IBM Data Engineering Certificate: Worth It? (Read THIS First!)


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You’ve heard of the IBM Data Engineering Professional Certificate but one question still remains: is the IBM Data Engineering Professional Certificate worth it?

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

The IBM Data Engineering Professional Certificate is worth it. Made for data engineering beginners, the IBM Data Engineering certificate is worth getting for its 211 hours of broad coverage of data engineering content, hands-on projects with common databases, and ETL tools for an affordable cost of USD $49/month.

Why would I say that this certificate is worth it?

Here are 5 reasons why it’s worth it:

5 Reasons Why the IBM Data Engineering Professional Certificate is Worth It

  1. The IBM Data Engineering Certificate Uses Unique Assessment Methods
  2. The IBM Data Engineering Certificate Increases Your Exposure to Essential Engineering Skills
  3. The IBM Data Engineering Certificate Focuses on Hands-on Practice of Job-Ready Tools
  4. The IBM Data Engineering Certificate is Online, Flexible, and Self-Paced
  5. The IBM Data Engineering Certificate Encourages Working on Data Engineering Projects

Read on for more information on each reason!

1. The IBM Data Engineering Certificate Uses Unique Assessment Methods

One thing that really makes the IBM Data Engineering certificate worth buying is its use of unique assessment methods!

Most online courses and certificate programs out there are just a bunch of videos and an exam to go through.

But not for the IBM Data Engineering Professional Certificate!

Throughout the entire certificate program, you’ll be going through a unique blend of assessment methods that can help boost your learning!

Here are some of the assessment methods used:

  • Peer-reviewed assignments
  • Practice quizzes
  • Graded quizzes
  • Final exams

Based on experience, learning data engineering can get pretty dry very quickly and videos aren’t enough to keep you motivated to learn!

You might even think that these data certificates might not be actually worth it.

However, with the various assessment methods, you’ll get in the IBM Data Engineering Certificate, you’ll be sure to learn all the content properly!

My personal favorite from this certificate was peer-reviewed assignments.

Here’s the main reason why I found them useful for reinforcing my learning:

Peer-reviewed assignments act as a good learning checkpoint, which ensures that you’re all ready to progress to the next step.

Check out the screenshot below for one of the peer-reviewed projects:

Additionally, you’ll get to review other peer assignments, which can help give you a better idea of how others are doing with their learning too!

Another hidden benefit of the peer-reviewed assignments from the IBM Data Engineering Certificate is that you can’t rush through all the content just for the sake of completing the certificate.

Learning data engineering is not easy, and it requires time and effort into learning the foundation of essential skills.

This feature is unlike the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate, which lacks this peer-review assessment type.

Therefore, if you need that extra push to keep a disciplined learning environment, the IBM Data Engineering Professional Certificate is worth getting!

2. The IBM Data Engineering Certificate Increases Your Exposure to Essential Engineering Skills

Another great reason why this certificate is worth it for data engineering beginners is the exposure it provides you!

Based on my experience, if you’re going to be starting out a career in a new industry, there are lots to be learned but it gets tough because you won’t know where to start.

That’s where the IBM Data Engineering Professional Certificate would come in handy!

The IBM Data Engineering Certificate would point you in the right direction to learn all the essential skills needed for data engineering.

Here are the skills you’ll learn from the certificate:

  • Data Analysis
  • Programming
  • Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS)
  • Shell scripting
  • Database administration
  • Data warehousing
  • ETL (Extract, transform, load)
  • Data pipelines
  • Business intelligence analytics
  • Big data
  • Machine learning

I’m sure that if you’re a beginner, you wouldn’t really know that some of these are extremely ESSENTIAL to becoming a data engineer!

And that’s where the value of going through this certificate program really helps.

If you’re looking for a different certificate that’s really useful to learn data analytics skills, you can consider the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate too!

I completed it and found it to be an amazing certificate as well.

