We identified most if not all specialized certifications in NoSQL products and services. This is a unique list for NoSQL data engineers, database administrators, data modelers or data architects. Many of these professional certification programs are brand new, and people don’t know about them.
Table of Contents
- [FREE] Neo4j NoSQL Certifications
- [FREE] TigerGraph Certifications
- Redis NoSQL Certification
- MongoDB Certifications
- Couchbase NoSQL Certifications
- Cassandra Certifications
- MarkLogic Certifications
- OrientDB NoSQL Certifications
- Elasticsearch Certifications
- Splunk Certifications
- DynamoDB/AWS Certifications
- Bigtable/GCP Certifications
- Cosmos DB/Azure Certifications
- Snowflake Certifications
- Hadoop Certifications
- Spark Certifications
- Kafka Certifications
- Final Remarks
[FREE] Neo4j NoSQL Certifications
Neo4j has always been the most popular graph DBMS. Neo4j’s Graph Academy started to offer a free non-proctored online certification exam a while ago, to become a Neo4j Certified Professional in Neo4j version 3.x. Only few weeks ago a new complementary certification exam has been offered for version 4.x.
The exams are free, but there is a catch: you cannot try them more than once within the same 24 hours, and your score appears on the issued certificate. So if you want to get the highest score possible, it makes sense to try it more than once, even if you pass.
- Neo4j Certified Professional – with one FREE non-proctored online exam you can try once within 24 hours. The exam has 80 single/multi-choice or True/False questions, a 60 minutes time limit, and a 80% passing score. An excellent addition or even alternative to their long time-consuming courses are my high-quality and popular Udemy practice tests.
- Neo4j 4.0 Certified – with one other FREE non-proctored online exam you can try once within 24 hours. The exam has 30 single/multi-choice questions (with 4 choices each), a 45 minutes time limit, and a 80% passing score. Beware the first exam is a pre-requisite: you must pass the first exam, then try this one from the same email address. The exam is much shorter and covers only the big new additions in version 4: RBAC, Fabric, MultiDB and new Cypher features (like CALL subqueries and new query optimizations – check my “Become a Neo4j Cypher Expert: Cypher Puzzles with Answers” for advanced Cypher). There is no specific training course just for these additions, but you can try as alternative my brand new Udemy practice tests. By using them, I passed the exam lately with 100%:
[FREE] TigerGraph Certifications
TigerGraph is another lesser known graph DBMS, that competes directly with Neo4j. Their NoSQL certification programs offer two free online training courses, each ending with a free quiz.
If you’re a developer, try to pass the first quiz, as the training module will teach you TigerGraph fundamentals and their own GSQL (Graph SQL) language. If you’re a data scientist or analyst, with strong background in math and the graph theory, look for the second certification:
- Certified TigerGraph Associate – the GSQL 101 FREE quiz has 40 questions, for a 30-45 minutes time limit, with a 70% passing score. The training videos provide an introduction to graph database and analytics, and an overview of use cases and benefits, and graph query programming. It took me only a few hours to watch the two training video modules (TigerGraph Fundamentals and GSQL Programming 101) then go and pass the quiz. Beware the first module is fundamental, as some questions are formulated the same way as presented there. The second module however does not entirely cover their proprietary GSQL query language, you’ll need to read the online doc as well.
- Graph Algorithms for Machine Learning (ML) – with five categories of graph algorithms. The Graph Algorithms for ML FREE quiz has also 40 total questions, a 30-45 minutes time limit, and 70% passing score. You will need to review five part series of educational videos, each focused on a specific category of graph algorithm.
Redis NoSQL Certification
Redis has been for a long time the most beloved and popular key-value store. Going beyond the simple term of “data”, Redis offers and stores (in memory and on disk) complex distributed data structures. It is a regal for developers to extend their common simple structures from one computer’s memory to distributed architectures.
Redis offers one single kind of certification at this point, through its Redis Labs company, for developers, since 2019. The proctored exam must be tried during one specific exam window, usually one week a month.
