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With employers eyeing market-relevant skill sets, online certification courses have been doing rounds for quite some time. However, post-Covid popularity of such courses rose manifold. This often leaves students confused regarding which course to pursue based on their needs and interests. Analytics India Magazine has conducted a survey to rank some of the top PG online or hybrid courses in Data Science.
AIM has been coming out with these rankings for the last 8 years. This year AIM has released separate rankings for postgraduate-level Data Science or Analytics programs based on their mode of delivery— whether the course is on-campus or online/hybrid. This report lists 10 best online or hybrid PG data science courses in India
A good course has high and well-balanced scores across all the parameters, making it at the top of the ranking. These rankings will help students identify the right course for them.
The report is helpful for institutes offering these programmes to understand where they stand compared to other courses and identify areas of improvement. It can also be used by the policymakers in public and private organisations to get an idea of the progress the Data Science education industry has made and then help bring in changes accordingly.
Analytics India Magazine has conducted this survey to rank various data science and analytics programs based on their performance across five parameters— Certification Value, Return on Investment, Program Success, Teaching & Curriculum, and Student Engagement. An overall index has been calculated based on the average scores of each program across the five subindices (based on the above-mentioned parameters). The sub-indices themselves were calculated based on the scores given to the answers (of the survey questions) asked by AIM using uniform evaluation criteria. These scores were normalised on a scale from 0 to 1 before the average for the sub-indices was taken. Outliers were capped.
You can see the hierarchy of sub-indices and the final index followed for analysis in the below infographic.
1. Integrated Program in Data Science, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, Hero Vired
The 11-month postgraduate certification program is fully online. The program offered by Hero Vired in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology teaches concepts ground up. The courses offered enable students to delve into the intricacies of machine learning by requiring them to write algorithms from first principles.
The students have access to a curated curriculum and are assisted by a large team of faculty, program managers and instructional designers. Faculty members drawn from both industry and academia are highly experienced. They impart students with relevant theoretical knowledge along with practical applications of various concepts. To ensure that the curriculum is updated and in line with industry standards, Hero Vired has a dedicated team of instructional designers.
The curriculum includes several modules on statistics and machine learning to enable students to tackle common industry problems along with undertaking cutting-edge research in the discipline. The industry projects that students work on help them acquire industrial experience. The academic projects involve first principle problem-solving in the form of building a recommendation engine, creating inferences for an SVM etc. The capstone projects train students in SWOT analysis, building solutions to several problems in the field of data science using platforms and libraries like jupyter notebook, Google Colab, data handling and visualisation library.
Weekly one-on-one meetings are held with students and faculty members to provide personalised feedback and clear doubts. Along with academics, the mentorship program that is a part of the curriculum helps build soft skills and prepare for job interviews.
2. Integrated Program in Business Analytics (IPBA), UNext Jigsaw
The 10-month fully online program offered by UNext Jigsaw is affiliated to IIM Indore. The course structure is designed keeping in mind the experience level of candidates. The program enables students to identify and describe complex business problems, apply appropriate analytical methods to find solutions for the same and translate the results of business analytics projects into effective courses of action. Students also get the opportunity to build and enhance their business analytics capabilities by adapting appropriate technology and software solutions.
The program structure conforms to the 5D Framework of Business Analytics designed by faculty members from IIM Indore and industry experts. The framework is a 5-stage approach to harness the power of data for business storytelling that includes Define, Distill, Discover, Deliver and Drive. It prepares the students to tackle real-world business challenges and come up with innovative solutions.
The curriculum includes a unique feature called Bring Your Own Project (BYOP). Under this, students get to apply the 5D framework and turn their project ideas into reality. While working on the project, they get to function in groups and identify, shortlist and finalise a project idea. This ensures that students get to apply the Analytics and Big Data techniques in the project to easily tackle real-life business problems and provide effective solutions.
The faculty comprising of full-time and part-time members from IIM Indore conducting the learning sessions. Apart from them, there are visiting members from the industry who acquaint students with real-world industry scenarios.
The program ensures that those enrolled gain an effective understanding and retention of knowledge. Students are assessed holistically based on practice assignments, graded assignments for every module and a capstone project. Assessment is done based on their understanding of business problems, their ability to work with business data, build statistical/mathematical models and draw business conclusions from them.
The curriculum includes batch immersion programs and campus visits to IIM Indore. This provides them with peer learning and networking opportunities with IIM Indore’s students and alumni network.
3. Advanced Certification in Data Analytics, Edvancer
The Post Graduate Certificate Program in Data Analytics offered by Edvancer is affiliated to IIT Kanpur. The six-month-long program provides a cutting-edge curriculum for freshers and professionals who wish to pursue a career in data analytics and related domains.
