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Open Certified Data Scientist (Open CDS)

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The industry premier certification for the Data Scientist profession

The Open Group Open Certified Data Scientist (Open CDS) certification is the industry's most comprehensive certification available for Data Scientists and the organizations that employ them. Open CDS is an independent global certification for qualifying the skills, knowledge, and experience of Data Scientists.


Open CDS certification verifies that Data Scientist professionals have the qualities and capabilities required to produce effective analysis of data for the overall improvement of the business. Open CDS certification requires applicants to demonstrate skills and experience against a set of conformance requirements through written applications and peer interviews. There are no training courses to attend and no written exams to complete.

Additionally we have recently introduced a new Associate Data Scientist Credential for students, trainees, or career changers to begin their journey as professional data scientists.

Open CDS certification is:

  • A distinctive, peer-reviewed, vendor-neutral, globally recognized, portable credential
  • Used by the world’s leading enterprises as an objective measure of capabilities
  • A proven guide for filling critical roles and responsibilities
  • An outstanding career move

There are 3 levels of certification for Data Scientists:


  • Level 1: Certified Data Scientist
  • Level 2: Master Certified Data Scientist
  • Level 3: Distinguished Certified Data Scientist

The Open Group Certified Data Scientist (Open CDS) program has been developed out of a requirement of the IT sector, to verify that Data Scientist professionals have the qualities and capabilities required to produce effective analysis of data for the overall improvement of the business.


The key skill and contribution Data Scientists bring to their organizations is the ability to integrate statistical, economic, and computer science techniques to address business problems.


Why become an Open Certified Data Scientist?

Here we see Maureen Norton, Global Data Science Profession Leader, IBM discuss her experiences and the benefits of Open CDS.


  • A Stepwise Path to Certification

    Certification is awarded through experience-based profile assessment against a set of conformance requirements by recognized industry experts within their appropriate field, so no course to attend and no examination is required.


    Certification is broken down into three stages – this allows candidates to manage their certification at a pace that is most suitable to themselves and start to show evidence for their expertise more quickly:


    • Step One - submit five separate Milestones, which are then evaluated independently (Upon successful completion of a Milestone, a Milestone badge is awarded)
    • Step Two - compete the certification application
    • Step Three - attend a board review (Upon successful completion of the board, the full Certification and Certification badge is awarded)

      Stepwise Path.png
  • Benefits for Individuals

    For individuals, The Open Professions certification represents an ideal mechanism for demonstrating knowledge, success and overall business capabilities. Open CDS certification can significantly enhance and affirm your professional skills, improve your prospects for rewarding assignments, accelerate career advancement, and result in greater peer recognition.


    Open Professions are regularly at the top of the most in-demand skills in the Foote Partners’ quarterly pay-review reports, with an above-average pay premium for professionals.

    “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

  • Benefits for Organizations

    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. Specifying Open CDS certified individuals in procurement and project proposals can considerably reduce recruitment time and cost, and result in higher project success rates.

    Open CDS certification can help to optimize the staff recruitment and retention process and motivate staff to acquire this widely recognized industry standard to authenticate their skills and experience.

    Organizations can also utilize The Open Group materials to build their own professional certification programs and apply the Open CDS certification structure to enhance their own learning and development programs.

    In a marketplace where confidence is a key purchasing factor, suppliers can demonstrate their expertise by showing that they use certified Solution and Enterprise Architects for specific projects. Open CDS certification is a powerful competitive differentiator that provides your customers with reliable assurance of the skills and capabilities of your IT professionals and of the quality and interoperability of your products.

    “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.”

    Dr Martin Fleming

    IBM VP, Chief Economist