- Redis Certified Developer – the proctored exam costs $120 US, and has 80 questions, a 90 minutes time limit, and 72% passing score (as 500/700 minimum points you need to score). We are in Jan 2021 at this moment, and the upcoming exam windows are scheduled for Jan 12 to Jan 18, and Feb 9 to Feb 15. Follow the link if you want to know how to prepare and pass the exam in just 4 days, as I did. And use my high-quality Udemy practice tests, if you want to do the same.
MongoDB offers one of the most popular NoSQL certifications for developers. The problem is there is only one week a month when you can try to pass the proctored exam. You have two choices, depending if you’re more a developer, or an administrator:
- MongoDB Certified Developer Associate – the proctored exam costs $150 US. There are 60 questions, a 90 minutes time limit, an 82% passing score (minimum 490/600 points, or max 10/60 missed questions). The recommended course includes a practice exam with 43 questions. Beware you may not get the result right away, but in one week or so.
- MongoDB Certified DBA Associate – the proctored exam costs $150 US as well, for 60 questions, 90 minutes time limit, and around 82% passing score as well (minimum 490/600 points, or max 10/60 missed questions). The recommended course includes a practice exam with 60 questions.
Couchbase NoSQL Certifications
Like MongoDB, Couchbase is also a NoSQL document store. Less popular, but they claim it’s faster than MongoDB. If you want to quickly learn a new and interesting NoSQL store, this new NoSQL certification could be a great opportunity and motivation factor.
Couchbase certifications are brand new: they’ve been offered since Dec 2020. Couchbase Associate Architect and Couchbase Professional Administrator are not yet available. But you can try your skills for the Java Developer NoSQL certification in Couchbase, for just $50 US. At this price, it is one of the cheapest certifications with a proctored exam.
- Couchbase Associate Java Developer – the proctored exam costs just $50 US. The exam has 40 questions, a 90 minutes time limit (which is more than enough), and a 80% passing score. Getting less than 8 questions wrong out of 40 could be a challenge. Follow the previous link to find out how I prepared for and passed it in just 3 days. And if you find their recommended video course somehow long and verbose (as I did), consider using my brand new Udemy practice tests as well.
- Couchbase Associate Architect – not yet available.
- Couchbase Professional Administrator – not yet available. The Professional level is usually higher than Associate, so expect the exam to be more difficult.
Apache Cassandra is the most popular wide column NoSQL store. Cassandra used as inspiration the two most celebrated products in the NoSQL circles: Google’s Bigtable for the data model, and Amazon’s Dynamo for the distribution design.
Certification programs are offered by DataStax, the company that commercializes Cassandra. The latest offerings are for Cassandra 3, focused on two learning paths: developer or administrator. There used to be also a separate certification for architects, at $400 US, for 180 minutes, including the Dev exam as pre-requisite. They cut the prices drastically by the end of 2020, because the two remaining active exams below used to cost $300 US or more each just few months ago, at an assumed 75% passing score. So now it’s even better to try and pass a Cassandra certification exam! Ask for a voucher by email after you complete the recommended courses for your learning path: your first try, and the eventual retry (if you fail), will both be free!
- Apache Cassandra Developer Associate – the proctored exam costs $145 US and has 60 questions, within 90 minutes, for a 70% passing score. Or you can try it for FREE, if you complete three recommended courses: Introduction (20 minutes), Foundations (6 hours), and Data Modeling (12 hours). Core topics cover the architecture and CQL’s CRUD operations (I recommend my “Cassandra Query Language by Examples: Puzzles with Answers“). Data modeling looks at the conceptual / logical / physical data models, and schema definition with keyspaces / tables / columns / partitions etc. This certification is for professionals that use Apache Cassandra clusters to manage data, for roles such as application developers, data architects, database designers, and database administrators.
- Apache Cassandra Administrator Associate – the proctored exam costs $145 US and has 60 questions, within 90 minutes, for a 70% passing score. Or you can try it for FREE, if you complete three recommended courses: Introduction (20 minutes), Foundations (6 hours), and Operations (9 hours). It is for Apache Cassandra 3, with focus on architecture and operations. Core topics cover the architecture and CQL’s CRUD operations. Operations refer to Cassandra installation and configuration. This certification is for professionals who install, configure, manage and tune the performance of Cassandra clusters, such as database administrators, DevOps engineers and Site Reliability Engineers.
