Top Big Data Certification Choices of 2018

Top Big Data Certification Choices of 2018
Author

Naren Madan

Last updated July 18, 2018


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We’re living in a time of tremendous opportunity for those who work in the tech industry. With so many evolving technologies, skilled professionals can deepen their knowledge to become specialists in a number of fields, or transition into a new field. This is particularly true of Big Data, where the types of jobs are increasing as the rate of data generated each day increases at a shocking pace. 

Even as we generate unprecedented amounts of data in 2018, IDC predicts we will generate approximately 440 times more information in 2020. All that data must be stored in scalable and cost-effective data platforms, while still being accessed, analyzed and put to use. And it’s the Big Data professionals who make all of that happen, meaning today’s organizations have a dire need for Big Data professionals, including data scientists, data analysts, data engineers and developers, and systems administrators and managers. For those with the right skillset and certifications, the market offers plenty of job opportunities and lucrative salaries. According to Glassdoor, there are almost 49,000 Big Data jobs that need to be filled. 

For anyone interested in either moving into or up in the Big Data domain, a certification is an excellent place to start. Certifications help potential employers know which job applicants have the necessary skillsets and knowledge to take on specialized roles and tasks.  

Should You Earn a Big Data Certification?

A Big Data certification can offer your career a big boost, whether you’re just getting started or you’re a seasoned professional. If you’re new to the field, a Big Data certification will get you trained so you can make the transition and land that first job. Those types of certifications can range from the very specific, such as an introduction to Big Data and Hadoop, to wide-ranging, like a Big Data and Data Science Masters program that earns you several different certifications as part of the learning path.

If you’re already working in Big Data, a certification can help you to move up in your career or move into a specialized role. For example, if you need to know more about a particular aspect of Big Data such as MongoDB or Apache Cassandra, a certification helps you learn the necessary skills, plus gives your current or future employer proof of your qualifications.

If you’re already in a Big Data role, certifications are invaluable during performance appraisals for demonstrating to your manager that you’re proactive about your career and that you can add value to the company, possibly leading to a promotion or a raise. According to Certification Magazine, 52 percent of survey respondents got a raise within a year of completing a Big Data certification. And that raise was substantial: 62 percent reported receiving raises of 4 percent or more.  

In addition to those reasons, jobs in Big Data pay extremely well. A data architect can earn up to $184,000 per year, and a Big Data engineer up to $196,000. According to DataJobs, a data scientist can earn up to $170,000 per year. (To learn more about jobs in Big Data and their projected salaries, see the article at Network World that lists information about over a dozen jobs and projected pay ranges).

What Are the Top Big Data Certification Choices?

Once you realize a certification is a worthwhile investment in your career, your next step is choosing the type of certification and the provider. When it comes to Big Data certification, your choices are almost as numerous as the many areas of study in Big Data. In addition to education providers who offer certifications, the software companies that create the technology driving Big Data also offer certifications.

Below, you’ll find the Big Data certifications offered by some of the biggest names in the business: Cloudera, Hortonworks, MapR, IBM, and SAS. You’ll see a wide variety of certifications and it will give you a sense of the range of options available. 

Big Data Certifications From Cloudera

Cloudera was the first company to build a business around the professional deployment and support of Hadoop, followed soon after by MapR and then Hortonworks. Cloudera offers certification exams via its website, but not necessarily the training for each exam. For example, the CCA Spark and Hadoop Developer Certification Exam is available, but a specific course isn’t. Instead, the company recommends its Cloudera Developer Training for Spark and Hadoop course as preparation for the exam. A few of the top certifications are described below.

  1. CCP Data Engineer Certification

This certification demonstrates that an experienced open-source developer is able to perform the core competencies required to ingest, transform, store, and analyze data in Cloudera's CDH environment. The exam costs $400. Cloudera recommends taking the Cloudera Developer Training for Apache Spark and Hadoop as preparation for the exam. Training is available online as on-demand training and in-person at courses taught all over the world.

