project completion and presentation. Students will undergo training in the three main sequences, as well as practical knowledge and job skills (teamwork, communication, leadership).

Online Masters of Science in Data Science from University of Virginia

This intensive and forward-thinking online MSDS curriculum pushes students to make sense of the massive volumes of data available today and apply what they’ve learned. The students go on to make significant contributions to research, study and problem-solving in a variety of fields.

Online MS in Computer Science in Data Science from University of Southern California

Students who complete this MS in Computer Science – Data Science will have a strong foundation in computer science as well as advanced algorithmic, mathematical, and systems skills in collecting, preserving, accessing, evaluating, and visualizing massive, heterogeneous, and real-time data from a variety of real-world domains such as resources, the atmosphere, health, media, medicine, and transportation.

How long does it take to complete the online Data Science master’s degree?

The time to complete a masters degree in data science may vary by many factors like curriculum offered, how many hours a student dedicates, and also the model (part-time or full-time) students enrolled in. Normally students who enrolled in a full-time program may complete the degree in 2 years or 3 – 4 years if they enrolled in a part-time program. And with accelerated program students can complete the data science masters degree in less than 2 years.

Duration of Online Masters of Science in Data Science from Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Master of Science in Data Science is a four-semester, 16-course (48-credit) program that culminates in a capstone project completion and presentation. As a result, the program will be completed in two years.

Duration of Online Masters of Science in Data Science from University of Virginia

Students are required to complete 48 credits (16 courses) and the duration of the program is approximately 2 years

Duration of Online MS in Computer Science in Data Science from University of Southern California

This online program can be completed in 3 years.

What do you learn In an Online Data Science Masters Degree?

What do you learn in Online Masters of Science in Data Science from Vanderbilt University?

Students will be able to develop computational pipelines for high-dimensional and large-scale complex data, collect and handle vast data sets, generate efficient data displays and visualizations, create and analyze mathematical models for large-scale data, apply machine learning algorithms to make forecasts, and refine decisions after completing this program.

Courses offered in Online Masters of Science in Data Science from Vanderbilt University

  • Principles of Programming & Simulation
  • Survey of Data Science Applications
  • Data Science Rights & Responsibility
  • Case-studies in Data Science
  • Data Science in Teams I
  • Data Science in Teams II
  • Data Management Systems
  • Data Science Algorithms
  • Big Data Scaling
  • Exploratory Data Analysis
  • Probability & Statistical Inference
  • Modeling & Machine Learning I
  • Modeling & Machine Learning II
  • Social Network Analysis
  • Capstone Development

What do you learn in Online Masters of Science in Data Science from the University of Virginia?

The online MSDS follows the same beliefs and follows the same systematic course of analysis as the on-Grounds MSDS. Students will progress through a diverse program that draws from a variety of subjects, but with the common aim of being data science and research leaders. The students view data science holistically, as part of a team, and with the utmost honesty, so the coursework involves quantitative methods as well as a humanist component and plenty of teamwork.

Courses offered in Online Masters of Science in Data Science from University of Virginia

  • Programming and Systems for Data Science 
  • Linear Models for Data Science 
  • Foundations of Computer Science 
  • Data Mining 
  • Exploratory Text Analytics 
  • Big Data Analytics 
  • Practice and Application of Data Science I 
  • Ethics of Big Data I 
  • Data Science Capstone Project Work I 
  • Bayesian Machine Learning 
  • Practice and Application of Data Science II 
  • Ethics of Big Data II 
  • Data Science Capstone Project Work II 
  • Machine Learning 

What do you learn in Online MS in Computer Science in Data Science from the University of Southern California?

Students who complete this MS in Computer Science – Data Science will have a strong foundation in computer science as well as advanced algorithmic, mathematical, and systems skills in collecting, preserving, accessing, evaluating, and visualizing massive, heterogeneous, and real-time data from a variety of real-world domains such as resources, the atmosphere, health, media, medicine, and transportation.

Courses offered in Online MS in Computer Science in Data Science from University of Southern California

Core and Emphasis Requirements

  • Foundations of Artificial Intelligence 
  • Analysis of Algorithms 
  • Database Systems 

Emphasis Electives

Three courses with a minimum of one course from each group.

