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How to Keep Staff Up to Snuff With Big Data Training

November 24, 2017

The old adage that the only constant is change is particularly true in technology, including big data. Big data has been rapidly gaining market momentum over the past few years, and as it has achieved wider acceptance, big data best practices have evolved as well. Keeping up with the latest big data tools and techniques is an ongoing challenge, which is why big data training is so important.

To keep your staff current in new big data techniques you need to develop a continuing education strategy that includes access to big data training and tools and techniques to deal with different big data strategies. For example, even though your big data team may be well-versed in Hadoop, you will need additional expertise to handle big data in an SAP HANA environment or your team may have to learn statistical modeling in R for analytics.  Whether you are looking to expand your current big data skills or acquire new ones, you need to have access to big data training.

There is an ongoing shortage of big data experts. Gartner predicts that big data will create 4.4 million IT jobs by next year. McKinsey reports that there will be a shortfall of 140,000 to 190,000 people with the analytical skills needed for big data by 2018. And because of the laws of supply and demand, big data programmers are commanding top dollar. Professionals who know how to use Hadoop, NoSQL, and Mongo DB typically earn more than $100,000; a Hadoop Software Engineer commands $124,000 a year and up.  And there are thousands of jobs posted at any given moment calling for programmers with big data skills.

So rather than looking for fresh big data talent to fill your ranks, why not expand the capabilities of your current team with big data training? There are a number of instructional resources available:

Online Big Data Training

The most readily accessible big data training can be found online. Here are just a few to consider:

  • Udemy – “Big Data and Hadoop Essentials” is a free online course that provides a comprehensive primer in big data and Hadoop. Even though the course is free, it has been praised by many as a good source to help you understand big data problems, how to apply Hadoop, and understanding the big data vendors such as Cloudera, MapR, and Hortonworks. “Become a Certified Hadoop Developer” also is available for $198 to prepare students for the Cloudera Certified Developer for Apache Hadoop (CCDH) exam.
  • Udacity – Udacity offers a course that serves as an “Intro to Hadoop and MapReduce”
    for $199 per month, with hands-on exercises and personal coaching.
  • Code School – A course in R programming and statistical analysis is available from Code School for a free trial and $29 per month to subscribers.
  • Duke University – Duke is offering a free lecture series through Coursera in Data Analysis and Statistical Inference.
  • Harvard Extension – As part of iTunes University, Harvard is offering a free series of lectures in Massively Parallel Computing, including cloud computing, MapReduce, and Hadoop.
  • MIT Open Courseware – MIT offers a free online graduate course in Advanced Data Structures.

Vendor Training in Big Data

In addition to free training from educational institutions, a number of vendors offer their own big data training programs:

  • Cloudera is offering training for Hadoop developers, big data administrators, and big data analysts.
  • Datameer offers its own Big Data Certification program, either as a Big Data Certified Analyst or a Big Data Certified Administrator.
  • IBM offers Big Data University, an online training site offers a comprehensive catalog of big data tutorials (mostly free) taught by industry professionals.
  • Intel offers a comprehensive training program in big data analytics available free to interested professionals.
  • MapR offers MapR Academy with instructor-led courses, either in the classroom or online. MapR also has its own certification in Hadoop Administration.

Open Source Resources

Of course, there are other online resources as well.

  • Since Hadoop is an open source big data framework, there are lots of educational resources available from Apache including release notes and detailed documentation.
  • The R Project also is a good open source resource for statistical programming and graphic presentation of big data analytical results.

Depending on your areas of interest or where you need to expand your skillset, you can find a big data training program to suit your needs. If you already have a background in Java, Python, Ruby, or other programming languages adapting your expertise to Hadoop shouldn’t be too challenging. However, if you want to be competitive and stay current with the latest big data trends, be sure to continue your big data training.