Data Analyst Certificate Programs - What to Look for

how to pick a data analyst certificate program

Thinking about a data analyst career?

Here’s what you should look for in data analyst certificate programs.

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For most people with no prior experience, a data analyst certificate program alone isn’t going to be enough to land a job. However, it might be a good starting place for building your skills. 

Here are 4 things to consider when looking at data analyst certificate programs.

Look for a program that teaches you hard skills.

While you don’t need to be the most technical person to get a job as a data analyst, you will need SOME technical skills.

Whether the program focuses on a programming language like Python, R, or SAS or they use lower code options like Tableau or Power BI, you should be proficient in at least one of these areas when you finish the program. 

Some programs forego a dedicated focus and instead introduce you to many different tools and languages.

This intro is nice, but to be most effective in a job, I’d highly recommend you supplement by learning at least one tool or language more in depth if you’re in a program like this.

Be wary of programs that promise you’ll find a job. 

This is a great marketing tool, but it’s got a LOT of catches.

Between the demographics of people joining the programs to the criteria to qualify for a reimbursement, it’s easy for them to advertise a very low rate of program refunds.

I’ve talked in more depth about these bootcamp job guarantees

Look for data analyst certificates that come from a recognized organization. 

If you’re specifically interested in a certificate or certification out of the program, be selective about the program you pick. 

Does the program guarantee a certificate to everyone that enrolls?

That certification isn’t very good at vouching for your skills!

If the program you’re looking at teaches you Tableau, Power BI, SAS, or another platform that offers their own certification, you should plan on testing for this certification as well. It will demonstrate that you have verified skills. 

Consider testing the waters with a lower cost intro.

Some people jump into data analyst programs to get a feel for whether the job might be something they want to do. 

There are some less expensive alternatives that will start to give you a feel for this though. 

Try out DataCamp to see how you like programming. 

Take a Tableau course and see if you prefer a no code option. 

None of this is a waste if you decide you do want to go through a certificate program.

Rather, they give you an advantage of focusing on the theory instead of predominantly learning how to code. And if you decide you don’t like it, you’ll probably have spent less money to find that out.