The term Big Data reflects a very real growing trend. By 2020, every human will be generating an astounding 1.7 MB per second. That will easily aggregate to 44 trillion GB, according to IDC. Contributing to this massive quantity of data are some 40,000 Google search queries per second, more than 30 million Facebook postings, and almost 3 million videos per minute generated by millions of smartphones and billions of Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
The number of big data certifications is mushrooming, too. These qualifications come from vendors, educational institutions, and independent or industry bodies that help you to keep up with big data changes and the skills needed to address these changes. They are in great demand.
But those wishing to augment their skill set should look carefully before they leap. Within the big data sector are dozens of specialties, including big data system administration, Hadoop, analytics, data science, big data storage/security, and general Business Intelligence (BI) certs that include big data. Further, vendor platforms can often determine the best credentials to help the individual get ahead in his or her career.
Bill Reynolds, an analyst at Foote Partners, said the growth of IoT is quickly fueling a growing demand for big data skills, particularly in analytics disciplines. “Predictive data and analytics are now considered a backbone of rapidly growing IoT,” he said. “This skillset is particularly valuable since right now there is a shortage of people with big data talents.”
He shed light on hotspots such as Apache Hadoop, a Java-based open source software framework used for storage and processing of distributed storage of large data sets. Additional hotspots that he highlighted include HDFS, Hbase, MapReduce, Flume, Oozie, Hive, Pig, HBase, YARN, NoSQL, NewSQL, Apache Spark, and machine learning.
This list of big data certifications covers many of the top options available for building your big data expertise. They are delivered in a variety of ways, making the certification process as convenient and flexible as possible; you can choose from vendor or college campuses, trade shows, online coursework, and sometimes trainers can be sent directly to your site.
Independent Big Data Certifications
If you want vendor independence as you are not tied to a specific analytics platform, Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) may be for you. This training helps you solve analytic problems, build models, implement analytics in the enterprise, and model lifecycle management.
Formerly known as Certificate in Engineering Excellence Big Data Analytics and Optimization (CPEE), the International School of Engineering (INSOFE) has decided to rename it PGP, though they fail to spell out what the new acronym means. The course appears largely the same, dealing with big data using R, Hadoop, Map Reduce, Hive, Pig, Spark, and Sqoop, as well as statistics, modeling, machine learning data mining, and other areas of analytics. It is aimed at students in India and has a classroom format.
This certification is offered by the Data Science Council of America (DASCA) as an entry point into big data analytics careers. This 3rd party certification is vendor-neutral and is geared toward business and university students in specialties like statistics, applied mathematics, and economics. The process involves a credentials check before they mail study materials and open up their examination scheduling portal. If an individual passes the ABDA exam, they earn the award of ABDA Credential.
This independent data science certification takes a different approach to the certification process. Instead of a traditional course or examination, applicants must earn four to five Milestone Badges that are evaluated by the Open Group. Step two involves submitting an experience application form and step three ends in a peer review board evaluation. After completing steps one through three, you earn your Open CDS and become a Master Certified Architect.
University Big Data Certifications
Columbia University’s Certification of Professional Achievement in Data Sciences (CPADS) prepares students by developing foundational data science skills. Requirements include an undergraduate degree and a grounding in calculus, linear algebra, and computer programming. It gets involved heavily in probability & statistics, machine learning, and data visualization. It is available in class and online.
This certification is offered through the Stanford Center for Professional Development. To take it, you should already be a software engineer, statistician, predictive modeler, data miner, or analytics professional. To earn the certification, you have to complete four courses: Social and Information Network Analysis, Machine Learning, Mining Massive Data Sets, and Information Retrieval and Web Search. It typically takes a year or two to complete.
The Certificate in Analytics: Optimizing Big Data is an offer from the Professional & Continuing Studies unit of the University of Delaware. It deals with importing data for analysis, graphical and data analysis, modeling, assessing data variability, and more. Students have to complete four modules: Analytics Basics, Big Data Tools, Process Control and Capability, and an individual project. It is suitable for business, marketing, and operations managers, as well as data analysts.
Developed by faculty from Cornell University’s SC Johnson College of Business, data science certificates are available in data analytics, data analytics 360, and data-driven marketing.
