Top Five Data Analytics Certification Course Secrets

Certificates vs. Certifications: 5 Data Analytics credential secrets you need to know for career success

As businesses increasingly rely on data analysis for data-based business decisions and management strategies, high demand for data analysts continues and is expected to rise. The ongoing need for data analyst certification graduates makes the field an attractive career option. Gartner has found that businesses increasingly prefer data-driven decision-making to intuition-based decision-making, which probably accounts for why the data analytics market is growing at a compound annual rate of nearly 30%.
However, landing a job in data analytics heavily depends on the training and experience candidates are able to demonstrate. Employers want candidates with both analytic skills and hands-on experience. This makes sourcing the best data analytics certifications a critical component in your career roadmap.

If you’ve looked into data analytics training, you know the market is flooded with options. It is challenging to determine which ones are legitimate and support your career goals. More importantly, do you need a data analytics certification or a certificate?

To help you avoid hurdles, here are the top five secrets to finding the right data analytics training for you. Included is a list of courses we consider to be the best data analytics certificates that support career growth in the United States and the global market. These programs are designed for candidates with little to no prior experience in data analytics.

1. Know the difference between Certificates vs. Certifications

Successfully navigating the many training options available depends on understanding the tech sector’s terminology. For example, a data analytics certificate is very different than a data analytics certification. It’s important to know what the differences are and how they impact your career-growing efforts. Here’s how they differ:
  • A data analyst certificate indicates you’ve completed a series of training courses that have advanced your education in the field.
  • A data analytics certification indicates you’ve passed a certification exam that assessed your skills to meet industry standards. This credential indicates you are truly a certified data analytics professional.
A data analytics certification is a more advanced credential. It carries more weight with employers as it indicates that the holder’s skills and knowledge align with industry standards. A certification also indicates years of experience as most certifications require 3-5 years in the field. Depending on the school, this credential can also be called a certification of professional achievement. Regardless of the title, this certification indicates you are truly a certified data analyst. A data analytics certificate indicates you’ve completed educational instruction in the field. It’s on par with a college degree program and is beneficial to those just entering the field. Both types of credentials help build a robust data analytics career. However, a data analytics certification, or any technical certification for that matter, positions you for higher level roles. Participating in a data analyst certificate program demonstrates you’ve resolved real-world problems. A certified analytics professional has field-relevant knowledge and in-demand skills, like statistical analysis, machine learning, data visualization, and data management, predictive analysis. Employers across multiple industry sectors use these in their business problem-solving. This is the knowledge and skill set employers are looking for.

2. Get Training from Instructor-led Live Courses

To be fully prepared and give yourself a competitive edge, consider sourcing training from live instructor-led sources only. Here’s why:

  • Hands-on experience. Employers place a premium on experience. Live, instructor-led certificate programs teach hands-on skills based on real world scenarios that help you build your portfolio beyond online certificate. Live certificate programs are frequently taught by industry professionals whose insights and expertise add nuance and depth that employers are looking for to your learning experience. An online program that doesn’t offer real-world experiences may not be the best bet when looking for data analytics skills training.
  • Structured environment. Immersing yourself in a data analytics certificate program with a mixture of hands-on and course instruction gives you an experience framework from which you can demonstrate that you can solve challenging business problems. Structured live-instruction certificate programs ensure your skills and abilities are accessible to address business analytics issues and get jobs done.
  • Recognized credentials. Certificate programs are frequently created by industry-standard developers that employers recognize. Schools offering live instruction courses gives your credentials and capabilities more weight; your resume stands out. Moreover, certificates indicate that you’re qualified for positions with specific skill requirements. Another distinguisher.
  • Increased job security. Hiring managers and employers are more likely to retain and promote credentialed professionals that can demonstrate experience and skill. Such credentialed individuals are also frequently promoted into different roles. Earning a certificate indicates your dedication and commitment to your field of expertise and sourcing training from live instruction sources provides you with a wide array of soft skills that employers value.
  • Unlimited opportunities. Data analysts are needed in every sector, and those with demonstrable experience from live instruction have more career advancement options. From finance to healthcare to retail, data analytics credential on your resume expands your career opportunities and affords you lifestyle flexibility.

3. Data Analytics Certificates Compare to University Degrees

We’re frequently asked: “What’s the difference between a four-year degree and a certificate? Is one better than the other?” How does a Data Analytics Certification compare to a Bachelor’s degree or even a Master’s degree?

