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Top 10 Data Engineer Certifications

This article provides an overview of the best data engineering certifications available, outlining their benefits and requirements.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 15 min read

Certifications are an important tool for data engineers to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in the field. They can show employers that a candidate has the necessary skills and qualifications to tackle complex data engineering tasks. Furthermore, certifications provide a way for data engineers to keep up with the latest trends and technologies in the industry. As technology continues to evolve, certifications allow data engineers to stay ahead of the curve and ensure that they can remain competitive in the ever-changing job market.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Data Engineers and explains how they can contribute to a data engineer's career growth.

What are Data Engineer Certifications?

Data engineer certification is a professional credential that demonstrates proficiency in the design, implementation, and management of data engineering solutions. It is offered by many organizations, including universities, technical colleges, and professional associations. This certification can help professionals advance their careers by validating their expertise and experience in the field. It also provides recognition from employers and peers and can be used to demonstrate knowledge of industry standards and best practices. Additionally, it may provide access to higher-level positions or opportunities for career advancement within a company or organization. Data engineers with this certification may also have increased access to educational resources such as webinars, online tutorials, and conferences related to data engineering topics.

Pro Tip: When considering a data engineer certification, look for one that is accredited by a professional organization, such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). This will ensure that the certification is widely recognized and respected in the industry. Additionally, make sure the program focuses on current best practices and technologies so you can stay up to date with what's happening in the field.

Related: What does a Data Engineer do?

Top 10 Data Engineer Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Data Engineers today.

1. Cloudera Certified Professional: Data Engineer

Cloudera Certified Professional: Data Engineer is a professional certification program designed to validate the skills of experienced data engineers in the field of big data. This certification is offered by Cloudera, a leading provider of enterprise-grade Apache Hadoop solutions.

The certification exam tests an individual’s knowledge and skills in designing, building, maintaining, and optimizing data pipelines using Apache Hadoop technologies such as HDFS, MapReduce, Hive, Impala, Spark, Flume and Sqoop. The exam also covers best practices for working with large datasets and developing efficient data processing applications.

It typically takes about 2-4 months of preparation to get ready for the Cloudera Certified Professional: Data Engineer exam. There are several online resources available to help you prepare for the exam including practice exams and study guides. Additionally, Cloudera offers instructor-led training courses that can help you gain the necessary knowledge and skills to pass the exam.

To get certified as a Cloudera Certified Professional: Data Engineer you must first register for the exam on Cloudera's website. After registering you will receive an email with instructions on how to access your account where you can schedule your exam date and time. Once your registration is complete you will be able to take the exam at any Pearson VUE testing center worldwide.

The cost of taking the Cloudera Certified Professional: Data Engineer Exam is $295 USD per attempt.

2. Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Engineer Associate

Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Engineer Associate is a certification that validates an individual’s expertise in designing, building, monitoring, and maintaining data solutions on Microsoft Azure. The certification exam covers topics such as data storage options, data security, data movement and transformation, and data analysis.

It typically takes around two to three months to prepare for the exam. Candidates should have hands-on experience with Azure services such as Azure Data Factory, Azure Databricks, Azure SQL Database and other related services. They should also be familiar with core concepts of cloud computing such as virtual networks, identity management and resource groups.

To get certified as an Azure Data Engineer Associate, candidates must pass the AZ-204: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure exam. The exam consists of 40-60 questions that cover topics such as developing solutions using compute services (such as virtual machines), developing solutions using storage services (such as blob storage), developing solutions using databases (such as Cosmos DB) and implementing secure access to resources (such as authentication).

The cost of the AZ-204: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure exam is $165 USD.

3. MongoDB Certified DBA Associate

MongoDB Certified DBA Associate is a certification program designed to validate the skills and knowledge of MongoDB Database Administrators. It is an entry-level certification that demonstrates a professional’s ability to design, build, and maintain MongoDB databases. To become certified, one must pass a two-hour exam that covers topics such as database administration, data modeling, performance tuning, replication, sharding, backups and recovery.

The exam typically takes about two hours to complete and can be taken at any Pearson VUE testing center or online. The cost for the exam is $150 USD. To prepare for the exam, it is recommended to have hands-on experience with MongoDB as well as review the official MongoDB University courses on MongoDB fundamentals and database administration. Additionally there are several third party study guides available to help prepare for the exam.

