Google OR IBM Data Analytics Certificate? (Read THIS First!)


This post may contain paid links to my personal recommendations that help to support the site!

You’re here because you’re unsure which is better: the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate or the IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate.

I’ve done my research and here’s the short answer:

The Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate is better than the IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate. The Google Certificate focuses on common data analysts tools, has more hours of learning content, has access to an exclusive job portal, and earns college credits but the IBM Certificate does not.

When choosing between these two most popular data analytics certificates, you’ll need to consider a few factors so the course you choose will be well worth your money.

Read on for a full in-depth comparison + FAQs!

Comparison of Google vs IBM Data Analytics Certificates

Factors You Need to ConsiderGoogle Data Analytics Professional CertificateIBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate
1CostUSD $39/monthUSD $39/month
2Hours of Learning Content174 hours140 hours
3Spreadsheet ToolGoogle SheetsMicrosoft Excel
4Programming LanguageRPython
5Data Visualization ToolTableauIBM Cognos
6Database ToolGoogle BigQueryIBM Db2
7Teaching ApproachPersonal experience sharing by actual data analystsKnowledge-focused teaching
8Career ResourcesIncludes learner-exclusive Google Job PortalLimited career resources
9College CreditsEarns 12 ACE college creditsEarns 12 ACE college credits
10Pre-RequisitesNo degree/programming knowledge requiredNo degree/programming knowledge required

Now that you’re clearer on how different these 2 courses are, you might want to know how the differences for each factor would affect your purchase in deeper detail!

Let’s begin with the most important to most – cost!

1. Cost

Both the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate and the IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate cost USD $39/month. However, this will vary across learners. The certificates are paid monthly, therefore the cost of each certificate is highly dependent on certificate completion time and personal learning speed.

Because both of the certificates are on Coursera, this means that they follow a similar pricing plan!

Therefore monthly cost shouldn’t be a major factor in helping you decide.

However, you MUST consider the total cost of each certificate.

Here’s why:

The certificates are very dependent on how long you are subscribed!

Here are 2 things to consider:

  • Certificate completion time
  • Personal learning speed

Certificate Completion Time

Certificate completion time for each certificate varies:

  • Google’s Data Analytics Certificate is approximately 6 months long
  • IBM’s Data Analyst Certificate is approximately 11 months long

These are estimates given by both Google and IBM themselves so if you’re looking to follow their plan, you’ll likely need to pay more for the IBM Data Analyst Certificate.

That’s because the content is recommended by IBM to be spread out over a longer, 11-month period.

Potentially, this is how much you’ll be paying for both the certificates if you follow their plan:

Google Data Analytics Professional CertificateIBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate
Cost/MonthUSD $39/monthUSD $39/month
Approx. Time to Complete (according to their sites)6 months11 months
Total Potential Cost of Certificate$39 x 6 = $234$39 x 11 = $429

However, based on my experience with online courses and professional certificates, these tend to be exaggerated.

As you can see in this screenshot below, the recommended time to complete the Google certificate in 37 weeks is way too long!

I personally only took 9 weeks!

I’d say that the Google Certificate should take about 2-3 months and the IBM Certificate should take about 4-6 months.

Here’s what you’ll most likely be ACTUALLY paying:

Google Data Analytics Professional CertificateIBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate
Cost/MonthUSD $39/monthUSD $39/month
Approx. Time to Complete (according to their sites)3 months6 months
Total Potential Cost of Certificate$39 x 3 = $117$39 x 6 = $234

Personal Learning Speeds

Personal Learning Speeds also play a big part in how much you pay!

We all have different commitments and schedules so your learning speed might differ from mine.

Because of the monthly pricing method for both certificates, a faster learner will pay less.

I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to pay the same amount for both certificates if you adjust your schedule and set aside some time for learning!

However, there’s a way to avoid such troubles regarding comparing costs!

Here’s how:

Get a Coursera Plus annual/monthly subscription!

By getting a Coursera Plus subscription, you’ll have access to ALL professional certificates, for just USD $59/month or $399/year.

To prevent the monthly plan from influencing my learning pace or affecting my decision on which to choose, I subscribed to the annual plan instead.

