Top Certification Courses in SAS, R, Python, Machine Learning, Big Data, Spark
What could be more convenient than upgrading skills online ?
There are plenty of courses / certifications available to kick-start your career in analytics. These courses are provided in online, offline or hybrid mode. The only difficulty students face is to decide the best out of these courses.
With some newly introduced courses, it has become even more difficult to make a convincing decision. The fear of investing in unworthy courses continues to remain the biggest hurdle for students. Last year, I received thousand of emails after I published Top Certifications on SAS, R, Python, Machine Learning. Later, I came to know that my analysis helped many people in deciding the best course for themselves.
The year 2016 is no different either. I am back with my thorough analysis and rankings of best certifications courses in India. I assure you these rankings are unbiased. Last month, we released our rankings on Top Business Analytics Programs in India 2015-16. If you too are planning for a degree in analytics, you may like to consider these institutes.
In this article, I’ll focus on ranking short duration and certification courses.
Which courses are included in these rankings ?
I’ve considered the courses which are delivered in online or hybrid mode. Course running in hybrid mode are carried out only in India. For now, I’ve filtered out the courses being delivered in other countries. If you want me to do an analysis of ‘analytics courses’ in your country, leave your consent in the comment section below.
In India, there is an abundance of online / offline certification courses. It has made more difficult for candidates to make an informed decision. And, this is where these rankings will help you out!
I understand, there is no ‘one for all’ analytics course. Hence, I’ve categorized these courses on the basis of course material they have covered. I’ve categorized these courses into the following 9 categories:
- Certifications in SAS Programming
- Certifications Data Science using SAS
- Certifications in R Programming
- Certifications in Data Science Using R
- Certifications in Data Science using Python
- Certifications in Machine Learning
- Certifications in Big Data
- Certifications in Spark
- Certifications in MS Excel / Data Visualization
This will help you to choose the best available certification in these segments according to your need. Considering the rising popularity of MOOCs, I’ve included only the best ones which provide a comprehensive knowledge and thorough detail on a subject.
Below is the ranking of certifications:
Certification Courses in SAS Programming
This certification is a good place to start with SAS for newbies. Yes! If you ever wanted to learn SAS from the basics, this could be your first step. This is the only certification in SAS which is recognized globally. The classes are held in Mumbai, India. Live online classes are also available. It covers the basics of SAS and various data manipulation techniques. However, the cost of this certification is relatively higher than other certifications listed in this category. Fee for online classes in INR 30,000. Fee for offline classes in Mumbai is INR 48000.
This certification by Analytix Lab is costed at a lower price but covers all the essential aspects of SAS. Though less recognized than the former, this certification is good enough for a beginner to get started as data analyst in SAS. It covers data exploration, data manipulation, operations, data analysis etc. It teaches both base SAS and advanced SAS. This certification is available in two forms: Instructor Led (Fee – INR 16000) and Self Paced (Fee – INR 12000). Some additional feature includes free mock tests, question bank, doubt clearing session with faculty etc.
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This is a classroom certification program which follows an intensive pedagogy of teaching SAS using case studies & real life business problems. It covers Bases SAS & Advanced SAS. It includes 100 hours of classroom interaction. Additionally, a students gets 24/7 access to learning material, assessment and study aids. This certification is not limited to SAS, but also helps a students develop necessary skills to grab a job in this industry. Students undergo dedicated session by industry experts for job readiness. Fee of this certification is INR 40000.
This certification program is available in a hybrid (classroom and online training) format. The duration of this classes is 30 hours. Currently, this course is available in Delhi and Gurgaon (India). It teaches both base SAS and advanced SAS. Though, the content covered in this course could be made comprehensive. Fee of this certification ins INR 18000. Being a newly launched course, this course is yet to make a mark in analytics industry.
Certification in Data Science Using SAS
The course listed in this section are designed to teach data science using SAS. It’s a good place to start data science for people who don’t find coding / programming comfortable.
