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How to Get Certified in AWS Big Data

There are so many technologies emerging in this digital age that it is not possible to keep a track of each one of them. Artificial intelligence, big data analytics, cloud computing, and more of these powerful technologies are changing our lives as well as how businesses operate. You must have heard that we are generating a massive amount of data these days. Whatever activity you perform over the internet be it scrolling your social media feed, using online banking, watching a video, or ordering food, you are generating data. Today, such data has become so huge in size that traditional database management systems can’t handle them, and so the term ‘big data’ is given to it.

Now, there are many companies that are offering big data services to organizations that are facing issues in handling such massive amounts of data. One of the key players that offer big data services is Amazon. You must have heard about Amazon Web Services or AWS. It is a leading cloud services provider that offers a range of cloud solutions for organizations of various industrial sectors. Today when big data analytics has become the need of the hour, AWS is trying to capture the market and offer best-in-class big data services over the cloud. What’s more! AWS also offers certification in big data to help professionals know the nuances of this field and how such services are offered in the AWS platform.

If you too are aspiring to learn about this domain and become an AWS Certified Big Data professional, then this article is for you. You’ll come to know about the AWS Big data certification and how to pass it and achieve new heights in your career.

The AWS Big Data Certification

There are many certifications that AWS offers in various domains, and the one offered in big data analytics is the AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty certification. This certification is ideal for professionals who have at least two years of experience in using the AWS platform and wish to perform complex big data analyses over the cloud. Recently some changes have been introduced to the exam and now it is known as the AWS Certified data analytics – Specialty.

Professionals willing to achieve this certification will be tested on areas like how to implement core AWS big data services as per the basic architecture best practices, designing and maintaining big data, and tools that automate data analysis. AWS recommends candidates to have at least five years of work experience in a data analytics field and a background in defining and architecting AWS big data services before applying for the exam.

The associated exam (BDS-C00) consists of multiple choice and multiple answer type questions to be attempted in 170 minutes. Here are the domains, along with their weightings in the exam, on which the questions will be based:

  • Collection – 17%
  • Storage – 17%
  • Processing – 17%
  • Analysis – 17%
  • Visualization – 12%
  • Data Security – 20%

You can check about these domains in detail by downloading the exam guide for this exam available on the AWS website.

How to Prepare?

AWS is so vast that apart from the certifications, it also offers training programs to help you prepare for it. There are exam guides, sample questions, AWS whitepapers, and exam readiness training as well to give you flexible and convenient preparation methods. Many aspirants find AWS whitepapers quite helpful. Apart from AWS, you’ll also find quality courses from other online training providers as well. Taking online courses would help you pass the AWS exams in a single try.

While your preparation should be thorough in all the domains, some of the important areas that you must be confident of include AWS S3, Redshift, Kinesis streams, encryption for objects in S3, DynamoDB, EMR concepts, and Hive, HBase, Spark. The next step should be to solve mock exams to understand how you have prepared and what are your strengths and weaknesses. Focus more on the domains where you lack and revise the concepts.

Note that for people who aren’t familiar with AWS services beforehand, we wouldn’t advise you to directly aim for Specialty certification. AWS recommends gaining basic certifications first like AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner or AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate. Passing them first would make you comfortable in defining and architecting AWS big data services. Moreover, you would find it easier to understand how those services fit into the data life cycle of collection, ingestion, storage, processing, and visualization.

When you have followed all the above steps, you can schedule the exam and try to qualify for it.

Bottom Line

AWS certifications are highly valued in the IT industry. If you check the top paying IT certifications for recent years, you’ll surely find two to three certifications offered by AWS. Being a leader in the cloud computing space, AWS has a huge customer base and renowned companies like Netflix, Linked In, Facebook, Baidu, and ESPN also form a part of it. As they are investing thousands of dollars in using different AWS services, it is evident that they would need skilled cloud practitioners to use those services efficiently and meet the desired business goals.

Moreover, big data is already a high in-demand skill in the job market. If you couple your big data knowledge with expertise in using cloud services, you will get an additional benefit in your career. The AWS Certified Data Analytics – Specialty credential will demonstrate your skills and increase your credibility. So, why think twice before opting for this valuable certification.

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