In today’s marketplace, employers are focused on your abilities – can you get the job done? Less emphasis rests on the form or type of degree or certification. This gives you, an emerging data analyst, the ability to get into a high-paying career for less cost and more career options.

Once you’ve decided to earn a certification, you want to ensure the program aligns with your lifestyle. Here are some key areas to check into:

  • Budget. Data analytics is a specialized field. The certificate programs aren’t cheap, but they are far more affordable than 4-year degrees, and you won’t have to be a college student for as long. That said, cost matters! Consider the true cost difference between live instruction or online course work. Note that studying only core courses without hands-on experience that you can add to your resume is the same as ending up as a college graduate with no experience: employers will always choose candidates that can demonstrate hands-on skills that go beyond non-instructor online learning coursework.
  • Value of the certification. Due diligence is a must-do. Just as you would carefully choose a University if you were choosing a 4-year degree, you want to be certain that your certificate program is credible, relevant, and adheres to high industry standards. With so many certificate programs on the market, it’s easy to mistake low value options for the real deal.
  • Preferred platform. This is the beginning of your data analytics journey. It’s the perfect time to decide which data platform you want to learn on. Google Analytics Skills? AWS? Both? Find a certificate program that matches our preferences.
  • Duration and renewals. Unlike certificates, many certifications are only valid for a certain period of time before they must be renewed. This doesn’t usually apply to certificates or college degrees, however, it’s good to know and check for.

4. Know Essential Required Skills

Your level of technical knowledge and experience is an important factor when selecting a data analytics certificate program. Typically, certificate program’s requirements vary depending on where you are on your career path. At the very least, you should have a strong working knowledge of these essential skills:

If you’re new to the data analytics field, don’t panic. You can find many requirement-free certificate programs designed specifically for people at the beginning of their data analytics careers, like our Data Analytics Bootcamp program. Various online courses can also help you develop advanced analytics capabilities and expand your knowledge of the field of data analytics. Whichever data analytics course you choose, be sure a certificate of completion or digital badge is included as potential employers look for these credentials.

For reference, data analytics certification programs usually require a specified number of years in the workforce as well as specific technical experience. This is another differentiator between data analytics certificates and data analytics certifications.

5. Understand Data Analytics Certificate Program Differences

We know a lot of data analytics certificate courses are on the market. Parsing through them all is overwhelming. We recommend the following certification courses as strong programs that not only help you enter the data analytics field quickly, but also position you for future career growth.

This accelerated program is specifically for people entering the data analytics field and has no prerequisites. The curriculum includes all the knowledge and skills needed to fully qualify for entry-level roles. Most programs include hands-on projects.

Expect to cover the following applications:

The bootcamp format is extremely popular as it fast-tracks entry into the data analytics sector. Many of these programs also offer job search support and job placement opportunities.

Check out CCS Learning Academy’s Data Analytics Bootcamp program.

CompTIA is a highly regarded curriculum developer that produces vendor-neutral programs. CompTIA Data+ is a data analytics certification program, which means you must pass the certification exam to earn the credential. It’s an early-career certification with minimal prerequisites. Consider this credential if you have 18 months to two years of professional experience that includes exposure to databases and analytics tools, a basic understanding of statistics, and data visualization experience.

The CompTIA Data+ curriculum includes:

  • Data mining
  • Manipulating data
  • Visualizing and reporting data
  • Applying basic statistical methods
  • Analyzing complex datasets while adhering to governance and quality standards throughout the entire data life cycle

Tableau Desktop Level 1

Tableau is an industry-standard data visualization application widely used across all business sectors. This course benefits entry-level professionals with some Tableau experience and experienced professionals. Although not specifically a certificate course, Tableau Desktop Level 1 can be used to prep for the Tableau Desktop Specialist certification exam. Topics include:
  • Building effective visualization models and dashboards
  • Preparing and cleaning data
  • Incorporating data into decision-making and strategy
  • Identifying trends and forecasting
  • Mapping and animation
This is a solid foundational course that supports future data analytics career efforts. The certification is one that employers will definitely notice. Learn more about Tableau Desktop Level 1 here.


You have plenty of avenues for entering today’s data analytics landscape. You aren’t restricted to four-year college degree programs. However, just like selecting a university, carefully evaluating programs and vendors is part of the process. The certificate and certification programs you select greatly influence the course of your data analytics career. Choose wisely and enjoy the journey.

Want more information about data analytics training? Need help mapping out your training path? Contact us! Our experienced team is happy to help you find the right training for your goals 


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