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The Three Hottest Database Certifications Right Now

Big Data on my mindOur next offering is from Cloudera, who, according to their website is “revolutionizing enterprise data management by offering the first unified Platform for Big Data: The Enterprise Data Hub.” Cloudera offers enterprises one place to store, process, and analyze all their data, empowering them to extend the value of existing investments while enabling fundamental new ways to derive value from their data.


Founded in 2008, Cloudera was the first, and is currently the leading, provider and supporter of Apache Hadoop for the enterprise. They also offer software for business critical data challenges including storage, access, management, analysis, security, and search”.


Cloudera also specializes in “Big Data,” a term so overutilized that is has almost lost its meaning. Words like “data science” and “machine learning” will take its place before they are kicked to the curb by the first, true Artificial Intelligence they spawn. (We’ll have to let our robot overlords make that call.)


Cloudera’s CCA175 exam takes the cake for ease of understanding. The web page for this certification is delightfully simple to follow. Unfortunately, knowing the content required to pass the test, well — I would say that this one is easily the most difficult of these certifications.


It’s important to note, once again, that Cloudera’s certification is testing Hadoop, which is not their product. Hadoop is an open-source software framework for storing data and running applications on clusters of commodity hardware. It provides massive storage for any kind of data, enormous processing power and the ability to handle virtually limitless concurrent tasks or jobs.


The CCA175 exam will set you back $295. This is a very challenging hands-on Internet-based exam. It consists of 10-to-12 performance based tasks to be completed in two hours. A score of 70 percent is required to pass. Like I said above, this exam is incredibly detailed. I strongly recommend that you work with the product as much as possible before taking the exam.


Each of the three certifications we’ve discussed differ in marketplace demand. Oracle comes out on top with more than 700 job offerings on various job sites with that certification listed in the “desired certifications.” Microsoft is second with around 300. Cloudera doesn’t rank specifically, but the “machine learning” and “big data” references triple even Oracle’s mentions.


As I said in the beginning, the best way to travel a database certification path is to follow the road that leads where you want to go. Always ask yourself, does the company you WANT to work for use Oracle or Microsoft? Is your current job or promotion hanging on Big Data Knowledge? Where do you want to be or get to or learn? Answering these questions will help you to select the right database certification for you. Doing so will benefit your career.


I would offer one last tip: Whichever certification you pursue, have fun doing it.



Nathan Kimpel PhotoNathan Kimpel is a seasoned information technology and operations executive with a diverse background in all areas of company functionality, and a keen focus on all aspects of IT operations and security. Over his 20 years in the industry, he has held every job in IT and currently serves as a Project Manager in the St. Louis (Missouri) area, overseeing 50-plus projects. He has years of success driving multi-million dollar improvements in technology, products and teams. His wide range of skills include finance, ERP and CRM systems. Certifications include PMP, CISSP, CEH, ITIL and Microsoft.