big data (hadoop, spark, hive, pig)

Between 2013-20, big data jobs grew by over 160%. In the coming years, job opportunities in big data analytics are expected to overtake those in other tech fields.

What makes this field a particularly lucrative one is the fact that because of its up-and-coming nature, there’s a shortage of skilled professionals. Naturally, organisations are willing to offer attractive pay packages to professionals with the right expertise and technical knowledge.

early stage

Big data is only as good as the insights that can be extracted from it. Professionals with the acumen to analyse huge volumes of data are growing in demand. At the entry-level, big data developers must possess the following skills to forge a career in the industry:

  • A working knowledge of Hadoop, Spark, Hive, and Pig
  • Data mining skills
  • SQL and querying knowledge
  • Knowledge of R
  • Analytical problem solving
  • Ability to work in a team

Entry-level big data engineer jobs typically involve duties such as managing data and the infrastructure supporting it, performing statistical analysis on data, and assisting stakeholders in making the right business decisions.

Some top industries that recruit big data engineers are:

  • Banking and Finance – Performing risk analytics to detect fraud, analysing customer data for improved insights, detecting illegal activity
  • Communication and Media – Collecting and analysing customer data for improved recommendations, measuring campaign performance in real-time
  • Healthcare – Big data in healthcare is leveraged for analysing patient history and health data for effective treatment and predicting diseases
  • Education – Helping students by analysing learning progress over time, measuring a teacher’s effectiveness

career path

A career in big data services can vary based on the industry. Some prominent big data job opportunities present today are:

  • Database Administrator – Responsible for the integrity and security of a database. A big data administrator plans databases, troubleshoots, and monitors them for data security
  • Data Analyst – Once a database is managed, it needs to be analysed. Big data analytics jobs involve collecting and performing statistical data analysis on huge volumes of data to extract business insights
  • Big Data Engineer – Responsible for designing and managing how data is stored, building scalable infrastructure that delivers cohesive information
  • Big Data Consulting – Responsible for advising an organisation on big data, big data strategies, their implementation, the right technologies for its needs, and developing big data and data analytics recommendations

Presently, there aren’t many formal degrees offered in big data, apart from some courses in data science. However, some skills and educational backgrounds are important to land big data developer jobs. A Bachelor’s degree in an analytical field such as statistics, computer science, math, etc. is a good starting point. It is also important to build the right skillset through professional training courses and certifications.

what the future holds

Over the last decade, big data has exploded and shows no signs of an arrest. No industry is oblivious to its potential in helping it draw meaningful insights from raw data. In the near future, we’ll see an even heightened demand for big data professionals. Naturally, big pay checks and rewards will follow. However, the real opportunity lies not in the data itself, but discovering its new use cases. Professionals looking to advance in the field must focus on uncovering new business applications using big data analysis. Moreover, big data processing is also moving away from on-premises infrastructure to the cloud. This means professionals must familiarise themselves with cloud-based platforms that will aid them in their job.