Education is an investment that pays dividends throughout your life, and that is especially true when it comes to big data certification. Big data has been proven to deliver big benefits for businesses of all sizes in all industries. What’s lacking, however, are the skilled experts who can create, customize, and manage big data projects. Value-added resellers (VARs) can fill these talent gaps for their customers with the right training and certifications.
Data scientists, for example, are in high demand. According to recent job research, the median salary for a junior-level data scientist is about $91,000, whereas data science team managers have a base salary well over $250,000. Because of the short supply, managers are seeing annual salary increases of 8 percent and bonuses over $56,000.
Of course, many of these data scientists are PhDs, and the high demand means that companies are fighting for qualified talent. Forty-three percent of companies report that they lack personnel with the appropriate analytical skills, but fewer than 20 percent are changing recruiting tactics in order to bridge the talent gap. Some companies are working to train their managers, but it’s still a big gap to go from a data manager to a data scientist with a PhD. That’s when more companies start looking to outside resources, such as VARs, to rent the talent they need in order to bridge the big data skills gap.
If you can bring certificates and big data credentials to a project, then your value to that project takes a quantum leap. Some certifications are available from universities and institutions, and others are from big data vendors and associations, but they all have their unique value. Here are some of the most common certifications that VARs are pursuing:
- Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) – The CAP certification is for general analytics and an understanding of the end-to-end analytic process. The CAP requires a mastery of framing analytic problems, data methodology, model building, life-cycle management, and more. INFORMS, the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, administers the certification and testing.
- Certification of Professional Achievement in Data Sciences – This is an independent certification offered through Columbia University as a joint effort between the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The certification requires four academic courses in algorithms, probability and statistics, machine learning, and analytics and visualization.
- Certificate in Engineering Excellence Big Data Analytics and Optimization – This is for an 18-week program with 10 courses covering all aspects of analytics with a focus on R and Hadoop, statistical monitoring, text mining, and optimization. The program is offered by the International School of Engineering (INSOFE).
- Certificate in Analytics: Optimizing Big Data – From the University of Delaware, this is for an undergraduate course for business, marketing, operations, and financial managers. It’s an introduction to the tools needed in order to analyze large data sets, including importing data, building analytics models, and modeling correlations among variables.
- Certificate in Data Science – From the Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing, this is an online certificate in data science covering four three-credit courses covering analytics, cloud computing, visualization, big data for medicine, data management, and more.
- Mining Massive Data Sets Graduate Certificate – Offered by Stanford University, this is for a program designed for software engineers, market researchers, analytics experts, and data miners. It requires four courses and usually takes two years to complete. Areas covered include algorithms for extracting information from large data sets such as the Web or social networks.
- Big Data University – For individual coursework, Big Data University offers classes in specific aspects of big data, including Hadoop and SQL. Most classes can be completed in less than 10 hours.
- Cloudera Certified Professional: Data Scientist (CCP:DS) – This certification demonstrates expertise at a higher level and requires passing a written exam in order to prove your knowledge of data science. There also is a real-world practicum, a Data Science Challenge to deploy a production-ready big data solution that is judged by your peers. The Challenge is offered twice a year and must be completed within 24 months.
- Cloudera Certified Developer for Apache Hadoop (CCDH) – This is a specific accreditation in writing and managing Hadoop projects. Certification requires passing a written exam with 55 questions in 90 minutes, including at least five unscored experimental questions.
- Cloudera Certified Administrator for Apache Hadoop (CCAH) – This credential proves expertise in configuring, deploying, maintaining, and securing a Hadoop cluster and requires passing a written exam with 60 questions in 90 minutes.
- Cloudera Certified Specialist in Apache HBase (CCSHB) – This certification demonstrates prowess working with Apache HBase including architecture, data modeling, API, and administration. It requires passing a 45-question exam in 90 minutes.
- EMC Data Scientist Associate (EMCDSA) – This certification from EMC is for members of a data science team working on big data projects. It includes deploying data analytics, reframing a business challenge for analysis, creating statistical models, and data visualization.
- Revolution R Enterprise Professional – This certification from Revolution Analytics is for proficiency with the R statistical language. It requires passing a proctored exam with 60 questions in 90 minutes.
- Vertica Big Data Solutions V1 – In order to demonstrate expertise in managing the Vertica Analytics Platform, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise is offering its own certification for installation, applications, resource management, monitoring, and troubleshooting. In order to qualify, you have to pass a 50-question exam in 90 minutes.
- Vertica Big Data Solutions Administrator V1 – This certification is specifically for administration of the Vertica Analytics Platform and verifies expertise in advanced administration. It requires passing a 60-question exam in 100 minutes.
These are just a few of the big data certification programs that are generally available. When offering big data services, the right expertise can add more value to your consulting services, so keeping abreast of the latest big data applications is sure to pay off.