The program focuses on data analysis, predictive modelling and machine learning using SQL, R & Python. As a part of the curriculum, the tools and techniques used for handling, managing, analysing and interpreting data are taught.
The faculty comprises academics from CSE and the Statistics Department of IIT Kanpur, along with data scientists with industry experience. The mix of both brings helps provide strong theoretical grounding and practical industry and application-oriented learning.
Assessments are done based on hands-on projects. Students are required to complete at least four projects across modules to get certified.
The career centre at Edvancer prepares students for job interviews by training them on designing a good resume, soft skills, aptitude and coding tests and case study analysis. Edvancer has entered into partnerships with companies like EY, IBM, NPCI, Dun & Bradstreet, TheMathCo, Hexaview, Accenture, Kinesso, DRDO and Futerense. These partnerships help students get internship opportunities and network with industry experts.
4. Advanced Certification in Data Science and AI, Intellipaat
The seven-month postgraduate certification is designed for both IT and non-IT professionals with a focus on employability. The students are trained to nurture their mental ability to break down a business problem and find solutions for the same with the help of in-demand technologies.
The program is focused on industry-oriented skill-building. The course curriculum has been designed to provide real-world exposure through assignments, exercises, case studies and capstone projects after each module. These help them gain industry experience.
The faculty comprising of professors from IIT, help build a strong base on Machine Learning and Statistics while the industry experts impart industry exposure. The assessment system is holistic. Students are assessed not only based on subject knowledge, project works, quizzes, assignments and case studies but also based on attendance.
The capstone projects across multiple domains like retail, e-commerce, telecom, banking and finance are focused on providing students with real-time end-to-end experience of analysing a business problem right from scratch.
Students get access to Intellipaat’s job-access portal and career services for any placement-related assistance. Students get easy access to jobs and internships from Intellipaat’s hiring partners.
5. Advanced Certification In AI & Machine Learning, Edvancer
The Advanced Certification in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning program is a ten-month online program affiliated to IIT Kanpur.
The course curriculum conducted by renowned faculty from IIT Kanpur and highly experienced industry professionals is open to both working professionals and freshers. The end goal is to equip students with the right blend of domain knowledge and skillset that serves the industry needs.
Students get to experience good theoretical learning along with practical training from the faculty comprising of PhD scholars and AI/ML engineers from the industry. Being a practical-oriented course, the majority of the learning hours are dedicated to hands-on, real-world projects and case study discussions. Assessments are also done based on these projects.
Along with application-oriented knowledge in AI and ML, Edvancer provides students with a career services package that helps them with CV design, interview preparation, soft skills, aptitude and coding test preparation.
Partnerships that Edvancer has forged with companies like EY, IBM, NPCI, Dun & Bradstreet, TheMathCo, Hexaview, Accenture, Kinesso, DRDO and Futerense facilitate students with internship and job opportunities.
6. PG Diploma/MS in Business Analytics, REVA University
The UGC-approved two-year hybrid program aims to impart holistic techno-functional skills and expertise so as to enable them to lead data science projects.
The curriculum includes subject knowledge, projects and research publications with an emphasis on experiential learning that includes the latest industry case studies. Experienced faculty members with decades of industry experience have designed the modules in such a way that students are able to build skills in statistical, machine learning and deep learning models and their applications in marketing, retail, finance, supply chain, and operations.
The program is designed to build a full-stack skill set on descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, prescriptive, and cognitive models. Students get in-depth technical skills in an array of data science tools like Python, R, Spark, SQL, TensorFlow, Rapid Miner, Tableau, Microsoft Azure Machine Learning Studio, IBM Cognitive services, AWS SageMaker and others.
The continuous evaluation policy adopted for assessing students helps test both their theoretical knowledge along with applied learning. The Business Analytics program includes two real-time capstone projects in which the students work on a live business challenge. These projects enable them to apply their concepts to real-life business problems, thereby honing their managerial and consulting capabilities and domain expertise.
The university has forged academic partnerships with AWS Academy, MS Azure, CloudX labs, IBM and other companies to facilitate students to grab internship and project opportunities and network with relevant people from the industry.
7. Certificate Program in Data Science and Machine Learning, Imarticus Learning
This course offered by Imarticus Learning is affiliated with IIT Roorkee. The Post Graduate Certificate Program not only familiarises the learners with the fundamental knowledge of data science and machine learning but also equips them with appropriate tools and techniques to apply these concepts to address real-world problems like predicting property value or vaccination dosage, or heart disease.
The admission process to this five-month program is fairly curated, with interested candidates being offered admission after their academic and professional background is duly reviewed by academic advisors. Being an industry-relevant curriculum, the program is open for not only tech-savvy individuals who want to learn data science and machine learning but also early and mid-level professionals for better career prospects.
