6 Popular Data Analytics Certifications: Your 2024 Guide

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Whether you’re just getting started or are already established, obtaining a certification or certificate in data analytics can help you reach your professional goals. 

[Featured image] Woman in yellow dual-screen reviewing data analysis

Data analytics is all about using data to make the right decisions. By collecting, cleaning, and analyzing data, you can find the most strategic and optimal course of action to achieve a specific goal. 

As a result, many aspiring and established professionals in the field of data analytics wonder which certification or certificate to choose to achieve their career objectives. Should you get a certificate or a certification? Which ones are the best for your current skill set and work experience?

If these are the questions you’re asking yourself, then this is the article for you. Here, you will find a list of six popular data analytic certifications and certificates alongside suggested courses to help you get started.

Whether you want to take your first steps into the field or parlay your skill set into a career as a data analyst or data scientist, this article has the data you need to make an informed decision on how to do it. Read on to learn how to find the right one for you.

Data analytics certificate vs. certification

Though they sound similar, certificates and certifications are not the same. 

A certificate is proof that an individual has completed a specific professional training course, such as Google’s six-month-long Data Analytics Professional Certificate. A certification, meanwhile, is proof that an individual has taken and passed a specific exam, such as is required to achieve Microsoft’s Power BI Data Analyst certification. 

Though both can help you achieve your career goals, whether you should get a professional certificate or a certification depends on your particular goals. A certificate may prepare some job seekers for specific jobs by providing essential training, such as in SQL. On the other hand, a certification may be required for certain positions that ask for a “certified data analyst” possessing a specific certification. 

There are certificate and certification courses for data analysts of all levels, including those without prior experience and those with several years of professional work experience. 

Is a data analyst certification or certificate worth it?

Professional certificates or certifications can help early-career professionals enter the field, and career veterans boost their job prospects. 

According to a 2021 survey, “75% of Google Career Certificate Graduates in the United States report an improvement in their career trajectory… within six months of certificate completion” [1]. These improvements include everything from a new job or career to a promotion or raise.

These findings are supported by research conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In a 2022 survey, for example, the BLS found that professionals with either a certification or license faced lower levels of unemployment and earned more on average than those without either [2, 3]. 

At a glance, they found the following: 

Median weekly wageUnemployment rate
With a certification, but not license$1,2883.6 percent
With a license$1,2232.7 percent
Without a certification or license$9316.1 percent

These results suggest that obtaining either a certificate, certification, or another credential, such as a license, has the potential to have a positive impact on your career opportunities, salary, and employment.

There are many certificate and certification courses available to aspiring or established data analysts. Use the list of popular certification and certificate courses below to identify the option best suited to your goals. 

1. Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate

Google’s Data Analytics Professional Certificate is a flexible online certificate program that provides a comprehensive introduction to data analytics in just six months. Specifically designed for beginners with no prior experience, the course teaches students how to clean, visualize, and analyze data alongside how to use spreadsheets, SQL, and R programming. 

Requirements: There is no prior experience, knowledge, or training required to take Google’s Data Analytics Professional certificate. 

Cost: The course costs $49 per month by subscription on Coursera. 

2. IBM Data Analyst Professional certificate

The IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate is a flexible online course that prepares those with no prior experience for entry-level data analyst positions. Through eight courses that take approximately 11 months to complete, learners develop a working knowledge of Python, SQL, Excel, and IBM Cognos analytics, among other programs. 

Requirements: You don’t need prior experience to take the IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate. A basic understanding of computer literacy, high school math, and a willingness to work with numbers is all you need to get started. 

Cost: The course costs $49 per month by subscription on Coursera. 

3. Microsoft Certified: Power BI Data Analyst Associate

Microsoft’s Power BI Data Analyst Associate certification indicates the certification holder’s ability to work with Power BI, an interactive software used to visualize data for business analytics and intelligence. Designed for subject matter experts who already possess an understanding of data processes and data repositories, the certification is well-suited to those looking to showcase their advanced analytic abilities and the value they can add to businesses. 

Requirements: The Power BI Data Analyst Associate certification should only be pursued by those with a confident grasp of both data processes and repositories. To achieve this certification, you must achieve a passing score of 700 on Exam PL-300: Microsoft Power BI Data Analyst

Cost: Certification training options include free, self-guided courses and instructor-led options from various learning partners. The exam costs $165. Completers of the Microsoft Power BI Data Analyst Professional Certificate on Coursera will receive a 50% discount voucher to take the PL-300 Certification Exam.

Solve big business problems with big data

Wharton’s online Business Analytics Specialization introduces business professionals to big data analytics. Suitable for those without prior experience, the course equips learners with a data-driven approach to solving business problems and making critical business decisions. 


4. AWS Certified Data Analytics

The AWS Data Analytics certification indicates the holder’s ability to design, build, and maintain analytic solutions using Amazon web services (AWS). Designed for industry professionals with a recommended five years of work experience, this certificate is best suited to established early-career professionals who already know how to implement cloud initiatives and use AWS data lakes to gain insights from data. 

Requirements: To obtain this credential, you must pass Amazon’s DAS-01 certification exam, which consists of 65 questions spread between two multiple-choice and multiple-response sections. Amazon recommends that exam takers have five years of experience with common data analytics technologies and two years of hands-on experience with Amazon web services. 

Cost: The certification exam costs $300.

5. SAS Statistical Business Analyst Professional Certificate

The SAS Statistical Business Analyst Professional Certificate is designed for data analysts looking to improve their predictive and statistical modeling abilities in the professional world. Designed for those with prior knowledge of SAS programming, the online certificate takes approximately three months to complete and indicates the holder’s proficiency in modeling and programming for business purposes. 

Requirements: This professional certificate is intended for those who already possess prior knowledge of and experience with the SAS programming language. Those who lack an understanding of SAS should take the SAS Programmer Professional Certificate first.

Cost: The course costs $49 per month by subscription on Coursera. 

6. CompTIA Data Analytics Plus certification

The CompTIA Data+ certification highlights an early career professional’s grasp of data mining, manipulation, visualization, and reporting. This certification is intended for those with one-and-a-half to two years of work experience, and the CompTIA Data+ certification offers the chance for those just starting in the industry to stand out from the crowd. 

Requirements: To achieve this certification, you must pass a 90-question exam with a score of at least 675 on a 100-900 scale. CompTIA recommends that those taking this exam have 18 - 24 months of prior experience in an analyst or reporting position that has exposed them to databases, analytical tools, statistics, and the basics of data visualization.

Cost: The exam costs $239.

Prepare with Coursera

IBM’s Data Analysis and Visualizations Foundations Specialization introduces beginners to the data ecosystem, the day-to-day duties of a data analyst, and the various lists and charts necessary to excel in the profession. 


Next steps

A professional certificate or certification signals your expertise to both current and future employers. To hone your analytic skills, you might consider taking a flexible online course through Coursera. 

Google’s Data Analytics professional certificate is designed specifically to prepare course takers without any prior experience or specialized degree for entry-level positions in the field of data analytics.

Amazon Web Services’ AWS Fundamentals Specialization, meanwhile, prepares course takers on how to apply key AWS services to different professional use cases in just four months.

Article sources


Coursera. “Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate, https://www.coursera.org/professional-certificates/google-data-analytics.” Accessed October 10, 2023. 

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This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.