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5 Top Big Data Certifications Recognized by the Industry

Big data professionals are in huge demand right now and if someone is a certified with top big data certifications, then the demand even rise a lot.But as the parent organization of Big data solutions like Hadoop and Spark, Apache software foundation doesn’t provide any certification and so professionals are usually confused which certification to do.

top big data certificationsAnd so, we thought of writing the 5 top big data certifications recognized by the industry. In this top big data certifications post, we will be talking about how these big data certifications are relevant and how those will help you. We will also see the exam format and passing details.

Before going with the list of top big data certifications, let’s talk about the benefits of doing the certification for any technology.

Benefits of being big data certified

Here are some of the top benefits of being a certified big data professional-

  • Your skills are approved by the top certification organizing community whose reputation is in the industry.
  • The average salary of certified professionals is usually higher than professionals with the same skills but uncertified.
  • You will be always given more value and preference while interviewing and selection

And there are many more benefits to be a certified big data professional. Or if you are looking to start with the big data technologies, you may go through big data certification course followed by these big data certifications.

Now as you know the benefits of a certified big data professional, let’s talk about the top big data certifications available.

5 top big data certifications recognized by the industry

Although there are loads of big data certifications available in the market, but we are going to talk about only those whose values are. These are quite a reputable certification of big data and wherever you will go, you will get the value of these certifications.

#1 Cloudera Certified professional

cloudera certificationCloudera is a leading Hadoop vendor and provides their own certification as well which is considered as the top-rated big data certification in the industry.

If you are working on big data, you must be knowing how demanded Cloudera distribution of Hadoop is. Cloudera along with HortonWorks and mapR are currently leading this big data segment.

Cloudera offers CCA Spark and Hadoop Developer Exam (CCA175) for the big data certification. And CCA175 is one of the most trusted exams for big data as for now. Although there are many other big data related certification provided by Cloudera but CCA175 is the top one and we always suggest professionals going through CCA175. Here are the details for CCA 175-

  • Number of Questions- 8–12 performance-based (hands-on) tasks on Cloudera Enterprise cluster.
  • Time Allowed- 120 minutes
  • Passing Score- 70%
  • Price- USD $295

In the CCA175 certifications, you need to master the ingest, transform, and process data using Apache Spark and core Cloudera Enterprise tools.

The other Cloudera certifications include-

Cloudera Certified Professional (CCP) Data Engineer: Certifies that you can “develop reliable, autonomous, scalable data pipelines that result in optimized data sets for a variety of workloads.” CCP data engineer approves that you are perfect in dealing with the data that includes the ETL process, data pipeline, data cleaning, and transformations etc. The cost of the CCP data engineer is $400.

CCA Data Analyst: The Data Analyst certification shows you can prepare, structure, and analyze data in Cloudera’s CDH environment. You will be also able to migrate the data from RDBMS to Hadoop system and do the database related operations like manipulating data and queries. The cost of the CCP data analyst is $295.

CCA Administrator: With this certification, you will be certified to install and set up Cloudera Manager and CDH, “perform basic and advanced configuration needed to effectively administer a Hadoop cluster,” and manage a company’s Hadoop cluster on an everyday basis. The cost of CCP Administrator is $295.

#2 Hortonworks Hadoop Certification

hortonworks certificationHortonworks is another leading Hadoop vendor providing the range of big data solutions. Also, as said Hortonworks is a leading big data vendor for Hadoop and Spark and capture a great share of the market. And so, the big data certification provided by Hortonworks values a lot.

Hortonworks is offering certification for the Hadoop developers, Hadoop administrators, Spark developers, and other big data professionals. The certifications provided by Hortonworks is highly relevant and demanded in the market. When the organization uses the Hortonworks flavor of Hadoop cluster then definitely they will be looking for the certified professionals over the others.

Hortonworks offers HDP Certified Developer (HDPCD) Exam as top big data certifications which are much relevant and demanded in the market.

HDP Certified Developer (HDPCD) certifications

HDPCD is for the Hadoop developers who are much proficient in the Hadoop ecosystems like Hive, MapReduce, Pig, Sqoop, Flume etc. HDPCD is based on the Data Platform 2.4 installed and managed with Ambari 2.2, which includes Pig 0.15.0, Hive 1.2.1, Sqoop 1.4.6, and Flume 1.5.2.
Once you will enrol in the HDPCD certification, you will be given access to the HDP 2.4 or higher as per release with a list of questions to solve.

