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Big Data and Big Data Jobs: The Jobs of the Future are Here

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What is Big Data?

Voluminous and complicated data sets that cannot be processed by traditional data processing application software is popularly known as Big Data. Due to its size, some of the challenges in handling Big Data include capturing, storage, analysis, search, transfer, querying, visualization updating and maintaining information privacy.

The three main dimensions of Big Data are Volume, Variety, and Velocity. Now it is also being used to refer user behavior analytics, predictive analytics, and certain other types of advanced data analytics methods through which value is extracted from data. Effective analyses of extensive data sets help find newer correlations of business trends, disease prevention and also fight crime. Big Data is now becoming particularly useful for medical practitioners, entrepreneurs and scientists alike for meeting daily challenges with humungous data sets in the realm of Internet search, fintech, urban informatics, business informatics, e-Science work, like meteorology, genomics, physics simulations, biology connectomics, and environmental research. The multi-faceted nature of Big Data has led to innumerable career opportunities that any aspiring individual can grab for a lucrative future and bright prospect.

Big Data career opportunities

Big Data provides tailor-made solutions for business problems across multiple sectors – from healthcare to investment banking, gas to IT and oil, and insurance to education. Big Data jobs have been created in almost all industries like marketing, banking/investment banking, finance, games etc. as per employment statistics. Some of the biggest names in the industry where one can tap for lucrative opportunities are IBM, Dunnhumby, SAS, Amazon, Google, Price Waterhouse Coopers, SAP, Accenture, Sopra Group, British Airways, Barclays, Amadeus Software, Aviva, Base 3 Systems Ltd, CSP, Capital One, Department for Work and Pensions etc.

Types of Big Data jobs

A number of roles are available in the Big Data industry and it can be put into two major categories:

  • Big Data Engineering jobs revolve around designing data, deployment, maintenance and acquiring a huge amount of data. Big Data engineers need to design and make data available to consumers and internal applications.
  • Big Data Analytics profiles include analyses of trends and patterns, prediction, classification, and forecasting form the duties in Big Data Analytics jobs. As per Forbes, Big Data analytics market will cross the $200 billion level soon.

Therefore, Big Data Analytics is computations on data while Big Data Engineering is the designing, deployment, and structuring of systems.

A senior executive at Accenture Institute for High Performance, Jeanne Harris spoke about the importance of analytics professionals and mentioned, “…data is useless without the skill to analyze it.” Big Data Engineering and Analytics today has more job opportunities when compared to last year and to get these, many IT professionals are willing to invest both money and time in receiving relevant training.

Qualifications for landing up with data analysis jobs

Here are some of the skills that would give you good Big Data jobs:

  1. Apache Hadoop- Big Data Hadoop jobs are positioned for a leap since software vendors are increasingly targeting processing architecture and distributed storage. Hadoop can be difficult but those who are in Hadoop developer jobs and are proficient technicians will know how to deal with core components of the Hadoop stack like HDFS, Flume, MapReduce, Hive, Oozie, Pig, YARN, and HBase. There are Hadoop jobs for freshers are also quite available for those who might know the advanced concepts but know Java, as Hadoop is written in Java.
  2. Machine Learning and Data Mining- The ability to train and build predictive analytic apps like the recommendation, classification, and personalization systems are in high demand and can fetch a high paying job.
  3. Statistical and Quantitative Analysis- If you are proficient in quantitative reasoning, statistics or mathematics, and have expertise in a statistical tool like Stata, Matlab, SAS, SPSS or R, getting Big Data jobs would be a breeze.
  4. General Purpose Programming Languages- If you have any prior experience of programming applications in general-purpose languages like Python, C, Java, or Scala, you would definitely have an edge over the other candidates whose skills are not beyond that of only analytics. As per Wanted Analytics, there was an increase of 337% in job postings for “computer programmers” requiring a background in data analytics. Aspiring candidates who are comfortable with the development of traditional applications and the emergence of analytics would be able to get high paying jobs with ease.
  5. SQL- This data-centric language is quite old but still has enough potential in this age of bog data. Though it is not used for handling the Big Data challenges, the simplified Structure Query Language turns out to be a no-brainer for most. Due to the initiatives like Cloudera‘s Impala, SQL is being revived and becoming popular for the next-generation of Hadoop-scale data warehouses.
  6. Hadoop Spark- Hadoop Spark has risen rapidly in-memory stack and is being considered to be much simpler and faster when compared to MapReduce-style analytics- this could be inside or outside a Hadoop framework. Hadoop Spark is one of the major components in a Big Data pipeline and a lot of technical knowledge and know-how is required to program and run it. This by itself opens up a number of job opportunities for those who have sound knowledge and a certain amount of expertise.

