Big Data Certifications: Finding The One That Works For You - InformationWeek

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3/30/2015
07:06 AM
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Big Data Certifications: Finding The One That Works For You

We can't tell you which big data certification programs to choose -- that depends on a number of variables in your personal IT career goals and work situation. What we can do is provide you with a selected list of the vendor certifications available.
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(Image: Apache.org)

(Image: Apache.org)

Anyone who’s worked in IT for more than a minute knows that the ability to keep up with fast-changing technologies can make or break your career. This is particularly true right now for anyone whose job involves working with applications related to big data, business intelligence, and business analysis.

Tech vendors typically offer a wide range of big data certification programs to help you master your use of their products and services. Conventional wisdom has it that developing your expertise and becoming certified in certain tools will help advance your own career.

But there are only so many hours in a day, and those hours include doing your day job. Deciding which big data vendor certifications are right for you to pursue can feel a bit like navigating a maze.

Vendors including IBM, HP, Oracle, EMC, and Cloudera are among those offering certification programs for IT professionals working with big data. Some are geared to folks working in the channel, or as consultants, while others are targeted toward the end user. We can’t tell you which to choose -- that depends on a number of variables, including your position, the demands of your current work situation, whether or not you have access to tuition support, and what your long-term goals are.

What we can do is provide you with a selected list of the vendor certifications available.

On the following pages, you’ll find details on various vendor certification programs, including what they offer, how much they cost, and what kind of letters you’ll be able to put on your business card upon completion of the programs. Check out the latest big data vendor certification programs featured here, and let us know what you think.

Did we miss any that are crucial to working with big data? Have you pursued certification in any areas of IT during your career? If so, how has it helped you? If not, tell us why. We’re waiting to hear from you in the comments section below.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
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Vishal0soni
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Vishal0soni,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/20/2015 | 9:23:08 AM
Re: Vendor lock-in
I guess predicting the exact future is almost impossible. But then when you learn something at concept level, the learnings gain more importance than the tool or technology iteself. For instance, doing a certification in SQL Server 2008 would still hold value, as at its core, the database technology remains the same.

In similar manner, Big Data is here to stay (hopefully) even if relevant tools might change. So getting hold of concepts (like how map-reduce works or how files are stored in HDFS format) is more important than the tools.
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
4/5/2015 | 9:56:01 PM
Re: As Usual
Exactly - as IT professionals, we need to keep learning new stuff. It's good that there will be bigdata certificates. The important thing is what kind of certificate it will be - it must include the lab part. The practical skill is the most important part.
Vishal0soni
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Vishal0soni,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/3/2015 | 12:51:06 AM
Re: As Usual
I agree that bigdata is relatively new technology, but same is true for many others like cloud and mobile and IoT. We cannot predict the future, but then bigdata is something which has a potential to help us predict the future. And for me, investment in learning anything new is always a constructive development.
RekhaS054
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RekhaS054,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/1/2015 | 8:57:14 AM
Bigdata certification
The Certified Big Data Professional designation can be used as a standalone accreditation to verify competency in fundamental skills and one or more chosen skill-sets. This certification can also be used as an interim accreditation for IT professionals pursuing one or more specialized certification tracks. Learn more at https://intellipaat.com
the.franster
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the.franster,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/31/2015 | 8:56:15 PM
Re: Balancing Concepts with Platform/Tool Context
We don't assume any prerequisites and access to Datameer is provided for free. We recommend viewing some of the public tutorials to make the learning curve as low as possible, but ask for no analytics background of any kind. Those with such a background can usually perform their analytics process in Datameer with a few "translation" tips depending on their precious tool of choice, but do not typically require much training.
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
3/31/2015 | 8:49:04 PM
Re: Balancing Concepts with Platform/Tool Context
I am not a plant for Datameer, but I like that approach. Ultimately agnostic to platform and purpose and more geared to problem-solving. I'd ask: Where do I sign up? But I want to ask first: how much of an anlytics background does someone need to get value out of the certification program?
the.franster
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the.franster,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/31/2015 | 7:12:27 PM
Balancing Concepts with Platform/Tool Context
Datameer takes a concept driven approach to certification by teaching how to answer questions like, "How do I determine user behavior on my website?" and more specifically, "How do I define actionable insights like fall out trends and repeated paths?" Datameer teaches the concepts behind sessionization, click pair analysis, and time series analysis to answer these questions rather than focusing on technology-specific training.

We hope that Datameer is recognized as a champion for simplifying big data analytics by providing an overarching learning platform. Our goal is for attendees to ultimately walk away as better analysts regardless of which tools they select.
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
3/31/2015 | 3:04:30 PM
Re: Vendor lock-in
"This puts more responsibility on the part of the individual taking the certification. Make sure you are working on transferable skills"

@jagibbons: I think apart from transferable, it is also important to see what the future is going to be of the technology you're looking to get a certification in. There might be technologies that are pretty hot today but don't hold any importance in the future and it may not be worth investing your time and effort into them.
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
3/31/2015 | 8:18:02 AM
Re: Vendor lock-in
Good points, tzubair. It may also be that a vendor-specific certification may translate a number of skills to other vendor platforms. This puts more responsibility on the part of the individual taking the certification. Make sure you are working on transferable skills.
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
3/31/2015 | 6:11:58 AM
Re: Vendor lock-in
"My concern with any of these certification programs would be about getting locked into or pigeon holed in a particular platform. If one doesn't pick wisely, that could end up having some negative effects on the career."

@jagibbons: I think it's always a tricky decision. Sometimes, companies prefer people who're technically skilled in a particular area and have specialized in that field. You may have an advantage over others if you have a certification. On the other hand, a general certification may help you in applying to a variety of positions and leave more options open. I think there's always a trade-off involved.
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