5 best big data courses for 2021 with faded black background

5 Best Big Data Courses for 2021 [Learn Big Data ASAP]

By 2023, the industry of big data will be worth over $77 billion.

But what is big data?

Big data is exactly what it sounds like: a large volume of data.

The field of big data analyzes and extracts information from data sets that are too large for typical data-processing application software.

For example, you wouldn’t use Excel to process Facebook’s data.

How can I learn big data?

Well, one proven way to learn big data is by taking online courses.

In fact, we picked 5 of the best big data courses to help you get started.

They’re mostly beginner courses. So while they won’t give you a complete education in big data, they’ll start you off on the right foot.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation if you buy something. Read my disclosure for more details.

TLDR: Best Big Data Courses

🔥 Best Overall 🔥
Introduction to Big Data and Hadoop: Educative.io

💥 Best for Newbies 💥
Introduction to Big Data: Coursera

💸 Best Value 💸
Big Data Fundamentals with PySpark: DataCamp

Learn Big Data with Big Data Courses

1. Big Data Fundamentals with PySpark: DataCamp

Level: Beginner
Format: Interactive learning and video

Interactive use of PySpark in the course Big Data Fundamentals with PySpark on DataCamp

Big Data Fundamentals with PySpark is for beginner students who have some experience with Python programming.

PySpark is an interface for Apache Spark in Python. It allows you to write Spark applications using Python APIs.

💡 PySpark boasts memory speeds of 100x that of Hadoop.

💖We absolutely love DataCamp. Find out why in our DataCamp Review.

Course Layout

DataCamp is has an interactive learning environment where you’ll do all work inside the browser.

In Big Data Fundamentals with PySpark you’ll learn about Spark’s resilient distributed dataset (RDD), the backbone data type of Spark.

You’ll also learn how PySpark SQL enables you to use DataFrames in Python.

Creating a DataFrame from RDD video in the course Big Data Fundamentals with PySpark on DataCamp

Projects

You’ll work on 2 real-world projects:

  1. Build a movie recommendation engine
  2. Build a spam filter

Support

DataCamp has a forum where you can get help from other students.

💰 Price: $25 per month for all courses and Learning Paths / $33.25 per month includes 80+ projects
⏲️ Duration: 4 hours
📉 Level: Beginner
🖥️ Format: Interactive learning & video
🎖️ Certificate: Yes


2. Introduction to Big Data and Hadoop: Educative.io

Level: Beginner
Format: Interactive learning

Big data defined in the course Introduction to Big Data and Hadoop on Educative.io

Similar to DataCamp, Educative.io has an interactive learning environment. But you won’t find any videos here.

In this beginner course, you’ll discover Apache Hadoop.

💡 The Apache Hadoop software library is a framework. It uses a network of computers to solve problems containing massive amounts of data and/or computation.

💖 Is Educative Worth It? You’ll almost always find an Educative.io course or two in our lists of best courses. Read our review to find out why.

Course Layout

Educative.io has an interactive learning environment where you’ll do all work inside the browser.

In Introduction to Big Data and Hadoop you’ll learn about different types of data:

  • structured
  • unstructured
  • semi-structured

You’ll also touch on MapReduce, Hadoop Distributed File System, and Spark.

MapReduce diagram in the course Big Data and Hadoop on Educative.io

Support

There is a section after each lesson where you can get help from instructors and other students.

💰 Price: $49 per year for the course / $59 per month or $199 per year ($16.66/mo) for access to all courses and Learning Paths
⏲️ Duration: 10 hours
📉 Level: Beginner
🖥️ Format: Interactive learning
🎖️ Certificate: Yes



3. Introduction to Big Data: Treehouse

Level: Intermediate
Format: Video

Lecture in the course Introduction to Big Data on Treehouse

Introduction to Big Data is one of the best big data courses for intermediate students.

Now the course runs about 51 minutes, so it won’t give you a complete education on big data. Rather, you’ll become familiar with core concepts and the overall layout of big data.

💡 Got a short attention span? Take this course!

