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10 Best Apache Spark Courses Online in 2023 [Free + Paid]

Posted in Apache Spark , Courses
Best Apache Spark Courses

As we jump into 2023, internet users are generating 2.5 quintillion bytes of data per day (a constantly growing figure). But this is only one aspect of the Big Data challenge that organizations of all sizes are currently tackling. 

It’s no surprise that the demand for data and DevOps engineers continues to grow. Organizations can manage, wrangle, clean, and analyze this valuable data resource by creating a skilled data team and using the right tools. Enter Apache Spark.

Apache Spark is an open-source analytics tool for large-scale data processing. With speed, scalability, and real-time streaming capabilities, Apache Spark is one the most popular tools for data engineering and DevOps. And with Apache Spark engineers earning more than $120,000, there’s never been a better time to learn these valuable skills. 

This article covers the top 10 best Apache Spark courses in 2023, taking into consideration price, reviews, instructors, content, and Spark certifications. So whether you’re new to data engineering and DevOps, or a seasoned pro that wants to enhance their skills, there’s a course for you.

Featured Apache Spark Courses [Editor’s Picks]

Choosing the Best Apache Spark Course

We’ve compiled a list of the 10 best Spark courses in 2023, including why we’ve chosen each course, the pros and cons, and a summary of key details. To pick each course, we used the following criteria.

  • Instructor Reputation: How much experience do they have as a teacher or industry professional? Have they been well-rated by former students?
  • Course Content: How detailed and relevant is the course material? Does it cover real-world topics for data engineers or DevOps engineers? Do previous students recommend it?
  • Community: How many people have taken the course? Can you easily find support if you need it?

10 Best Apache Spark Courses

Course

Free or Paid

Certificate

Level

[LinkedIn Learning] Advance Your Data Skills in Apache Spark

Paid

Yes

Beginner

[Coursera] Introduction to Big Data with Spark and Hadoop

Paid

Yes

Beginner

[Simplilearn] Learn Apache Spark Basics

Free

Yes

Beginner

[Great Learning YouTube] Spark Tutorial

Free

No

Beginner

[Udemy] Apache Spark with Scala - Hands-On with Big Data!

Paid

Yes

Intermediate

[Udemy] Apache Spark for Java Developers

Paid

Yes

Intermediate

[PluralSight] Apache Spark Fundamentals

Paid

No

Intermediate

[Udacity] Learn Spark at Udacity

Free

No

Intermediate

[DataCamp] Introduction to Spark with Sparklyr in R

Paid

No

Advanced

[Experfy Training] Apache Spark SQL

Paid

Yes

Advanced

1. [LinkedIn Learning] Advance Your Data Skills in Apache Spark

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Why we chose this course

This Apache Spark training is a comprehensive learning path that includes 11 LinkedIn courses and 18 hours of video content for aspiring data professionals to learn Spark skills.

An ideal Spark course for beginners, you’ll learn the fundamentals of Big Data and Apache Spark before diving into SparkSQL, Spark on the cloud with Azure Databricks & Spark workflows with AWS, Deep Learning, streaming patterns with .NET, PySpark, and best practices for scalable data analytics pipelines.

Pros

  • Comprehensive & broad range of content for total beginners
  • Experienced instructors

Cons

  • Requires LinkedIn Learning Premium

Key Information

Prerequisites: Basic computing skills

Instructor: Kumaran Ponnambalam, Dan Sullivan, and more

Level: Beginner

Free or Paid: Paid

Certificate: Yes

Duration: 18 hours

2. [Coursera] Introduction to Big Data with Spark and Hadoop

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Why we chose this course

Offered by IBM and taught by IBM data professionals, this Spark online course explains the impact of Spark and Hadoop on Big Data, the Apache architecture & ecosystem, best practices for developing Spark applications, and essential Spark components like SparkSQL, Spark DataFrames, Spark RDD (Resilient Distributed Datasets), and SparkML (Machine Learning).

