Despite the buzz, big data is still in its infancy which means that there are few true big data experts. Of course, that doesn’t stop newcomers from claiming expertise. The only way you can demonstrate to your customers and prospects that you have a mastery of big data is with big data certifications.
The biggest big data skills gap is in data science. According to a CompTIA survey of IT executives at 500 U.S. businesses, 50 percent of firms say they are ahead of the game in leveraging data, but 71 percent feel that their staff skills in data management and analysis are lagging. And the McKinsey Global Institute predicts that the shortfall in data science skills is going to continue. By 2018 they predict a shortage of 1.7 million workers with the necessary big data skills. That includes 140,000 to 190,000 experts with deep technical and analytical skills, and 1.5 million managers with the analytical savvy to work with big data results.
So if you want to acquire big data credentials, the best place to focus is on certifications that demonstrate your prowess in big data framework design and analytics. Many of these big data certifications are offered by vendors, but more big data credential programs are emerging from universities as well. Here is a short list of 10 of the big data certifications that discerning organizations are starting to look for:
- Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) - INFORMS, the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, has its own big data certification training in end-to-end analytics. Certification includes training in framing business and analytic problems, acquiring data, developing analytical methodologies, model building, implementation, and model lifecycle management. There also is a CAP Code of Ethics. More is available from the INFORMS Complete CAP Study Guide.
- HP Vertica Certification – HP’s Vertica is one of the most widely adopted big data analytics platforms. Geared toward system administrators, developers, and database analysts, HP offers an Accredited Technical Professional (ATP) credential that requires three to six months of training prior to the exam. HP also offers an Accredited Solutions Expert (ASE) credential for HP partners and Vertica DBAs.
- EMC Data Scientist Associate (EMCDSA) – Offered by EMC, the EMCDSA verifies that the individual has the expertise to contribute as a member of a big data science team. Despite the Associate label, this credential requires extensive training in big data analytics, including framing the business question, analytics lifecycle, applying analytics tools and techniques, creating statistical models, and data visualization. EMC also offers certification in data storage, cloud storage, backup and recovery, content management, and related areas.
- Cloudera Certified Professional: Data Scientist (CCP:DS) – Offered by Cloudera, which is taking the lead in development training in Hadoop, the CCP:DS is for data scientists to demonstrate their ability to design and develop scalable big data production environments. Candidates are required to pass two exams, a written exam and a real-world practicum.
- Cloudera Certified Developer for Apache Hadoop (CCDH) – This accreditation program is to demonstrate a developer’s expertise in writing and optimizing Hadoop development projects. To achieve the credential requires passing a time written exam with 55 questions.
- Cloudera Certified Administrator for Apache Hadoop (CCAH) – This takes big data certification up a level to demonstrate administration-level knowledge in how to configure, deploy, and manage a secure Hadoop cluster that includes a Cloudera Enterprise Data Hub. Certification follows a timed written exam.
- Cloudera Certified Specialist in Apache HBase (CCSHB) – This credential is specific to Apache HBase including working with core HBase concepts, data models, architectures, APIs, and administration. Certification follows a timed written exam.
- Revolution R Enterprise Professional – Offered by Revolution Analytics, this big data certification is for expertise in using the R statistical language for advanced analytics, such as strategic and practical data analysis, data analysis lifecycle, advanced analytics theory, and statistical modeling. Certification is granted following a written test.
- Certificate in Engineering Excellence in Big Data Analytics and Optimization (CPEE) – Offered by INSOFE, the International School of Engineering, this is an 18-week program with lectures and practical labs for engineers seeking to perfect their skills in Hadoop and R. Coursework also covers statistical modeling, data analytics, and text mining.
- Graduate Certificate: Mining Massive Data Sets – A four-course program offered by Stanford University, the certification is for software engineers, market researchers, analytics professionals, predictive modelers, and statisticians seeking mastery of big data algorithms and extracting information from large data sets. The certificate typically takes one to two years to complete.
Big data certifications also are available for Columbia University, the University of Delaware, and other schools, as well as Oracle, SAS, and other vendors. Wherever you need to build out your big data skillset, there is no doubt a certification program to suit your needs.