The enrolled candidates are able to access the Technology Innovation Hub at IIT Roorkee, which has been set up under the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems to train manpower and encourage entrepreneurship for the current global challenges like affordable health care, Industry 4.0 and sustainable smart cities. Moreover, the learners can leverage new-age technologies like AI, ML and Drones along with the larger innovative ecosystem extended by the iHUB DivyaSampark to build core competencies and train manpower for providing innovative digital solutions for national strategic sectors.
8. Post Graduate Certificate Program in Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning – Joint Program by IIT Guwahati and TimesPro
The eight-month postgraduate certification program conducted jointly by IIT Guwahati and TimesPro envisages upskilling students in the domain of artificial intelligence with relevant skills, techniques and tools so that they are able to keep up with the rapidly changing technology landscape.
Students get comprehensive career support. Apart from the live learning sessions, the curriculum includes hackathons, campus immersion programs, on-demand sessions and monthly masterclasses with industry experts. These interactive sessions help students engage in peer learning, build their professional network and get a deeper understanding of current industry trends. They can also access AI-enabled tools to create ATS-compliant resumes and cover letters.
The highly experienced faculty members are responsible for balancing program outcomes and learner engagement. They build a strong foundation of the essential data science concepts and models and upskill students in their areas of specialisation.
Students get access to an LMS platform for accessing content related to the program in the form of videos, discussion fora and case studies. This helps in preparing for classes, clarify their doubts, and revising previously taught lessons at a pace that suits their routine.
Students are continuously assessed by means of assignments, online quizzes and projects. The assignments and projects enable them to deal with real-world problems and datasets. The Capstone project that students work on gives them the opportunity to apply all the concepts and techniques they have learnt to solve their chosen problem statement. In the course, they learn about real-world industry aspects.
9. Post Graduate Certificate Program in Data Science and Machine Learning – Joint Program by IIT Roorkee and TimesPro
The postgraduate certification program conducted jointly by TimesPro and IIT Roorkee aims to keep students upskilled with the ever-changing technology landscape that calls for human resources to have the right mix of conceptual clarity and hands-on experience.
The fully online program offers students periodic interaction with the industry and hands-on pedagogy in the form of demo sessions, hackathons, etc. These sessions with industry experts help to learn about the latest developments in the industry and access an AI-enabled tool to create ATS-compliant resumes/cover letters and an LMS platform to access study materials for reference, revision and clarification.
The faculty comprising highly experienced academics and industry professionals, provides a holistic learning experience encompassing essential data science concepts and industry-oriented skill training. Along with live learning sessions, students get to engage in hackathons and campus immersion programs that enable peer-to-peer learning and building a professional network.
The continuous assessment model tests students learning outcomes by means of assignments, quizzes, and projects. The 4-week long capstone project that students work on enables them to apply all the concepts and techniques they learnt over the course of the program on real-world industry datasets and problem statements. In the course, they get the opportunity to delve more into the industry aspects. Each capstone project is evaluated by the faculty on its accuracy, relevance, analysis, simplicity, and presentation.
10. BIBA – Business Intelligence & Business Analytics PG Certification Program, OrangeTree Global
The Postgraduate certification program in Business Intelligence and Business Analytics (BIBA) is a four-month hybrid program that is aligned with in-demand industry-oriented skillsets and core competencies.
The program structure has been designed in a way that students enrolled are able to manage their day-to-day commitments and obligations while giving full focus to the curriculum. Being conducted in smaller batches, each student gets due attention from the faculty members with regard to clarification of concepts and progress.
The faculty members at Orange Tree Global comprise senior academics, researchers and industry specialists who, along with imparting lessons, also play a key role in designing the program structure and curating the content. Specialised faculty from the industry provides regular training to the students to familiarise them with industry culture and trends.
The program has a deeper focus on application-oriented learning. Several modules based on R, Python, SQL, VBA, Power BI and Tableau are taught as a part of the curriculum. Application of regression and clustering techniques, credit risk modelling, customer segmentation, sentiment analysis and text mining are covered in the program. These modules have different weightage depending on the importance and difficulty of the module.
The institute has tied up with companies like TCS, Genpact, HSBC Analytics, ICICI Lombard, Standard Chartered, Accenture, etc., for placement opportunities. As a part of the curriculum, corporate training programs are also conducted by HDFC, Jubilant Food Industries, TCS, Novo Nordisk and HSBC. Apart from these, one-day workshops are conducted in renowned institutes across the country like Symbiosis School of Economics, ICFAI Business School, IIT Kharagpur etc.