Sep 29, 2011

Is the big data trend creating new career opportunities?

Hi maverick,

I'd say yes, it's definitely opening some doors in terms of career options. Computerworld had an interesting article about Data Scientists as a hot career. You might want to give that a look.

Career Watch: Hot career: Data scientist

Here's a brief excerpt:

"Q&A: Anjul Bhambhri
IBM's vice president of Big Data Products explains the role of data scientists.

What is a data scientist? A data scientist is someone who analyzes an organization's big data to discover actionable trends that lead to business results. Data scientists look at what questions business people need to ask to remain competitive. They work directly with C-level executives, advising them on how to drive maximum value from big data and integrate new information. In many ways, a data scientist serves as a change agent in today's workforce, pushing organizational collaboration and information integration.

What sort of background and skills are best to bring to this position? Successful data scientists can handle information complexity, influence both the business and IT organizations, and pursue their own research. They provide the most value when they are learning what the data is telling rather than spending time working on the functional aspects of data management. Therefore, deep knowledge on how to mine the data or use predictive analytics is less important than experience in applying the right questions with the technology tools. Companies will miss out on excellent candidates if they use a traditional checklist focusing on data skills."

Of course there will be new opportunities for career advancement, since the big data trend is forcing people to rethink the purpose and lifespan of IT projects. If you're interested in joining the big data movement,  it would not hurt you to have some experience with data mining, or data visualization, as well as experience with enterprise-scale RDBMS.

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