This course is best suited for candidates having prior knowledge of Base SAS. It isn’t suitable for beginners, but must for intermediate SAS users. It is a 6 day program held in online & offline format. The course fee is Rs. 66000, which is quite higher than other courses. However, if you are determined to get this certification, I’d suggest you complete their free online courses first. Of all the certificates, this certification has the widest global recognition.This would provide you a much need hands on experience on SAS.
Undoubtedly, this is the best course for beginners to learn SAS. It has retained its position this year as well. The duration of this course is 16 weeks. It is available in both self paced and instructor led formats. This course cover basics of analytics, machine learning modeling, model building in SAS. Hence, it’s a comprehensive course on getting started with data science in SAS. It is best suited to a fresher candidate who has no prior experience of analytics.
This certification is designed to capture a thorough learning experience of data science using Excel, SAS and R. If you dream of becoming a data scientist, this could be a place where you can get all starting material. It’s a detailed course which covers predictive modeling along with tools used. This course is available in dual formats: Self paced and Instructor led. Fee of self paced classes is INR 25000. Fee of instructor led classes in INR 30000. Here you’ll get access to case studies, weekly assignments and much more to keep yourself engaged.
This is a good course to get started with SAS. It covers both Base and Advanced module in detail. However, it doesn’t touch upon predictive modeling in SAS. However, it does touch upon basics of statistics in later half. Hence, ranked on 3rd position. If you wish to get acquainted with coding environment in SAS, this could be your choice. You can get a flavor of predictive modeling, using the case studies provided. Other benefits associated with this course includes career assistance, industry mentorship and much more.
This SAS certification by Edvancer is delivered through interactive online classes. The classes are held on weekends. It provides a thorough knowledge of data science using R and SAS. Fee of this course is INR 26990. More than just class session, students are also provided with practice assignments & case studies to get better. It teaches predictive modeling in SAS, not in R. In R, it teaches some basic data manipulation skills. Students get the facility to connect with faculties to get doubts & queries cleared.
Certification Courses in R Programming
The certification listed in this category will enable you with the knowledge required become skilled at using R Programming technically. These do not teach to use R Programming for data science or predictive modeling. Hence, if you are required to use R for operations other than related to data science, these certification should help you to get started.
DataCamp offers a wide variety of courses on R Programming. If you are a beginner, this can be a good place to start. It offers an interactive platform in your web browser where you learn R by doing. After you sign up, initial certifications are free to avail. As you proceed towards the advanced level, you’ll be required to a pay fee. The concepts are explained in an easy to understand method. The course material is comprehensive and includes timely assessments to check your understanding.
This course is a part of Data Science Specialization by John Hopkins University. It very well teaches the technical aspects of programming in R for effective data analysis. The concepts are explained using various examples and in a simple manner. The duration of this course is 4 weeks. It is available online. This course is free to access. However, if you want a certification, the fee of this certification is $29.
This course is delivered by DataCamp and Microsoft together on edX. The course content is free to access. However, the certification can be availed for $49. The course content is great to watch and learn. No doubt about course quality too. The duration of this course is 4 weeks. The course is designed to help students master the concept of data structures in R. The curriculum also covers data visualization, data analysis in R along with basic data handling techniques.
Dataquest started with Python. And, now it has launched R tutorials too. These tutorials are free to access for beginners. However, if you wish to upscale your knowledge in R, you’d enter the premium paid section. The subscription for self paced learners is available at $49/month. It offers an online interactive interface to learn R coding while doing. There are various missions or levels which will ensure your progress. Students will face timely challenges and projects.
This is a self paced course which includes 15 hours of detailed course content. This course covers the basics of R along with statistical methods of dealing with data in R. The breadth of content coverage is fantastic. Being a self paced course, you need to be self motivated to complete this course. While, a necessary support would come from faculties, but it lacks the massive community to support learning. Above all, to ensure an enriching learning experience, the course is equipped with challenging quizzes, exercises and other useful course material. Fee of this certification is INR 8000.