Is Treehouse all that? Read our full Treehouse Review.

Course Layout

Treehouse is a video based platform where you’ll do all work on your local machine.

In Introduction to Big Data, you’ll learn about the characteristics and importance of big data. Then you’ll explore how and where to use it.

In addition, you’ll look at an exciting real-world use case where you’ll examine how Netflix relies on big data.

💡 As of January 2021, Netflix is worth over $247 billion.

Support

Treehouse has a community where you can get help from other students.

🔥 Geena’s Hot Take

Treehouse certainly isn’t best platform for gaining a thorough education on big data. But I’ve gotta say, it’s a good starting point.

💰 Price: $25 per month for all courses / $49 per month for courses & Learning Paths
⏲️ Duration: 51 minutes
📉 Level: Intermediate
🖥️ Format: Video
🎖️ Certificate: No

Don’t forget: Treehouse has a 7-day free trial, so it won’t cost you anything to check out Introduction to Big Data.


4. Big Data: The Big Picture: Pluralsight

Level: Intermediate
Format: Video

Course overview video and syllabus in the course Big Data: The Big Picture on Pluralsight

Pluralsight is similar to Treehouse in that it’s a video-based platform. So you won’t find any interactive exercises here.

Big Data: The Big Picture is one of the best big data courses for getting a general overview of big data.

It’s an intermediate big data course. You’ll learn about key concepts and core technologies used in big data.

What is Pluralsight? Is Pluralsight Good for Beginners?

Course Layout

In Big Data: The Big Picture you’ll explore big data technologies such as Apache Spark, Presto and cluster computing.

You’ll also look at:

  • the cloud
  • workload assessment
  • analytics tooling

And much more.

Support

There’s no official Pluralsight community. However, they encourage students to form guilds. ⚔️

💰 Price: $29 per month for all video courses and Learning Paths / $45 per month for advanced courses and projects
⏲️ Duration: 2 hours
📉 Level: Intermediate
🖥️ Format: Video
🎖️ Certificate: Yes


5. Introduction to Big Data: Coursera

Level: Beginner
Format: Video

Course instructors in the course Introduction to Big Data on Coursera

Introduction to Big Data is a beginner course that’s part of a Specialization, or bundle of courses.

It’s geared towards data science newbies who want to learn big data.

You’ll also gain a general understanding of Hadoop and other common frameworks found in big data.

Is Coursera Worth Your Time?

Course Layout

Coursera is a video-based learning platform. However, there are plenty of readings and quizzes you’ll do directly on the browser.

In Introduction to Big Data, you’ll learn about characteristics of big data and its scalability.

Support

There are forums where you can get help from mentors and other students.

💰 Price: $49 per month
⏲️ Duration: 17 hours
📉 Level: Beginner
🖥️ Format: Video and readings
🎖️ Certificate: Yes


Best Big Data Courses: Conclusion

Today we looked at the best big data courses for this year, and three came out on top.

🔥 Best Overall 🔥
Introduction to Big Data and Hadoop: Educative.io

💥 Best for Newbies 💥
Introduction to Big Data: Coursera

💸 Best Value 💸
Big Data Fundamentals with PySpark: DataCamp

So whether you’re looking for the cream of the crop, newbie-friendly guide, or best value, we think these are some of the best big data courses out there.


Up Next:


  1. What are the best big data courses in 2021?

    Overall, we think Introduction to Big Data and Hadoop is the best. For newbies, we think Introduction to Big Data by Coursera is the best bet. And for best value, we liked Big Data Fundamentals with PySpark by DataCamp.

  2. What is big data?

    Big data is exactly what it sounds like: a large volume of data. The field of big data analyzes and extracts information from data sets that are too large for typical data-processing application software. It contains both structured data and unstructured data that's used in day-to-day business.

  3. Does DataCamp teach big data courses?

    Yes, DataCamp has some big data courses. The most popular include Big Data Fundamentals with PySpark and Visualizing Big Data with Trelliscope in R. There's also Building Recommendation Engines with PySpark and Scalable Data Processing in R.