Based on my own experience in the data science field, I’m confident that learning these skills would definitely help you go a long way.

Let’s now have a look at how these skills will be taught to you.

3. The IBM Data Engineering Certificate Focuses on Hands-on Practice of Job-Ready Tools

Learning your new data engineering skills can be so much more fun and engaging through hands-on work!

That’s why the IBM Data Engineering Professional Certificate is great for its involvement in hands-on exercises.

In this certificate, you’re encouraged to code along and use the hands-on labs to learn the tools.

This is a much better approach than simply just watching video lectures.

As data engineering is a HIGHLY technical career, you’ll need to be accustomed to practicing the right essential tools through a hands-on approach!

Here’s a summary of all the tools you’ll pick up from completing the IBM Data Engineering Certificate:

Data Engineering ToolWhat Is It Used For?Is it Common?
1PythonData analysis Yes
2SQLDatabaseYes
3Jupyter NotebookData analysisYes
4Watson StudioData science platformNo
5MySQLDatabaseYes
6PostgreSQLDatabaseYes
7LinuxScriptingYes
8Bash Shell ScriptingScriptingYes
9Apache AirflowBuilding pipelines, ETLYes
10Apache KafkaBuilding pipelines, ETLYes
11IBM Db2 WarehouseData warehouseNo
12IBM Cognos AnalyticsBusiness intelligenceNo
13MongoDBNoSQL databaseYes
14Apache CassandraNoSQL databaseYes
15IBM CloudantNoSQL DBaaSNo
16HadoopBig dataNo
17DockerVirtual containerYes
18Apache SparkBig dataYes
19ElyraMachine learningYes
20SparkMLMachine learningYes
21IBM Watson Machine LearningMachine learningNo

As you can see from the long list of tools above, you’ll get to learn a lot of technical data engineering skills!

Here’s what I really liked about the tools taught in this certificate – it covers all essential tools across data analysis, databases, ETL, big data, and machine learning.

If you’re also aspiring to learn about data engineering like me, then you’ll find that this course is really worth it for the number of tools you’ll get to learn + get ample hands-on practice on them!

If you’re planning to learn more machine learning tools, you can also consider the IBM Data Science Professional Certificate also!

In fact, many of the tools you’ll get to learn in the IBM Data Engineering Certificate are among the top 20 data engineering tools used in top tech companies.

Therefore, I’d recommend following all the practical exercises and code along with the video lectures to maximize your learning of these job-ready tools!

However, some of the software and tools taught in the course might not be in much use anymore or are not that common at all!

That’s because the data engineering space moves really fast!

Either way, the IBM Data Engineering Professional Certificate equips and trains you well for a data engineer career.

If you’re looking for a similar alternative data career, the IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate might be useful to become a data analyst!

4. The IBM Data Engineering Certificate is Flexible and Self-Paced

The IBM Data Engineering Professional Certificate is hosted on Coursera, which is one of my favorite learning platforms.

Here are some benefits of having the IBM Data Engineering Certificate on Coursera:

  1. 100% Online
  2. Flexible
  3. Self-Paced

100% Online: With a fully online certificate program, you can earn the certificate from any country across the world! You’ll only require basic internet access.

Flexible: The content is delivered in a flexible manner. This means you’re able to start the program at any time, without having to wait for any scheduled enrollment dates.

Self-Paced: Having a certificate that’s self-paced is really helpful for both beginners and advanced data engineers.

Those who are new to some topics can slow down and rewatch the videos and the advanced ones can speed the learning up!

This makes the certificate really flexible BUT remains structured in learning.

