Positions in big data and analytics are highly coveted right now, and you can turn an expertise in big data into a very lucrative and successful career. Before setting out and applying for these positions, there are few things you should know about the world of big data. By being well-versed on these topics, you will drastically increase your chances of landing that position you’ve been after.

Apache Hadoop

Although Hadoop is now over 20 years old, it is still the frontrunner in terms of storage and distribution architecture. It is an extremely powerful platform, but it is not without its flaws. Technicians versed in the components of Hadoop will be in high demand. Along with Hadoop, it’s a good idea to have a handle on Spark as it could be poised to take over Hadoop in the coming years.


Scale-out NoSQL databases are quickly rising and taking the place of outdated and underperforming SQL databases. These databases are often the source of the data that is then crunched in Hadoop. It is a good rule of thumb to learn them independently and be able to use them together since they essentially complete the big data cycle from opposite sides of the spectrum.

Data Mining

The idea of data mining has been around basically since the time we started collecting data. Be aware of the trends in data mining and how it is used throughout different industries. It takes a certain level of analysis and critical thinking to be able to perform effectively, but once you get it down you will make yourself much more valuable to any employer you apply to.

Machine Learning

Machine learning had a huge year in 2015, and it has only been getting bigger since that breakout. By being able to harness the power of machine learning, you can build predictive apps and train them to be highly analytic in terms of classification, recommendation, and personalization systems.

Data Interpretation and Visualization

With all of the technology out there in the world to interpret data, sometimes the best tool is still the human brain with a well-trained pair of eyes. There are tools out there to help break it down and make interpretation more manageable, but in reality, the best tool to rely on is you. If you want a career in big data and analyzation, you will need to be versed in current visualization tools along with being able to learn tools that haven’t even been developed yet.

Basic Programming

While you may not be applying for a programming position, it doesn’t hurt to have a general knowledge of the most common programming languages, especially SQL, Java, Javascript, C, and Python. This skillset may set you apart from your competition in the interview process and help you earn the job.

Problem Solving

Being able to solve problems, think critically, and be creative will go a long way in the world of big data. You will run into countless issues that will need to be rectified quickly. You’ll also need to constantly learn new technologies, and critical thinking will take you a long way in being able to adapt.

Big Data careers are gaining momentum as more companies are starting to gather and analyze information. Take the time to learn some or all of the above skills to give yourself the best chance of getting your dream job in big data.


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