Top Apache Spark Certifications to Choose from in 2018

Top Apache Spark Certifications to Choose from in 2018

Apache Spark, a fast moving apache project with significant features and enhancements being rolled out rapidly is one of the most in-demand big data skills along with Apache Hadoop. Apache Spark skills are in high-demand, with no end to this pattern in sight, learning spark has become a top priority for big data professionals. With so many spark training resources available, from comprehensive spark training, to several other spark tutorials, books and other learning resources online, there’s almost no reason to give up learning a marketable skill like spark no longer.

Glassdoor listed 1372 Spark Developer Jobs as of May 15, 2017 in United States alone.

Apache Spark Developer Jobs

Most of the times one might not find big data job positions by the title Spark Developer or Big Data Developer for fresher’s but typically job descriptions say “Software Engineer” or “Software Developer” and later the company decides on which big data technology and project the candidate should be placed based on the big data projects they have worked on. Some companies though accentuate on Spark skills in their job descriptions to attract skilled talent.

The increasing demand and job opportunities for certified Spark Developers have raised their bar high in the category of various big data certifications available today. There are several Spark Certifications available to test the big data developer skills around the Spark ecosystem and its components. However, it is not easy to become a certified spark developer as clearing any apache spark certification requires practical knowledge of working on real spark cluster. Learning spark through books or some free spark tutorials is not just enough as any clearing any spark certification exam requires practical knowledge on how to write and deploy spark applications on a real spark cluster. One can acquire this practical knowledge through comprehensive hands-on Apache Spark Training and by working on various big data projects around the spark ecosystem.

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Why you should become a certified Spark Developer?

  • Apache Spark is becoming the Gold Standard of the Big Data tools and technologies and professionals with a Spark certification can expect great pay packages.
  • Spark Certification demonstrates the validation of your expertise to employers in developing spark applications in production environment.
  • Spark Certification will help you stay up to date with the latest enhancements in the Spark ecosystem.
  • Acquiring a recognized spark certification will give you an edge over your peers in the competitive market.
  • For big data professionals who already know Hadoop, Spark certification is a proof of that you finally have the latest technological qualification in the big data space which is required for the big promotion. It can also help professionals find a job that is a better fit to their current designation as a big data professional.
  • For beginners in the big data space, Apache Spark Certification can instil confidence while facing technical interviews for big data job roles.

Work on interesting Spark Projects for just $9 to build your project portfolio!

How to prepare for Apache Spark Certification?

Theory and Best Practices go hand-in-hand when it comes to acquiring complete knowledge around a particular big data technology.  Big data developers should have a good grasp of spark components theoretically and also understand the theory of how spark architecture works on a cluster. Any spark developer must have a good understanding of how to apply the best practices to avoid performance bottlenecks and run time issues if any. Knowing about the latest advances and industry innovations in the Spark Ecosystem is the key to success for clearing any Spark Certification exam.

DeZyre industry experts provide some guidelines that they feel might help spark developers prepare for Spark Certification exam –

  • Take a comprehensive hands-on Apache Spark Certification training from edutech portals like DeZyre, Coursera or Udacity.  Ensure that the spark training you choose provides you hands-on experience of working on a Spark cluster.
  • “Learning Spark” is a must read book for professionals aspiring to become certified Spark developers as it will familiarise them with the Spark Architecture and framework that will help them answer any theoretical questions in the spark certification exam. One can also go through the below listed blogs to get a good understanding of the theoretical spark concepts –

             Spark Ecosystem

             Spark Architecture

             Spark Streaming

             Spark MLib

  • People often have this question on which programming language they should focus on when learning spark. It all depends on your expertise level and you can decide to choose any programming language either Java, Scala or Python. However, you should work on as many examples as you can in all the 3 programming languages – Scala, Python and Java. One need not master these programming languages when learning spark but should be able to understand the code snippets. Having a basic understanding about these programming language is enough if you have in depth knowledge on how Spark API’s work.
  • Some of the important topics that you must prepare for, regardless of the Apache Spark Certification you take –
  1. Practice all the transformation and actions on RDD’s given in Learning Spark book.
  2. Understand the concept of Pair RDD’s and DStreams.
  3. Accumulator and Broadcast variables.
  4. Learn about batch and window sizing in Spark Streaming.
  5. Get yourself acquainted with the PySpark API.  Here’s a free PySpark Tutorial that will help you get start with Apache Spark and Python.
  6. Understand the word count program in all three languages – Scala, Python and Java.
  7. Lineage Graph and Memory Usage concepts.
  8. Machine learning : K-mean , Regression , Clustering
  9. GraphX basic: Vertex, Edge RDD and Triplets in graphs.
  • Professionals appearing for Apache Spark certification exam should have an understanding of how Spark features and practices are distinguishable from Hadoop MapReduce.

