Best IBM Courses and Professional Certificates

If you are interested in learning about the best IBM courses, specializations, and professional certificates that are available, you have come to the right place. IBM courses, certificates, and specializations can prepare you for a new, exciting career or they can provide you with up-to-date knowledge and skills to help you succeed to the next level in your current career. Throughout this article, you will learn important information such as the meaning of IBM, certificates, specializations, courses, career options, and the additional skills needed to go far in the IBM profession.

What is IBM?

IBM is an acronym that stands for International Business Machines. IBM was a large computer company in the 1970’s that built and produced mainframe computers with its own software and hardware. Dr. Dave Bradley, a senior associate engineer, hosted a Tedx Talk on YouTube, where he explains how IBM created the first personal computer. He states in the video that he joined IBM in 1975 and helped it flourish in the technical world. After several years of programming, in 1981, IBM created a smaller, more personal computer that was affordable for everyone. They bought the hardware from Intel and the software from Microsoft.

Dr. Bradley spent a lot of his time at IBM working on personal computers and is also well-known for creating the popular key sequence, Ctrl+Alt+Del. He was one of the first to join IBM’s Academy of Technology, which was established in 1989 to teach individuals how to become leaders, thinkers, and problem-solvers in the technology industry. Today, IBM is a popular computer company that is improving the relationship between technology and humans around the globe. The employees focus on building, designing, coding, consulting, selling, inventing, collaborating, and so much more.

You can find the video of Dr. Dave Bradley discussing IBM and its personal computer on TedX Talks’ YouTube Channel:

What IBM Certificates, Specializations, and Courses Are Best?

When it comes to IBM, there are many different certificates, courses, and specializations that you may choose to study. Each will teach you new information and tools that will be beneficial to your career and future. Below, I have compiled a table of the best IBM certificates and specializations along with their required courses.

