Big data is reshaping business IT. Thanks to cheap storage, massive processing power, and tools like Hadoop, organizations are now able to mine terabytes of information and derive useful business intelligence from it. But the data revolution is also creating a new breed of hybrid business-IT jobs, ones that blend business knowledge and powerful IT tools to the benefit of tech-savvy line-of-business professionals — and the possible detriment of IT pros oblivious to the big data trend.
Big Data Salaries, Job Opportunities Soaring
Want to make more than your organization’s CIO? If the answer is yes, become a data scientist manager.
While most BI and data warehousing salaries remain stagnant through 2014, big data analytics professionals and data scientists are rare, prized – and well compensated, according to InformationWeek’s new BI and Analytics Salary Survey 2014 and Burtch Works’ Salaries for Big Data Professionals Report, with managers even making more annually than CIOs reported in the InformationWeek survey.
The median staff salary for data scientists is $120,000, while the median salary is $87,000 for BI/analytics, $90,000 for big data and $100,000 for data integrating/warehousing.
The median management salary for data scientists is $160,000, while the median management salary is $110,000 for BI/analytics, $145,000 for big data and $120,000 for data integrating/warehousing. Comparatively, the median base salary for a CIO is $150,000, according to the InformationWeek survey.
Conducted from November 2013 to February 2014 with 11,662 full-time information technology respondents across 23 categories, the InformationWeek salary survey found that most IT skill sets were in demand, though most salaries were merely keeping pace with inflation. However, big data practitioners and data scientists are two emerging categories that, while their job descriptions are not consistently defined, are two titles at the top of the pay scale.
Described by IBM as “part analyst, part artist,” a data scientist explores and examines data from multiple disparate sources, for the purpose of discovering a solution to a business problem that could turn into a competitive advantage.
Big data job titles range from analysts to architects to engineers, and in domains from retail to healthcare to the public sector, but who all “manage, mine and draw actionable insights” from large data sets, said Joe McKendrick, a contributing editor at SmartPlanet, in an article on big data jobs.
With the explosion of big data as a key for business competition, insight and growth, big data professionals and data scientists are in high demand, but they’re also a rare breed. The U.S. faces a shortfall of 140,000 to 190,000 big data professionals through 2018, according to a 2013 projection from McKinsey & Company. To help address the need for big data professionals, several universities have added new programs.
“I have a colleague who compares the whole big data thing to Eisenhower’s interstate system,” said Dr. Kenneth Gilbert, head of the University of Tennessee’s business analytics department in an article in Today’s Engineer. “It’s going to create business opportunities that people can’t even imagine at this point.”
The hottest sectors for big data growth are ad tech, financial services, ecommerce and social media
As big data continues to grow, companies around the world are on the hunt for technical recruits — a shift experts predict will continue through 2014 and beyond. WinterWyman’s NY Tech Search division, for example, has seen a 300% increase in demand for data scientists and engineers since 2013 The hottest sectors for big data growth are ad tech, financial services, ecommerce and social media — those with the highest opportunity for revenue.
What is the current hiring landscape for big data? What are the salary ranges?
It is difficult to find job candidates with the specific skill sets needed while balancing the cost of that talent. The highest demand is for data engineers who can code, utilize data analytics and manipulate for marketing purposes. The newest — and most sought-after role — is for data scientists who can integrate big data into both the company’s IT department and business functions. These positions are all within a salary range of $90-$180,000 These positions are all within a salary range of $90-$180,000, depending on the individual role and experience.
Predictions for the future of big data
there will be a continued hiring demand for big data-related positions in industries such as mobile, healthcare and financial services .
What is so exciting is that big data applies to almost all industries. As a data scientist, you can work for any number of companies or industries. As an employer, it’s all about finding the right talent to fit your big data needs.
As big data gathers momentum, it’s helping to create big career opportunities for IT professionals — if they have the right qualifications.
Companies are, and will continue to be, looking for employees with a complex set of skills to tap big data’s promise of competitive advantage, market watchers say. “There’s no question that the No. 1 requirement [for] enterprises that are serious about gaining a competitive advantage using data and analytics is going to be the talent to run that program,” says Jack Phillips, CEO of the International Institute for Analytics (IIA), a research firm.
But what exactly constitutes “big data talent”? What are these jobs, and what skills do they require? What kind of background qualifies a person for a big data job? Computerworld took the pulse of some prominent players in the emerging field to determine an IT worker’s place — if any — in the big data universe.