We hope that these guidelines will help people preparing for Apache Spark Certification exam. 


Top Apache Spark Certifications to Choose From

Apache Spark Certification

Most of the Spark Certification exams are proctored online and can be given from any 64 bit PC with good internet connectivity. Let’s take a look at the top apache spark certifications available that are sure to help you boost your career as a Spark Developer –

Apache Spark Certifications


Spark Certification Exam Name

Apache Spark Certification Cost

Duration of the Apache Spark Certification Exam

Format of the Spark Certification Exam

Big data skills tested in the Spark Certification Exam


Databricks Certified Spark Developer

300 USD

90 minutes.

Approximately 40 MCQ based questions. Randomly generated programming questions that cover all aspects of Spark. One need not have deep proficiency in any of the programming languages – Scala, Java or Python as questions mainly focus on Spark and its computation model.

Core Spark, Spark Streaming, Spark Data Frames, Spark MLib, GraphX



CCA Spark and Hadoop Developer

295 USD

2 Hours

It is not a MCQ type certification exam but consists of 10 to 12 scenario based programming questions.

HDFS, Sqoop, Flume, Spark with Python and Scala, Hive, Impala, Avro


MapR Certified Spark Developer

250 USD

2 Hours

Objective Exam- Contain 60 to 80 questions.

Core Spark, Spark Streaming, Spark Data Frames, Spark MLib, GraphX



Hortonworks Certified Spark Developer

250 USD

2 Hours

 It does not contain any multiple choice questions. This spark certification exam consists of programming tasks that need to be performed on a live spark cluster.

Core Spark and Data Frames


How to decide which is the best apache spark certification for you?

If you do not have any big data certifications under your portfolio then industry experts suggest that you opt for CCA Spark and Hadoop Developer as it covers many Hadoop eco system tools as well as Core Spark after taking comprehensive hands-on Hadoop Training and Spark Training.  However, if you are already certified in HDPCD (Sqoop, Flume, Pig etc.) or have any other big data or hadoop certifications on your portfolio then you can opt for either HDPCD: Spark or MapR Certified Spark Developer or Databricks Certified Developer.

You can reach out to DeZyre career counsellors if you have any questions or need advice on how to advance your Apache Spark skills and become a certified Spark developer.

Apache Spark News


Relevant Projects

Create A Data Pipeline Based On Messaging Using PySpark And Hive - Covid-19 Analysis
In this PySpark project, you will simulate a complex real-world data pipeline based on messaging. This project is deployed using the following tech stack - NiFi, PySpark, Hive, HDFS, Kafka, Airflow, Tableau and AWS QuickSight.

Online Hadoop Projects -Solving small file problem in Hadoop
In this hadoop project, we are going to be continuing the series on data engineering by discussing and implementing various ways to solve the hadoop small file problem.

Hadoop Project for Beginners-SQL Analytics with Hive
In this hadoop project, learn about the features in Hive that allow us to perform analytical queries over large datasets.

Web Server Log Processing using Hadoop
In this hadoop project, you will be using a sample application log file from an application server to a demonstrated scaled-down server log processing pipeline.

Spark Project -Real-time data collection and Spark Streaming Aggregation
In this big data project, we will embark on real-time data collection and aggregation from a simulated real-time system using Spark Streaming.

Yelp Data Processing using Spark and Hive Part 2
In this spark project, we will continue building the data warehouse from the previous project Yelp Data Processing Using Spark And Hive Part 1 and will do further data processing to develop diverse data products.

Explore features of Spark SQL in practice on Spark 2.0
The goal of this spark project for students is to explore the features of Spark SQL in practice on the latest version of Spark i.e. Spark 2.0.

Analysing Big Data with Twitter Sentiments using Spark Streaming
In this big data spark project, we will do Twitter sentiment analysis using spark streaming on the incoming streaming data.

Finding Unique URL's using Hadoop Hive
Hive Project -Learn to write a Hive program to find the first unique URL, given 'n' number of URL's.

Tough engineering choices with large datasets in Hive Part - 1
Explore hive usage efficiently in this hadoop hive project using various file formats such as JSON, CSV, ORC, AVRO and compare their relative performances