11 big data tech certifications to take your career to the next level

Want to get certified in big data? Keep reading.

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If you haven't heard all the excitement around big data, then you haven't been paying attention. The fact is big data analytics has become one of the most valuable parts of any modern business.

Big data exploded on the scene before enough qualified people were on hand to capitalize on it. But now things are coming around and several certifications can help you take your career to new heights. Do you want to set yourself apart from others in your current job?

Or are you planning a career change? Then check out 11 of the best big data certifications available today.

1. Cloudera Certified Administrator for Apache Hadoop (CCAH)

Cloudera

Once you have this certification, you can show you have technical knowledge and skills to work with an Apache Hadoop cluster. Pick up skills in Hadoop cluster installation and administration as well as the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS). You need to score above 70 percent to pass the exam which comprises 60 questions in 90 minutes.

2. Cloudera Certified Professional: Data Scientist (CCP: DS)

Cloudera

Three exams make up the full course. You need to take all three in no particular order within 365 days. Common skills include extraction of features from datasets with different forms of “noise” -- errors, partial records, or bad records. And you’ll work with data stored in a range of formats such as JSON, XML, and graph link data.

Candidates develop a data science solution, and accuracy, robustness, and scalability are ensured through a peer review system.

3. Cloudera Certified Professional Data Engineer

Cloudera

Show off the technical skills employers seek the most with this certificate that builds on the CCP Data Scientist program.

Work in a hands-on environment, and use whichever tools you need on a cluster to solve customer problems.

4. EMC Data Scientist Associate (EMCDSA)

EMC

You can participate and contribute as a data science team member on big projects after securing EMC certification. With your skills, you’ll be able to:

  • deploy the Data Analytics Lifecycle

  • reframe a business challenge as an analytics challenge

  • apply analytic techniques and tools to analyze big data

  • create statistical models

  • select the appropriate data visualizations

5. Certified Analytics Professional (CAP)

INFORMS

You need to meet education and experience conditions to sign up for this certification. The program focuses on several key domains of the analytics process. These include framing analytics and business problems, selection of methodologies, model construction, and lifecycle management.

6. HP Vertica Big Data Accredited Solutions Expert (ASE)

HP

Search any tech job board, and it’s obvious HP’s Vertica Analytics Platform is used extensively. The certification targets database administrators and tests their ability to diagnose and troubleshoot problems. You also become better at optimizing Vertica performance. Advanced tasks involve database tuning and manual projection design.

There’s a cloud-based exam followed by a written exam via Pearson VUE testing.

7. IBM Certified Solution Advisor: Big Data & Analytics V1

IBM

This certification shows you understand basic concepts of big data and analytics. You’ll be able to identify customer requirements and suggest the best solutions. Skills covered are:

  • design principles in big data and analytics solutions

  • architectures

  • processes

  • maturity and adoption models

Knowledge of IBM products is recommended but not required. The IBM Certified Solution Advisor for Big Data and Analytics two-day boot camp can help you prepare for the exam.

8. Oracle Business Intelligence (OBI): Foundation Suite 11g

Oracle

Show how you can apply solutions after you take this program that falls under Oracle’s Middleware and Java certification path. Develop skills to build and install BI solutions, build BI dashboards, and define security settings.

The course is geared towards members of the Oracle Partner Network.

9. SAS certifications

SAS

Any SAS certification deserves attention. For data analytics, SAS offers the Business Intelligence Content Developer (SAS 9) certification.  

Knowledge and skills of SAS Enterprise Miner 13 are essential for candidates who want to become an SAS Certified Predictive Modeler. Candidates need to:

  • build and assess predictive models

  • score new data sets

  • prepare data

Statisticians will be interested in becoming a SAS Certified Statistical Business Analyst. Logistic regression, ANOVA, and predictive modeling are tested in this exam.

10. MCSE: Business Intelligence

Microsoft

Individuals who pass the exams qualify as BI and reporting engineers. The credential shows you have the skills to design and build data solutions and implement them across an organization without problems.

There are five exams related to Microsoft SQL Server 2012. If you pass the first three exams you qualify as a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) with SQL Server 2012 certification. The final two exams earn you the MCSE: Business Intelligence certification.

11. Data Mining and Applications Graduate Certificate

Stanford university

This college-level certificate introduces key ideas in data mining and machine learning. It shows how concepts can be applied to business, science, and technology, and it ranks high in terms of popularity and job prospects.

Conclusion

Companies are banking on big data now more than ever. But as big data spaces expand and evolve at a rapid pace, certifications need to adapt. Many of the above programs update their content as changes in the industry happen, and you’ll need to stay current through periodical re-exams -- usually every three years. It’s a worthy endeavor. Getting certified, no matter your field, proves to employers you have the right skills, and you can apply them when it matters the most.

This article has since been updated by Laurence Bradford.

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