- Apache Cassandra Operations in Kubernetes – coming soon. For running Cassandra in Docker containers, understanding how Cassandra maps to Kubernetes, and how to deploy and run Cassandra on Kubernetes using Kubernetes operators and other monitoring and management tools.
MarkLogic is the most popular RDF database. RDF stores save relationship data in triples, queried by SPARQL. MarkLogic supports in fact several data models: their stores can be used as either document stores, or native XML DBMS, RDF stores, or search engines.
MarkLogic offers courses and certifications though its internal “University” branch. There are two possible branches, each with a written multiple-choice exam, followed by a hands-on deliverables-based exam. Each exam is scheduled at only two specific days within a month, at some fixed time of the day.
- Certified MarkLogic Developer – one written exam, followed by a hands-on exam, each for $150 US, for a total of $300 US. The Developer exams cover architecture, XPath and FLWOR, indexing, search, data modeling, transactions, security, and semantics. The written exam has 50 multi-choice questions, to be completed in one hour. The hands-on part has several deliverables to be completed in 4 hours. You’ll have the choice, when the exam starts, between XQuery, Java or Node.js.
- Certified MarkLogic Administrator – one written exam, followed by a hands-on exam, each for $150 US, for a total of $300 US. The Administrator exams cover administration-focused topics, including architecture, configuration and deployment, indexing, search, data modeling, transactions, security, HA/DR, and monitoring. The written exam has 50 multi-choice questions, to be completed in one hour. The hands-on part has several deliverables to be completed in 4 hours.
OrientDB NoSQL Certifications
OrientDB is a graph and document-oriented NoSQL database. It is not as popular as Neo4j – which is a direct competitor – but it usually appears within the top 5 graph databases, in terms of popularity.
OrientDB NoSQL certification exams take place at the end of each in-person training course, offered by the OrientDB University. But course attendance is only encouraged: attending a course is not a requirement for attempting the course exam. Each exam typically costs $150 US, but there are also discounts at $99 US just for the exam.
- OrientDB Java Developer – this certifies that the user has deep knowledge of OrientDB concepts and is able to write Java applications that work against the Graph API.
- OrientDB Web Developer – this will certify that the user has deep knowledge of OrientDB concepts and is able to interact with the database via HTTP/REST API.
- OrientDB YODA – for Java developers, to certify they have very deep knowledge of OrientDB internals and fine tuning. The user can change the source code providing patches and improvements. All Orientdb committers are certified “YODA”.
- OrientDB DBA 1st Level – it certifies that a DBA, System Administrator, or Security expert has knowledge of OrientDB basics and is able to work with the database(s) as DBA using the Console and Web Studio.
Elasticsearch is the most popular NoSQL search engine. It is a distributed, RESTful modern search and analytics engine based on Apache Lucene, like many other NoSQL products from this category.
Certification programs are maintained by Elastic, the company behind Elasticsearch and other related search and analytics components. The exams are hands-on and performance-based: there are no multiple-choice questions to answer, but real problems to solve directly on Elasticsearch clusters in a sandbox environment.
- Elastic Certified Engineer – the proctored exam costs $400 US. For Elasticsearch experts who can install and manage Elasticsearch clusters, as well as develop solutions for searching and analyzing their indexed data. The certification is valid for 2 years.
- Elastic Certified Analyst – the proctored exam costs $300 US. For experts at using Kibana for both data visualization and analysis, from creating powerful dashboards to analyzing time-series data to developing machine learning jobs. The certification is valid for 2 years.
- Elastic Certified Observability Engineer – coming soon. For those with a clear view of what’s happening across their entire ecosystem. By bringing their logs, metrics, and APM traces together at scale in a single stack, they can monitor and react to events happening anywhere in their environment.
