The term Big Data reflects a very real growing trend. By 2020, every human will be generating 1.7 MB per second. That will add up to 44 trillion GB, according to IDC. Contributing to the total 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 smart phones and billions of Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
The number of big data certifications is mushrooming, too, though not quite at the same pace. These qualifications come from vendors, educational institutions, and independent or industry bodies. 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. These include 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 what would be the best credentials to help the individual to get ahead in his or her career.
Bill Reynolds, an analyst at Foote Partners, said the growth of the IoT is fueling more 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 noted 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 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 options out there. But there are many more besides. They are delivered in a variety of ways: at vendor or college campuses, trade shows, online and sometimes trainers can be sent 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.
PGP in Big Data Analytics and Optimization
Formerly known as Certificate in Engineering Excellence Big Data Analytics and Optimization (CPEE), the International School of Engineering (INSOFE) has decided to rename it PHP though fails 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.
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 cert, 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 on offer from the Professional & Continuing Studies unit of the University of Delaware. It deals 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
SAP Hana is all about in-memory analytics. Various courses exist to become a trained application specialist using SAP HANA. The SAP Certified Application Specialist - SAP BW powered by HANA SPS12 (Edition 2016)" certification exam, for example, deals with implementing and modeling SAP BW on SAP HANA. Candidates must complete In order to be eligible to take this exam one of several SAP courses.
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 cert from the Amazon collection: Solutions Architect, DevOps Engineer, Develop, 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.
The Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) line up continues to be popular. It includes MCSE certs for Business Applications, Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, Data Management and Analytics, Mobility and Productivity. Being Microsoft programs, they focus on Azure, SQL Server and other Microsoft tools. The Data Management and Analytics cert encompasses Microsoft BI and analytics platforms, deploying enterprise databases, running SQL Server systems in cloud environments, how to operate big data in the Azure cloud or on premise, and more. Those pursuing this course set themselves up for careers as database analysts/designers and business intelligence analysts. Options include first pursuing a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) in either SQL Server 2012/2014, or SQL 2016 Database Administration, Database Development, BI Development, Machine Learning, BI Reporting or Data Engineering with Azure. Once you complete this training, you take exams to earn an MCSA: Data Management and Analytics.
R has become a major in data science and statistics. Offered by Revolution Analytics (now part of Microsoft), this big data training provides expertise in using the R statistical language for advanced analytics. It includes strategic data analysis, lifecycle analysis, basic analytics theory and modeling. This course is part of the Microsoft Professional Program Certificate in Data Science.
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.
EMC is another one with a portfolio of big data credentials. To become a certified Data Scientist, you have to complete a Data Science and Big Data Analytics course, as well as an Advanced Methods in Data Science and Big Data Analytics course. This 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 cert, 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 knowledge of the fundamentals 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.
It’s hard to pick just one cert from the Oracle arsenal but here goes. Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation Suite 11g Certified Implementation Specialist is for users of the Oracle Business Intelligence Suite. It deals with dashboards, queries, configuration of software, metadata repositories, security settings and BI management. The company recommends several additional courses to prepare for this exam related to Oracle BI including a boot camp.
To become a Hortonworks Certified Professional, you need to earn at least one of the following: Hadoop Certified Developer, Hadoop Certified Apache Spark, Hadoop Certified Java Developer, Hadoop Certified Administrator, Hortonworks Certified Associate, or Hortonworks Data Flow Certified NiFI Architect. Those completing these courses become skilled in the design, development, and management of Hadoop big data environments.
MapR is another player in the Hadoop big data space. This cert requires at least two years of Java development experience. This training deals with designing and developing MapReduce programs in Java. This exam covers writing MapReduce programs, using MapReduce API, and managing, monitoring and testing MapReduce programs and workflows.
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 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, Ecommerce analytics and Google Tag Manager fundamentals.