Here’s a screenshot of how much was charged to my card:

After paying for the Google Certificate initially, I found that it wasn’t worth buying that many individual certificates. That’s what made me go with Coursera Plus!

Try out Coursera Plus with a 7-day free trial now to get access to both the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate and the IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate!

2. Hours of Learning Content

Factor You Need to ConsiderGoogle Data Analytics Professional CertificateIBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate
2Hours of Learning Content174 hours140 hours

The Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate has 174 hours of learning content but the IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate has 140 hours of learning content. However, these are based on estimates from video times, reading times, and exercise times. Actual content length may vary based on content difficulty.

You’ll get about 34 more hours of estimated course content from the Google Certificate than the IBM certificate.

The Google Data Analytics Certification takes 174 hours to complete. The certificate includes 7 courses with an average of 20 hours of learning each. The Google Data Analytics Certificate also features about 21 hours’ worth of video lecture content. and an average of 175 minutes of video lectures for each course.

However, since these are just estimates of how long you’ll take to finish readings, complete exercises, and finish projects, they may vary quite a lot.

If you’re looking for a certificate with more content, the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate should be your choice.

For a full review of the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate, read here!

3. Spreadsheet Tool

Factor You Need to ConsiderGoogle Data Analytics Professional CertificateIBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate
3Spreadsheet ToolGoogle SheetsMicrosoft Excel

The Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate teaches Google Sheets but the IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate teaches Microsoft Excel. By teaching the more common spreadsheet tool used among data analysts, Microsoft Excel, the IBM Certificate is better for developing data analyst spreadsheet skills.

Spreadsheet tools are a must-learn when doing a data analyst job and I’m glad both certificates cover them.

According to this article, Google Sheets has only 180 million users but Microsoft Excel has about 800 million users.

Since Microsoft Excel is more popular than Google Sheets, you should be selecting a certificate that teaches you Excel to have higher job prospects!

In this case, the IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate teaches a better spreadsheet tool, Excel.

However, the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate also encourages the use of Excel.

They just do not provide any specific video lectures in Excel.

4. Programming Language

Factor You Need to ConsiderGoogle Data Analytics Professional CertificateIBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate
4Programming LanguageRPython

The Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate teaches R programming but the IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate teaches Python Programming. By teaching the more common programming language used among data analysts, Python, the IBM Certificate is better for learning programming for data analysts.

Among the two programming languages taught by the two certificates, Python is the more common programming language for data analytics and science.

That’s why the IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate is good for those who want to learn Python!

However, R is the easier programming language to get started!

Here’s why:

Here’s how R documentation looks like, trust me it’s very neat and easy for beginners to understand!

That’s why I would still recommend getting started with learning R first, then followed by Python.

Therefore, if I were to take the certificates again, I’d start with getting the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate followed by the IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate.

Want to know if any of these certificates are even worth getting at all?

Read this article on how much are these data analytics even worth.

5. Data Visualization Tool

Factor You Need to ConsiderGoogle Data Analytics Professional CertificateIBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate
5Data Visualization ToolTableauIBM Cognos Analytics

The Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate teaches Tableau but the IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate teaches IBM Cognos Analytics. Tableau is the most common data visualization tool used among data analysts. Therefore the Google Certificate is better for teaching data visualization skills using Tableau.

If you ask any data analyst out there, they’ll agree that Tableau is the most used data visualization tool!

That’s why I’d recommend honing your skills through the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate.

In fact, there’s a whole course from the certificate on Tableau data visualizations!

In the “Share Data Through the Art of Visualization” course, you’ll learn all the basic functions in Tableau that can get you started with creating your very own dashboards!

With the IBM certificate, you’ll get to learn IBM Cognos Analytics, a data visualization software on the IBM Cloud.

If your company uses IBM Cloud, then the IBM certificate is for you.

However, IBM Cloud isn’t honestly that common.

Have a look at the cloud market share in the image below!

The IBM Cloud only holds 5% of the cloud market share, but Google Cloud holds 2 times more at 10%!

Therefore, learning it as a beginner might not be worth your time! I’d only recommend learning it if you have some experience with Tableau.

