Six Emerging Big Data Jobs and Skills to Watch For

While the overall job market may still be struggling, for those in the field of big data, the opportunities are plentiful. We’re currently in the middle of a big data boom, where companies of all shapes and sizes are finding ways to use big data to grow and be more successful than ever before. Businesses are in the hunt for people that possess the right skills for big data jobs that have been rapidly emerging in recent years. Higher education is also responding, instituting programs and new degrees to keep up with the demand. In a field that is still ripe with innovation, changes are expected to happen on a fairly regular basis. So here’s a look at some of the rapidly emerging jobs involving big data, along with some of the skills needed to land them.

Data Architect

Though the data architect has been around for a number of years, it is quickly emerging as a very lucrative career that many within the big data community can either transition into or advance within. A big data architect essentially plans and coordinates data resources within an organization. In addition to data analytic skills, a data architect will also need to have an expert knowledge about data systems and design. Knowing a lot about application architecture can also be a big plus.

Data Engineer

The data engineer is closely tied to the data architect. Whereas the data architect usually designs the big data system, it’s up to the data engineer to build it. But that’s not all that a data engineer does. He or she also develops, maintains, and tests proposed big data solutions, while also constructing data processing systems, sometimes at a large scale, in addition to incorporating elements of flash storage when needed. Data engineers need experience with software engineering and object-oriented design. Knowledge of open source tools and how to use them would also be a big benefit.


While not a specific position, dataviz has the potential to explode in the coming years. Dataviz is short for data visualization, which takes data that’s being generated and stored, and turns the numbers into a visual display of some sort, usually with the use of graphics. The idea is to make big data easy for others to understand and interpret. A person skilled in data visualization has to have a talent for making sense of huge amounts of data. Businesses that have excellent data visualizers on staff will usually be on top of the latest trends and proactive in using that data to find the latest business solutions and opportunities.

NoSQL Experts

Data processing skills remain in high demand, so it should come as no surprise that businesses are especially looking for experts in NoSQL. According to job site, the number of NoSQL expert job postings has increased by 54%. Companies want to have people who have experience with unstructured data systems, like MongoDB or Couchbase. Not only are there more job postings, but NoSQL expert jobs usually start at a pretty good salary.

Data Warehouse Manager

Another job that is growing dramatically is the data warehouse manager. Along with the requisite technical skills most big data jobs need, data warehouse managers also need to be experienced with data warehousing tools and analytic abilities. Another major requirement is project management expertise. This position needs good managerial skills while also being proficient in database languages and applications.

Other Skills

There are a number of other skills big data job seekers should hone that most normally wouldn’t associate with the world of big data. Recruiters say job candidates with a background in, of all things, philosophy along with their technical skills have a better chance of getting that coveted job. Normal business skills are also sought after, since much of what the IT world does now has a direct effect on business operations. Those in the big data job market will also need to possess good communication and translation skills, mainly to be able to explain to those unfamiliar with big data what all the numbers actually mean for them and their organization.

This is, of course, just a brief glimpse at some of the emerging skills and jobs related to big data. There will be many changes to come in the next few years, and those who are able to adapt quickly will find they are well suited to the big data environment. The important thing is to keep developing the right skills and paying close attention to all the emerging trends within the industry.