Deciding on the Ideal Certification for Big Data

Which Certification Is Best for Big Data?

To help you navigate the world of Big Data certifications, we’ve gathered six expert opinions from CEOs to Data Science Trainers. From accessing IBM’s Big Data foundation for beginners to gaining in-depth instruction with a Hortonworks certification, this article provides a comprehensive guide to choosing the best certification for your career in Big Data.

IBM’s Big Data Foundations for Beginners

One beginner-friendly Big Data course/certification that I often recommend to my IT students and juniors is Big Data Foundations (Level 2) by IBM. If your plan is to use the certification to land a job, then you must do it from a well-sought-after place. It has three courses merged into one, with approximately 12 hours of effort time. It covers the fundamentals of Hadoop, Spark, and Big Data. Completing this will ensure that you have a good grasp of the general Big Data concepts and can be appointed as a Big Data Advisor. However, if your aim is to learn more about Big Data, then I would suggest not looking for a particular course but rather utilizing open sources. And if you don’t know where to start, Big Data is based on data analytics, machine learning, database management, and parts of cloud computing. You can do individual courses on the subjects instead of doing a 30-hour crash course specifically on Big Data.

Top Industry-Recognized Big Data Certifications

As an AWS-certified specialist and expert in several data engineering technologies across various cloud platforms like AWS, GCP, SAS, etc., I have listed the top certifications based on industry relevance and credibility. While new certifications emerge regularly, it’s essential to choose ones that have industry recognition and credibility. I have previously been a technical question writer for a couple of the exams I listed below, and thus, I have a perspective I can share about the structure of these exams.

  • GCP Professional Data Engineer
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Engineer Associate
  • Cloudera Certified Professional Data Engineer
  • SAS Certified Advanced Analytics Professional
  • Cloudera Data Platform (CDP) Data Analyst
  • CAP: Certified Analytics Professional

CDP or Apache Can Align With Career Aspirations

For those pursuing a career in Big Data, obtaining a “Certified Data Professional (CDP)” or “Apache Hadoop, Spark and Scala Certification” is advisable. The CDP offers a comprehensive foundation, covering various aspects such as data management and analytics, providing a versatile skill set essential for various Big Data roles. In contrast, the Apache certification focuses on mastering specific Big Data technologies like Hadoop and Spark, equipping professionals with specialized, hands-on expertise, which is highly valued in the job market. Choosing between the two should align with one’s career aspirations—whether seeking a broad foundation with the CDP or aiming for specialized technical proficiency with the Apache certification.

AWS Certifications and Practical Experience

There are many reputed institutions that provide valuable certification courses for big data. For example, AWS Certified Big Data—Specialty, Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Scientist Associate, Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) Certified Developer, Cloudera Certified Data Engineer (CCDE), Certified Data Management Professional (CDMP). I want to add that skills and practical experience often matter more than the specific institution or certification you hold. It’s about what you can do with the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired. In the world of big data, the ability to work with data, analyze it, and derive meaningful insights is crucial. Employers often look for individuals who can demonstrate their competence through real-world projects and problem-solving.

CompTIA Data+: Ideal for Beginners

While it really depends on where you are in your career, I’m a big fan of the CompTIA Data+ certification for those still early on or just entering the field. This data-analytics certification builds and validates the necessary skills to facilitate data-driven business decision-making, which is invaluable in most businesses, in my experience. You cover an incredibly broad range of topics, and those who pass the exam will have a good degree of proficiency with data concepts and environments, visualization, data mining, analysis, and governance, as well as quality and control.

Hortonworks Certification for In-Depth Instruction

The Hortonworks Certified Associate (HCA) is a fundamental Big Data certification. It was once provided by Hortonworks, but is now offered by Cloudera due to the merger of the two companies. The certification provides in-depth instruction in a variety of skills, including Hadoop, Spark, and data ingestion. The HCA certificate assists aspiring big data specialists in gaining a foothold in the field by providing a solid foundation in the subject matter. In the competitive field of big data, earning a certification in a relevant subject can help distinguish oneself from the competition.

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