Pros

  • Beginner-friendly content
  • Industry-recognized & shareable certificate
  • Experienced instructors from IBM

Cons

  • Focuses on theory vs. practical skills

Key Information

Prerequisites: Basic computing skills

Instructor: Karthik Muthuraman and Aije Egwaikhide

Level: Beginner

Free or Paid: Paid

Certificate: Yes

Duration: 13 hours

3. [Simplilearn] Learn Apache Spark Basics

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Why we chose this course

This course is designed for true beginners to learn Spark online as they try to break into the Big Data world.

It emphasizes an understanding of Big Data, Apache Spark fundamentals, and Apache Spark architecture. You’ll learn how to install Apache Spark on Windows and Ubuntu and then cover introductory content on Spark Streaming, SparkSQL, and Machine Learning with SparkML.

Pros 

Cons

  • 90-day access after you start the course (so finish fast!)

Key Information

Prerequisites: Basic computing skills

Instructor: N/A

Level: Beginner

Free or Paid: Free (90-day access)

Certificate: Yes

Duration: 7 hours

4. [Great Learning YouTube] Spark Tutorial

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Why we chose this course

If you’re looking for a beginner-friendly course for learning Apache Spark, this is the perfect introduction to Spark and the Spark Ecosystem. You’ll learn Spark fundamentals, including Spark Transformations, SparkRDD, SparkSQL, Spark DataFrames, and Spark Streaming. You’ll also learn about the differences between Spark and Hadoop and when it’s best to use and not use Spark.

Pros

  • Free & rich content for beginners
  • Experienced & professional instructor

Cons

  • No certificate

Key Information

Prerequisites: Basic computing skills

Instructor: Raghu Raman

Level: Beginner

Free or Paid: Free

Certificate: No

Duration: 7 hours

5. [Udemy] Apache Spark with Scala - Hands-On with Big Data!

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Why we chose this course

At only 9 hours, this is one of the few Spark certification courses that includes Spark training and a course on the Scala language.

You’ll learn how to analyze massive data sets with structured and streaming data, apply machine learning to data sets, run Spark on a Hadoop cluster, and more. It also includes source code with detailed explanations to enhance your learning and practice.

Pros

  • Crash course for Scala programming language
  • Knowledgeable instructor with industry experience
  • Relevant & real-world coding examples

Cons

  • Requires programming & scripting knowledge, so not beginner-friendly 

Key Information

Prerequisites: Programming & Scripting Fundamentals

Instructor: Frank Kane

Level: Intermediate

Free or Paid: Paid

Certificate: Yes

Duration: 9 hours

6. [Udemy] Apache Spark for Java Developers

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Why we chose this course

This Spark online training is an excellent way for existing Java developers to transition into Big Data with the Apache Spark Java API.

You’ll learn to use functional Java to define complex data processing jobs & build pipelines, learn about RDDs and DataFrames, use Machine Learning with SparkML, use SparkSQL with large datasets, and connect Spark to Apache Kafka for data streaming.

Pros 

  • Comprehensive, including advanced topics like Machine Learning
  • Hands-on examples of Spark & Apache Kafka for real-time big data streams
  • Instructors are seasoned programmers

Cons

  • Specifically for Java Developers (intermediate level)
  • Does not support Java9+

Key Information

Prerequisites: Java8 & SQL Knowledge

Instructor: Richard Chesterwoord and Matt Greencroft

Level: Intermediate

Free or Paid: Paid

Certificate: Yes

Duration: 21.5 hours

7. [PluralSight] Apache Spark Fundamentals

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Why we chose this course

This offering from PluralSight will teach you all of the Apache Spark fundamentals you need to know, including the history of Spark, the Spark UI, essential libraries, SparkSQL, how to manage clusters, Machine Learning, and setting up Spark on AWS. You’ll also create a Wikipedia analysis application to cement your learning.

Pros

  • Learn the core concepts of Apache Spark to analyze Big Data
  • Experienced instructor with a passion for Scala

Cons

  • No certificate of completion

Key Information

Prerequisites: Programming Knowledge

Instructor: Justin Pihony

Level: Intermediate

Free or Paid: Paid

Certificate: No

Duration: 4.25 hours

8. [Udacity] Learn Spark at Udacity

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Why we chose this course

This free Intermediate level Spark course focuses on working with Big Data and how to build scalable Big Data pipelines for Machine Learning.