  • Cost for the Big Data certification exam: $400
  • Cost for on-demand training: $2,235
  • Cost for in-person training: $1,395 and up depending on the location
  1. CCA Data Analyst Certification

This certification is for SQL developers, data analysts, BI specialists, developers, system architects, and database administrators who need to know how to perform the core competencies required to pull and generate reports in Cloudera’s CDH environment. The exam takes 120 minutes and costs $295. You can prepare for the certification exam by taking the Data Analyst Training, a four-day data analyst course for learning how to access, manipulate, transform and analyze massive data sets in the Hadoop cluster using SQL and familiar scripting languages. Training is available online as on-demand training and in-person at courses taught all over the world.

  • Cost for the Big Data certification exam: $295
  • Cost for on-demand training: $2,235
  • Cost for in-person training: $1,395 and up depending on the location
  1. CCA Administrator Certification

Those who complete this certification have demonstrated the core systems and cluster administrator skills needed for deploying Cloudera in the enterprise. The exam takes 120 minutes and costs $295. You can prepare for the certification exam by taking the Cloudera Administrator Training for Apache Hadoop, a four-day course that teaches you the technical skills you need to manage and scale a Hadoop cluster in a development or production environment. Training is available online as on-demand training and in-person at courses taught all over the world.

  • Cost for the Big Data certification exam: $295
  • Cost for on-demand training: $2,235
  • Cost for in-person training: $1,395 and up depending on the location

Big Data Certifications From Hortonworks

Hortonworks is a Big Data software company that develops and supports Apache Hadoop for the distributed processing of large data sets across computer clusters. Like Cloudera, Hortonworks offers a variety of Big Data certifications via the company’s website, but not necessarily the training needed to prepare for the exams. A few of the certifications available are described below. 

  1. The Hortonworks Certified Associates (HCA) Certification

For those who are new to Big Data, the HCA certification offers an entry point by teaching the fundamental skills needed to get started. Upon earning this certification, you will be able to understand the technologies and recognize business use cases for the many frameworks in the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP). Hortonworks does not offer training specifically for this exam but instead lists a range of courses on its website. These courses range from live training to self-paced to blended. The Apache Hadoop Essentials course is offered as live training all over the world, and a free self-paced option is also available.

  • Cost for the Big Data certification exam: $100
  1. The HDP Apache Spark Developer Certification 

This certification exam is designed for developers responsible for developing Spark Core and Spark SQL applications in Scala or Python. As with the above-mentioned certifications, Hortonworks does not offer training specifically for this exam but instead lists a range of courses on its website. These courses range from live training to self-paced to blended. 

  • Cost for the Big Data certification exam: $250
  1. The HDP Certified Developer Big Data Hadoop Certification

The HDPCD Big Data Hadoop Certification is for Hadoop developers who are already proficient in Pig, Hive, Sqoop, and Flume. Hortonworks does not offer courses specifically for preparing for this exam, but you can find a practice exam. You can also review the list of courses on the Hortonworks website, ranging from live training to self-paced to blended.

  • Cost for the Big Data certification exam: $250

Big Data Certifications From MapR

MapR is another Big Data vendor offering certifications. MapR certifications cover a range of roles including those of a cluster administrator, developer, HBase developer, Spark developer, and data analyst.

  1. MapR Hadoop Developer Certification 

This certification exam measures the specific technical knowledge, skills, and abilities required to design and develop MapReduce programs in Java. The exam covers writing MapReduce programs, using MapReduce API, and managing, monitoring and testing MapReduce programs and workflows. The exam takes two hours. To prepare for the exam, MapR recommends that you take certain MapR Academy courses plus review tutorials and reference materials available online. You can review a full list of courses, but prices are not posted. 