Here’s a summary of the course structure of the certificate:

Course TitleApprox. Hours of To CompleteHours of Video Content
1Introduction to Data Engineering12 hours4 hours, 10 minutes
2Python for Data Science, AI & Development22 hours2 hours, 17 minutes
3Python Project for Data Engineering10 hours7 minutes
4Introduction to Relational Databases (RDBMS)16 hours2 hours, 46 minutes
5Databases and SQL for Data Science with Python37 hours2 hours, 16 minutes
6Hands-on Introduction to Linux Commands and Shell Scripting12 hours1 hour, 49 minutes
7Relational Database Administration (DBA)18 hours2 hours, 26 minutes
8ETL and Data Pipelines with Shell, Airflow and Kafka14 hours1 hour, 53 minutes
9Getting Started with Data Warehousing and BI Analytics15 hours1 hour, 55 minutes
10Introduction to NoSQL Databases18 hours3 hours, 33 minutes
11Introduction to Big Data with Spark and Hadoop15 hours3 hours, 12 minutes
12Data Engineering and Machine Learning using Spark7 hours38 minutes
13Data Engineering Capstone Project15 hours5 minutes
Total211 hours27 hours, 7 minutes

As you can see from the table above, this course is about 211 hours long and without a flexible schedule, this would not be possible to complete!

Having such a long 13-course certificate, the flexibility Coursera provides is most beneficial to the following groups of people:

  • Students
  • Data analysts/scientists with a day job
  • Anyone with a 9-5 work schedule

If you belong to any of those above, then this certificate is perfect for you!

Here’s why:

You’ll be able to slot in the 211 hours of learning content in between your lessons if you’re a student or after your work ends if you have a 9-5 job!

With such flexibility, you’ll have no problems completing the certificate while pursuing your other current commitments.

5. The IBM Data Engineering Certificate Encourages Working on Data Engineering Projects

The most likely reason you’ll land a job after completing this professional certificate is going to be because of the projects you’ve done during the program!

The IBM Data Engineering Certificate encourages you to work on projects that a data engineer faces on a daily basis in their jobs.

Here’s a list of the projects you’ll get to work on in this certificate:

Course TitleData Project
1Introduction to Data Engineering
2Python for Data Science, AI & Development
3Python Project for Data EngineeringETL project using Python
4Introduction to Relational Databases (RDBMS)Database design and management project
5Databases and SQL for Data Science with PythonCity of Chicago SQL project
6Hands-on Introduction to Linux Commands and Shell ScriptingLinux shell scripting project
7Relational Database Administration (DBA)Database administration project
8ETL and Data Pipelines with Shell, Airflow and KafkaBuilding ETL pipelines for a real-world scenario
9Getting Started with Data Warehousing and BI AnalyticsData warehouse set-up & analytics dashboard project
10Introduction to NoSQL DatabasesScenario-based NoSQL project
11Introduction to Big Data with Spark and Hadoop
12Data Engineering and Machine Learning using SparkApache Spark end-to-end ETL and ML project
13Data Engineering Capstone ProjectOverall data engineering lifecycle project

As you can see from the summary above, this certificate guides you through a WHOPPING 10 data engineering projects!

Check out this screenshot below of one of the projects in the certificate:

Sounds exciting right?

As a strong believer in projects, I’m very sure that by the end of these 10 projects, your data engineering skills will be sharpened and ready to tackle real job challenges!

I’d recommend taking advantage of these projects from the IBM Data Engineering Professional Certificate to accelerate your learning to become a data engineer!

Did you know that projects are really beneficial for you?

Here are 4 benefits of having projects to consolidate learning in data engineering:

  1. Honing your engineering skills
  2. Creating a product that you own
  3. Learning to do self-learning
  4. Boost your self-confidence

I personally love to use projects to summarize my learning whenever I learn something new!

The more you practice with projects, the more confidence you get in data engineering.

And I’m sure your future employers would feel more confident in your abilities too.

In fact, within the data domain, projects are easily shareable and added to your portfolio for any prospective employers to look through.

Some common places to upload your projects include Github and LinkedIn.

You might even get a message or comment from a potential employer for your impressive project work.

And that’s why having projects in the IBM Data Engineering Professional Certificate is worth it!