Another top distributed search engine is Splunk. Not as popular as Elasticsearch, its engine is based on proprietary software, not using Apache Lucene. Splunk usually ranks second in terms of popularity in its category.
- Splunk Core Certified Power User – two User and Power User proctored exams, each at $125 US, for a total of $250 US. An exam has a time limit of 57 minutes.
- Splunk Core Certified Advanced Power User – one proctored exam for $125 US. An exam has a time limit of 57 minutes.
- Splunk Enterprise Certified Admin – two Cloud and Enterprise Admin proctored exams, at $125 US each, for a total of $250 US. An exam has a time limit of 57 minutes.
- Splunk Enterprise Certified Architect – one proctored exam for $125 US. The exam has 85 questions, within 87 minutes.
- Splunk Enterprise Security Certified Admin – one proctored exam for $125 US. An exam has a time limit of 57 minutes.
- Splunk IT Service Intelligence Certified Admin – one proctored exam for $125 US. An exam has a time limit of 57 minutes.
With Google’s Bigtable, Amazon’s DynamoDB started the revolution later known as NoSQL. Amazon DynamoDB is a key-value store and the star of all NoSQL databases in AWS:
- Amazon DynamoDB – fully managed key-value store
- Amazon ElastiCache – Redis/Memcached-base in-memory key-value stores
- Amazon DocumentDB – managed MongoDB-compatible document store
- Amazon Keyspaces – Apache Cassandra-based wide column store
- Amazon Neptune – NoSQL graph database, to query with Gremlin or SPARQL
- Amazon Timestream – time-series database
- Amazon QLDB (Quantum Ledger Database) – cryptographically verifiable and immutable NoSQL transaction log or journal
- Amazon SimpleDB – old simple key-value store, replaced by DynamoDB, obsolete now
There is no AWS/Amazon specific certification for DynamoDB (or any other supported NoSQL database). But most general AWS exams and certifications – for developers, architects or administrators – require basic to intermediate knowledge of Amazon-supported databases: relational, NoSQL, Big Data and data warehouses. There are also database-focused certifications, in which intermediate to advanced DynamoDB and NoSQL knowledge are highly required:
- AWS Certified Database Specialty – the proctored exam costs $300 US. It has 65 questions, within 180 min, with a 75% passing score. If you already passed another AWS exam before, you may get a 50% discount for this exam. The exam is heavily focused on RDS and Amazon Aurora (around 40%). DynamoDB is around 15% of the exam.
- AWS Certified Data Analytics Specialty – the proctored exam costs $300 US. It has 65 questions, within 180 min, with a 75% passing score. If you already passed another AWS exam before, you may get a 50% discount for this exam. The exam is obviously focused on data analysis in general, for no particular database.
As mentioned previously, Google’s Bigtable and Amazon’s DynamoDB whitepapers started the revolution later known as NoSQL. Google’s Cloud Bigtable is a NoSQL wide columnar store which file system later inspired Hadoop’s own HDFS (Hadoop Distributed File System). But Bigtable is not the only NoSQL store supported by GCP, here there are all:
- Cloud Bigtable – managed NoSQL wide-column store
- Cloud Datastore – managed NoSQL document database (key-value on JSON), with GQL
- Cloud Firestore – NoSQL document database (key-value on JSON)
- Firebase Realtime Database – NoSQL real-time database, to store and synchronize data
Like most other cloud certifications, GCP (Google Cloud Platform) certifications are either general or specific. General certifications focus on the developer, architect or administrator role, for the whole platform, and requires general knowledge on all sorts of supported databases (NoSQL, relational, data warehouses or Big Data). Specialty exams may focus on databases, network etc. And here is just the one big database-specialized exam on GCP:
- GCP Professional Data Engineer – the proctored exam costs $200 US. It has 50 questions, a 2 hour time limit, and an assumed 80% passing score.
Cosmos DB/Azure Certifications
Cosmos DB is the multi-model NoSQL data store in Microsoft Azure. It supports 5 different APIs and 4 NoSQL models, and it usually ranks in the top 3 for popularity for each supported NoSQL category:
- SQL/Core – former DocumentDB, is a proprietary JSON document store, queried by SQL.