Certifications in Data Science using R Programming
This specialization is delivered by John Hopkins University. It consists of 9 courses plus a capstone project. Each course covers one topic in detail. It’s a one stop destination for anyone willing to learn R and machine learning from scratch. Hence, if you ever want to become a master in data science using R, this is your start line. However, If you ever get stuck, you wouldn’t have any instructor to rescue you. But, you can seek active forum to shout out. And, if you have busy work schedule, great. This course demands just 3-5 hours of dedication per week.
This is probably the best course available to learn R. But, this course requires you to dedicate 10 hours a week. This course teaches machine learning in R using popular case studies such as moneyball, IBM super computer, twitter mining etc. It assumes you are familiar with basics of R. It is archived now. You surely can access the course content but wouldn’t be evaluated. The certifications open in Summer and Spring Season. If you wish to learn R, I’d recommend you to subscribe its updates.
This is an enriching course on R Programming which teaches predictive modeling using commonly used machine learning algorithms. Also, it covers data exploration & data manipulation techniques in R. The lectures are delivered using video content. This course expects a prior knowledge of basic statistics. It includes working on data science project to get practical experience of R. Fee of this certification is $24.
This is priced higher than previous course. But, it’s undoubtedly a comprehensive course on data science in R. It is priced at INR 38000 (Instructor Led) and INR 25000 (Self-paced). This course is best suited for complete freshers. It covers statistics, r programming, modeling techniques and much more. It’s a blend of theoretical and practical learning on R. The video quality is nice and instructors have does a satisfactory job in simplifying these concepts.
This course is specially designed for students aspiring to become a data scientist. It covers the complete data life cycle from data storage, data manipulation to model building and validation. This is a comprehensive course which teaches R with basic statistics, predictive modeling, machine learning, big data techniques etc. It’s a lot of content to use, hence it is made self-pace. The certification can be availed after the successful completion of real time project (provided in course). Fee of this certification course is INR 21164.
Certification Courses in Python
There aren’t many python for data science courses available to teach python from scratch. Hence, before taking up these courses, I’d suggest you gain basic python knowledge from Python at Codecademy. It’s an easy and quick course to get you started with these courses. Though some of these course do teach basics, but I always suggest to learn by doing it.
It’s a free course. It is not available for certification. If you are interested for certification in python, stop by and check out this course. Once you have finished it successfully, you can switch to a paid course. This course is great to get you started on your data scientist path. It assumes you’ve basic knowledge of python and statistics. This course touches upon basics of machine learning, statistical modeling and big data. Don’t expect for in depth knowledge, but enough to whet your learning appetite.
This is a comprehensive machine learning course delivered in python. This course covers machine learning, natural language processing, neural networks too. The course content is broadly structured with central focus on exploring python with every technique. It’s a good to go course for python in data science. As a part of this certification, quizzes & assignments are given at every stage for evaluation purpose. This course is available for $24.
Did you ever want to learn to use Python on Big Data? If yes, you search should end here. For a beginner, this is a judicious course to start with python in big data. This course is well designed to give you hands on experience on machine learning in python, and big data too. It also involves working on small projects necessary to test learning equally. This course is delivered online supported by assignments, projects and instructor’s support.
This certification course by Imarticus is a well designed to kick-start your career in analytics with Python. It assumes you have basic knowledge of Python. It’s a 7 week course which teaches python basics, data manipulation, data visualization, predictive modeling, machine learning, big data and much more. Being a beginners course, don’t expect in-depth knowledge on a topic, but breadth of topics pertaining to data science in python.
This is a practical course on learning python using data science hackathons and real time projects. It is priced at INR 23900. It is well structure course which teaches NumPy, SciPy, Pandas, Scikit learn, matplotlib and much more. This course allows you to work on industry problems with industry experts. Along with expert support, you’ll get 36 hours of live webinar, 1 on 1 weekly meetings with mentor and much more. Start learning python today.
Certification Courses in Machine Learning
This course is no longer available for certification. Yet, I’ve mentioned this course because, a beginner would surely miss out on exploring the real mathematics in machine learning, if one skips this course. This course provides an in-depth of knowledge of machine learning algorithms. You wouldn’t learn about any tool (R or Python), but the real side of machine learning and its related concepts. This course is delivered by Yaser Abu Mostafa, Professor, Electrical and Computer Science Department, California Institute of Technology.