4. Oracle Database 12c Administrator Certified Professional

Oracle Database 12c Administrator Certified Professional is a certification program offered by Oracle to validate the skills and knowledge of database administrators. The certification demonstrates that the individual has the expertise to install, configure, manage, and troubleshoot Oracle Database 12c.

It typically takes about 6 months to prepare for the Oracle Database 12c Administrator Certified Professional exam. This includes studying course materials, taking practice tests, and attending training courses.

To get certified as an Oracle Database 12c Administrator Certified Professional, individuals must first pass the 1Z0-062: Oracle Database 12c: Installation and Administration exam. This exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as installation, configuration, backup and recovery, performance tuning, security management, and more.

The cost of the certification exam varies depending on where you take it; however, it typically ranges from $245 to $300 USD.

5. Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Big Data - Specialty

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Big Data - Specialty is a certification program designed to validate an individual’s technical expertise in designing, deploying and operating applications and infrastructure on AWS. It is the highest level of certification offered by Amazon for Big Data solutions.

The AWS Certified Big Data - Specialty certification exam is a multiple-choice exam that tests an individual’s knowledge of big data technologies such as Amazon EMR, Amazon Redshift, Amazon Kinesis, Amazon Athena, and more. The exam also includes topics related to security and compliance best practices when working with big data solutions on AWS.

It typically takes around 6-12 months of preparation to pass the AWS Certified Big Data - Specialty exam. Candidates should have at least two years of hands-on experience working with big data solutions on AWS in order to be successful in passing the exam.

In order to get certified, individuals must first register for the exam through the AWS Certification website. The cost for taking the exam is $300 USD. Once registered, candidates can prepare for the exam by studying from official course materials provided by AWS or self-study using online resources such as blogs, tutorials, and practice exams.

Once a candidate passes the exam, they will receive their AWS Certified Big Data - Specialty certification which is valid for three years from the date it was earned.

6. Hortonworks HDP Certified Apache Hadoop 2.x Developer

Hortonworks HDP Certified Apache Hadoop 2.x Developer is a certification program designed to demonstrate proficiency in the development of applications using Apache Hadoop 2.x. It is suitable for developers who are looking to build, maintain and troubleshoot applications on the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) and other distributions of Apache Hadoop.

The certification exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within 90 minutes. The exam covers topics such as HDFS, MapReduce, YARN, Hive, Pig, Sqoop and Oozie. The cost of the exam varies depending on the country but typically ranges from $150-$200 USD.

To get certified as an Apache Hadoop 2.x Developer, you must first register for the exam at Hortonworks' website. Once registered, you will receive an email with instructions on how to schedule your exam at a Pearson VUE testing center near you. After passing the exam, you will receive your certificate via email within 10 business days.

7. IBM Certified Data Engineer – Big Data

IBM Certified Data Engineer – Big Data is a professional certification program designed to validate the skills and knowledge of data engineers working with Big Data technologies. It is an industry-recognized credential that demonstrates expertise in the design, development, deployment, and maintenance of Big Data solutions.

The certification consists of two exams: IBM Big Data Engineer (C2090-320) and IBM Big Data Architect (C2090-321). The C2090-320 exam focuses on topics such as Hadoop, NoSQL databases, Apache Spark, and other related technologies. The C2090-321 exam covers topics such as data modeling and architecture, security, performance tuning, and more.

It typically takes around 6 months to complete the certification process. To get certified you must first pass both exams with a score of 75% or higher. After passing the exams you will receive an official certificate from IBM.

The cost for taking the exams varies depending on your location but typically ranges from $200-$300 USD per exam.

8. Google Cloud Platform Professional Data Engineer Certification

Google Cloud Platform Professional Data Engineer Certification is a professional-level certification that demonstrates an individual’s ability to design, build, and maintain data engineering solutions on Google Cloud Platform. It is designed for individuals who have experience with data engineering and want to demonstrate their expertise in the field.

The certification exam takes approximately two hours and consists of multiple-choice questions, as well as hands-on labs. The exam covers topics such as designing and building data pipelines, managing large datasets, optimizing performance of data processing systems, and deploying machine learning models.

In order to get the Google Cloud Platform Professional Data Engineer Certification, you must pass the associated exam. To prepare for the exam, you should have a strong understanding of Google Cloud Platform services such as BigQuery, Compute Engine, Cloud Storage, and Machine Learning Engine. You should also be familiar with industry best practices for data engineering solutions on Google Cloud Platform.

