So, you’re excited about data and ready to jump into this dynamic field. But you’re stuck, wondering: Is Google Data Analytics Certificate worth it?
This certificate, a beacon for beginners in data analytics, raises a vital question: Is it worth your money? As someone who’s personally completed this course, I can confidently say that it’s indeed a journey that’s worth your time.
However, the decision to pay for the course to get the digital certificate is up to you. It can cost up to $294, depending on how quickly you finish the course. This is compared to just auditing the course on Coursera for free. Your choice will depend on your unique situation.
In the following sections, I will simplify the key points to help you make an informed decision. So, get ready, and let’s deep-dive into the details of the Google Data Analytics Professional Certification!
Table of Contents
What is the Google Data Analytics Certificate?
The Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate is an online program offered by Google through Coursera, a leading online learning platform. It is designed to equip you with the skills and tools necessary to kickstart a career in data analytics. This eight-course program dives into various topics such as data types, data cleaning, data analysis, data visualization, R programming, SQL, and more. The capstone of the program is a real-world case study where you can apply your newly acquired skills.
Cost and Time Investment
The program costs $49 per month, with access to the content available as long as you maintain your subscription. There is also the possibility of applying for financial aid, provided you meet the eligibility criteria. According to the program, the estimated time to complete the course ranges from 3 to 6 months, depending on your pace and availability. While some students have been able to finish the program faster, others, like me, have taken a bit longer – I spent 4 months going through the content thoroughly.
Benefits and Drawbacks
Choosing to pursue the Google Data Analytics Certificate comes with both benefits and drawbacks. Here are a few key points to consider:
- Reputable Organization: The program is designed by Google, a global leader in data analytics and technology.
- Beginner-Friendly: The program is suitable for beginners with no prior experience or degree in data analytics.
- Practical Skills: You’ll learn in-demand skills like SQL and R, both sought-after in today’s job market. Over a million people have taken this course and have found it beneficial.
- Success Stories: Many students, myself included, have successfully transitioned into a data analyst role with no prior experience, thanks to this course.
- Shareable Certificate: Upon completion, you receive a shareable certificate to bolster your resume and LinkedIn profile.
- Career Resources: This course goes beyond teaching, offering resources like resume reviews, interview prep, and job search guidance.
- Networking: The program connects you with over 150 employers part of the Google Career Certificates Employer Consortium. That includes Big Interview and Interview Warmup, both extremely useful platform to practise interviews and to look for career opportunities.
- Lack of Accreditation: The program isn’t accredited by any academic institution, and it does not contribute to college credits, apart from the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences Degree at University of North Texas.
- Google-Centric Tools: The course teaches using Google platforms. So you’ll be learning Google Sheets instead of the more commonly used Excel, BigQuery instead of SQLite or PostgreSQL, and uploading code to Kaggle instead of Github. That said, these skills are easily transferable to other platforms.
- Limited Scope: It does not cover some advanced topics such as Python, machine learning, and statistics.
- No Job Guarantee: Completion of the program doesn’t guarantee a job or an interview.
- Recognition: The certificate may not be recognized or valued by some employers who prefer traditional degrees or certifications.
Is Google Data Analytics Certificate Worth It? An Honest Review
A few years ago, the world of data analysis was entirely foreign to me. I was unaware that such a profession even existed. Then I came across the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate on Coursera. Intrigued, I decided to audit the course for free.
Initially, I was a novice when it came to data tools. I had limited exposure to Google Sheets and Excel, using them for basic tasks like creating tables. The thought of writing formulas was a completely alien concept. However, as I delved deeper into the course, I found myself captivated by the fascinating realm of data analysis.
The Market is Overflowing
Today, there are countless courses on the market focusing on technical skills such as SQL, Python, Tableau, and even machine learning and AI applications. However, I felt they lacked a data-centric approach, failing to offer a comprehensive view of a data analyst’s daily role. As a beginner, you might quickly forget most of the syntax due to lack of practical use.
A Course Worth Your Time
The Google course is masterfully designed for beginners. It breaks down complex concepts into digestible, engaging lessons. It ignited my passion for data analysis, providing me with vital skills, and most importantly, instilling the belief that I could indeed become a data analyst. This unique approach is what sets this course apart, making it extremely popular.
Therefore, I would strongly recommend, at least, auditing the entire course for free. It’s definitely worth your time.
Is It Worth Your Money? Depends
The main difference between the paid and free versions of the course is the certificate. Having this certificate allows you to showcase it on your LinkedIn profile and CV, increasing your chances of being selected by keyword scanning systems used widely by recruitment agencies and HR departments.
If you don’t have a relevant educational background, like a degree in science or engineering, having the Google certificate can significantly boost your chances of being shortlisted. However, it’s not a must-have. If you have strong portfolio projects but no certificate, you’re still in the running, albeit the process might take longer.
So, if your budget is tight and you’re not in a rush to land a data analyst job, paying for the course isn’t necessary. However, if you can afford it, I highly recommend auditing part of the course and then paying to complete it fully and earn the certificate.
If you want to know more how I utilise this certificate to land a job in six months, check out this section in my ultimate guide to becoming a data analyst.
What’s Next After Completing the Course?
Please note, this course isn’t a substitute for a formal education or in-depth training in data analytics. To climb higher in your career or seek upper-level roles in data analytics, you might need to explore further resources or courses. Remember, success in this field isn’t solely about having a bunch of certifications. Real-world experience, a continuous learning mindset, and a robust portfolio are equally, if not more, important.
Reflect and Improve
The Google Data Analytics course offered a roadmap for my journey into data analysis. It acted as a mirror, reflecting the skills I had acquired and highlighting the areas that needed improvement. For example, realizing that my SQL skills needed brushing up, I sought further learning on platforms like LinkedIn Learning. To boost my data visualization skills, I undertook the Data Visualization with Tableau Specialization offered by the University of California, Davis, on Coursera.
Certificates, Portfolios, and Interviews
I can’t claim that the stack of certificates on my CV directly helped me secure my job. In my experience, having a reputable certificate like Google’s on your CV can get you past HR. Along with impressive portfolio projects, you can secure interviews. It isn’t about collecting certificates; it’s about showing dedication to the field. If you’re a newcomer without much real-life experience, talking about the best courses you’ve taken, how you applied what you learned to your portfolio projects, and even how you plan to apply them in your future job, can give you valuable talking points in an interview. Trust me, hiring managers love hearing that.
Balance is Key
It’s important to find a balance between taking courses, working on portfolio projects, refining your CV and cover letter, and tactically job hunting. And let’s not forget about resting and avoiding unnecessary stress. With dedication and patience, you’ll land your dream job sooner or later.
In conclusion, the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate is a beacon of hope for beginners in the world of data analytics. This online program, available at a modest price of $49 per month, introduces you to essential data analytics skills, paving the way for your exciting journey into the field.
Despite a few limitations, its numerous benefits, practical knowledge, and unique insights make it a truly worthwhile investment. My own journey from a novice to an adept data analyst started with this course, reflecting its potential to transform careers.
However, the choice to subscribe to this course, either as a paid or a free audit, hinges on your personal situation and career aspirations. As you progress, you will need to continuously upgrade your skills and learn new ones, which may necessitate additional courses or resources.
Remember, the leap into data analysis is a brave one, but with the right tools and certificate, you’re off to a great start. Your path may be filled with challenges, but with persistence and the right guidance, a rewarding career in data analysis awaits. Let’s venture into this thrilling world together, one data point at a time.