You’ll learn how to manipulate data using SparkSQL and Spark DataFrames, wrangle data with PySpark, debug & optimize Spark apps with Spark WebUI, and apply Machine Learning to large datasets with SparkML.

Pros

  • Covers essential concepts
  • Experienced & professional instructors
  • Completely free

Cons

  • Content mainly rotates around at Data Science

Key Information

Prerequisites: Programming & Data Analysis Experience

Instructor: David Drummon and Judit Lantos

Level: Intermediate

Free or Paid: Free

Certificate: No

Duration: 10 hours

9. [DataCamp] Introduction to Spark with Sparklyr in R

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Why we chose this course

This is one of the more advanced Spark classes for experienced R programmers to combine Spark’s speed and scalability with R’s optimization for data analysis.

You’ll be introduced to the Sparklyr package, which lets you write dplyr R code to run on a Spark cluster. You’ll learn how to manipulate Spark DataFrames, and the course will also touch on Machine Learning techniques with SparkML.

Pros

  • Short & intensive course for experienced R programmers
  • Machine Learning case study 
  • Professional instructor with experience in R & Spark 

Cons

  • Aimed at R users, so may exclude those that prefer Python

Key Information

Prerequisites: Intermediate in R & Basic Spark Knowledge

Instructor: Richie Cotton

Level: Advanced

Free or Paid: Paid

Certificate: No

Duration: 4 hours

10. [Experfy Training] Apache Spark SQL

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Why we chose this course

This advanced Spark class is for data-driven professionals that want to create, run, and optimize end-to-end Spark apps.

You’ll learn how to build Spark apps and standalone clusters in a short and intensive 3-hour course. There’s also an in-depth treatment of SparkSQL with 30+ Spark commands and 900+ lines of Spark code to work through.

Pros

  • Designed for data-driven professionals
  • Combination of video content, coding, & quizzes
  • Instructor has 20+ years experience in Data for Netflix, IBM, & Sony

Cons

  • Advanced content requires experience in Python & Unix commands

Key Information

Prerequisites: Python & Unix Command Line

Instructor: Dr. Mark Plutowski

Level: Advanced

Free or Paid: Paid

Certificate: Yes

Duration:  4 hours

Conclusion

In an exponential digital age, the continued growth of Big Data is not set to slow any time soon. With more and more organizations of all sizes looking to extract value from their data resources, the demand for data engineers and DevOps continues to grow.

With speed, scalability, and real-time streaming, Apache Spark is one the most popular tools to manage, clean, and analyze Big Data. Meaning that Apache Spark skills are some of the hottest for data-driven professionals in 2023, as shown by an average annual salary exceeding $120,000.

This article has covered the 10 best Apache Spark courses in 2023, with offerings for complete beginners to advanced courses for experienced developers and data professionals. So whether you’re an aspiring data engineer or a seasoned DevOps wizard, there’s a course for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Is a Spark Course? 

Apache Spark is an open-source framework for large-scale data processing. A Spark course is a unit of teaching, typically led by an instructor, that will likely cover Spark Fundamentals, SparkSQL, and when to use Spark. If the course is more advanced, it may also cover topics like SparkML (Machine Learning).

2. Is Learning Spark Difficult? 

This depends on your background, existing skills & data knowledge, and the difficulty level of the course you choose. In general, courses are created by industry professionals who know how to focus on the correct set of Spark skills appropriate for the course’s difficulty level. 

Typically speaking, Spark is no more difficult to learn than any other data skill, although the concept of Big Data may be a new paradigm to wrap your head around if you haven’t delved into the area before.

3. How Long Does It Take To Learn Spark?

We’ve included courses for experienced data professionals that require only 3-4 hours, while some beginner courses range from 7-18 hours. Ultimately, it will depend on how thoroughly you want to learn the skills and how quickly you can personally absorb the new information.

If you want to use Spark professionally, the most important thing is to truly learn the skills rather than racing through a course to get a certificate. 

4. Is It Worth It to Learn Spark?

Yes! With a reputation for speed, scalability, and real-time streaming, Apache Spark is one the most popular tools to manage and analyze Big Data, making it one of the most in-demand data skills in 2023.

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