6. Database Tool

Factor You Need to ConsiderGoogle Data Analytics Professional CertificateIBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate
6Database ToolGoogle BigQueryIBM Db2

The Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate teaches SQL using Google BigQuery but the IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate teaches using IBM Db2. Google BigQuery is commonly used in many companies using the Google Cloud Platform. Therefore, the Google certificate is better for teaching using Google BigQuery.

As a data analyst, you’re likely to need Structured Query Language (SQL) for large companies with data storage or data warehouses.

These are usually kept in a cloud service, such as the Google Cloud Platform.

This is where the Google Certificate is really helpful!

Here’s why:

You’ll get to experience creating tables and querying using SQL on Google BigQuery. Employers will be happy to know you’re comfortable with using BigQuery!

On the other hand, the IBM certificate teaches SQL on the IBM Db2 software on the IBM cloud.

Based on my own experience and talking to other fellow data analysts, IBM Cloud isn’t as popular.

You’ll probably find it harder to find a job that requires knowledge of the IBM Cloud too.

Nonetheless, you’ll get to practice SQL, which is still a transferrable skill!

7. Teaching Approach

Factor You Need to ConsiderGoogle Data Analytics Professional CertificateIBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate
7Teaching ApproachPersonal experience sharing by actual data analystsKnowledge-focused teaching

The Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate uses a learning approach of having personal experience shared by actual data analysts but the IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate uses a learning approach of having knowledge-focused teaching.

With the experience-sharing approach that the Google Certificate has, you’ll get a more insider look into the problems and challenges a data analyst faces!

Here’s a video from the Google certificate about a data analyst sharing about job applications.

As for the IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate, I found the approach to learning rather similar to college lectures!

The content is focused on providing as much more theoretical and book knowledge to learners!

However, many of them are presented without context or having someone give insider experience.

Depending on the learning approach you prefer, you can choose the certificate that suits your style.

As an aspiring data analyst, I’m sure you’d like to hear more from other data analysts on how they got started through their sharing!

That’s why I still recommend the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate!

8. Career Resources

Factor You Need to ConsiderGoogle Data Analytics Professional CertificateIBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate
8Career ResourcesIncludes learner-exclusive Google Job PortalLimited career resources

The Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate has a learner-exclusive Google Job Portal but the IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate only has limited career resources.

You’re likely starting these certificates because of a possible job change to become a data analyst or a business intelligence analyst.

Therefore, career resources are really important!

You won’t be getting nearly as much as the level of resources as a college but you’ll still have some help.

Both certificates have some career resources such as interview tips, resume help, and instructions on how to set up a portfolio.

However, the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate stands out for giving all certificate holders access to an exclusive job portal!

Made in collaboration with Coursera, this job platform connects learners who have completed Professional certificates with 130+ employers looking to hire certificate graduates/alumni.

This should be a perfect chance for you to break into the data analytics field!

Thinking of being a data analyst but want to work from home?

Read this article on data analysts working from home first!

9. College Credits

Factor You Need to ConsiderGoogle Data Analytics Professional CertificateIBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate
9College CreditsEarns 12 ACE college creditsEarns 12 ACE college credits

Both the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate and the IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate earn 12 ACE (American Council on Education) college credits.

According to the American Council on Education (ACE), the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate is recommended for a total of 12 semester hours at the lower division baccalaureate/ associate degree level.

Source: ACE

This is great for anyone who wants to transition this certificate into a degree program!

If you’re a high school student who’s waiting for college to start, you can consider the Google Certificate to help clear some credit.

The IBM certificate also gives you 12 ACE college credits!

According to the American Council on Education (ACE), the IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate is recommended for a total of 12 semester hours at the lower division baccalaureate/ associate degree level.

Check out this screenshot of the subjects that are available for credit:

The only thing that might differ between both of the certificates is the programming language subject.

The Google Certificate has credits for R programming but the IBM Certificate has credits for Python programming!

10. Pre-Requisites

Factor You Need to ConsiderGoogle Data Analytics Professional CertificateIBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate
10Pre-Requisites174 hoursNo degree/programming knowledge required

Both the Google Data Analytics Professional certificate and the IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate do not have any pre-requisites. Both certificates do not require any degree or prior programming knowledge to enroll. However, certificate learners with some experience still can learn much from these certificates.

