Top 14 data engineer and data architect certifications

Data engineers and data architects are in high demand. Here are the certifications that will give your career an edge.

Top 14 data engineer and data architect certifications
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Data and big data analytics are the lifeblood of any successful business. Getting the technology right can be challenging but building the right team with the right skills to undertake big data initiatives can be even harder.

Successfully deploying big data initiatives requires more than data scientists and data analysts. It requires data architects who design the "blueprint" for your enterprise data management framework, and it requires data engineers who can build that framework and the data pipelines to bring in, process, and create business value out of data.

Data architects typically have years of experience in data design, data management and data storage, while data engineers typically have skills around Hadoop, Spark, and the open source big data ecosystem, complemented with programming skills in Java, Scala, or Python.

If you're looking for a way to get an edge, 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.

Below is our guide to the most sought after data engineer and data architect certifications to help you decide which cert is right for you.

If you would like to submit a big data certification to this directory, please email us.

The top 14 data engineer and data architect certifications

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Big Data – Specialty
  • Cloudera Certified Associate (CCA) Spark and Hadoop Developer
  • Cloudera Certified Professional (CCP): Data Engineer
  • Google Professional Data Engineer
  • HDP Apache Spark Developer
  • HDP Certified Developer Big Data Hadoop
  • Hortonworks Certified Associate (HCA)
  • IBM Certified Data Architect – Big Data
  • IBM Certified Data Engineer – Big Data
  • MapR Certified Hadoop Developer 1.0
  • MapR Certified Spark Developer 2.1
  • Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation Suite 11 Certified Implementation Specialist
  • SAS Certified Big Data Professional
  • SAS Certified Data Scientist Using SAS 9

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Big Data – Specialty

The AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty certification validates technical skills and experience in designing and implementing AWS services to derive value from data. It is intended to validate the ability to:

  • Implement core AWS big data services according to basic architecture practices
  • Design and maintain big data
  • Leverage tools to automate data analysis

Organization: Amazon Web Services

Price: $300 registration fee for exam

How to prepare: Eligible candidates should have the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner or current Associate-level certification (AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate, AWS Certified Developer – Associate, or AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate). In addition, candidates should have a minimum of five years hands-on experience in a data analytics field, a background in defining and architecting AWS Big Data services, and experience in designing a scalable, cost-effective architecture to process data.

Cloudera Certified Associate (CCA) Spark and Hadoop Developer

The CCA Spark and Hadoop Developer credential certifies a professional has proven their core skills to ingest, transform and process data using Apache Spark and core Cloudera enterprise tools. It requires passing the remote-proctored CCA Spark and Hadoop Developer Exam (CCA175), which consists of eight to 12 performance-based, hands-on tasks on a Cloudera Enterprise cluster. Each question requires the candidate to solve a particular scenario. Some cases may require a tool such as Impala or Hive, others may require coding. Candidates have 120 minutes to complete the exam.

Organization: Cloudera

Price: $295

How to prepare: There are no prerequisites required, but Cloudera says the exam follows the same objectives as the Cloudera Developer Training for Spark and Hadoop course, making it excellent preparation for the exam.

Cloudera Certified Professional (CCP): Data Engineer

The CCP: Data Engineer credential certifies the ability to perform core competencies required to ingest, transform, store and analyze data in Cloudera's CDH environment. It requires passing the remote-proctored CCP: Data Engineer Exam (DE575), a hands-on, practical exam in which each user is given five to eight customer problems each with a unique, large data set, a CDH cluster and four hours. For each problem, the candidate must implement a technical solution with a high degree of precision that meets all the requirements.

Organization: Cloudera

Price: $400

How to prepare: Cloudera suggests professionals seeking this certification have hands-on experience in the field and take the Cloudera Developer Training for Spark and Hadoop course.

Google Professional Data Engineer

The Google Professional Data Engineer credential certifies the ability to design, build, operationalize, secure, and monitor data processing systems. It requires passing a two-hour, multiple-choice and multiple-select certification exam. The exam has no prerequisites but must be taken in-person at a Google testing center location. The exam is available in English, Japanese, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Organization: Google

Price: $200 registration fee

How to prepare: Google offers an exam guide and on-demand or instructor-led training.

HDP Apache Spark Developer

The HDP Apache Spark Developer certification is intended to validate an individual's understanding of Spark Core and Spark SQL applications in Scala or Python. The exam consists of a series of tasks that must be performed successfully on a live cluster.

Organization: Hortonworks

Price: $250 for exam

How to prepare: Hortonworks offers courses on its website with options that include live training, self-paced e-learning or a blended experience.

HDP Certified Developer Big Data Hadoop

The HDP Certified Developer Big Data Hadoop certification validates a developer's proficiency in Pig, Hive, Sqoop and Flume. The exam consists of a series of data ingestion, data transformation and data analysis tasks that must be performed on an HDP 2.4 cluster.

