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Certification Programs

The International Society for Data Science and Analytics offers an independent and scientific certification program. A certificate is a proof that one has mastered a certain level of knowledge on data science and data analytics.

Types of Certificates

ISDSA offers three levels of certification: Beginner Data Scientist, Intermediate Data Scientist, and Advanced Data Scientist.

Beginner Data Scientist

A Beginner Data Scientist should master the essential data science skills to carry out daily data-related operations. Such skills can often be obtained through an undergraduate applied statistics program. A Beginner Data Scientist understands the data ethics, can conduct basic data management, e.g., using SPSS, Excel, Access or MySQL, and data manipulation such as transformation, data cleaning, and subsetting and merging data sets, can conduct basic data visualization, present data analysis results and written data analysis reports. A Beginner Data Scientist can also accurately apply basic statistical methods such as t-test, ANOVA, and regression and can carry out related analysis through statistical software. Beginner Data Scientists account for 60% of the data science professions and can carry out the routine data tasks.

Intermediate Data Scientist

In addition to mastering the skills of a Beginner Data Scientist, an Intermediate Data Scientist distinguishes himself/herself with the knowledge in big data analysis and predictive and machine learning methods. The skills of an Intermediate Data Scientist can often be obtained through a two-year data science master program. An Intermediate Data Scientist is expected to independently implement a data strategy to deal with business challenges in the industry. Only about 30% of the data tasks require the skills of an Intermediate Data Scientist.

Advanced Data Scientist

The title of an Advanced Data Scientist is reserved for 5% of the data scientists. It often requires skills that can typically be obtained through a Ph.D. program in statistics, computer sciences, or related areas. An Advanced Data Scientist often holds a data science director position in the data science industry.

A comparison of different types of certificates

Skills Beginner Intermediate Advanced
Data ethics  
Data management
Data manipulation
Basic data visualization  
Basic statistical methods  
Basic programming  
Oral communication  
Data analysis reports  
Working with big data    
Predictive models    
Classification and regression tree    
Scientific writing    
Advanced programming skills using R and/or Python    
Text mining    
Computer vision    
Machine learning and deep learning    
Hadoop, Hive, Tensor flow    
GPU based programming    

How to Get Certificated?

ISDSA certifies data scientists in three ways: (1) A data scientist can pass the ISDSA data scientist exams to get a certificate; (2) An ISDSA certification panel can evaluate the qualification of a data scientist and issue a certificate; and (3) One can get a certificate through ISDSA certified training programs.

Data Scientist Exams

ISDSA offers data scientist exams to anyone who is interested in getting a data scientist certificate. The exam is designed by data science experts to best test the knowledge of data science and data analytics at different levels. The exam can be taken either on-site or virtually under supervision. The cost of the exams is listed below.

Beginner Data Scientist$599
Intermediate Data Scientist$1,199
Advanced Data Scientist$1,999

Panel Evaluation

For those who have been trained in a data science related program such as an undergraduate or graduate data science program, an online program, or other training programs, ISDSA can issue a certificate after evaluating the rigor of the program and the performance of the candidate. A candidate can submit the complete information about the program, the official training record, including the grades, projects completed, and so on, for an evaluation. At least one member of the ISDSA data science panel will provide a written document on the qualification of the candidate and ISDSA will issue a certificate if the candidate meets the standards set by the panel. The cost of the panel evaluation is listed below.

Beginner Data Scientist$299
Intermediate Data Scientist$599
Advanced Data Scientist$999

Certified Training Programs

ISDSA also certifies training programs. A certified training program can issue a certificate to its trainees on behalf of ISDSA. To be certificated, a training program needs to submit its complete curriculum to ISDSA for evaluation. ISDSA evaluates a program based on the qualification of the instructors, design and implementation of courses, the performance of the trainees, and feedback of the trainees. A program needs to be evaluated every three years. Otherwise, it will lose its certified status. The cost of evaluating a program is listed below. If a program does not meet the standards to be certified, half of the cost will be refunded.

1–100 trainees each year$4,999
101–1,000 trainees each year$9,999
>1,000 trainees each year$14,999

For each certificate that a training program issues, the following fee (paid by the training program) is also charged:

1–100 trainees each year$20
101–1,000 trainees each year$10
>1,000 trainees each year$5


ISDSA maintains a database with all the certified data scientists. The database can be searched using a certificate number. For each certified data scientist, the following information is collected by ISDSA:

  • First name and last name
  • Year of birth
  • A headshot
  • Email address

Anyone can search the database. For a matched record, the following information will be displayed to the party of interest:

  • First name and last name
  • Headshot
  • Certificate number
  • Type of certificate (Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced)
  • Date of certification

To get a certificate, please contact us at certificate@isdsa.org.

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