Aspiring big data professionals are embracing online Hadoop training courses. The evidence: More than 10,000 people registered for MapR's free Hadoop on-demand training during the courseware's first month of availability.

MapR is adding more courses to its online training platform, which launched in January 2015. New courses focus on Apache HBase and Apache Drill. Curriculum includes data modeling and schema design, as well as use-case-driven learning for data analysts in Drill.

Coursework in the free MapR Hadoop On-Demand Training Program includes hands-on exercises, labs and quizzes, and certification exams for developers, data analysts and administrators.

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Rival Hadoop distributors also offer training, education and certification programs in various formats. Examples include Cloudera University and Hortonworks University.

Those training programs serve a growing niche. Finding and training the right talent ranks among the top challenges facing big data projects, according to recent research from TEKsystems. At the same time, compensation for big data professionals has been rising rapidly.

Near term, the IT market may have a Hadoop talent shortage. But with so many people racing to earn certifications, the Hadoop skills shortage may disappear later this year, Forrester Research predicts.

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