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big data specialist Jobs

all about big data specialists

Big data is a relatively new term used to explain the collection of information from multiple sources, in extensive quantities. Big data can come from both traditional and digital sources, as well as internal and external sources.

If you’re a big data specialist (or data scientist, as you're sometimes referred to) you’re involved in accessing, managing and analyzing the massive amounts of information your employer collects, and helping them use it to meet business and strategic objectives.

what big data jobs entail

As a big data specialist, you will most likely work full-time in an office setting at a desk or computer workstation. You can work in just about any industry. In the digital age, almost all organizations collect data which needs to be parsed and transformed into actionable insights. You will likely report your findings to upper management in the IT department.

average big data specialist salaries

Currently, big data specialist salaries range from roughly $80,000 to well into six figures. It's rare to find an entry-level big data job. In order to secure a big data specialist job (or a data scientist job), you're expected to have several years of experience under your belt, typically as a data analyst or in a similar role. Your salary is largely dependent on your level of experience and your ability to deliver results. Proven success in prior roles will allow you to command a higher salary.

Big data specialists are expected to have an aptitude for math and statistics as well as business-savvy. This combination of two in-demand skills and your years of experience are why you are able to command an above average salary. Employers are willing to shell out to secure your expertise.

your day to day tasks

As a big data specialist, you help organizations make sense of the incredible amount of data they’re bombarded with on a daily basis. You analyze massive amounts of data each day and help your employer understand what it can do for them and how they can use it to stay competitive. Some of your daily tasks will include things such as:

  • developing and supporting processes, personnel and technology that gather, store, organize and analyze information
  • improving the efficiency of data collection and assessment
  • using data strategically to achieve results for your company
  • making recommendations based on your data analysis
  • presenting your findings to management or shareholders
  • directing, collaborating, or sharing information with coworkers

where you can work

In our digital age, businesses of all sizes, in all industries, collect massive amounts of data. Big Data specialists are key to making sense of all this information and using it to guide the direction of businesses in information technology, banking, finance, manufacturing, government, and healthcare, among others.

As a Big Data specialist, your experience and expertise guide important business decisions. Your company counts on you to accurately assess company data and report on your findings pertaining to company performance, products and services, clientele, industry trends, and any other relevant information.

what you bring to the table

Often big data specialists and data scientists start their careers as data analysts, or in a related analyst position. Big data specialist jobs tend to be reserved for more senior analysts who have several years of experience. As a data scientist, you're expected to have honed your capabilities and processes and be an expert in analytics and data analysis. Skills that are transferrable across big data specialist jobs:

  • Hadoop, Apache Spark and other big data tools
  • you have an analytical mind
  • tech skills; you work with computers and databases often
  • you're able to instantly recognize patterns and trends
  • you're an expert at interpreting data
  • you have a methodical, organized approach to data analysis
  • you pay close attention to detail and accuracy
  • excellent communication skills

training and certifications

This field is fairly new, so training and educational institutions are still expanding and updating their program offerings to formalize an education that supports a career as a big data specialist.

A degree in computer sciences, statistics, mathematics, or a related field is an excellent starting point. A post-graduate degree may even be required for some highly sought after big data specialist jobs.

Because big data is a relatively new field, it's up to you increase your already formidable technical skills and stay ahead of new trends and technologies. This is not a career in which you can afford to fall behind.

where your career is headed

In the next ten years, it’s estimated that career opportunities for big data specialists will continue to increase dramatically. More and more companies are finding that analyzing data allows them to see the big picture and make more strategic business decisions.

If you're looking to advance your career further, the next step is management or executive roles in the IT department. With a track record of proven success, you'll find there's opportunities to move into roles such as IT manager, IT director, VP of IT, or even C-level executive roles such as CTO or CIO.

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