Best Big Data Professional Certifications in 2021

Big data skills help you search, capture, store, analyze, share, and transfer information.
Like business intelligence, big data is about consuming information from multiple sources, analyzing it, and applying data visualization techniques to make the information easier to digest.

What sets big data apart is the size and variety of the datasets involved. Big data uses much larger sets composed of more eclectic data. Additionally, big data professionals analyze and interpret data at much greater speeds, so big data engineers are expected to work more efficiently than business intelligence practitioners.

Big data professional certifications are evidence that you are equipped to handle a large volume of information from multiple sources without ever compromising on efficiency and speed. In this article, we review the best big data professional certifications out there to further your career.

What Is a Big Data Professional Certification?

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A big data certification is a credential designed for analytics professionals and practitioners who are committed to higher standards. Professional certifications enhance the career of these professionals and the quality of their work. These credentials often involve taking an exam.

Professional Certification vs Certificate Program

A professional big data certification demonstrates a professional’s ability to transform data from multiple sources into a valuable set of insights that help inform business decisions. Certification guarantees that the work of that professional meets a certain standard.

Completion of a big data certificate program, on the other hand, does not carry such assurances. Having a certificate of completion from a certificate program merely demonstrates that the student has completed a course of study. It doesn’t prove mastery of a skill or that a certain standard of work has been achieved.

Another notable difference is that certificate programs are provided by educational institutions, while professional certifications are awarded by an authoritative organization in the field. In addition, most certifications involve passing an exam, while the same cannot be said about certificate programs.

On that note, it is worth pointing out that certificate programs can be a great tool to prepare for the rigorous examinations you will need to pass to obtain a professional certification.

Big Data Skills: What’s Demand Like in 2021?

In the next decade, you can expect to see a large number of job openings for professionals with big data skills. These jobs include actuaries, research analysts, statisticians, and mathematicians.

The job outlook for actuaries for 2019-2029 sits at an impressive 18 percent which is much faster than average. The job outlook for research analysts over the same period is currently 25 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile, the number of job openings for statistician and mathematician positions is projected to increase by a whopping 33 percent.

The demand for skills associated with these jobs has everything to do with our increasing reliance on big data, which is used to shape the way decision-makers create and run their businesses. If you enjoy conducting analysis and get a thrill out of working with numbers, you should consider a career in big data.

Importance of Big Data Certification

Earning big data certification can boost your earning potential and help you secure a promotion at work. You will spend a considerable amount of time studying to pass the exam, which will help you acquire new skills and enhance existing ones.

Top 10 Big Data Certifications

Top 10 Big Data Certifications

We have selected the top 10 big data certifications on the market. The courses in our list cover a broad range of topics, from machine learning and data management to analytics.

Associate-Certified Analytics Professional (aCAP)

Cost: $300 (INFORMS members pay $200)

Validity: Three years

This certification will help you master business and analytics problem framing, methodology selection, model building, deployment, and life cycle management. This is a credential that looks great on your resume. It enhances your professional credibility, proves that you want to invest in your career, and bolsters your earning potential.

Enterprise Big Data Professional

Cost: $299

Validity: Does not expire

This certification, awarded by APMG, is designed for entry-level data analysts, business analysts, IT advisors, and IT professionals. This credential shows proficiency in big data in enterprises. The certification exam will test you on data analysis techniques. You will also be expected to explain advanced concepts related to data analysis, big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

Certified Analytics Professional (CAP)

Cost: $695 (INFORMS members pay $495)

Validity: Three years

This analytics certification carries a great level of prestige for people working in the field of analytics. Passing this examination will enhance your professional credibility and bolster your skillset.

This certification is popular because it is vendor and software-neutral, which means that it qualifies you to work across multiple platforms. To sign up for this examination, you should have some education and experience in the field.

Cloudera Certified Associate (CCA) Data Analyst

Cost: $295

Validity: Two years

This certification is designed for SQL developers, data analysts, business intelligence specialists, software developers, network architects, and database administrators. You need to have considerable experience in your field to pass the examination.

This certification proves that you know how to create tables of various data types. It also demonstrates competence with Hive, Impala, SELECT commands, calculating aggregate statistics, creating queries, and transforming the output format of said queries.

Data Scientist – Advanced Analytics (Specialist Level)

Cost: $230

Validity: Does not expire

This Dell Technologies certification can only be obtained once you have acquired the Associate Level Certification. You will also have to complete one of their three training options: classroom, on-demand class, or virtual class.

As with most other similar analytics certifications and training courses, you will walk away with a more comprehensive knowledge of advanced analytical methods and learn Hadoop, Pig, Hive, HBase, social network analysis, and natural language processing.

Azure Data Scientist Associate

Cost: $165

Validity: Does not expire

This certification will show employers that you are capable of creating machine learning models and no-code predictive models as well as deploy machine learning solutions and using Azure Databricks. This certification is also designed for people who want to master the Microsoft Azure platform.

Enterprise Big Data Analyst

Cost: $477 (350 GBP)

Validity: Does not expire

This APMG certification program has been designed for people currently working as data analysts, business analysts, systems analysts, data management analysts, business analytics consultants, data scientists, and data modelers. To sit this exam, you first need to pass the Enterprise Big Data Professional certification.