It’s the most popular course on Machine Learning. It covers basics as well as practical aspects of machine learning using Octave (programming language). To earn this course certificate, it is essential to complete the course with 180 days of payment made. This course isn’t always available for certification. Good news is, this course is starting from January 25, 2016. Hence, if you have been planning long for this certification, don’t miss this opportunity.
This course acquaints you with both theoretical and practical aspects of machine learning. Having been delivered by Sebastian Thun, the man behind self driving cars, this course very well makes machine learning even more interesting to learn. It also gives you programming experience in Python. It is a FREE course and certification is not available.
This is one of the newly launched certification courses on machine learning at Coursera. This machine learning specialization in Python consists of 6 courses. It is focused at building machine learning application, primarily using deep learning. It’s a great course for people trying to walk one step beyond traditional machine learning methods. This complete specialization is available at $354. At the end of this course, a capstone project accomplishes the extend of learning acquired.
This certification on Machine Learning is best suited for R Professionals. It expects prior working knowledge of R Programming. This course is focused on delivering the useful knowledge of using machine learning for training models effectively. The course content is delivered through a blend of videos & interactive web browser coding. After few initial free modules, the complete course is available at $25 monthly.
Certification Courses in Big Data
This big data certification by Cloudera is globally recognized. This makes it one of the most sought our certification worldwide. This course requires prior experience of working on big data tools, data science techniques and experience in solving real world data science problems. It includes clearing 3 exams to prove your expertise. These are based on statistics, big data and machine learning. It features a data science challenge solution kit which acts as your study material for this certification.
This online university is built to provide every bit of knowledge available on big data. Majority of the courses are free to access. The course quality is good. Instead of finding detailed courses, you’ll find more short term courses. There’s everything in this mall you want to shop for big data courses. However, only a few courses provide certificates.
This comprehensively designed course on big data is focused on teaching various big data technologies such as MapReduce, Hadoop used in industry today. The course curriculum includes basic of big data, using R, machine learning algorithms, database management, big data tools and lab based analytics project. Fee of this certification course is INR 325000. After the successful completion of this course, a student becomes ready for Proven™ Professional Data Scientist Associate (EMCDSA) certification exam.
Enrollments in this specialization has started from 4th January 2016. Having been recently launched by coursera, this specialization includes 3 courses and a capstone project. It delivers knowledge and hands on experience on SQL, NoSQL, Spark, Hadoop, MapReduce and much more. This course requires you to work on amazon AWS. Hence, if you are unwilling to use AWS, you may want to reconsider your decision before paying for this course. Overall, it’s a nice definitive course to get started in big data.
This course is best suited for people having prior experience of R. This course is designed for R beginners interested to shift in big data. It starts with basics of big data and teaches in-depth concepts of big data in R using interesting case studies. For a period of 6 months, you’ll also get access to connect with jigsaw faculty. The quality of content is great. Instructors have done a satisfactory job in simplifying big data concepts. It teaches to use big data technologies such as Hadoop, Pig, Impala, MapReduce. RHadoop and much more.
Certification Courses in Spark
As mentioned above, for free access, big data university has to be the first halt in your learning journey. It comprises of various spark tutorials of short durations which are good enough to get you started. You can start with Spark Fundamentals I and Spark Fundamentals II. This should give you a nice head start on its related topics before heading towards the advanced concepts.
This certification course by Cloudera is globally recognized. This is a comprehensively designed course which includes every possible aspect of big data technology being used these days including Apache Spark, Impala, Hive, YARN, Sqoop, HDFS, Avro and building apache applications. For every determined applicant, this course should be top of his/her list. By the end of this course, a candidate is expected to successfully clear CCA Spark and Hadoop Developer exams.
This certification course is provided by Berkeley, University of California on edX. The course content is free to access. The course certification can be available for $49. It requires prior working knowledge of Python. This course is designed to help candidates learn using Apache Spark for data analysis, using parallel programming, log mining, collaborative filtering and much more. This course would have been the best, had they covered in depth topics of apache spark. Yet, this is a good course to go with.
