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Training review – A Big Data Course with a ‘Big’ Difference from Jigsaw Academy

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Big Data has emerged as one of the fastest growing fields in recent times and every business is looking to leverage Big Data to get ahead of the competition. It’s thus not surprising that the demand for skilled Big Data professionals is huge and far exceeds the current supply. So much so, that those with Big Data skills command high salaries (about 25- 50% higher than IT and other fields). It has become the field of choice for many IT professionals looking to fast track their career.bk image 1

There were no courses in Big Data analytics, until even 18 months ago. However, today we are seeing a flood of courses on offer and many can’t decide, which is the right course for them.

I recently heard that Jigsaw Academy has launched its Big Data analytics course. What caught my attention was the fact that they claim to have India’s first globally recognized certification in Big Data. Now this is something I wanted to check out for real.

The first thing I did was check out the website – specifically the Big Data course page

 

Credibility of the certification

Jigsaw Academy has tied up with Wiley, a US based publication house, for the Big Data course. All of us, especially the engineers amongst us who swear by Resnick and Halliday know Wiley books. But what is less well known is the fact that Wiley also has a number of certifications, especially in IT.

What was interesting for me was that this is the first time Wiley has tied up with an Indian organization to come up with a joint certification – the Wiley-Jigsaw Big Data specialist certification.

The Wiley-Jigsaw certification certainly looks like the most credible certification available on Big data and should improve job and career prospects for the people, who undertake it.

Course Outline

Keeping the brands aside, let us look at the content of the course.

Comparing the Jigsaw course with the Edureka course, I found a huge overlap between the two. Both the courses cover hadoop, mapreduce, hive, pig and other popular Big Data technologies. However, Jigsaw’s course has an analytics orientation, while the Edureka course has a more technology orientation. It comes out clearly that Jigsaw has made a significant effort to make it more readable to a novice. Edureka, on the other hand, seems to be targeting IT professionals who are already familiar with technical terminologies.bk image 2

Jigsaw Academy’s Big Data course has an edge when it comes to the analytics piece – they have modules on R and its integration with hadoop –  RHadoop and RMR packages. Also, their case studies cover both structured and unstructured data. If their past case studies are anything to go by, students are in for some great hands-on experience.

This difference stands out, when I compare this course from Jigsaw with other courses as well. Jigsaw’s Big Data course is the first one, I have seen in the market, that has clear focus on analytics.

Student Experience

After certification credibility and course outline, another important evaluation criterion is overall student experience.

I asked Jigsaw for access to one of their Big Data modules. I came away very impressed by the quality of their videos and assignments. Their videos are superior to anything I have seen, including the MIT and Coursera videos. You can have a look at a sample video here.

I also managed to catch hold of two students, who were part of the pilot batch run by Jigsaw in May. Both students were very appreciative of the course.

Umang Chugh, an MBA graduate from AIM Manila, said “I had previously done some analytics courses from Jigsaw and I had really liked them. So when they invited me to be a part of the pilot for Big Data I jumped at it. They have maintained the level of quality we all know them for. Even though Big Data is an intimidating area for a newbie like me, Jigsaw managed to make the course simple and interesting.”

Yatin Gupta is another IT professional who enrolled for the pilot batch.

“What I liked best about the course is the support from the mentors, who are knowledgeable and very helpful. I also liked the case studies and the way they have set up their Big Data lab. It is very easy for a beginner to get started.”bk image 3

Image courtesy http://www.allanalytics.com/ (source Rurtch Works)

Having heard all the good things, I asked them specifically about the things they did not like. Umang mentioned that he was looking for case studies in healthcare but did not find any. Yatin said that while the support from the faculty is great, he would have liked some additional classes on certain advanced topics.

The Wiley Difference

Finally, I wanted to explore the Wiley component of the course. Jigsaw has several analytics courses that are offered independently. What was the reason for the tie up with Wiley? What does Wiley add to the offering?

Wiley has pulled in Big Data experts from around the world to create some of the content for the course. Students receive books (e-copies as well as physical copies) of the course material.

Wiley has the ability to reach some of the best Big Data experts for building the content. We have the expertise to deliver a great online learning experience. I think together we have the ability to create a world class course in Big Data analytics.” Says Sarita Digumarti, the COO of Jigsaw Academy.

“This is the first time we will be offering physical study material in the form of books to our students. And we could think of no one better than Wiley to partner with for this” she said.

What I did not like

One thing I did not like about the course is that it assumes its students are familiar with analytics and the R tool. I would have liked the R module to be included in the course itself.

We feel that a combination of our Data Science course (where people learn analytics with R) and the Big Data course is the ideal combination for anyone looking to enter into this field. Combining both the courses into one would make the course very long. We deliberately ensure that all our courses are less than 6 months.

