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Why Your Business Should Be Aware of Big Data’s Big Job Growth

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When Madonna did her 1990 Japan tour, she discovered too late that all of her tour dates in that country were during the local rainy season. She basically realized this at the first show in that country. Rather than canceling, she told all her dancers to just put on their warmest outfit for the duration and announced there would be no wardrobe changes during the show for this leg of the tour.

Madonna rose to the occasion and this is part of why she is a star, but a little information ahead of time could have made for a completely different scenario. Big data is providing organizations across the globe with never before seen access to information that can be used for analysis and planning that goes well beyond our historic weather reporting. This new field is transforming industry. Unsurprisingly, demand for jobs in big data is growing rapidly. The expectation is that this field will grow so rapidly that it will be difficult to fill all the jobs.

Basic Skills

Technologists with the following skill sets are very much in demand for big data positions:

Data analysis
Data acquisition
Data mining
Data structures
OLAP reporting

Big Data Job Growth by Industry

Professional, Scientific and Technical Services: 27.14 percent
Information Technologies: 18.89 percent
Manufacturing: 12.35 percent
Retail Trade: 9.62 percent
Sustainability, Waste Management and Remediation Services: 8.20 percent

Top Three U.S Employment Markets

The following metropolitan statistical areas are the hottest markets for the future of big data jobs:

San Jose – Sunnyvale – Santa Clara, CA
San Francisco – Oakland – Fremont, CA
Washington – Arlington – Alexandria, DC

Job Titles

Software Developers

Software Developers are people who write computer programs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 913,100 Software Developers in 2010. They project 30 percent growth by 2020, adding 270,900 more jobs. Not all of these jobs will be in big data, but many will be.

Market Research Analysts

These are people who query data and write reports for the people in decision making positions. OLAP reporting will come in handy in this position, while you’re working with massive data sets. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 282,700 Market Research Analysts in 2010. They project growth of 41 percent by 2020, adding 116,600 new jobs.

Database Administrators

These are the people who create and run databases. This is crucial to the functioning of big data. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 110,800 Database Administrators in 2010. They project job growth of 31 percent, adding 33,900 new jobs.

Computer Systems Analysts

These are often hybrid roles, part technologist, part business person. They typically help the business unit and the IT department communicate effectively. As big data transforms industry, they play an increasingly important role. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 544,400 Computer Systems Analysts in 2010. They project growth of 22 percent by 2020, adding 120,400 new jobs.

Information Security Analysts, Web Developers, and Computer Network Architects

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lumps these three jobs together. Information security analysts play a role in keeping data secure. Web developers create websites and online interfaces. Network architects make sure all the hardware plays well together so that all parts can talk to each other. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 302,300 employees with one of these titles in 2010. They project 22 percent job growth by 2020, adding 65,700 new more jobs.

Network and Computer Systems Administrators

These are the folks that keep the networks running, the people you call on when something goes wrong at work. The demands that big data place on the system will increase demand for these jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 347,200 Network and Computer Systems Administrators in 2010. They project a 28 percent growth rate by 2020, adding 96,600 new jobs.

Post-secondary Teachers

These are people who teach subjects beyond high school, such as college professors and teachers at technical schools. The demand for new skills to fill big data jobs will create demand for teaching positions to transmit those skills. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 1,756,000 Post-secondary Teachers in 2010. They project 17 percent growth by 2020, adding 305,700 new jobs.

Organizations looking to add big data jobs in the next few years would be wise to start getting people in the pipeline now to develop the appropriate skills. Otherwise, they can expect to have trouble filling the jobs. Developing these skills in-house is the way to bet. Hiring from outside the company will put them in direct competition with others looking to do the same.

Photo Credit: Flickr/OTA Photos

Lindsey Patterson is a freelance writer and entrepreneur who specializes in business technology, customer relationship management, and lead management. She also writes about the latest social trends, specifically involving social media.

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