The Open Certified Data Scientist (Open CDS) – You’ll Want to be a Part of this Group!

By The Open Group

At our Scottsdale event in January this year, we launched the newest profession within The Open Professions Program, the Open Certified Data Scientist (Open CDS). Seven months later, we are very pleased to announce that we have certified the first group of certified Data Scientists – including seven certified at Master level.

As one of the most rapidly growing professions within the IT Sector, Open CDS is the industry’s most comprehensive certification available for Data Scientists and the organizations that employ them. It was developed out of a requirement to verify that Data Scientist professionals have the qualities and capabilities required to produce effective analysis of data to the overall improvement of business. By applying the same rigorous methodology as The Open Certified Architect (Open CA) and The Open Certified Technical Specialist (Open CTS) certifications afford to the Enterprise Architects and Technical Specialist communities respectively, it was possible to launch the program within a year from its initial proposal.

“The Data Scientist certification is an excellent way for Data Scientists to stand out in this highly valued profession. This peer-reviewed, board certified process provides value to both the Data Scientist and employers while also contributing to the profession itself. It is also available to university students who are doing Capstone type projects as they can get started on this certification path providing they are working with real clients to solve real business problems using data science.  If the project meets the Experience Profile requirements they can earn a significant milestone toward this professional certification.”  Maureen Norton, IBM Global Data Scientist Profession Leader

The Open Professions Program is an experience-based certification program. This means that rather than attending a class based training course or studying self-study material followed by an examination, candidates submit a portfolio of work to demonstrate their expertise which is peer-reviewed against a set of predefined conformance requirements. These conformance requirements are organized into discrete groups (referred to as milestones). Upon completing five milestones, a candidate is eligible to be assessed for full certification.

“Technologies such as Big Data, IoT, AI and machine learning are already creating massive data sets and this trend is only set to increase. There is also a widening skills gap for individuals with the appropriate skills in this field. The Open Certified Data Scientist provides an assurance to organizations that their staff and potential recruits have the skills and competences required to fully exploit the data generated by these technologies and a credible career pathway for individuals to follow. This helps to improve staff retention in this highly competitive space.”  James de Raeve, VP and GM India, The Open Group

For individuals, Open CDS certification represents an ideal mechanism for demonstrating overall professional expertise in the field of Data Science. Open CDS certification significantly enhances and evidences your professional skills, improves your prospects for rewarding assignments, accelerates salary and career advancement, and results in greater peer recognition.

For organizations, Open CDS certification provides an independent, global, experience-based benchmark for identifying, assessing, and selecting the most qualified individuals for critical roles and responsibilities. Open CDS certification can help to optimize the staff recruitment and retention process and motivate staff to acquire this widely recognized open industry standard to authenticate their skills and experience.

“The Open Group certification is a critical offering that is allowing IBM to attract and retain the most capable and qualified data scientists. Recognition of the certification across the global business community helps IBM expand and grow our talent base.”  Martin Fleming, IBM VP, Chief Economist

Extending this principle, organizations can also utilize The Open Group materials to build their own professional certification programs and apply the Open Professions certification structure to enhance their own learning and development programs. Thus alleviating some of the time, cost and risk associated with creating their own program, with the added security in the knowledge that their program is based on tried, tested and externally recognized industry best practices.

There is also the opportunity for organizations to become full Accredited Certification Partners (ACPs), and thereby be able to deliver assessments for the Open Professions Program internally.