11 big data certifications that will pay off

Want an extra edge looking for your next job? Get big data certified.

big data certifications
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Data and big data analytics are becoming the life's blood of business. Data scientists and analysts with expertise in the techniques required to analyze big data and engineers and developers who know their way around Hadoop clusters and other technologies, are hard to come by. If you're looking for a way to get an edge -- whether you're job hunting, angling for a promotion or just want tangible, third-party proof of your skills – big data certification is a great option. Certifications measure your knowledge and skills against industry- and vendor-specific benchmarks to prove to employers that you have the right skillset. The number of big data certs is expanding at a rapidly. Here are 11 you should consider.

1. Certified Analytics Professional -- INFORMS
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Certified Analytics Professional -- INFORMS

What it's all about: The CAP certification is a rigorous general analytics certification. It certifies end-to-end understanding of the analytics process, from framing business and analytic problems to acquiring data, methodology, model building, deployment and model lifecycle management. It requires completion of the CAP exam (available at more than 700 Kryterion computer-based testing centers in more than 100 countries) and adherence to the CAP Code of Ethics.

How to prepare: INFORMS provides preview material and a Complete CAP Study Guide as an aid. It also provides free half-day CAP refresher sessions for organizations with 10 or more candidates.

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2. Certification of Professional Achievement in Data Sciences -- Columbia University
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Certification of Professional Achievement in Data Sciences -- Columbia University

What it's all about: This data science certification is offered jointly through TheFU Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science and The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Columbia University. The program consists of four courses: Algorithms for Data Science (CS/IEOR), Probability & Statistics (STATS), Machine Learning for Data Science (CS) and Exploratory Data Analysis and Visualization (STATS).

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3. Certificate in Engineering Excellence Big Data Analytics and Optimization (CPEE) -- INSOFE
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Certificate in Engineering Excellence Big Data Analytics and Optimization (CPEE) -- INSOFE

What it's all about: This intensive 18-week program consists of 10 courses (lectures and labs) for students of all aspects of analytics, including working with big data using Hadoop. It focuses on R and Hadoop skills, as well as statistical modeling, data analytics, machine learning, text mining and optimization. Students are evaluated on a real-world capstone project and a series of quizzes.

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4. Mining Massive Data Sets Graduate Certificate -- Stanford University
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Mining Massive Data Sets Graduate Certificate -- Stanford University

What it's all about: Designed for software engineers, statisticians, predictive modelers, market research, analytics professionals and data miners, this certification requires four courses and demonstrates mastery of efficient, powerful techniques and algorithms for extracting information from large datasets like the Web, social network graphs and large document repositories. The certificate usually takes one to two years to complete.

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5. Certificate in Analytics: Optimizing Big Data – University of Delaware
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Certificate in Analytics: Optimizing Big Data – University of Delaware

What it's all about: This undergraduate-level program is intended for business, marketing and operations managers, data analyst and professionals, financial industry professionals and small business owners. The program brings together statistics, analysis, and written and oral communication skills. It introduces students to the tools needed to analyze large data sets, covering topics including importing data into an analytics software package, exploratory graphical and data analysis, building analytics models, finding the best model to explain correlation among variables and more.

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6. EMC Data Scientist Associate (EMCDSA) -- EMC
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EMC Data Scientist Associate (EMCDSA) -- EMC

What it's all about: The EMCDSA certification demonstrates an individual's ability to participate and contribute as a data science team member on big data projects. It includes deploying the data analytics lifecycle, reframing a business challenge as an analytics challenge, applying analytic techniques and tools to analyze big data and create statistical models, selecting the appropriate data visualizations and more.

How to prepare: EMC offers a training course available as either a video or an instructor-led course.

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7. Cloudera Certified Professional: Data Scientist (CCP:DS) -- Cloudera
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Cloudera Certified Professional: Data Scientist (CCP:DS) -- Cloudera

What it's all about: The CCP:DS certificate demonstrates the skills to work with big data at an elite level. It requires passing a written exam that evaluates knowledge of fundamental data science topics. They must also prove their abilities under real-world conditions in a Data Science Challenge by designing and developing a production-ready data science solution that is peer-evaluated. The Challenge must be passed within 24 months of completing the written exam and is offered twice per year, every other quarter.

How to prepare: Cloudera offers classroom training with technical instructors, a practice test and a Data Science Challenge Solution Kit with a live data set, tutorial and explanation of process.

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8. Cloudera Certified Developer for Apache Hadoop (CCDH) -- Cloudera
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Cloudera Certified Developer for Apache Hadoop (CCDH) -- Cloudera

What it's all about: The CCDH accreditation demonstrates a developer's technical knowledge, skill and ability to write, maintain and optimize Apache Hadoop development projects. Earning the certification requires passing a written exam of 50 to 55 live questions with a 90-minute time limit. Each test includes at least five unscored, experimental questions.

How to prepare: Cloudera offers a practice test (with 180-day subscription) and a study guide.

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9. Cloudera Certified Administrator for Apache Hadoop (CCAH) -- Cloudera
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Cloudera Certified Administrator for Apache Hadoop (CCAH) -- Cloudera

What it's all about: The CCAH accreditation demonstrates an administrator's technical knowledge, skill and ability to configure, deploy, maintain and secure an Apache Hadoop cluster and the ecosystem projects that comprise the Cloudera Enterprise Data Hub. Earning the certification requires passing a written exam of 60 questions with a 90-minute time limit. How to prepare: Cloudera offers a practice test (with 180-day subscription) and a study guide.

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10. Cloudera Certified Specialist in Apache HBase (CCSHB) -- Cloudera
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Cloudera Certified Specialist in Apache HBase (CCSHB) -- Cloudera

What it's all about: The CCSHB accreditation demonstrates technical knowledge, skill and ability working with Apache HBase, including core HBase concepts, data model, architecture, schema design, API and administration. Earning the certification requires passing a written exam of 45 questions with a 90-minute time limit.

How to prepare: Cloudera offers a practice test (with 180-day subscription) and a study guide.

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11. Revolution R Enterprise Professional -- Revolution Analytics
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Revolution R Enterprise Professional -- Revolution Analytics

What it's all about: This certification demonstrates the ability to use the R statistical language for advanced analytics projects, including the strategic and practical aspects of analyzing big data, data analysis life cycle, theory and methods of advanced analytics, and statistical modeling. The certification requires passing a proctored exam with 60 multiple choice questions and a 90-minute time limit.

How to prepare: Revolution Analytics recommends training courses from its AcademyR unit and offers a study guide and sample questions.

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