This course is designed to teach using Apache Spark to carve up huge datasets and make some useful sense out of them. It teaches concepts from scratch. This includes solving real life examples helpful to practice side by side. It includes using machine learning libraries, spark sql, GraphX to solve various multi stage issues. This course is best suited for people having some background in software development with working knowledge in Python. It is available for $24.
This course is focused on delivering the essentials of large scale data processing using Scala, Hadoop, RDD, Spark, Spark SQL, Mlib, GraphX etc. It enables a candidates to prepare for dealing with various data set challenges emerging in industry today. Using these techniques, the unstructured data can be tamed for analysis use to a higher extent. It includes a project work too. This course is available for INR 15125.
Certification Courses in MS Excel / Data Visualization
Thanks to Udemy. This course is available at $10 only. This course is divided in 9 sections. Every section deals with certain special feature of QlikView, thus ensuring a comprehensive coverage of this tool. Each section comprises of a quiz to test your knowledge. After successful completion of this course, a candidate is expected to build QlikView data models independently. 8
According to Gartner 2015 Magic Quadrant, Tableau is the market leader with highest execution ability. It this instigates your appetite, tableau is one visualization tool you should master. This course delivers the necessary knowledge to create interactive dashboard in tableau. It also explains the adept use of tableau in various stage of business analysis. It is priced at INR 29899.
This is one of the recently launched specialization at Coursera. It is best suited for candidates interested to upgrade their excel knowledge towards Big Data. This course involves use of Excel, Tableau and MySQL to analyze and visualize data. This specialization consists of 4 courses and a capstone project. More than theoretical aspects, it involves dealing with industry problems with extra emphasis on visualization and analysis.
This course is developed to teach excel functions used to perform financial, statistical and mathematical calculations. Additionally, you’ll also become smart at using pivot tables, macros, VBA, charts and much more. It includes a project to evaluate your learning towards the end. Fee of this course is INR 5099
This is a detailed course on Excel operations. It includes functions, arrays, pivot tables, visualizing data and much more. This course is best suited to students having basic working knowledge of excel. The course content is delivered through pre recorded sessions. The topics have been simply explained using some interesting data sets. This course is available for $24.
This is a complete course from basics to advanced level on Excel. It covers basics such as row column operations, functions, arrays, pivot tables, data visualization, VBA, Macros, Dashboards etc. This course is delivered in Classroom and Online modes. This course is available for INR 7000. This course is best suited for candidates aspiring for MIS analyst roles.
This course is suited only for candidates having keen to upgrade their excel skills. The course is exceptionally comprehensive which consists of 28 modules and covers excel till creating interactive dashboards in excel. Every aspect of VBA has been covered in detail. This is one the advanced level course available for excel analyst. This course only suffers a high fee drawback. It is available for INR 12935.
What is the criteria used for ranking these programs?
We have ranked these courses based on four factors: Coverage Score, Quality Score, Industry Recognition and Value Score. These courses have been intensely evaluated based on these factors. We tried to consider user reviews also, but couldn’t find satisfactory ones. Then, we assigned certain weights to these factors. It allowed us to complete the analysis with appropriate rankings. Precisely, these factors comprises of following attributes:
- Coverage Score (0.2) – This score represents the wide range of topics covered in the course. For example: a course on SAS which covers both Base and Advanced SAS is ranked higher than a course otherwise.
- Quality Score (0.4) – This score represents several attributes which includes quality of training material (videos, handouts, exercises etc) and institute support available for candidates.
- Industry Recognition (0.2) – This score represents recognition and recall, the brand has in analytics industry. Institute with high industry recognition will help a candidate in getting the placement.
- Value Score (0.2) – This is value for money.
The courses listed in this article, have been solely selected on the basis of factors listed above. The rankings have been created under no influence or coercion. I hope, this would help you to make decision in choosing the best course for you! Ideally, you should follow these rankings in order. But, if there are financial constrains, I’d rather leave the decision upto you.
Have you enrolled or finished any of the course listed above? Do share your experience / learning in the comment section below. I’d love you discuss with you.