Related Questions

How Much Does the IBM Data Engineering Professional Certificate Cost?

The IBM Data Engineering Professional Certificate costs USD $49/month. Since most learners can complete it in only 9 months, the certificate will cost $441 in total. The certificate is priced in 3 ways: a subscription of $49/month or a fixed price of a 3-month plan at only USD $98 or a 6-month plan at USD $147.

There are currently 2 ways to pay for the IBM Data Engineering Professional Certificate:

  1. Monthly Subscription of $49/month
  2. One-time fee of $98 for 3 months of access
  3. One-time fee of $147 for 6 months of access

Here’s what Coursera showed me when I tried to enroll:

This pricing is a little bit tricky since IBM suggests that the certificate would take 15 months to complete and that doesn’t fall under any of the one-time payments.

My recommendation: Go for the monthly payment of $49/month.

In fact, the certificate might take an even shorter amount of time to complete.

Read more on that below.

How Long Will it Take to Complete the IBM Data Engineering Professional Certificate?

It will take around 12 months to complete the IBM Data Engineering Professional Certificate. The certificate content is heavy and requires committing to learning. This varies based on previous knowledge, learning speeds, and time commitment. Although IBM suggests a 15-month completion time, most can finish earlier.

The IBM Data Engineering Certificate is tough, with 211 hours of content and 13 heavy courses to go through.

That’s why it takes time and commitment to learn!

However, I’m certain that this effort that you put in to learn and grow yourself would pay off!

It typically takes years to become a data engineer, so a 12-month long certificate would be considered pretty short.

I’d still say that the certificate would be worth it!

Is The IBM Data Engineering Professional Certificate Easy?

The IBM Data Engineering Professional Certificate is not easy. The certificate covers many basic to advanced topics in data engineering that beginners would not find easy. The certificate is also 13-course long and requires dedication and commitment to learning. However, it is still worth getting for its quality.

If you’re planning to begin a career in data engineering you should already know that the path would not be easy.

But committing to learning even when things are not easy is when you’ll really stand out from the rest!

In fact, by taking on this certificate, you’re already on an easier path, since you’ll be getting guidance from the certificate and the learning community in there!

You can also consider learning data analytics first and work toward getting into data engineering.

Is The IBM Data Engineering Professional Certificate Hard?

The IBM Data Engineering Professional Certificate is hard. The certificate covers many basic to advanced topics in data engineering that beginners would find hard. The certificate is also 13-course long and requires dedication and commitment to learning. However, it is still worth getting for its quality.

The IBM Data Engineering Professional Certificate has really heavy content and many courses to complete (13 in total).

Therefore, I would suggest that this certificate is only for those who are serious about achieving their career goals.

If that’s you and you’re up for the challenge, then the IBM Data Engineering Professional Certificate is very worth your time and money.

Who Should Take the IBM Data Engineering Professional Certificate?

Aspiring data engineers, students, and current data analysts/scientists looking for a career change should take the IBM Data Engineering Professional Certificate. Anyone who needs the flexibility of self-paced online learning should also take it. However, the certificate is also a good refresher for data engineers.

Designed with complete beginners in mind, the IBM Data Engineering Professional Certificate is open to anyone who doesn’t have any experience at all!

However, this certificate may come across as quite daunting and grueling for first-timers.

Despite being tough and daunting, I’d say that this certificate is still worth getting even if you’re new.

That’s because you’ll be getting lots of hands-on activities and projects to help boost your confidence!

Final Thoughts

And that’s all for this review of the IBM Data Engineering Professional Certificate! I hope it has been helpful for you.

If it has helped you, I’d really appreciate it if you use my affiliate link to purchase the certificate. It comes at no extra cost to you and it really helps to support my writing on this site.

Thanks for reading!

Some Professional Certificates You Might Like:

Sources

  1. https://www.secoda.co/blog/the-top-20-most-commonly-used-data-engineering-tools

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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