Best IBM Courses
Name Type Duration Price
1. IBM Data Science Professional Certificate Professional Certificate
(9 Courses)
10 months 39$ per month
1.1. What is Data Science? Course 1 of 9 10 hours
1.2. Tools for Data Science Course 2 of 9 19 hours
1.3. Data Science Methodology Course 3 of 9 10 hours
1.4. Python for Data Science and AI Course 4 of 9 29 hours
1.5. Databases and SQL for Data Science Course 5 of 9 13 hours
1.6. Data Analysis with Python Course 6 of 9 24 hours
1.7 Data Visualization with Python Course 7 of 9 18 hours
1.8 Machine Learning with Python Course 8 of 9 22 hours
1.9 Applied Data Science Capstone Course 9 of 9 10 hours
2. IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate Professional Certificate
(8 Courses)
10 months 39$ per month
2.1. Introduction to Data Analytics Course 1 of 8 11 hours
2.2. Excel Basics for Data Analysis Course 2 of 8 13 hours
2.3. Data Visualization and Dashboards with Excel and Cognos Course 3 of 8 10 hours
2.4. Python for Data Science and AI Course 4 of 8 29 hours
2.5. Databases and SQL for Data Science Course 5 of 8 13 hours
2.6. Data Analysis with Python Course 6 of 8 24 hours
2.7. Data Visualization with Python Course 7 of 8 18 hours
2.8. IBM Data Analyst Capstone Project Course 8 of 8 13 hours
3. IBM Cybersecurity Analyst Professional Certificate Professional Certificate
(8 Courses)
8 months
49$ per month
3.1. Introduction to Cybersecurity Tools & Cyber Attacks Course 1 of 8 20 hours
3.2. Cybersecurity Roles, Processes & Operating System Security Course 2 of 8 15 hours
3.3. Cybersecurity Compliance Framework & System Administration Course 3 of 8 16 hours
3.4. Network Security & Database Vulnerabilities Course 4 of 8 14 hours
3.5. Penetration Testing, Incident Response and Forensics Course 5 of 8 17 hours
3.6. Cyber Threat Intelligence Course 6 of 8 29 hours
3.7. Cybersecurity Capstone: Breach Response Case Studies Course 7 of 8 16 hours
3.8. IBM Cybersecurity Analyst Assessment Course 8 of 8 13 hours
4. IBM Applied AI Professional Certificate Professional Certificate
(6 Courses)
7 months
49$ per month
4.1. Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (AI) Course 1 of 6 8 hours
4.2. Getting Started with AI using IBM Watson Course 2 of 6 9 hours
4.3. Building AI Powered Chatbots Without Programming Course 3 of 6 9 hours
4.4. Python for Data Science and AI Course 4 of 6 29 hours
4.5. Building AI Applications with Watson APIs Course 5 of 6 13 hours
4.6. Introduction to Computer Vision with Watson and OpenCV Course 6 of 6 16 hours
5. IBM AI Engineering Professional Certificate Professional Certificate
(6 Courses)
8 months
49$ per month
5.1. Machine Learning with Python Course 1 of 6 22 hours
5.2. Scalable Machine Learning on Big Data using Apache Spark Course 2 of 6 7 hours
5.3. Introduction to Deep Learning & Neural Networks with Keras Course 3 of 6 8 hours
5.4. Deep Neural Networks with PyTorch Course 4 of 6 31 hours
5.5. Building Deep Learning Models with TensorFlow Course 5 of 6 13 hours
5.6. AI Capstone Project with Deep Learning Course 6 of 6 16 hours
6. IBM Machine Learning Professional Certificate Professional Certificate
(6 Courses)
6 months
39$ per month
6.1. Exploratory Data Analysis for Machine Learning Course 1 of 6 8 hours
6.2. Supervised Learning: Regression Course 2 of 6 11 hours
6.3. Supervised Learning: Classification Course 3 of 6 11 hours
6.4. Unsupervised Learning Course 4 of 6 9 hours
6.5. Deep Learning and Reinforcement Learning Course 5 of 6 14 hours
6.6. Specialized Models: Time Series and Survival Analysis Course 6 of 6 11 hours
7. IBM z/OS Mainframe Practitioner Professional Certificate Professional Certificate
(3 Courses)
3 months
79$ per month
7.1. Introduction to Enterprise Computing Course 1 of 3 10 hours
7.2. Getting Started on Mainframe with z/OS Commands and Panels Course 2 of 3 15 hours
7.3. Basic System Programming on IBM Z Course 3 of 3 18 hours
8. Introduction to Data Science Specialization Specialization
(4 Courses)
4 months
39$ per month
8.1. What is Data Science? Course 1 of 4 10 hours
8.2. Tools for Data Science Course 2 of 4 19 hours
8.3. Data Science Methodology Course 3 of 4 10 hours
8.4. Databases and SQL for Data Science Course 4 of 4 13 hours
9. Applied Data Science Specialization Specialization
(4 Courses)
5 months 39$ per month
9.1. Python for Data Science and AI Course 1 of 4 29 hours
9.2. Data Analysis with Python Course 2 of 4 24 hours
9.3. Data Visualization with Python Course 3 of 4 18 hours
9.4. Applied Data Science Capstone Course 4 of 4 47 hours
10. Advanced Data Science with IBM Specialization Specialization
(4 Courses)
4 months 39$ per month
10.1. Fundamentals of Scalable Data Science Course 1 of 4 20 hours
10.2. Advanced Machine Learning and Signal Processing Course 2 of 4 27 hours
10.3. Applied AI with DeepLearning Course 3 of 4 24 hours
10.4. Advanced Data Science Capstone Course 4 of 4 9 hours
11. IT Fundamentals for Cybersecurity Specialization Specialization
(4 Courses)
4 months 49$ per month
11.1. Introduction to Cybersecurity Tools & Cyber Attacks Course 1 of 4 20 hours
11.2. Cybersecurity Roles, Processes & Operating System Security Course 2 of 4 15 hours
11.3. Cybersecurity Compliance Framework & System Administration Course 3 of 4 16 hours
11.4. Network Security & Database Vulnerabilities Course 4 of 4 14 hours
12. AI Foundations for Everyone Specialization Specialization
(3 Courses)
3 months 39$ per month
12.1. Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (AI) Course 1 of 3 8 hours
12.2. Getting Started with AI using IBM Watson Course 2 of 3 9 hours
12.3. Building AI Powered Chatbots Without Programming Course 3 of 3 9 hours
13. Data Analysis and Visualization Foundations Specialization Specialization
(3 Courses)
4 months 39$ per month
13.1. Introduction to Data Analytics Course 1 of 3 11 hours
13.2. Excel Basics for Data Analysis Course 2 of 3 13 hours
13.3. Data Visualization and Dashboards with Excel and Cognos Course 3 of 3 10 hours
14. Data Science Fundamentals with Python and SQL Specialization Specialization
(4 Courses)
5 months 39$ per month
14.1. Tools for Data Science Course 1 of 4 19 hours
14.2. Python for Data Science and AI Course 2 of 4 29 hours
14.3. Statistics for Data Science with Python Course 3 of 4 12 hours
14.4. Databases and SQL for Data Science Course 4 of 4 13 hours
15. Key Technologies for Business Specialization Specialization
(3 Courses)
3 months 39$ per month
15.1. Introduction to Cloud Computing Course 1 of 3 12 hours
15.2. Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (AI) Course 2 of 3 8 hours
15.3. What is Data Science? Course 3 of 3 10 hours
16. IBM AI Foundations for Business Specialization Specialization
(3 Courses)
2 months 39$ per month
16.1. Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (AI) Course 1 of 3 8 hours
16.2. What is Data Science? Course 2 of 3 10 hours
16.3. The AI Ladder: A Framework for Deploying AI in your Enterprise Course 3 of 3 3 hours
17. IBM AI Enterprise Workflow Specialization Specialization
(6 Courses)
4 months 79$ per month
17.1. AI Workflow: Business Priorities and Data Ingestion Course 1 of 6 8 hours
17.2. AI Workflow: Data Analysis and Hypothesis Testing Course 2 of 6 11 hours
17.3. AI Workflow: Feature Engineering and Bias Detection Course 3 of 6 12 hours
17.4. AI Workflow: Machine Learning, Visual Recognition and NLP Course 4 of 6 14 hours
17.5. AI Workflow: Enterprise Model Deployment Course 5 of 6 9 hours
17.6. AI Workflow: AI in Production Course 6 of 6 17 hours
18. IBM Introduction to Machine Learning Specialization Specialization
(4 Courses)
3 months 39$ per month
18.1. Exploratory Data Analysis for Machine Learning Course 1 of 4 8 hours
18.2. Supervised Learning: Regression Course 2 of 4 11 hours
18.3. Supervised Learning: Classification Course 3 of 4 11 hours
18.4. Unsupervised Learning Course 4 of 4 9 hours
19. Security Analyst Fundamentals Specialization Specialization
(3 Courses)
4 months 39$ per month
19.1. Penetration Testing, Incident Response and Forensics Course 1 of 3 17 hours
19.2. Cyber Threat Intelligence Course 2 of 3 29 hours
19.3. Cybersecurity Capstone: Breach Response Case Studies Course 3 of 3 16 hours
20. IBM Customer Engagement Specialist Professional Certificate Professional Certificate
24 hours 99$
21. COBOL Programming with VSCode Course 16 hours 49$
22. IBM Data Privacy for Information Architecture Course 10 hours 49$
23. IBM Data Topology Course 6 hours 49$
24. Introduction to Containers w/ Docker, Kubernetes & OpenShift Course 11 hours 49$
25. Introduction to Enterprise Resiliency Course 6 hours 49$

