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Big Data Skills Still A Big Hit For IT Pro Careers

Big Data

GoCertify.com analyzed a report from Certification Magazine that is worth a look. That story, entitled Salary Survey PLUS: Who goes there in the Big Data realm?, reports results from a special salary survey focused on big data professionals. Big data is an area I've been covering for some time now and it continues to be a big hit in the IT world.

Big data, along with related areas like data analytics, data mining, data science and business intelligence (BI), is all about the mountains of data that companies routinely collect about their sales, activities, customers, logistics, marketing and so forth. The important thing is that companies can use such analytics to better focus in on markets, customers, and business opportunities and thereby obtain a competitive edge. And of course, that's the real reason why big data is something of a big deal in the IT world as well as in terms of the big business picture.

Here are five relevant and informative findings from the CertMag story that IT professionals should find both interesting and evocative:

The survey revealed that 47.4 percent of those who labor in and around big data technologies have a bachelor's degree, while 42.8 percent have a master's. There's no information about doctorates in this area, which indicated that there aren't enough of them around yet to register on the survey radar. However, the numbers for bachelor's and master's degrees is relatively high and definitely something to keep in mind when considering a job in this field.

61 percent of respondents reported working in big data for five years or less. At the other end of the experience spectrum, some 18 percent have been working with big data technologies for 15 years or longer. This suggests that the majority of IT professionals working with big data are either new to the IT field or recently decided to switch their tracks in the big data direction.

58 percent of those surveyed fall between the ages of 35 and 64. The younger cadre is catching up, however, as 37 percent of big data workers are aged between 25 and 34 years.

Whereas 23 percent work at mid-sized companies (with 1,000 to 10,000 employees), 43.3 percent of big data workers are employed at major enterprises with 10,000 or more employees.

When it comes to big data specializations, 34 percent of respondents said they specialize in data analysis, while 20.5 percent work in data application development and 18.6 percent focus on data management solutions. Another 12.2 percent work in data mining, 5.1 percent in data storage and 2.6 percent in data security.

No matter how you slice and dice those numbers, one truth shines out paramount: big data is and will remain a fertile area for personal and professional career growth and enhancement in IT for the foreseeable future.

Ed Tittel

Ed is a 30-year-plus veteran of the computing industry, who has worked as a programmer, a technical manager, a classroom instructor, a network consultant and a technical evangelist for companies that include Burroughs, Schlumberger, Novell, IBM/Tivoli and NetQoS. He has written and blogged for numerous publications, including Tom's Hardware, and is the author of over 140 computing books with a special emphasis on information security, Web markup languages and development tools, and Windows operating systems.

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