The price point of the course is surely something I am concerned about. At Rs. 42,000 this is among the most expensive courses in the market currently.

Quality comes at a price” was the short answer from Sarita Digumarti when I quizzed her about the course fee. “Our courses have always been premium priced and we feel this kind of pricing is essential for us to be able to continue to deliver the quality of the student experience we aim for.

Currently, Jigsaw academy is offering an introductory discount of over 15% on their course. This translates to a saving of Rs. 7000 and makes this course very attractive  (Update: This offer was valid till 31st August 2014 and has now expired. But you can still get some great discounts with offers on their site)

Is the course worth investing your time and money in?

Let’s look at the positives first – It offers a globally recognized certification, it offers Big Data with analytics perspective, it delivers a good student experience, the quality of the videos is top class and it leverages on Wiley’s 100+ years of experience in creating great content.

On the flip side, the course is pricey and it needs to be combined with their Data science course to get the full benefit.

Personally, if I can afford to spend Rs. 42,000 on a course, this is the course I would go for.

I hope this article will be useful to the hundreds of followers, who write to me for advise on the courses available in the market. And as always, I would love to hear your thoughts or comments. If you have further questions about this offering or other courses, let me know.

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26 Comments

  • Neha Khatri says:

    Do you think Kunal, a basic course from Jigsaw will be a good one to get into analytics career? Since I have heard a lot about this Academy and this course also sounds interesting, so i think I can try for a basic one from here and then go about for advanced courses.

    • Kunal Jain says:

      Neha,

      Your approach makes sense. This is what I have mentioned as something I don’t like about the course. You can’t take this as your first course in anaytics.

      Regards,
      Kunal

  • SPC says:

    Hi Kunal,

    Would appreciate if you could let me know whether this Big Data course would help a person who would like to shift to analytics with no technical knowledge but have 14 years experience in operations and project management.

    Thanks
    SPC

    • Kunal Jain says:

      SPC,

      Yes, the course would definitely help! But, as I mentioned in the article, this may not be the first course, you would want to have. There is a course from Jigsaw (on R data scientist)), you should attend first.

      Also, be prepared to put in extra work apart from the course, if you are serious about a career change. You can read some more tips here.

      Regards,
      Kunal

  • Ashwin says:

    This is cool! I needed this since this is a new course from them. Thanks!

  • sid says:

    Hi Kunal

    Thank you for the insightful and helpful articles on this site.

    I am an MBA finance with 2 yrs experience in a data vending company with no connection with data analytics whatsoever. I am currently doing a foundation course from Jigsaw academy.

    I am a commerce student having studied math last in 10th class. I studied statistics though right from 10+2 till PG. I know a little coding in C, Python and SQL as well. I am also good at aptitude exam math.

    Do you think a career in Analytics would suit me based on my background qualification mentioned above?

    I am sure you have been asked this kind of question a thousand times but kindly bear with my query and let me know your thoughts on it.

    • Kunal Jain says:

      Sid,

      The best way to find out whether a career in Analytics would suit you or not, would not be based on what you know and what you do not. In today’s world, you can learn anything you want!

      Instead, you should ask questions like:
      1. Do I enjoy data based problem solving and analysis?
      2. Do I enjoy solving ambiguous, unstructured but high impact problems?
      3. Can you spend hours in front of a machine slicing and dicing data, so that you completely understand what it says?

      If the answer to all the above questions is yes, you can go ahead with the learning. You can acquire any skills you want to, once you are clear that analytics if the right path for you.

      Regards,
      Kunal

  • Ranjan Mudgulwar says:

    Thanks Kunal for this timely analysis. Since last 1.5 months I had been looking for Big Data Certification from a credible institute and thanks to your indepth analysis of this course and Jigsaw Academy + Wiley combination; I have made up my mind to enroll in their Big Data Course.

  • vibhav says:

    Hi Kunal,

    As big data course offered by Jigsaw assumes that candidate has prior knowledge of analytics. I am planning for Data science course which is foundation course. My question is the degree offered by Jigsaw recognised? Does Wiley certification covers for Data science course as well?

    • Kunal Jain says:

      Vibhav,

      The Wiley certification does not include the data scientist certificate – but my question would be Why do you need it, if you any way plan to follow up with Big data course.

      It is like asking for a Bachelors degree after you have done your Masters.

      Regards,
      Kunal

  • Kiran kumar says:

    Course offered by Jigsaw is really great. But, my personal opinion would be enrolling into multiple online courses from coursera.org and edx.org.

    Coursera.org is offering different varieties of courses suitable for a data scientist.

    Moreover, their course also contains quizzes and online assignments which test your skills. All the courses are for free and you receive a online certificate upon successful completion.