  • Cost for the Big Data certification exam: $250
  1. MapR Spark Developer Certification

This certification is designed for engineers, programmers, and developers who prepare and process large amounts of data using Spark. The exam tests your ability to use Spark in a production environment. The exam takes two hours. As with the above-mentioned certifications, MapR does not offer courses specific to the exam but instead recommends that you take certain MapR Academy courses. You can review a full list of courses, but prices are not posted. 

  • Cost for the Big Data certification exam: $250
  1. MapR Data Analyst Certification

The MapR Data Analyst certification is designed for data analysts who use Hive, Pig, and Drill to do ETLs, manipulate data, create tables, design and execute queries and troubleshoot problems in the process of analyzing data. The exam takes two hours. As with the other certifications offered by MapR, the company does not offer courses specific to the certification exam but instead recommends that you take certain MapR Academy courses. You can review a full list of courses, but prices are not posted.

  • Cost for the Big Data certification exam: $250

Big Data Certifications From IBM

IBM has been a major player in the IT field for decades, and the company offers dozens of certifications as a result. Two of those are major certifications in the area of Big Data. One is for the role of a Big Data Architect and the other, for the role of a Big Data engineer. 

  1. IBM Big Data Architect Certification

A Big Data Architect must have deep knowledge of the necessary technologies and understand the relationship between those technologies as well as how they can be integrated to solve Big Data business problems. Although IBM does not offer specific coursework in preparation for the Big Data Architect certification exam, the website lists detailed information about the skills and knowledge you should have prior to attempting an exam, as well as a list of courses you can choose from. In addition, an assessment exam is available to help you determine your areas of weakness. The exam takes 75 minutes, but no cost is listed.

  1. IBM Big Data Engineer Certification

A Big Data engineer works directly with a Big Data Architect and developers to convert the architect's vision and blueprint into reality. The Big Data engineer, therefore, must have a deep level of technical knowledge and experience across a wide array of products and technologies. Although IBM does not offer specific coursework in preparation for the Big Data engineer certification exam, the website lists detailed information about the skills and knowledge you should have prior to attempting the exam, as well as a list of courses you can choose from. In addition, an assessment exam is available to help you determine your areas of weakness. The exam takes 75 minutes, but no cost is listed.

Big Data Certifications From SAS

SAS, a global leader in analytics, offers multiple certifications, all with a focus on SAS products. 

  1. Big Data Professional Using SAS 9 Certification

This certification is for those professionals who want to validate their ability to use open source and SAS data management tools to prepare Big Data for statistical analysis. This certification requires two exams: SAS Big Data Preparation, Statistics, and Visual Exploration and SAS Big Data Programming and Loading. Training for the exams is available through SAS and administered by Pearson VUE. The SAS website also offers sample questions and practice exams. 

  • Cost for the Big Data certification exams: $180 each
  1. Advanced Analytics Professional Using SAS 9 Certification 

This certification is for professionals who need the ability to analyze Big Data with a variety of statistical analysis and predictive modeling techniques and tools. This certification requires passing three exams: Predictive Modeling Using SAS Enterprise Miner 7, 13, or 14, SAS Advanced Predictive Modeling and SAS Text Analytics, Time Series, Experimentation, and Optimization. Training for the exams is available through SAS and administered by Pearson VUE. The SAS website also offers sample questions and practice exams.

  • Cost for the Big Data certification exams: $180 each

Professionals who earn both the Big Data and the Advanced Analytics certifications are also eligible for a SAS Data Scientist certification

Big Data Certifications From Simplilearn

Despite the variety among them, all the Big Data certifications described above have one trait in common. They are focused on the exam, not the education and hands-on training that prepare you for the exam. The limited education they do offer is of a general sort, requiring you to piece together your learning. For that reason, pursuing certification through a Big Data vendor might not be the right choice for you and your career. In addition, unless you know you need to specialize in a particular vendor such as SAS, you probably need a more general and all-encompassing education. 

