Big Data is big. The technology is now being used across all industries, from manufacturing to healthcare to even relatively low-tech retail and hospitality firms. The main technology behind Big Data, Hadoop is a framework that lets calculations on massive data sets take place on clustered nodes of inexpensive hardware, often in the cloud.
Big Corporate Commitments to Big Data
According to the research firm Gartner, more than 40 percent of companies they surveyed will invest in Hadoop development over the next two years. In the manufacturing industry, another survey showed big data was a priority for more than 80% of firms.
For many companies, one of the biggest stumbling blocks is a lack of familiarity with the technology and a lack of staff with the necessary experience. Because of this, developers with Hadoop skills are able to pull down big salaries – the average annual salary for Hadoop developers is more than $115,000.
Multiple Options for Companies Using Hadoop
Companies that sell big data products are trying to reduce the skills threshold in several ways. All vendors offer training, of course. Cloud providers including Amazon and Google offer Hadoop as a Service, letting businesses more easily spin up a Hadoop environment. These on-demand environments let companies dive right into the analysis that matters to them, rather than focusing on details like provisioning nodes and tuning clusters. Companies like Oracle provide pre-packaged analytics for specific industries.
Multiple Options for Developers with Hadoop Skills
All of that means that developers with Hadoop skills have lots of opportunity available to them, including working with a company implementing its own big data projects, a cloud vendor implementing big data environments on demand, and a packaged software vendor creating standard analytics reports.
Get Training in Big Data Skills
Developers who want to work with Big Data should get training in Hadoop, but that's not the only skill they need. Big Data depends on databases, and NoSQL is the chief database technology used. Although many Big Data developers will work with vendor analytics products, understanding data mining and statistical analysis is still necessary. Big Data developers should also have real familiarity with at least one of the vendor Hadoop as a Service offerings.
Currently, most big data opportunities are in geographic areas with large clusters of technology firms, like Silicon Valley, New York, and Seattle. As big data usage continues to spread, so will the need for its skills, meaning the opportunities will spread across the country.