Best Big Data Certifications for 2015

Best Big Data Certifications for 2015
By , Mary Kyle

The field of big data, analytics and business intelligence is all the rage these days, and the number of certifications is ticking up accordingly. What's more, IT professionals with big data and related certs are growing in demand.

Today's organizations are looking for more and better ways to wrangle the voluminous amounts of data available to them and pull out only the information they need. Big data is mainly about storing, managing and transferring very large sets of data and making it accessible for analysis. Although "very large" is an emphatic word that most editors cut from written content, it applies in this case. Data sets are so large, in fact, that ordinary storage systems and platforms often can't handle the load. This forces data scientists to dump data they think they don't need to focus on data that's relevant to a particular project, or move the data to much bigger digs.

Data analytics is the practice of examining the raw data to draw conclusions and identify patterns. Business intelligence involves the collection and organization of information to report on business activities, often pulling data from those very large data sets.

Along with the surge in big data interest has come a growing number of certifications, which seek to recognize the skills needed to work with enormous data sets. The target audience are IT professionals with a background in analytics, data mining, business intelligence or data management, along with a knack for and interest in mathematics and statistics. Individuals with big data or related certifications are in reasonably high demand, and usually command salaries of $90,000 or more.

We chose to take a detailed look at certifications from HP Vertica, Cloudera, EMC, Oracle and SAS. However, because of the cachet big data certifications hold in the IT industry, it was difficult to select only five. To that end, you'll see some excellent certifications summarized in the last section, only because coverage limitations prevailed.

Before you begin exploring the featured certs, take a look at Table 1 below, which contains the results of an informal search of various job boards to see which certifications employers are looking for. These results are a snap shot in time from a particular day, time, and geography and may not reflect the actual job demands in your locality at the time of your search, but they should give you a good idea of where to begin your search.

Table 1: Job Board Search Results


DiceIndeedJustTechJobsLinkedInSimplyHiredTechCareers
EMC: Data Science Associate05623020
HP Vertica Big Data Solutions Administrator0303167212
HP Vertica Solutions0468128023
Oracle Business Intelligence1266932,167292952241
SAS Certified Predictive Modeler01336070
SAS Certified Statistical Business Analyst251,1520124

Now let's take a closer look at the top five big data IT certifications for 2015.

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