If you’d like a more clear-cut path to your Big Data certification, consider Simplilearn’s many choices for Big Data certification. Simplilearn offers a wide range of Big Data certifications, from the specific to the general and a thorough, practical education that prepares you for your certification exam. A few of the top Big Data certification choices are described below. 

  1. Big Data Hadoop Certification 

With this certification, you can master the concepts of the Hadoop framework and prepare for Cloudera’s CCA175 Big Data certification. With the online Hadoop training, you can learn how the components of the Hadoop ecosystem, such as Hadoop 2.7, Yarn, MapReduce, HDFS, Pig, Impala, HBase, Flume and Apache Spark fit with the Big Data processing lifecycle. Hands-on learning happens when you implement real-life projects in banking, telecommunication, social media, insurance and ecommerce on CloudLab. The certification exam is offered when you complete the course, and a practice exam is available. 

  • Cost for the self-learning option: $399
  • Cost for the online classroom flexi-pass option: $799
  1. Big Data Hadoop Administrator Certification 

With this certification, professionals will get trained with the methodologies necessary to excel in Big Data analytics. With this Hadoop Admin training, you can learn to work with the adaptable, versatile frameworks based on the Apache Hadoop ecosystem, including Hadoop installation and configuration; cluster management with Sqoop, Flume, Pig, Hive, Impala and Cloudera; and Big Data implementations that have exceptional security, speed and scale. The certification exam is offered when you complete the course, and a practice exam is available.

  • Cost for the self-learning option: $399
  • Cost for the online classroom flexi-pass option: $799

Earning Multiple Big Data Certifications With a Masters Program

With Simplilearn, you can also choose to earn multiple certifications in the Big Data Architect Masters program. With this course of study, you earn seven different Big Data certifications. They are: 

  1. Big Data Hadoop and Spark Developer
  2. Apache Spark and Scala
  3. MongoDB Developer and Administrator
  4. Big Data and Hadoop Administrator
  5. Apache Storm
  6. Apache Kafka
  7. Apache Cassandra
  • Cost for the Master's program including seven certifications: $1,299

The Big Data and Data Science Masters program also certifies you in multiple areas as you earn a certification for each of these five courses:

  1. Data science certification training—R programming
  2. Big Data Hadoop and Spark Developer
  3. Tableau Desktop 10 Qualified Associate Training
  4. Data Science with Python
  5. Machine Learning
  • Cost for the Masters program including five certifications: $2,299

If you want a certification that covers a broad range of skillsets and sets you up for success as a specialist in either an architect or engineer position, these Masters programs might be the best choice for you. If you have a narrower focus, you can see by the wide range of Big Data certification choices offered by Simplilearn that you’re sure to find one that fits your needs.

Make Your Big Move into Big Data with a Certification

Big Data will remain big news in the tech industry for years to come, and the numbers and types of jobs are only set to increase. We will generate more data, and we will, therefore, have a need for even more data professionals. If you’re considering a career in Big Data, or you’re already there but want to move up in your career, a certification is a perfect place to start. And with so many vendor-specific certifications available in addition to the broad range of Big Data certifications offered by Simplilearn, you are sure to find the Big Data certification that’s right for you. 

Find our Big Data Hadoop and Spark Developer Online Classroom training classes in top cities:

Name Date Place
Big Data Hadoop and Spark Developer 6 Oct -11 Nov 2018, Weekend batch Your City View Details
Big Data Hadoop and Spark Developer 14 Oct -4 Nov 2018, Weekdays batch Dallas View Details
Big Data Hadoop and Spark Developer 19 Oct -24 Nov 2018, Weekdays batch Houston View Details

About the Author

Naren Madan is a Content Marketer with close to three years of experience in B2B marketing. An avid football fan, Naren follows the key trends in digital marketing and how sports teams leverage new marketing technologies and analytics to connect with their global fan base. This section provides access to all the insightful resources that Naren has contributed to our audience.


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