This feature first appeared in the Spring 2015�issue of Certification Magazine. Click here to get your own print or digital copy.
Science may never entirely fathom the chicken's decision to cross the road, and there's not a rational explanation for a lot of the actions taken by human beings, either. On the other hand, we do have some information regarding why people choose to invest the time, money and energy required to get a Big Data certification.
For many, the big motivator is increased earning potential, but since money isn't everything, we asked survey respondents to name the two other factors most responsible for getting them into certification mode. The most widely shared rationale for seeking Big Data certification is a desire to improve qualifications for a future job (selected by 36 percent of those surveyed), followed by a desire to become better qualified for one's current job (34 percent).Gaining confidence in one's own skills is also a popular motivation, claimed by 29 percent of those surveyed, followed by a dead heat between becoming eligible for a workplace promotion and meeting a requirement set forth by a current employer (25 percent apiece). A little more than 14 percent enjoy belonging to a community of certified professionals, while roughly equivalent factions either hope to gain advanced access to technical data or are angling for respect and recognition among their colleagues (17 percent apiece).If you're thinking about Big Data certification, but not entirely sure how to pay for it, then don't immediately whip out your checkbook. If you're already in a Big Data role at work, then there's probably an excellent chance that approaching your employer could get you off the hook for the entire cost. A somewhat staggering 67.5 percent of those surveyed report that their employer paid the total cost of their most recent Big Data cert. About 21 percent paid their own way, with equal numbers relying on employer-employee cost sharing and vouchers from vendors (about 4 percent each).Once you've cleared that hurdle, there are many different ways to prepare for a certification exam. A trend from past salary surveys showed up again here, with workplace experience deemed the most effective means of exam preparation, closely followed by product documentation, self-study books and practice exams.
Generally speaking, Big Data certification looks good in retrospect. Roughly 56 percent of those surveyed either agree (36 percent) or strongly agree (20 percent) that certification has increased demand for their skills. There are also positive results in the workplace, as well, with comparable numbers of respondents benefiting from increased productivity and improved problem-solving skills.
TABLE TALK : When you take a certification exam, someone rates your knowledge. But does anybody ever rate them? Funny you should ask:
We learned a few other things, too. It's all available right now in our latest quarterly issue, or you can pull up a virtual chair and settle in here at CertMag.com for the big (and gradual) reveal.