Many IT professionals, including chief information officers (CIOs), are looking for ways to take greater and greater advantage of big data. 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. 

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. For starting salary midpoints for the coming year, refer to the latest Robert Half Salary Guide.

Business intelligence analyst. These analysts use collected data to compile reports and support business-oriented decision making.  

Data architect. In coordination with systems and database admins, data architects implement the company’s individual data architecture.  

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.  

Getting hired

Stay current on starting pay for jobs in your area by using a 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.

This post has been updated to reflect more current information.