July 22, 2013

Big Data Means Big Job Opportunities

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Companies are quickly discovering the value and opportunity that big data provides. Big data applications give important business insight that ranges from workplace efficiency to consumer preferences and everything in between. Thanks to recent developments across the technology spectrum, an incredible amount of data can be collected extremely quickly. This data has the power to transform and enhance every aspect of a business. Unfortunately, powerful data goes to waste every day because companies lack the knowledge, personnel and equipment necessary to put the data to work. Consequently, the demand for jobs in the data field is growing rapidly.

According to the research firm Gartner, there will be 4.4 million jobs created worldwide by big data by 2015. An encouraging 1.9 million of these positions will be in the United States. Their report also predicted that each one of these positions would be accompanied by several non-IT jobs. This could lead to as many as six million positions. Whether or not these exact figures become a reality, the point is clear. Big data is a big deal. More importantly, it brings extensive employment opportunity. Industry experts predict that in the near future all large companies will have a need for at least a data officer or engineer.

The great news for job seekers is that the demand for data scientists greatly outweighs the current supply. Companies are finding that experts are hard to come by and competitive to maintain. Unfortunately for job seekers, it is not as simple as just deciding to work with big data. In addition to extensive technical knowledge, big data work requires practical experience, creativity and problem solving. To make it worse, the current education system is not entirely prepared to meet the growing demand because big data technology develops faster than universities can keep up with. Although there are great programs available, often they are underdeveloped because they lack the resources to fully educate. If you are interested in a career with big data, don’t let this be an unavoidable roadblock. In addition to on the job training, there are great online resources.

There are various forms of developing jobs to deal with the onslaught of big data. An example of a commonly needed position is “data architect,” which may involve building data models and developing a plan for how data sources will be used. Another is “data visualizer,” which requires the ability to interpret and present data in concise ways that decision makers can understand and utilize.

With a prediction of this magnitude, there is a definite possibility that the reality will fall short. The number of predicted jobs is staggeringly high and may not be attainable. Regardless, it is undeniable that big data is an important and expanding field. If you are seeking first-time employment, a change of jobs, or simply wanting to enhance your competitiveness in your current position, big data could be your answer. Similarly for employers, it is essential to explore how big data could expand your business. Encourage your current employees to develop their big data training and be prepared to expand your workforce to meet increasing need.