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Big Data Roles

Some of the most interesting Big Data roles would be:

  1. Data analyst- These typical problem-solvers analyze various data systems, create programmed systems for information retrieval from a database and compile reports. Data analysts work in tandem with team members and are comfortable in taking the responsibility of working independently.
  2. Database administrator- They manage the daily functioning of a database which includes controlling modifications and updates, maintaining backups and making sure that the database remains stable. For someone who has a keen eye for detail, is a team player, then this job would definitely be one to look out for.
  3. Data scientist- This job essentially involves a deep dive into raw data, in-depth analysis and presentation of findings to the business leaders for the latter to make smart decisions for achieving business goals. Data scientists need to be both technically sound and business savvy to mold the data, recommend trends that would take the business to the next level. One, whose analytical capabilities are exceptionally high and corporate business style a preference, should definitely consider this to be a fruitful career option.
  4. Data architect- Data architects are those who understand the innards of database design. They create data workflows; design and test new database prototypes. They also use their creativity to make database solutions from business directives.
  5. Database manager- These tech professionals are also creative and they are able to understand the bigger canvas of database technology. They are able to lead data teams, maintain an entire database environment and also the standard management duties of managing people and departmental budget.
  6. Big Data engineer- They mediate between data scientists and business executives. They need to be stalwart communicators who not only understand the major goals of the company but also use data to achieve these goals. They help the engineering team in processing data to meet business goals, evaluate new data sources and handle copious amounts of raw data. This would be a suitable job for those who are technically sound and smart communicator who can balance business and technicality with ease.

What lies ahead?

The number Big Data jobs have increased by about 212% in the last five years. But there is a dearth of skilled personnel who can actually and competently fill these positions. Employers find it difficult to fill in these niche categories and this obviously has an impact on salaries. It has been noticed that a median salary is that of £55000. When compared to other IT-related roles, it is indeed very high.

The future of Big Data is particularly positive and bright for those who are aspiring to delve deep into the recesses of the immensity called Big Data. Jobs in Big Data are forecast to be rising by 160% between 2013 and 2020. This would essentially mean an addition of more than 346,000 jobs and employment into the market.

According to IDC, the Big Data market would be worth $46.34 billion by 2018, its’ technology and associated services market is likely to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.1% from 2014 to 2019. The annual spends might reach $48.6 billion in 2019. Hadoop is predicted to grow at 58.2% CAGR between 2013 and 2020. The IDC predictions are positive.  Alex Rossino who is a senior principal research analyst at Deltek suggested that investment in Big Data and cloud computing is on the rise. Based on his article, Deltek forecasts that federal agencies would be increasing their expenditure on cloud computing services from $2.4 billion during fiscal 2015 to $6.2 billion by fiscal 2020.

The advancement of the Internet of Things (IoT) will be playing a very interesting role in meeting the employment requirements of Big Data employees. This will be due to the fact that more specific personal data is being produced in relation to factors like human behavior, purchasing profile and advertising. Though the data scientist role has almost become synonymous with Big Data in the last couple of years, the future would definitely witness an immense increase in data engineering and machine learning roles.

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