There are several self-taught data scientists, like Polong Lin, who have never taken a computer class in high school or college. They have learned the knowledge and skills needed by simply taking online courses through Coursera. Listen to Polong Lin’s brief video clip on Coursera’s YouTube channel about his experience taking courses through Coursera to become a self-taught data scientist.

He followed his passions and accomplished his goal of earning an excellent job in his field of interest. Now, he is a part of the team that created the IBM Data Science professional certificate. The objective of this professional certificate program is to help others become one step closer to landing their dream job just like Polong Lin did.

You can find the video of Polong Lin briefly discussing his success on Coursera’s YouTube Channel:

What Are My Career Choices After Earning A Certificate?

You may be wondering what type of work you can do after completing one of the IBM certificate programs. According to IBM.com, there are a variety of different career paths that you may pursue. Below, I will discuss a few of the career choices that you may have after earning a certificate in the IBM field.

Data Scientist

Average Salary: $96,113

A data scientist is responsible for collecting and analyzing data. They use the collected data to solve or determine an issue. Most individuals who become data scientists possess analytical, technical, programming, and math skills.

Data Analyst

Average Salary: $60,589

A data analyst spends most of their day finding solutions to business problems. They are constantly assessing complex amounts of data to determine a solution. Data scientists are important in many different industries such as healthcare, finance, marketing, and more.

Cybersecurity Analyst

Average Salary: $76,341

A cybersecurity analyst is in charge of looking at security measures that have been put in place to protect businesses and organizations from experiencing a security breach. They will spend majority of their day analyzing and determining vulnerabilities, trying out new software to protect the company’s personal information, and teaching the companies how to implement new techniques to ensure that their information remains secure.

