Many IT professionals, including chief information officers (CIOs), are looking for ways to take greater and greater advantage of big data. According to many of their Twitter feeds, it’s one of the top five most-discussed industry topics. Big data is also one of the fastest-growing tech areas, with companies racing to capitalize on its potential.
As data-collection technology comes of age, costs have decreased and acceptance has become widespread. That means tech professionals skilled in this area are looking at a booming job market. Current demand for experienced data professionals far outstrips the supply of qualified candidates. In fact, the Robert Half Technology Salary Guide reported that the development of big data was one of the three main forces behind technology hiring growth last year.
As a result of these trends, many companies are increasing salaries of IT professionals with expertise in mining big data. Following are some of the most in-demand positions for IT employees working with big data, along with their starting salaries in the U.S. The projected salary ranges for each position reflect starting pay only, i.e., base compensation for professionals just joining a new company at any level. (For Canadian salaries, refer to the Salary Guide.)
Data warehouse manager. Working with database developers, these managers create and maintain data warehouses and determine methods for data collection from outside sources. Salaries are projected to be between $123,750 and $172,000, a 4.6 percent increase over last year.
Business intelligence analyst. These analysts use collected data to compile reports and support business-oriented decision making. Salaries will range from $113,750 to $164,000, up 6.2 percent this year.
Data architect. In coordination with systems and database admins, data architects implement the company’s individual data architecture. Salaries are projected to range from $127,250 to $175,500, 6.4 percent more than a year ago.
Data security analyst. The responsibilities of a data security analyst focus simultaneously on big data and cybersecurity. They include data security auditing, risk assessments and developing company security policy. Starting salaries are projected to be $113,500 to $160,000, an increase of 7.1 percent from 2015.
Stay current on starting pay for jobs in your area using our Salary Calculator. Knowing what a nearby competitor may offer makes salary negotiation a much simpler process — especially if you end up with multiple offers.
In targeting a position, focus on your career preferences. For example, getting hired at an organization new to the big data arena means you’ll be coming in on the ground floor. So you can play a role in the development and implementation of a data-mining infrastructure. If helping set up companies is not your ideal area, aim for firms that are already established in the field.
On your resume, don’t forget to list your soft skills along with your technical ones. Creativity, for example, is a plus for any position (and sometimes a requirement), and interpersonal abilities are crucial for any IT job that involves multiple departments.
If you want to work in a challenging, growth-oriented IT area, big data offers plenty of opportunity right now. So get clear on your goals, and start looking around for the right position.
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