We get questions like this a lot: Is a data science certification worth it? Will training in big data pay off? What’s the most cost-effective way to learn business analytics skills?

These days, people are carefully weighing the economic investment of education. They need to know about potential earnings and about any competitive edge they’ll receive on data science jobs from any certification program. They need to know whether or not their time spent learning will pay them back ten-fold.

Let’s not delay our answer: yes, absolutely, certification in data science is worth pursuing.

First, the numbers: according to Glassdoor, the national average salary for someone in business intelligence is $88k, and for a full-time data scientist, $113k. The average is higher in Seattle. Investing a few months and a couple thousand dollars to gain the technical skills and business acumen to enter this industry is incredibly cost-effective.

Second, for the person interested in building the best possible data products, making better business decisions, understanding the ethical issues and concerns within analytics, delivering effective analytics communication, and managing analytics work and teams—this certificate is for you, and will deliver in all these areas. Data work is not only lucrative, but deeply fulfilling and interesting, and having a guide who both practices and teaches is critical to developing your toolkit.

But not all data science certification programs are created equal.

Insight Consulting has partnered with Seattle Pacific University to design an analytics certificate program that’s more holistic and in-depth than other technical training programs.

Here are just a few ways we’re innovating for our students:

1) Our instructor, Ben Olsen, has been honing the material you'll learn in a variety of settings, both on the job and in classrooms and lecture halls nationwide, for over 7 years. It's both proven and cutting-edge.

2) Instead of a 9-month program with ever-changing instructors, we provide a single instructor for the program, providing continuity, opportunities to dive deep over the course of several weeks, and one-on-one attention.

3) We are combining the foundational skills of analytics with its larger context.

While some of the first modules may be review for you if you've already done some analytics, our perspective on data science and big data is integrated into the larger context of business analytics, both practically and theoretically. You'll have the tools and the framework to make business impact with data, whether that's as an analyst, a data scientist, or if you're rounding out your data skills for business, engineering, non-profit, or whatever your role might be. 

4) Our program costs less than other programs. We are serious about providing cost-effective education because cost-effective education has changed our lives.

5) Ben Olsen will provide coaching 1:1 as well as professional mentoring, and he brings an extensive network into the classroom through guest speakers, potential hiring managers, and more. You'll also have the option to extend the professional mentoring past the certificate if you’d like.

Bottom line: if you’re looking into certificate programs, we encourage you to do your research! Any good certification program is fully transparent before asking you to enroll. You can find our pricing and logistical details, resources and thought leaders on our blog, and of course feel free to contact us at any time for more information about the SPU certificate course in Business Analytics.

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