Group 1 (Data Systems):

  • Information Integration on the Web 
  • Information Retrieval and Web Search Engines 
  • Database Systems Interoperability 
  • Geospatial Information Management 
  • High Performance Computing and Simulations 
  • Advanced Topics in Database Systems 
  • Foundations of Data Management 

Group 2 (Data Analysis):

  • Machine Learning 
  • Probabilistic Reasoning 
  • Advanced Big Data Analytics 
  • Foundations and Applications of Data Mining 
  • Optimization Theory and Algorithms: Numerical Optimization 
  • Theory and Computational Methods for Optimization 
  • Applied Matrix Analysis 

Additional Electives

Any 500- or 600-level course in CSCI (including additional group electives or special topics)*

  • Directed Research 
  • Computer Science Research Colloquium 
  • Data Visualization 
  • Building Knowledge Graphs 
  • Numerical Methods 
  • Numerical Analysis and Computation 
  • Numerical Analysis 
  • Numerical Analysis 
  • Applied Probability 
  • Optimization Theory and Techniques 
  • Seminar in Statistical Consulting 

How much does an online Data Science master’s degree cost?

The data science masters program tuition cost will vary depending on whether the university is private or public, students’ residential status, number of credits offered, and model(part-time or full-time). Normally the cost of private universities costs more compared to public universities. And the total tuition cost of the degree can range between $20,000 – $100,176.

Tuition cost of Online Masters of Science in Data Science from Vanderbilt University

Total number of credits – 48 credits

Cost per credit – $2,087

Total tuition cost – $100,176

Tuition cost of Online Masters of Science in Data Science from University of Virginia

Total number of credits – 32 credits

Cost per credit – $1,304

Total tuition cost – $41,728

Tuition cost of Online MS in Computer Science in Data Science from University of Southern California

Total number of unit course- 32

Cost per credit – $2,148

Total tuition cost – $68,736

What are the career benefits of doing an online masters in Data Science?

Because of the field’s exponential growth, those who seek an advanced degree in data science have a promising future. Data scientists are used by a wide range of businesses and organizations to analyze data and make recommendations.

This means that once you get your online master’s degree in data science, you’ll have a lot of career opportunities. Management analyst, data analyst, data engineer, financial analyst manager, and other positions are among the options available. Each of these professions provides lucrative prospects, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasting faster-than-average growth around the board.

Which one should I take? Data Science Certificate or an Online Data Science Masters Degree

Depending on what you want to accomplish, both graduate certificates in data science and master’s degree have both have their ups and downs. By taking into account some of the key factors that differentiate between them, you can easily select the program that’s best suits your needs.

If you want to advance your data science career and thereby increase your earning potential, then both options are great. But if you want to do it faster then you should go for a data science graduate certificate program. Why? Since a graduate certificate program in data science will only teach you the skills that you need and doesn’t go deeper into the data science field, these programs can be completed in less than one year. And since the curriculum is not designed to be as rigorous as a data science master’s degree, these programs will cost less. Graduate certificate programs are also the best choice if you want to take a data science master’s degree in the future, as credits earned in these programs can be transferred towards a master’s degree most of the time.

On the other hand, when you look at the data science master’s degree, they provide you with a rigorous curriculum that introduces advanced topics to you. Also, having a master’s degree will boost your job opportunities and also increases your earning potential. Because of the rigorous curriculum, these degrees will usually cost more and take more time to complete than a graduate certificate. And if you want to do PhD, then you should choose a master’s degree.

Data Science Graduate Certificate Vs Data Science Masters Degree

Icons made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com
Icons made by Those Icons from www.flaticon.com
Icons made by srip from www.flaticon.com
Icons made by prettycons from www.flaticon.com
Jobs Salaries and Career after Masters in Kinesiology and Exercise Science - Updated 2021
2021 Fastest Online Masters Program in Kinesiology and Exercise Science
Best Graduate Programs in Kinesiology and Exercise Science in Utah - Updated 2021
Best Graduate School Programs for Kinesiology and Exercise Science in South - Updated 2021
Find Kinesiology and Exercise Science masters degree program based on GRE score
Search for Graduate Programs in Kinesiology and Exercise Science

Similar Questions


Can you get an Exercise Science Degree Online?
Find Kinesiology and Exercise Science Masters Degree program from GRE score

About David

After completing his undergraduate, David wanted to get a Master's degree. Looking at cost of getting a 2 year degree, David decided there should be some financial aid and scholarship available to help out students like him. He has since then been researching on Graduate program scholarships and how to help future students like him secure a financial aid and make the education affordable.

Leave a Reply