The cost of the Google Cloud Platform Professional Data Engineer Certification Exam is $200 USD.

9. SAS Certified Big Data Professional

SAS Certified Big Data Professional is a professional certification program that provides recognition for individuals who demonstrate knowledge and skills in the field of big data. It is designed to validate an individual’s ability to work with large amounts of data and use SAS software to analyze it.

The certification consists of two exams: SAS Certified Big Data Professional Exam A (required) and SAS Certified Big Data Professional Exam B (optional). The exam A covers topics such as data management, data analysis, machine learning, and advanced analytics. The exam B covers topics such as distributed computing, cloud computing, and Hadoop.

It typically takes about 6 months to complete the certification process. To get certified, you must pass both exams within 12 months of each other. You can take the exams at any Pearson VUE testing center or online through the SAS website.

The cost of the SAS Certified Big Data Professional certification varies depending on where you take the exams. In general, it costs around $400 for both exams plus any applicable taxes and fees.

10. MapR M7 or M5 Apache Hadoop Developer

MapR M7 or M5 Apache Hadoop Developer is an enterprise-grade, open source platform for big data analytics. It provides a comprehensive suite of tools and services to help organizations develop, deploy and manage applications that leverage the power of Apache Hadoop.

MapR M7 or M5 Apache Hadoop Developer includes a powerful set of features such as distributed storage, distributed processing, data management, security, monitoring and scalability. It also offers advanced analytics capabilities such as machine learning and predictive analytics. Additionally, MapR has built-in connectors with popular business intelligence (BI) tools like Tableau and QlikView.

Getting started with MapR M7 or M5 Apache Hadoop Developer requires no special technical knowledge; it takes only a few minutes to get up and running. You can download the software from the official website for free. Once downloaded, you can install it on your own server or use cloud-based solutions like Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The cost of using MapR M7 or M5 Apache Hadoop Developer depends on the size of your deployment and the type of services you need. The basic version is free but additional features such as support and training are available at an additional cost.

Do You Really Need a Data Engineer Certificate?

When it comes to data engineering, a certificate can be a helpful asset. It can help demonstrate your knowledge and experience in the field and make you more attractive to potential employers. However, whether or not you truly need a data engineer certificate is something that depends on the individual.

For those who are just beginning their journey into data engineering, having a certificate may not be necessary. There are many other ways to learn about the field and gain experience in it, such as through self-study, online courses, internships, and on-the-job training. Furthermore, having a degree in computer science or related fields can also give you an advantage when applying for data engineering jobs.

On the other hand, if you already have some experience in the field but lack formal credentials or knowledge of certain topics related to data engineering, then a certificate program might be beneficial. This could help show employers that you have taken steps to expand your skill set and become more knowledgeable about the topic. Additionally, many programs offer hands-on experience with real-world projects that could give you an edge when looking for work.

No matter what your situation is, it’s important to consider both your current skillset as well as your long-term goals when deciding whether or not to pursue a data engineer certification program. While they can certainly be beneficial in certain cases, they may not be worth it if they don’t align with where you want to take your career.

Related: Data Engineer Resume Examples

FAQs About Data Engineer Certifications

Q1. What is a Data Engineer Certification?

A1. A Data Engineer Certification is a professional certification that validates an individual’s expertise in designing and developing data systems, such as databases, data warehouses, and data lakes. It also demonstrates knowledge of the best practices used to design, build, maintain and troubleshoot data systems.

Q2. What are the benefits of having a Data Engineer Certification?

A2. Having a Data Engineer Certification can help you stand out from other applicants when applying for jobs and can demonstrate your ability to work with complex datasets and apply industry-standard techniques to maintain them. It also provides employers with assurance that you have the skills necessary to develop and manage their data systems effectively.

Q3. How long does it take to get certified as a Data Engineer?

A3. The amount of time it takes to complete a Data Engineer certification varies depending on the provider and the program chosen, but typically takes anywhere from 6 months to 2 years or more for most certifications.

Q4. Do I need prior experience to become certified as a Data Engineer?

A4. It depends on the certification program chosen; some providers may require prior experience while others may not require any prior experience at all. Be sure to check with the provider before signing up for any program in order to ensure that you meet all requirements for certification eligibility.

Q5 How much does it cost to get certified as a Data Engineer?

A5 The cost of getting certified as a Data Engineer varies depending on the provider and program chosen; however, most certifications range from $500-$3000 or more depending on the length of the program and its associated materials/exams/etc