According to the course pages, both are made for absolute beginners. You won’t need any previous knowledge to get started learning!

Programming for data science is important but these certificates ensure you’ll learn everything and be up to speed after completing it!

And now on to my overall recommendation!

My Recommended Certificate

My recommended certificate is the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate.

The Google certificate focuses on common data analysts tools, has more hours of learning content, has access to an exclusive job portal, and earns college credits but the IBM certificate does not.

Still undecided?

You can watch my video of the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate below:

However, the IBM Certificate is an amazing certificate too!

If you’re looking for a certificate focusing on Excel and Python, the IBM Data Analytics Professional Certificate can be for you.

Related FAQs

Is The Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate Worth It?

The Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate is worth it, especially for data analytics beginners. A Google Data Analytics certificate is worth getting for its credibility, 174 hours of learning content, and career resources with connections to 130 US employers, for an affordable cost of USD$39/month.

Read more in this review of the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate.

How Much Does the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate Cost?

The Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate costs USD $98. The Google Data Analytics Certificate is charged based on 2 ways: a monthly subscription at $39/month and a fixed cost of $98 for 3 months or $117 for 6 months. However, since most learners complete it in 3 months, the certificate will cost $98 in total.

How Long Will it Take to Complete the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate?

It will take 2-3 months on average to complete the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate. This will vary depending on having previous data background, learning speeds, and hours committed per day. Although Google suggests a 6 month completion time, most finish the program earlier.

Is The IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate Worth It?

The IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate is worth it. Made for data analytics beginners, the IBM Data Analyst Certificate is worth buying for its high-quality learning resources, and interactive exercises on popular data analytics software, all for an affordable cost of only USD$39/month.

Read more in this review of the IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate.

Is The IBM Data Science Professional Certificate Worth It?

The IBM Data Science Professional Certificate is worth it. Perfect for beginners, the certificate is worth buying for its 143 hours of in-depth content, strong focus on Python applications, and data projects, at only a cost of USD $39/month. However, the IBM Data Science Certificate is unsuitable for advanced learners.

Read more in this review of the IBM Data Science Professional Certificate.

Final Thoughts

And I believe that’s all I have to share about the comparison between these 2 amazing certificates! I hope this has been helpful in making that purchase decision. If you use any of my affiliate links, you can help to support the site!

Thanks for reading!

Sources

  1. https://medium.grid.is/excel-vs-google-sheets-usage-nature-and-numbers-9dfa5d1cadbd
  2. https://www.acenet.edu/National-Guide/Pages/Course.aspx?org=Google&cid=76f8bc06-34f9-eb11-94ef-000d3a3396c4
  3. https://www.statista.com/chart/18819/worldwide-market-share-of-leading-cloud-infrastructure-service-providers/

My Favorite Learning Resources:

Here are some of the learning resources I’ve personally found to be useful as a data analyst and I hope you find them useful too!

These may contain affiliate links and I earn a commission from them if you use them.

However, I’d honestly recommend them to my juniors, friends, or even my family!

My Recommended Learning Platforms!

Learning PlatformWhat’s Good About the Platform?
1CourseraCertificates are offered by popular learning institutes and companies like Google & IBM
2DatacampComes with an integrated coding platform, great for beginners!
3PluralsightStrong focus on data skills, taught by industry experts
4StratascratchLearn faster by doing real interview coding practices for data science

My Recommended Online Courses + Books!

TopicOnline CoursesBooks
1Data AnalyticsGoogle Data Analytics Professional Certificate
2Data ScienceIBM Data Science Professional Certificate
3ExcelExcel Skills for Business Specialization
4PythonPython for Everybody SpecializationPython for Data Analysis
5SQLIntroduction to SQLSQL: The Ultimate Beginners Guide: Learn SQL Today
6TableauData Visualization with TableauPractical Tableau
7Power BIGetting Started with Power BI DesktopBeginning Microsoft Power BI
8R ProgrammingData Science: Foundations using R SpecializationLearning R
9Data VisualizationBig Book of Dashboards

To see all of my most up-to-date recommendations, check out this resource I’ve put together for you here.

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