To pass, you will need to demonstrate competence with statistical analysis and machine learning. You will also be expected to tell the difference between all other data models. Critically, you need to have the skills required to extract value from big data sets, which is an area of specialization.

Data Analyst Associate

Cost: $165

Validity: Does not expire

This Microsoft certification measures your expertise in subjects like Microsoft data analytics, preparation of data for analysis, and the modeling, visualization, and analysis of data in Power BI. This certification proves that you can manage workspaces and datasets in Power BI.

AWS Certified Big Data

Cost: $300

Validity: Does not expire

This certification program has been designed for people who want to read and process big data on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Somebody with this certification has received the training necessary to apply big data skills to this platform. Beyond that, this certification demonstrates knowledge of big data implementation, big data design and maintenance, and automated data analysis in AWS.

Before you sign up for this certification, it is recommended that you hold the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner or one of the following associate-level certifications: AWS Certified Solutions Architect, AWS Certified Developer, and AWS Certified SysOps Administrator.

SAS Certified Big Data Professional

Cost: $180

Validity: Does not expire

This credential proves that you are able to provide meaningful solutions to big data challenges. It also demonstrates your knowledge of SAS programming techniques and your skill in manipulating data, reporting on analysis, and working with SAS, Hadoop, and Hive.

How to Choose the Right Big Data Certification

How to Choose the Right Big Data Certification

Choosing the right big data certification means finding one that meets all your basic requirements. Important factors to consider are location and affordability as well as your education and experience in the big data industry.

Know Why You Are Getting Certified

The main reason to get certified with big data is to advance your career in a very competitive field. Determine if the certification will help you accomplish your career goals, improve your skillset, and increase your earning potential. Certifications are not one-size-fits-all.

Do You Qualify for the Certification?

Before signing up for a certification exam, read the requirements carefully. Most certifications require that you have some experience working in a related field. In addition, most major certifications require that you complete a series of milestones prior to taking the exam.

Can You Sit the Certification Exam in Your Region?

Some certification exams may not be available in your location. Additionally, language or medium of instruction can become a barrier to earning certain certifications. Consider these factors and your needs before you choose a vendor or platform.

Top Courses to Prepare for Big Data Certifications

The best big data courses will help you become well-versed with software analytics tools like Apache Spark, CCA Spark, and Hadoop development. There will also be a lot of math and statistics involved.

A good choice for professionals preparing for a big data certification exam is to enroll at the SAS Academy for Data Science. The SAS Academy for Data Science offers in-depth training and is geared towards major big data certifications.

Introduction to Statistical Concepts | Academy for Data Science

Cost: Contact course provide for a price list

Duration: Six hours

Format: e-Learning

Outcome: N/A

This course covers basic statistical concepts, descriptive statistics, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, and data visualization. There are no prerequisites to enroll for this course, so it is a good starting point for those who lack a considerable amount of experience in the field.

Statistical Thinking for Industrial Problem Solving | Academy for Data Science

Cost: Contact course provide for a price list

Duration: 25 hours

Format: e-Learning

Outcome: N/A

This is another introductory course. You do not have to be an expert in JMP, but being familiar with it can be helpful. This course has lessons on statistical thinking and problem solving, exploratory data analysis, data decision making, correlation and regression, experiment design, and predictive modeling.

Experimentation in Data Science | Academy for Data Science

Cost: Contact course provide for a price list

Duration: Two days

Format: Classroom, live web classroom, e-Learning

Outcome: N/A

This course is designed for intermediate students. To complete the course you will need access to SAS software. The curriculum covers experimentation in business and incremental response models. You will improve your understanding of business experimentation essentials.

Structural Equation Modelling Using SAS | Academy for Data Science

Cost: Contact course provide for a price list

Duration: Two days

Format: e-Learning

Outcome: N/A

This is an advanced course. You will be expected to have some background on subjects like regression modeling, factor analysis, and statistical concepts. The coursework covers terminology and concepts, the CALIS procedure, path models, latent variable models, and non-normal data. It is a lot of new information, but few courses will leave you more prepared for a big data certification than this one.

IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate | Coursera

Cost: Contact course provider for a price list

Duration: 11 months

Format: e-Learning

Outcome: Shareable certificate

The coursework for this program is comprised of subjects like data analytics, the basics of data analysis, data visualization, and Python for data science. You will also learn about databases and SQL for data science and conclude your program with a capstone project.

The is a self-place course so you can study while working full-time. If you stick to a schedule of just three hours per week, you should be able to complete the course within a year. It is most suitable for beginners or someone working in an entry-level big data job.

Is a Big Data Certification Worth It in 2021?

Yes, securing a big data certification is worth it. A big data certification will give you access to better job opportunities and a higher income. The average salary for somebody with big data skills is about $112,000 per year.

The people you are competing for jobs in this field are trained mathematicians, statisticians, actuaries, and research analysts. These are among society’s brightest professionals, many of whom have high bachelor’s and master’s degrees from leading institutions. In an industry where the top job candidates are separated by the finest of margins, securing an additional certification will set you apart from the rest of the pack.

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