Data science is a field of study that generally centers on the different aspects of data, including how to store, access, arrange, and present large data sets for business-related purposes. A graduate certificate program in data science is different than a master's program in data science, as these certificate programs require fewer credits and anywhere from 4-5 total courses. In this article, we will delve into some of the possible coursework and topics you could study in a data science graduate certificate program as well as information about entrance requirements for these programs.
Coursework for Data Science Graduate Certificate Programs
While your exact coursework will vary depending on your chosen program, there are some common data science topics and concepts that are featured in many programs. Below are some various classes that could make up your data science graduate certificate program curriculum.
One course that you could take during your data science certificate program is that of data mining, which focuses on how to extract knowledge from and analyze sets of large data. In a course of this type, you could study different algorithms, such as clustering, classification and regression, and decision trees, and different methodologies for extracting data information. You may also learn about the different applications that are used in data mining.
Data visualization is usually a course that teaches the principles and methods of designing visual representations of quantitative and qualitative data so that they can be presented and used for business decision-making purposes. In a course of this kind, you could apply non-business concepts, such as theories of art, psychology, and rhetoric, to the creation of persuasive and effective data visuals. This course could also encompass other data science topics, including data mining and algorithms, that are also used to design data visualizations.
Computational statistics is a course that primarily centers on how to use computer tools to analyze and manage data and teaches you the skills you need to solve data problems. Generally, you will learn about different statistical software programs, such as JMP, R, SQL, SAS, and S Plus. Other topics you may cover in this course include statistics and probability. Some courses of this type will also include the study of data visualization in terms of how to create tables, graphics, and data descriptions.
You might also take a course on the fundamentals of data analytics, which is a class that centers on different applied data analysis methods and techniques. Usually, you will cover a range of topics in this course, including the tools, systems, and software used in data analysis. You could also study different modeling techniques, such as logistic regression, feature engineering, and principal component analysis.
Data warehousing is essentially the study of how to store or archive data in a way that can be easily accessed and retrieved in order to make business decisions. In a course on data warehousing, you may study how to design different warehousing systems, taking into account physical storage requirements and retrieval components. You might also study related topics, such as data warehouse security, encryption, and compression.
Entrance Information for Data Science Graduate Certificate Programs
To apply to a graduate certificate program in data science, you must already hold a bachelor's degree with a GPA of at least 3.0. Although many programs don't require a specific kind of undergraduate degree, prerequisite coursework in statistics, programming, or database design may be required. GRE scores are not normally a requirement for these programs; however, international students will need to submit TOEFL examination scores. Last, you need to submit an application and transcripts, and some programs might also require the submission of a resume and letters of recommendation.
Data science graduate certificate programs could require about 4-5 courses in such topics as data mining, data warehousing, and data visualization. Due to the focus on statistics, programming, and data management, you may want to have a background in those subjects before applying to a graduate certificate program in data science.