Vendor Big Data Certifications
The SAP Global Certification program offers over 150 certification path options to receive the certification, with several of those programs falling into the Big Data category. These paths to certification range across associate and expert levels, and include certifications like the following:
- SAP Certified Application Associate – Reporting, Modeling and Data Acquisition with SAP BW/4HANA 2.x
- SAP Certified Development Associate – SAP Customer Data Cloud
- SAP Certified Application Associate – Data Integration with SAP Data Services 4.2
- SAP Certified Application Associate – Master Data Governance
- SAP Certified Application Associate – Modeling and Data Acquisition with SAP BW 7.5 powered by SAP HANA
This exam tests your technical expertise in designing and implementing AWS services to derive value from data. To become an Amazon Big Data Specialist, you have to hold at least one certification from the Amazon collection: Solutions Architect, DevOps Engineer, Developer, Cloud Practitioner, or SysOps Administrator.
Since Micro Focus took over Vertica from HPE, it offers training courses such as Vertica Essentials, Descriptive Analytics, Performance Tuning, and Database Administration. These are key courses for those working in organizations invested in the Vertica platform.
Microsoft retired its popular Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) lineup in January 2021, but it continues to offer strong data certification alternatives across its specialty platforms. Some of the top data certifications that you can earn from Microsoft include:
- Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Engineer Associate
- Microsoft Certified: Azure Database Administrator Associate
- Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Fundamentals
- Microsoft Certified: Data Analyst Associate
- Microsoft Certified: Power Platform App Maker Associate
Like Microsoft, Cloudera has assembled a large collection of certifications for big data that fall under the Cloudera Certified Professional (CCP) label. Cloudera Certified Professional Data Engineer provides the skills to develop reliable, autonomous, scalable data pipelines that result in optimized data sets for a variety of workloads. Similar to Microsoft, this training is aimed at those dedicated to Cloudera environments. You first take a Cloudera Certified Associate (CCA) course. Options include CCA Spark and Hadoop Developer, CCA Data Analyst, and CCA Administrator. Once you have your CCA, you can then take part in the CCP program.
Dell EMC is another one with a portfolio of big data credentials. They offer both associate and specialist level certifications, with the associate as a prerequisite for specialist. The specialist level training covers areas such as big data, analytic methods, MapReduce, Hadoop, analyzing unstructured data, Pig, Hive, HBase, natural language processing, social network analysis, simulation, random forests, multinomial logistic regression, and data visualization.
Through the SAS Academy for Data Science at its campus in Cary, NC, students master big data management, advanced analytics, machine learning, data visualization, and text analytics, along with communication techniques. They can earn three different certifications. SAS Certified Data Scientist is the most challenging. It is comprised of five exams and four complete credentials. The data scientist credential requires SAS Big Data Professional and the SAS Advanced Analytics Professional certifications. But to earn a SAS Certified Big Data Professional certification, you must have good enough programming skills to deal with data management, data quality, and visual data exploration. Like most vendor-oriented programs, this one is centered around SAS tools – in this case, SAS, BI, and analytics tools.
The open source MongoDB has become a very popular NoSQL database due to its ability to manage loosely structured and unstructured data. Not surprisingly, certifications in this field are in demand. MongoDB Certified Developer Associate is an exam intended for individuals with fundamental knowledge of designing and building applications using MongoDB. It is aimed mainly at software engineers who already understand MongoDB fundamentals and have developed applications using MongoDB. There are preparation training courses available, too, for developers of Java Node.js and .NET.
Oracle offers a wide variety of Big Data, business intelligence, and data analytics certification paths. Several are specific to Oracle software and hardware, but others provide general knowledge in the Big Data space. Some examples of Oracle Data certifications include:
- MySQL Database Administration
- Hyperion Data Management
- Enterprise Data Management
- A Suite of PAAS Data Management Courses
HPE and MapR, their recent acquisition, are another player in the Hadoop big data space. Some of HPE’s top Big Data training paths include the following:
- Intro to Big Data
- Data Analysis: Apache Drill
- Data Analysis: Apache Hive and Pig
- Developer Tools: HPE Data Fabric Database
This is a tough one that trains a data engineer to apply technologies to solve big data problems and build large-scale data processing systems. Those taking the test should already understand the data layer, cluster management, networking, interfaces, data modeling, and many other Big Data skills. The training is focused on software platforms such as BigInsights, BigSQL, Hadoop, and NoSQL.
This one is a little different from many of the others. It is free and it is centered solely on the intricacies of Google Analytics. But this platform is becoming so pervasive that a good knowledge of it should help in career advancement. Google offers courses for beginners, as well as advanced features such as data collection, processing, configuration, complex analysis, and how to use Google Analytics in marketing. In addition, there are higher-level courses available on Google Analytics 360, e-commerce analytics, and Google Tag Manager fundamentals.