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How to kick start your career in Big Data

Updated on June 16, 2016

How to kick start your career in Big Data

Kirk Borne, founder of and principal data scientist at Booz Allen Hamilton, predicted that 2016 will be a year of 'smart data' that will have rich content as well as context such as time, links, associations, locations, etc). It will not be all about the size of data, but more on how this data enables business prospects for organisations.

In a time when Big Data has come long past of being just a hyped word, and organisations are introducing newer roles like Chief Data Officer, a career in big data is surely worth a try.

Instead of describing what is big data, let’s look at the current industry dynamics

Skills required to venture into big data

Big data analysts require considerable technical skills and an innate understanding of business. To start off, here are the few skills that can help you boost your big data career:

1. Apache Hadoop & Apache Spark: Big data is backed by Hadoop tool. You must be aware that introduction of Hadoop happened to manage the huge chunks of data. You might want to have knowledge about core Hadoop stack like HDFS, Flume, Pig, Hive, HBase, MapReduce, Oozie and YARN.

Spark is another component of big data that requires a lot of technical skill to program and execute. If you know it, you are definitely in a better place in terms of getting a job.

2. Machine Learning: If you know this subject through and through, you can actually build predictive analytics apps like personalisation systems, classifications and recommendations. It is termed as one of the hottest topics in big data.

3. Statistical and Quantitative Analysis: If you have knowledge about quantitative reasoning, then you are definitely one step ahead of everyone else. This defines big data.

4. General Programming languages: Along with these, having sufficient knowledge about Java, Python, PHP. or Scala can be helpful for you.

Apart from the above mentioned skills, it is mandatory that you learn about NoSQL, SQL and Data Visualisation.

Educational Qualifications

It is also observed that despite having interest, you are unaware what kind of academic qualifications will open up the doors of big data for you. Here, we have it solved for you.

  1. Undergraduates should pick mathematics, statistics and computer science in their course subjects. It is advisable to get enrolled in additional courses in statistical programming and/or multivariate regression.

  2. Heads-up: You don't need a Phd to enter the big data world.

  3. Read up or do online courses on Quantitative Reasoning.

  4. Sharpen your business acumen, which means an MBA is welcome.

While universities are doing everything in their hands to introduce new courses pertaining to big data, you should look up what other course materials are available online and start doing them.

Heads-up: If you can manage to do a project on this subject, you are halfway to your dream big data career.


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