- Tables – an API for a proprietary key-value store
- Cassandra – the API for the popular wide column store
- Gremlin – an API for property graph databases
There is no specific Cosmos DB Certification from Microsoft, but there are several data or database-focused certifications in which Azure Cosmos DB knowledge is heavily required. All Microsoft Azure certifications are rather cloud-oriented, but hosted NoSQL databases play an important role in the data-focused certificates, alongside managed or hosted relational databases, data warehouses and the Hadoop-centric Big Data ecosystem.
- Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Fundamentals – one foundational proctored exam costs $99 US. The exam has between 40 and 60 questions, between 60 and 90 minutes, with 70% passing score. You must prove knowledge on how to work with relational data on Azure; how to work with non-relational NoSQL data on Azure; and an analytics workload on Azure.
- Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Engineer Associate – two required proctored exams at $165 US each, for a total of $330 US. You must know to both implement and design Azure data solutions. Azure Data Engineers design and implement the management, monitoring, security, and privacy of data using the full stack of Azure data services to satisfy business needs.
- Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Scientist Associate – one proctored exam for $165 US. The Azure Data Scientists apply their knowledge of data science and machine learning to implement and run machine learning workloads on Azure; in particular, using Azure Machine Learning Service.
Snowflake is a genuine data warehouse, basically relational, so you may ask yourself why I include it into a NoSQL section. But Snowflake handles both structured (aka relational) and semi-structured (JSON/XML-based, aka NoSQL) data, through data lakes.
Snowflake introduced lately many so-called SnowPro new certifications. The Core certification has started back in 2019, but in 2020 they made it mandatory for new “Advanced” certifications. The total cost to become a Snowflake Architect is a whooping $550 US now.
- SnowPro Core Certification – the proctored exam costs $175 US. The exam has 100 questions, within 2 hours, with an 80% passing score. This basic exam became a pre-requisite for any other advanced certification that follows.
- SnowPro Advanced: Architect – the proctored exam costs $375 US (but remember you must pass the Core certification exam as a pre-requisite). It measures 60% knowledge, and 40% skills. The exam has 60 questions, within 90 minutes, with a 70% passing score.
- SnowPro Advanced: Database Admin – not yet available.
- SnowPro Advanced: Data Engineer – not yet available.
- SnowPro Advanced: Data Scientist – not yet available.
- SnowPro Advanced: Data Analyst – not yet available.
Is Hadoop a NoSQL database? No, Hadoop is an ecosystem of applications for Big Data, but including some NoSQL stores. Its HDFS (Hadoop Distributed File System) is heavily inspired by Google’s Bigtable GFS (Google File System), and this is a NoSQL store. Hadoop includes apps like HBase, which is a column-oriented NoSQL DBMS running on top of HDFS. So it would rather make sense to include Big Data certifications in our NoSQL section as well.
There have been two major commercial distributions of Hadoop: Cloudera and Hortonworks. They both used to offer professional certification programs. But Cloudera bought Hortonworks and only one set of CCP (Cloudera Certified Professional) or CCA (Cloudera Certified Associate) certifications remain today. Cloudera constantly offer 20% off their certification exam, and a 50% discount for your second attempt, if you fail. Each certification is valid for 2 years.
- CCP Data Engineer – the proctored exam costs $400 US. There will be 5–10 performance-based hands-on tasks on pre-configured Cloudera Enterprise cluster, within 240 minutes, with a 70% passing score. CCP Data Engineers possess the skills to develop reliable, autonomous, scalable data pipelines that result in optimized data sets for a variety of workloads.
- CCA Spark and Hadoop Developer – the proctored exam costs $295 US. There will be 8–12 performance-based hands-on tasks on Cloudera Enterprise cluster, within 120 minutes, with a 70% passing score. A CCA Spark and Hadoop Developer has proven their core skills to ingest, transform, and process data using Apache Spark™ and core Cloudera Enterprise tools.