    If you want to take a signature track it costs only 49$( appr. 5400 INR).

    • Kunal Jain says:

      Kiran,

      Fair thought! However, there is a dearth of good Big data courses even on Coursera!

      For data scientist course, it comes down to personal choice – whether and how much assistance do you need. I personally enjoy using Coursera, but I also know people – who need an instructor led course to benefit from the course.

      Regards,
      Kunal

  • rahul singh says:

    Hi Kunal.
    I am planing to do R Data scientist course from Jigsaw academy.
    Is it globally recognized? If not how well it is recognized in India. Currently i am working as a software test engineer in Future Group. I want to know that after successful completion of the course what are my chances of getting a job as buissiness analyst. Do Jigsaw academy provide any plavement assistance? Thanks in advance.

  • Praful Tickoo says:

    Hi Kunal,

    I have 8 years of work ex (5.5 yrs in programming) and the remaining 2.5 yrs in Lean Six Sigma. Do you think this course will help me shift careers to Big Data/Analytics ? I am comfortable with basic statistics and Minitab …

    Thanks,
    Praful

  • Aditya says:

    Hi Kunal,
    landed at your blog while doing research to make career shift. Seems everything i need to know is available here. Have few queries though:
    1. I have done B.A in Communication and worked 1st three and half years as content writer and PR professional. Last three and half years i have been working as marketing professional. Can i make career shift into business analytic?

    2. Is Jigsaw foundation course is good to start with?

    3. What are the chances to get the job as business analyst post this course?

    4. can i expect 6 lac per annum?

    P.S: I tick all the boxes (in terms of attitude, personality, communication skill, visualization etc.) which u have suggested to have to become a successful in the field of analytic.

    Please advise. Thanks in advance!

    Regards,
    Aditya

  • vipin says:

    Hi Kunal,
    Can u please suggest some institutes for big data training in chennai??

  • Aditya says:

    Hi Kunal,

    Request you to advise and guide me on my queries.

    Regards,
    Aditya

  • Ashwin says:

    Hi!
    I need your help/suggestion on the Big data course offered by Jigsaw. I know you have reviewed this course, but just wanted to know if its a good course for someone looking for Big Data developer rather than an Analyst? Would it be good to go for this course keeping in mind for a techie person rather than a Analytics person? Please suggest!

    Thanks,
    Ashwin

  • vignesh bhakthavachalam says:

    Hi kunal, currently working as a Sales Manager with 10 yrs of experience in technical sales(Engineering products). I am planning to do a data analytics course in Jigsaw and contemplating due to lack of information about, how my current experience would add value to my certification and for the job thereon. Iam writing  to you to kindly  provide me some guidance on the data analytics industry pre-requisites and how my current exprience will be validated.  Humbly request your opinion which would help me make an informed decision.

    Thanks

  • rajesh says:

    If Jigsaw is giving training in data scientist perspective instead of IT or technical wise, doesn’t it be problem for placements?

  • […] Big Data specialist from Jigsaw Academy: If you need a guide  or a mentor to take you through the complex world of Big Data – this might be the best place to start. Again a comprehensive offering from Jigsaw, if you know R already. Again, my assessment of the course remains the same, it is a good course and the certification from Wiley is an added advantage, but it comes at a cost! The biggest USP for this course is that it teaches big data from a data scientist’s perspective rather than from an IT professional’s perspective. If you want to become a big data analyst, this is a great course. You can read a detailed review about the course here. […]

  • veeresh says:

    Hi Kunal,

    I have 4 years of experience in Mainframes Platform.I am interested in solving problems on data as you mentioned above.I don’t have much idea about the analytics.I just wanted to know what are the courses need to be taken to shift my career to anlytics.

    Thanks,
    Veeresh.

  • TTrivikram says:

    How are the placements they offer? Does it really work

  • ES says:

    Hi Kunal,

    Nice to see your articles…..

    I am a SAP Technical Consultant with 12 yrs of experience primarily in ABAP and also project management. I have had no experience of analytics at all. Looking at all the hype around big data and analytics, would it be sensible to take a chance at Big Data now……I tried to get an oppurtunity to work on SAP BI but that did not work out.

    I also read your article about making a late career change into Big Data. I would like to take a chance. Is this course from Jigsaw a right starting point for me.

    Kindly share your comments….

    Keep up the good work.

    Regards,
    ES

  • Ranjeet kumat says:

    Hi Kunal
    I have total work experience of 2.5 years in TCS as developer. So this course can help md to get job?

  • Ravi Varma says:

    Hi Kunal,

    I am currently working in the support industry and for the change in the Bigdata analytics or in the Bigdata Testing. So, please which is the good institute for this.

    Regards,
    Ravi Varma

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