IBM Professional Certificates: What You Need to Know Before Getting Started

If you want to pursue a career in IT, IBM professional certificates are the way to go. As a global technology leader, IBM offers a robust portfolio of products and services ranging from AI to IoT. Although the company is over a century old, its offerings have consistently defined it as one of the top technology firms on our planet, rivaling consumer-facing giants like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google. Anyone can learn how to use IBM’s widely-used products by taking their courses and getting IBM certified.

Do you want to become an IT professional? This article explains why IBM certification courses are valuable and which courses are available on IBM training to get you there.

IBM Professional Certificates: A Breakdown

IBM certificates are distributed across a number of technical verticals. These include blockchain, cloud, data science, IT security, systems, financing solutions, as well as courses centered around IBM’s flagship AI platform, IBM Watson.

Each learning track typically consists of self-paced, web-based courses with a hands-on approach to learning. You obtain an IBM certificate by going through the courses and successfully passing an exam that tests your knowledge and expertise in the subject matter.

So we can better understand what IBM Training is like, let’s examine different learning paths: Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Blockchain.

Data Science with IBM

IBM offers several data science courses. If you want a certificate in a subfield of data science, you can follow a learning track geared towards this vertical. Each course enables you to meet the requirements for passing the certification exam.

The Professional Certificate in IBM Data Science is suitable if you have development or engineering experience and some experience with data science. In the lead-up to obtaining this certificate, you will learn Python programming, familiarize yourself with libraries in the Python ecosystem (Pandas, Matlplotlib, SciPy, etc), and delve into machine learning.

The tests are hands-on. You’ll need to build your own projects with real tools and real-world data sets. This means you can include these projects in your portfolio as a data scientist. Enrolment in the course is free, but you’ll be charged a fee for the exam.

Artificial Intelligence with IBM

IBM has several course paths if you want to become proficient in AI, such as the IBM Applied AI Professional program and the IBM AI Engineering Professional program.

Learning tracks for these programs vary significantly. The Applied AI Professional program covers the illustration of human with robot and light bulb on either side to depict artificial intelligencebasics of Python and Machine Learning, deep learning, and practical tests in building deep learning models with a range of libraries. The AI Engineering Professional program shows you how to build and interact with AI models and applications.

Other programs introduce you to IBM’s AI tools, such as IBM Cloud Pak for Data, and IBM Watson Knowledge Catalog. These course paths help you understand how to skillfully use AI tools to solve real-world business problems.

The route to a certificate is similar to other learning tracks. You enroll for free and take the exam at the end to earn your certificate.

Blockchain with IBM

IBM is positioning itself as a leader in blockchain technology, so they have several learning tracks here too, such as the IBM Blockchain for Developers program and the IBM Internet of Things (IoT) and Blockchain program.

The Blockchain for Developers program dives into blockchain essentials and the components of blockchain business networks. This means you’ll learn how ledgers work, how a blockchain comes to a consensus, and what it means to program with smart contracts. The IoT and Blockchain program explains blockchain in the context of IoT and how both emerging technologies can work together to unlock business opportunities.

Other IBM programs will teach you about the use cases of blockchain, what blockchain security issues you need to be aware of, and why blockchain could be the future of big data.

You can also enroll in the programs for free and take the exam at the end to earn your certificate.

illustration on someone contemplating all the certificate choices they have including IBM certifications

How Do IBM Certificate Programs Compare to Alternatives?

IBM takes a very practical approach to its courses. Companies like Google, Microsoft, or Amazon are also quite practical, but they tend to offer modules that immediately lock learners into their solutions. By contrast, IBM typically allows its learners to acquaint themselves with the basics of a field before introducing them to their products.

Take the learning track for the AI Engineering Certificate, for example. Google begins its version of this program with a course in Google Azure, while IBM starts with an introduction to Python. Additionally, the IBM program also takes you through the various tools you need to get started as a data scientist.

In the end, which learning path you choose should depend on the platforms you will be working with. If you intend to pursue a career in big data, an IBM certificate will prove quite useful. IBM is the world’s largest vendor of products for big data and a large segment of the enterprise world (your potential employers) use their solutions.

Careers You Can Pursue with IBM Professional Certificates

Obtaining an IBM professional certificate makes you eligible for a broad range of career paths. Its courses in cloud computing, blockchain, big data, AI, IT security, computer systems technology, and financial technology can prepare you for a job in their corresponding fields. With their courses, you can become an AI engineer, a blockchain expert, a big data professional, and more.

illustration that depicts a certificate and money to demonstrate additional income

There is a growing need for professionals in these areas too. According to a 2018 Linkedin Workforce Report, about 151,000 data scientist roles went unfilled in the United States. Demand for Machine Learning Engineers went up 344% between 2015 and 2019. Similar trends have been reported for other subfields of AI, data science, and blockchain.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that 11.5 million new data science jobs would be added by 2026. Plus, salaries for these jobs are significantly above the national average. A data scientist’s median annual salary is about $113,309. A director for data science can expect to earn $158,911 within the same period. If you want to work in these areas, your future looks bright.

Wrapping Up

Your IBM professional certificate will open up pathways to a variety of careers in technology. Whether you want to become a big data engineer, an AI application developer, or a blockchain developer, you’ll find a course that prepares you for your dream job.

SkillUp Online offers a range of IBM courses that help you build skills and earn a certificate in your chosen field. Click here to begin learning today.

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