HDPCD majorly test your skills in the following category-

  • Data Ingestion
  • Data Transformation
  • Data Analysis

The duration of the test will be 120 minutes and the cost is $250.

#3 Microsoft certified solution expert (MCSE)- Data Management and Analytics

microsoft certificationAs Microsoft itself is a leading vendor for all kind of data analysis products and so, their test will be focused on their own products. MCSE might not be much useful for the core big data developer but can be relevant for the data analysts or data analytics guys.

MCSE majorly tests SQL administration, building enterprise-scale data solutions, and leveraging business intelligence data – both on-premises and in cloud environments.

To go with the MCSE certification, you should be good with the following areas of Microsoft technologies and analytics tools.

  • SQL Server 2012/2014/2016 database Administration
  • Database Development
  • BI Development
  • Machine Learning
  • BI Reporting or Data Engineering with Azure

If you are good with the above topics, you can go with the MCSE certifications. The cost of the test is $165 but first, you need to complete the 9 other certifications to attain MCSE. The perquisites tests for MCSE is as mentioned above-

MCSA in SQL Server 2012/2014, or an MCSA in SQL 2016 Database Administration, BI Development, Machine Learning, or Database Development.

#4 MapR certifications

Like Cloudera and Hortonworks, MapR is also one of the leading big data vendors and offers its own certifications. MapR offers the following 5 certifications for the big data professionals.


  • MapR Certified Cluster Administrator 5.1 (MCCA)

MCCA is basically for the Hadoop administrators who are good at managing and setting up the Hadoop cluster on MapR environment. This big data certification will test your skills to perform a basic install using the MapR Installer, configuring cluster storage resources to a given use case, performing a typical data ingest, configuring the platform for data access and protection, and troubleshoot common problems.

Total Questions: 50-60
Total time allowed: 2 hours
Mode of exam: Remote where one observer will watch your screen and around using a webcam.

  • MapR Certified Hadoop Developer (MCHD)

MCHD is similar to MCCA but this is for the Hadoop developers. Here you will be tested against your ability to write the MapReduce programs using API and use them to solve the complex problems on large datasets.
Total Questions: 50-60
Total time allowed: 2 hours
Mode of exam: Remote where one observer will watch your screen and around using a webcam.

  • MapR Certified HBase Developer (MCHBD)

Here you will be tested for HBase programs using HBase as a distributed NoSQL datastore. The exam will cover the following-

  • HBase Data Model
  • HBase Architecture
  • HBase Schema Design
  • HBase Java API
  • HBase Use Cases and Performance Considerations
  • MapR-DB Architecture Differences

Total Questions: 50-60
Total time allowed: 2 hours
Mode of exam: Remote where one observer will watch your screen and around using a webcam.

  • MapR Certified Spark Developer (MCSD)

MapR also provides top big data certifications for the Spark developer. This test is majorly focusing on the skills to use Spark to process the large datasets on streaming data. The questions, time limit, and the pattern remains the same.

  • MapR Certified Data Analyst (MCDA)

If you are a data analyst also, MapR is providing MCDA to get certified where you will be tested for different skills required for the data analyst. You will be tested against the skills and tools like- Apache Hive, Apache Pig and Apache Drill.

To clear MCDA, you need to be good in ETL operations along with SQL queries and optimizing it. The exam pattern and ways to take exam remain the same.

#5 Databricks Certification

In recent days, Databricks has been emerged as the leading platform to perform the Apache Spark operations. Databricks has been founded by the creators of Apache Spark and so the Databricks certification is heavily demanded in the industry.

Databricks offers Databricks Certified Developer for Apache Spark which tests your through skills to Apache Spark stack. This top big data certification for Apache spark will be for the duration of 3 hours with a series of questions and the fee is $300.

To clear this Databricks Certified Developer for Apache Spark, you should be good with the following topics-

  • Spark Basics
  • Spark Streaming
  • Spark Architecture
  • Spark ML
  • Spark Performance and Debugging
  • Spark SQL
  • GraphFrames
  • Programming Languages (Certifications will be offered in Scala or Python)
  • Some experience developing Spark apps in production already

Databricks also has some pre-recorded videos which you can use to prepare yourself for the training.

Wrapping it up!

These were some of the top big data certifications recognized by the industry. Although there are many other Hadoop and Spark certifications available in the market by the companies like Microsoft Azure, AWS, Google Cloud but when it comes to the big data certifications, I found the above 5 to be at the leading edge in 2018 and you can go ahead with these top big data certifications in 2018.

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