Top 10 Big Data Jobs

Posted October 10, 2017 By  Cynthia Harvey
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    Top 10 Big Data Jobs

    Top 10 Big Data Jobs

    Thanks to high demand, big data engineers, data architects, data scientists and other big data experts are commanding top salaries.
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    Big Data Engineer

    1. Big Data Engineer

    According to Robert Half data, people with the title "big data engineer" tend to earn more than anyone else involved with data management and administration. Salaries range from $126,250 (in the 25th percentile) to $212,500 (in the 95th percentile) with a median of $150,000.

    While job responsibilities vary, big data engineers often oversee organizations' analytics programs and work very closely with data architects, analysts and data scientists to help organizations obtain actionable insights from their data stores. As engineers, they also troubleshoot and optimize systems and software involved in data pipelines.

    Typically big data engineers have at least a bachelor's degree, and some have master's degrees. To qualify for positions, you'll likely need multiple years' experience working with Hadoop and SQL-based databases, as well as the ability to program in R and Python.

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    Data Architect

    2. Data Architect

    Nearly as well-compensated as big data engineers, data architects often earn between $110,000 and $184,000 per year, with a median around $130,000.

    Data architects need a combination of both business and technical skills. They need to understand what information business leaders hope to get from their data and then design and deploy the databases, data warehouses, data lakes and other systems the organization uses to manage and analyze its big data.

    To qualify for these positions, you'll need at least a bachelor's degree, although some companies prefer a master's. You also need multiple years of experience working with databases and data warehouses, and some employers look for job candidates who have used the specific software that they run.

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    Database Manager

    3. Database Manager

    Robert Half says that database managers typically make between $107,000 and $180,000 annually, with a median around $127,000.

    Although the title makes it sound like they spend all their time with databases, database managers actually spend most of their time managing people. They're responsible for overseeing the teams of IT professionals who deploy, manage, maintain, secure and troubleshoot the company's databases. Of course, they also need up-to-date technical knowledge to make sure their team is following best practices and helping the business remain competitive.

    Usually, database managers have at least a bachelor's degree, plus experience working with databases and managing employees. Often, organizations will look for database managers knowledgeable about databases from a particular vendor, such as Oracle, Microsoft or IBM.

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    Data Scientist

    4. Data Scientist

    Several publications have selected data scientist for their lists of the sexiest or most in-demand jobs in the current economy. Although demand for data scientists isn't growing as quickly as it once was, Robert Half reports that they make between $100,000 and $168,000 with a median around $119,000.

    Data scientists are masters of statistics. They clean and transform data, build models, apply algorithms and create visualizations that help business leaders make sense out of their big data.

    For this job, you need an advanced degree — at least a master's and probably a doctorate. You also need experience working with data and the ability to program in Python, Java, R and/or other languages. You need to understand advanced math, and you need to be able to communicate well so that you can explain your findings to your colleagues.

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    Database Developer

    5. Database Developer

    Like all developers, database developers tend to be well paid: between $97,750 and $164,500 with a median of $116,000.

    As the name suggests, database developers write code related to databases. They need to have a very good understanding of SQL, and most know a couple of other programming languages as well. In addition to coding expertise, they also need to have experience with databases and the soft skills necessary for interacting with both IT and business professionals. A degree might be helpful, but it's not as necessary as technical skills. Many employers will look for database developers who have experience with the particular database and/or reporting tools that they use.

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    Business Intelligence Analyst

    6. Business Intelligence Analyst

    According to the Robert Half report, business intelligence analyst earn between $83,750 and $175,750 with a median of $104,000.

    These are the people who utilize business intelligence, analytics and reporting software to obtain the insights that the business needs for decision-making. They need to understand business management as well as having sufficient technical skill to use complicated analytics software. Most have very analytic minds and excel at strategizing and problem-solving. They usually have at least a bachelor's degree, and some employers prefer job candidates with an MBA.

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    Data Modeler

    7. Data Modeler

    Data modelers typically earn between $77,750 and $162,500 with someone right in the middle making $96,250.

    This is an interim step between database administrators and database architects. People with this job title typically work on fairly large teams of database professionals, and they are responsible for translating business requirements into models that determine how databases, data warehouses and other repositories will be organized.

    Data modelers usually have a bachelor's degree and a great deal of experience with database software.

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    Data Analyst/Report Writer

    8. Data Analyst/Report Writer

    People who work as data analysts or report writers often earn between $81,000 and $136,000 with a median of $96,000.

    Like business intelligence analysts, they use analytics and other software to generate the reports that the business leaders need. However, unlike BI analysts, these professionals may not have advanced knowledge of business concepts, and they are less likely to be involved in discussions of business strategy. Their job is primarily to create reports that make it possible for executives to understand what is going on with the business. Some specialize in analyzing particular types of data, for example marketing or sales data.

    To qualify for these positions, you will likely need a bachelor's degree or higher, as well as experience with Excel (or other spreadsheet software), SQL and database software.

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    Database Administrator

    9. Database Administrator

    Often known as "DBAs," database administrators can earn between $75,750 and $156,000 with a median of $95,000.

    These are the folks responsible for managing, maintaining and securing corporate databases. They may have a bachelor's degree, but it isn't always necessary. Far more important is an in-depth technical understanding of how databases work. Often, employers will look for DBAs who have expertise in the database sold by a particular vendor, such as Oracle, Microsoft or IBM. They may also seek particular technical certifications.

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    Data Warehouse Analyst

    10. Data Warehouse Analyst

    Data warehouse analysts generally earn between $75,250 and $158,000 with a median of $93,500.

    Data warehouses are the repositories that feed data to business intelligence systems. Accordingly, the duties of data warehouse analysts overlap somewhat with those of BI analysts in that they are both involved in analytics. However, data warehouse analysts generally have more technical knowledge than business knowledge, and they are highly involved in designing data warehouses and handling ETL processes.

    To qualify for this job, you will likely need a bachelor's degree and experience with SQL, as well as several years of experience working with databases and data warehouses.

Big Data, to be sure, creates plenty of jobs. As enterprises continue their quests to become more data-driven, demand remains high for big data technologies and the highly skilled professionals who can use them. According to IDC, "Worldwide revenues for big data and business analytics (BDA) will reach $150.8 billion in 2017, an increase of 12.4 percent over 2016." The firm adds that by 2020, big data revenues could top $210 billion.

And in the recently released Robert Half 2018 Salary Guide for Technology Professionals, the staffing firm predicts that big data jobs like business intelligence (BI) analysts, data scientists and database developers will be among the most in-demand roles for the coming year. It adds, "Sixty-seven percent of technology executives say digital marketing, big data, cloud or mobile initiatives are the greatest contributing factors to hiring."

Which big data jobs will command the highest salaries? And what skills do you need to qualify for these jobs? Check out the slideshow to find out.

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