Organization: Hortonworks

Price: $250 for exam

How to prepare: Hortonworks offers courses on its website with options that include live training, self-paced e-learning or a blended experience.

Hortonworks Certified Associate (HCA)

The Hortonworks Certified Associate (HCA) certification is a foundational credential that validates that an individual understands the technologies and can recognize the business use cases for Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) frameworks. Candidates must pass a multiple-choice exam that consists of questions from the following five categories:

  • Data access (including Pig, Hive HCatalog, Tez, Storm, HBase, Spark and Solr)
  • Data management (including HDFS and YARN)
  • Data governance and workflow (including Falcon, Atlas, Sqoop, Flume, Kafka and Hortonworks DataFlow)
  • Operations (including Ambari, CloudBreak, ZooKeeper and Oozie)
  • Security (including Ranger and Knox)

Organization: Hortonworks

Price: $100 for exam

How to prepare: Hortonworks offers courses on its website with options that include live training, self-paced e-learning or a blended experience.

IBM Certified Data Architect – Big Data

Designed for data architects, the IBM Certified Data Architect – Big Data certification requires passing a test that consists of five sections containing a total of 55 multiple-choice questions. It demonstrates a data architect can work closely with customers and solutions architects to translate customers' business requirements into a big data solution.

Organization: IBM Professional Certification Program

Price: $200

How to prepare: IBM recommends a series of seven multi-day courses on SPSS Modeler to InfoSphere BigInsights to prepare for the test.

IBM Certified Data Engineer – Big Data

The IBM Certified Data Engineer – Big Data certification is intended for big data engineers, who work directly with data architects and hands-on developers to convert an architect's big data vision into reality. Data engineers understand how to apply technologies to solve big data problems and have the ability to build large-scale data processing systems for the enterprise. They develop, maintain, test and evaluate big data solutions within organizations, providing architects with input on needed hardware and software. This certification requires passing a test that consists of five sections containing a total of 53 multiple-choice questions.

Organization: IBM Professional Certification Program

Price: $200

How to prepare: IBM recommends a series of nine multi-day courses to prepare for the test.

MapR Certified Hadoop Developer 1.0

The MapR Certified Hadoop Developer credential validates a developer's ability to design and develop MapReduce programs in Java and use them to solve typical problems with large data sets. The exam focuses on the use of MapReduce to solve typical data analysis problems using the MapReduce API, managing, monitoring, and testing MapReduce programs and workflows. The exam consists of 50-60 questions in a two-hour proctored session.

Organization: MapR Technologies

Price: $250 for the exam

How to prepare: MapR recommends candidates prepare with three of its courses: Build Hadoop MapReduce Applications, Manage and Test Hadoop MapReduce Applications, and Launch Jobs and Advanced Hadoop MapReduce. MapR also offers an MCHD Study Guide.

MapR Certified Spark Developer 2.1

The MapR Certified Spark v2.1 Developer credential validates a developer's ability to use Spark to work with large datasets to perform analytics on streaming data. It measures the developer's understanding of the Spark API to perform basic machine learning or SQL tasks on given datasets. The exam consists of 50-60 questions in a two-hour proctored session.

Organization: MapR Technologies

Price: $250 for the exam

How to prepare: MapR recommends candidates prepare with three of its courses: Introduction to Apache Spark, Build and Monitor Apache Spark Applications, and Advanced Apache Spark. MapR also offers an MCSD v2 Study Guide.

Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation Suite 11 Certified Implementation Specialist

The Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation Suite 11g Certified Implementation Specialist certification demonstrates skills in implementing solutions based on Oracle Business Intelligence Suite. It covers installing Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE), building the BI Server metadata repository, building BI dashboards, constructing ad hoc queries, defining security settings, and configuring and managing cache files. The certification is intended for intermediate-level implementation team members with up-to-date training and field experience. Earning the certification requires passing the Oracle Business Intelligence (OBI) Foundation Suite 11g Essentials exam (1Z0-591). It's a multiple choice exam that consists of 75 questions. Candidates have 120 minutes to complete the exam.

Organization: Oracle University

Price: $245

How to prepare: Oracle recommends candidates complete one of two training courses: Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition Plus Implementation Boot Camp (only available to partners), or Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation 11g Implementation Specialist.

SAS Certified Big Data Professional

The SAS Certified Big Data Professional certification program is for individuals seeking to build on their basic programming knowledge by learning how to gather and analyze big data in SAS. The program focuses on SAS programming skills; accessing, transforming and manipulating data; improving data quality for reporting and analytics; fundamentals of statistics and analytics; working with Hadoop, Hive, Pig and SAS; and exploring and visualizing data. The program includes two certification exams, both of which the participants must pass.

Organization: SAS Academy for Data Science

Price: $9,000 for classroom (Cary, NC); $299/month or $2,250/year for self-paced e-learning.

How to prepare: At least six months of programming experience in SAS or another programming language is required to enroll.

This story, "Top 14 data engineer and data architect certifications" was originally published by CIO.

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