Machine Learning Engineer

Average Salary: $111,821

A Machine Learning Engineer has a variety of duties but their main goals are programming computers, creating programs for computers and machines, and determining solutions or needs for people and companies. Some of the skills needed for this career are mathematical, communication, and computer programming skills.

SAP Consultant

Average Salary: $85,217

An SAP Consultant is highly skilled and knowledgeable in software programs. They are responsible for developing software, consulting about technological issues, and managing data. Technical, programming, and communication skills are important in this career path.

Software Developer

Average Salary: $71,716

A software developer has daily tasks of creating software and programs, working with others to code programs, determining the perfect design of software, and assessing the needs of clients and companies. A few of the skills that software developers must possess are communication, technical, and analysis skills.

Technical Specialist

Average Salary: $73,555

A technical specialist is in charge of managing the technical products and programs by providing customer service, web development, and training staff. They most likely work for technology companies and have troubleshooting, communication, research, and technical skills.

What Additional Skills Do I Need?

After you have earned a certificate, you may be eager to gain additional skills to become a digital pro. Some of the skills that you should acquire are communication, organization, creativity, project management, perseverance, problem-solving, time management, critical thinking, coding, troubleshooting, curiosity, and analytical skills. An IBM certificate will help you stand out among other applicants, and additional skills will show employers how serious and equipped you are for the job.

A new technology system to look out for is Watson. It is one of the newest, emerging computer systems developed by IBM. The goal of Watson is to help businesses personalize the experiences of their customers, streamline their processes, decrease any possible risks, and inspire innovation. Watson is being used in multiple industries such as education, healthcare, automotive, telecom, finance, and more.

IBM Watson

Watson uses deep learning, which is a machine learning technique. This is the process of layering algorithms to develop an artificial neural network. This means that it can continue to learn as it goes. It can determine if decisions made were correct as well as improve the accuracy and quality of results. Photos, audio files, and videos are some of the data that Watson analyzes. By looking at the provided data, it can help companies determine when an elevator might stop working, how a car has been damaged in a wreck, how to fix any issues, and much more.

Watson can also help businesses by filling in as virtual agents to provide exceptional customer service quickly. This computer system is the future of businesses and companies, as it will help them operate more smoothly and precisely as well as become more productive. When entering the technology career field, you should aim to stay up to date on the new systems available and in the process of being developed. Watson is a very popular one that companies are implementing into their everyday duties.

To get a more detailed look at the Watson computer system, you can watch the video on IBM Watson’s YouTube channel:

To Sum Up

As you can see, there are several different courses, specializations, and certificates to choose from. It all depends on what you would like to do for a career. There is also an abundance of career opportunities that individuals with IBM certificates are thriving in. With technology on the rise, it is highly recommended to pursue one of the programs listed above, as it will lead you down a track to success in the digital world. The courses are offered 100 percent online, and you will be taught the same high-quality knowledge and skills as you would be in a traditional school classroom.

My Digital Path Team/ author of the article

Members of our team have more than 25 combined years of experience in IT. They have been educators, held various positions in the IT industry, and enjoy helping students learn more about this exciting field.

Some of our team members do not have a university degree because they are self-taught. They just wanted to learn how to code, which is possible by taking certificate programs instead.

Any courses and university programs that we review already meet our high qualifications to be included in our evaluation programs so that students can have confidence in selecting from the reviewed courses and programs which are most appropriate for their career advancement.

My Digital Path
Comments: 4
  1. Jensen

    This is my first time visiting your blog because I would like to earn a professional certificate or specialization in IBM. I am on a budget and a time limit. Is there a specific one that you recommend?

    1. My Digital Path Team (author)

      Welcome! Thanks for visiting. The cheapest and quickest option would be the IBM AI Foundations for Business, which only takes two months to complete and costs $39.00 per month. This specialization consists of three courses, and a sharable certificate will be given to those who finish.

  2. Gordon

    Hi! I am very passionate to learn as much as I can about IBM. I am not sure which professional certificate program, specialization, or course I should take to learn as much as possible. Can you help me out?

    1. My Digital Path Team (author)

      Hi! I would be glad to help you out with this. Any of the courses, professional certificate programs, and specializations mentioned above would give you an in-depth, detailed look at IBM and everything it entails. If I had to choose which one would provide you with the most knowledge and information, it would be the IBM Data Science Professional Certificate. This certificate consists of nine courses, 155 hours of coursework, and lasts for ten months.

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