- CCA Data Analyst – the proctored exam costs $295 US. There will be 8–12 performance-based hands-on tasks on pre-configured Cloudera Enterprise cluster, within 120 minutes, with a 70% passing score. A CCA Data Analyst has proven their core analyst skills to load, transform, and model Hadoop data in order to define relationships and extract meaningful results from the raw input.
- CCA Administrator – the proctored exam costs $295 US. There will be 8–12 performance-based hands-on tasks on pre-configured Cloudera Enterprise cluster, within 120 minutes, with a 70% passing score. Individuals who earn the CCA Administrator certification have demonstrated the core systems and cluster administrator skills sought by companies and organizations deploying Cloudera in the enterprise.
- CCA HDP Administrator Exam – the proctored exam costs $295 US. There will be 8–12 performance-based hands-on tasks on pre-configured Cloudera Enterprise cluster, within 120 minutes, with a 70% passing score. The HDP Certified Administrator (HDPCA) exam has five main categories of tasks that involve: Installation, Configuration, Troubleshooting, High Availability and Security.
Apache Spark is an open-source distributed general-purpose cluster-computing framework. It provides an interface for programming entire clusters with implicit data parallelism and fault tolerance. While its main usage is still on top of Hadoop, Spark can be used as a distributed SQL engine on top of different NoSQL databases.
Databricks is the company started by those who created Apache Spark. And Databricks offers today several certifications for Spark:
- Databricks Certified Associate Developer for Apache Spark 3.0 – the proctored exam costs $200 US. It has 50 questions, within 2 hours, with 70% passing score. It is focused on architecture and DataFrame API.
- Databricks Certified Associate Developer for Apache Spark 2.4 – the proctored exam costs $200 US. That’s a very similar developer exam, for an older Spark version.
- Databricks Certified Associate ML Practitioner for Apache Spark 2.4 – the proctored exam costs $200 US. It is focused on MLlib.
- Databricks Certified Professional Data Scientist – the proctored exam costs $200 US. It is focused on machine learning, for data analysts and scientists.
- Databricks Certified Professional Data Engineer – coming soon (early 2021).
- Databricks Certified Associate Platform Administrator – coming soon (early 2021).
Apache Kafka is not a NoSQL database, it is a data streaming service. However, it is so often used to either ingest data or propagate notification data from NoSQL stores, that it is worth having a Kafka certification in our pages.
- Confluent Certified Developer for Apache Kafka – the proctored exam costs $150 US. It has 60 questions, within 90 minutes, Certification is valid for 2 years.
- Confluent Certified Administrator – the proctored exam costs $150 US. It has 40 questions, within 90 minutes, Certification is valid for 2 years.
This list is unique on the web at this moment in time, as we’ve spent time to analyze the most important NoSQL products, and make an inventory of their professional NoSQL certifications. We actually watched them coming up with these offers in time, as one or two years ago almost nobody in the NoSQL area offered such certificates.
Most cloud providers (AWS, Google Cloud, Azure, IBM, Oracle) offer a bunch of well-regarded professional certifications. Some of them are role-oriented (developer, architect, administrator…), others are specialty-oriented (databases, networks, artificial intelligence…). Most role-oriented certifications require at least some basic knowledge on the supported cloud databases, including the NoSQL stores. However, we looked only at the database-oriented certifications, because the domain is anyway too broad: these exams also require knowledge on relational databases, data warehouses, and Big Data/Hadoop products.
We also included products and certifications usually associated with Big Data/Hadoop, because many products and services in this category are NoSQL stores or NoSQL-related.
Some Data Scientist/Analyst certifications have been included, but only when related to specific NoSQL stores. There are separate and more detailed directories with certifications for data scientists, or those involved with machine learning and other AI activities.
Data warehouses are usually relational and OLAP/SQL-oriented. However, there are many hybrids today that support both structured and semi-structured data. A product like Snowflake supports also data lakes with semi-structured JSON or XML. As consequence, it was worth including such professional certifications as well.
NewSQL products would be also worth including here, if they support such extended NoSQL features.
Please let us know if you discover new NoSQL certifications, to add them to this list!