Top 10 Big Data Skills to land Big Data Jobs


Big Data has become an inevitable word in the world of technology today. The data science and big data technologies are driving organizations to make their decisions, thus they are demanding big data skills. The tools and technologies in the field of Big data is also growing exponentially. For the real-time analysis and usage of data, big data is the answer. Let’s dive deep into the Big Data world!


With tremendous growth, big data has even become a striking career option for professionals today. The companies from many domains have opened various positions for big data professionals. The demand for Big data professionals is rising every day, and big data is here to stay.


Why is Big Data the ‘Hottest’ Job in the Market?


Data Science, Data Analytics, Machine Learning and of course Big data are the most trending in the current job market for a while now. Wherever you see, people are talking about ‘data’. There are scores of websites generating data and information every second. These might include social media, Sensex logs, online activity logs etc. This data is generated at a very high rate, and it becomes important to extract information from the huge data sets.


Organisations today often face an urgent requirement to collect and store this data so that nothing is missed. It is often the fact that the correct and efficient use of data can prove to be a competitive edge for companies today. They want to analyze and use this data for strategy building, cost-cutting, and decision-making at an organizational level.


Here come the roles of Big data professionals like Data scientists, Data engineers, data analysts etc. According to the forecast, the market for big data is going to be worth USD 46 billion by the end of this year. The annual growth of this market for the period 2014 to 2019 is expected to be 23%. 


Hence, there is a need for vast workforce training to become an expert at these technologies. The organizations are looking for employees who can work on these technologies to manage and analyze this data effectively.


Top 10 Big Data Skills in Huge Demand in 2019


The world of Big data is continually progressing today with more number of innovations taking place every day. To land into these jobs, certain special big data skills will assist you greatly.


  1. Apache Hadoop: There has been tremendous growth in the development of Apache Hadoop in the last few years. Hadoop components like Hive, Pig, HDFS, HBase, MapReduce, etc. are in high demand these days. 


Though Hadoop has entered its second decade now but has grown in popularity from the last 3-4 years. Many software companies are using Hadoop clusters very commonly. This is undoubtedly the big thing in big data. The aspiring professionals shall become proficient in this technology.


  1. NoSQL: The NoSQL databases including Couchbase, MongoDB, etc. are replacing the traditional SQL databases like DB2, Oracle, etc. These distributed NoSQL databases help in meeting the big data storage and access needs. This complements the expertise of Hadoop with its data-crunching ability. Professionals with NoSQL expertise can find opportunities everywhere. 
  2. Data Visualisation: The data visualization tools like QlikView, Tableau can help in understanding the analysis performed by the analytics tools. The complex big data technologies and processes carried out are tough to grasp, and this is where the role of professionals come into the picture. A professional well versed with data visualization tools can get a chance to grow in their career with big organizations.
  3. Machine Learning: Data Mining and Machine Learning are the two hot fields of big data. Though the landscape of big data is vast, these two make an important contribution to the field. The professionals that can use machine learning for carrying out predictive and prescriptive analysis are scarce. The professionals with the knowledge of data mining and machine learning are heavily paid as well.
  4. Apache Spark: Spark acts as a more straightforward and quicker alternative for complex technology like MapReduce. It has become very popular lately with or without the Hadoop framework. Many organizations are adopting the technology and hence are looking for people with Spark skills. The rise of the in-memory stack of Spark has made the Spark a high paying job as well.
  5. Quantitative Analysis: Quantitative and Statistical analysis is a significant part of big data as it is all about numbers. The background in statistics and mathematics helps a lot. Having prior knowledge of the tools like SAS, SPSS, R, etc. help in adding to your skills as well. Hence, the industry requires professionals with a quantitative background in large numbers.
  6. Programming Languages: Certain general-purpose programming languages can help you a great deal in gaining a competitive edge over others. These programming languages include Java, Python, C, Scala, etc. Even the programmers with experience in data analytics are in great demand.
  7. Data Mining: Data mining has reached new heights in today’s IT world. The professionals carrying the experience of data mining tools and technologies are in huge demand for big data jobs. Data mining tools like Rapid Miner, Apache Mahout, and KNIME are some of the most sought-after data mining skills in the market.
  8. Problem Solving: Even if you carry the knowledge of all tools and technologies in the big data field, the ability of problem-solving and creativity will help you to perform your tasks well. Implementation of big data techniques for efficient solutions will require both these qualities in a professional.
  9. SQL: SQL is the data-centred language that works as a base for the big data era. The knowledge of Structured Query Language will essentially be an added advantage to the programmers while working on big data technologies like NoSQL. It is also an important part of the Hadoop Scala warehouses.


How to Develop Your Big Data Skills?


It is one of the most relevant questions while you are thinking to grow as a Big data professional in today’s technology paced world. Undoubtedly, you need the correct roadmap to develop your big data skills that can boost your big data career. There are certain techniques as well as business skills that you need to build for venturing into a big data career. These might include:


  • The problem-solving techniques
  • Theoretical knowledge
  • Hands-on implementation


Apart from the required qualifications, the following tips can help in developing yourself for the big data career.


  • Data Visualisation and Analytical Skills

Big data tools essentially carry out data analysis to derive important insights from the large datasets. Being familiar with the business domain can help you to understand the data for which the analysis is conducted. The data professionals shall have the ability to interpret the data by visualizing it. 


  • Programming Ability

The ability to code and conduct statistical and quantitative analysis in a pool of data and getting a significant conclusion out of it is a requirement in the big data market. The background in mathematics will help greatly. Knowledge of Object-Oriented Languages and the fundamental knowledge of data structures and algorithms can go a long way. It is important to be familiar with sorting algorithms, data types, etc.


  • Familiarity with Technologies

It is important for big data professionals to be familiar with a range of tools and technologies that the industry uses. The number of tools you can work with, the better it is. These tools assist professional in performing research analysis and reaching conclusions with quite an ease.


  • Hands-on experience and developing yourself

It is necessary to get your hands on these tools if you want to land into a big data job. Try to gain hands-on experience with big data tools you are learning as this will help you stand out from the other applicants. Since technology changes very quickly, taking some short-term courses can help significantly. 


The professionals who are already in IT and know programming shall work on the newer technologies for added advantages. The interaction with the databases can help in understanding the data tools better.


Machine learning and data mining can help you in gaining better expertise in big data tools. You can look for online courses and certifications for learning the technologies better.


Suggested Big Data Certifications to Get a Job Easily


To learn big data, it is important to get some hands-on experience apart from theoretical knowledge. Organisations looking for data analysts and data scientists often prefer the talent with special big data certifications in the field. The candidates can gain an edge over others by having certain certifications on their resume.


Cloudera Certifications


The certifications by Cloudera can help you in demonstrating your expertise and mastery in the field. These certifications will help you check your skills in Hadoop stack and related other big data technologies. These are recognized throughout the industry and are often considered most demanding certifications.


The certifications are hands-on performance-based certifications that check the thorough knowledge of the candidates with real-time problem-solving in a distributed cluster. These certifications include the following:


  • Cloudera Certified Professional (CCP) Data Engineer
  • Cloudera Certified Associate (CCA): There are following certifications categories:
    • Data Analyst
    • Spark and Hadoop Developer
    • Administrator


Hortonworks Certifications


Hortonworks University has created some special big data certifications recognized well in the industry. These are performance-based and hands-on exams. The candidate needs to perform a particular set of tasks by working on actual Hadoop clusters instead of multiple-choice questions. To become Hortonworks certified, you can go for the following certifications:


  • HDP Certified Developer (HDPCD)
  • Hortonworks Certified Associate (HCA)
  • Hortonworks Certified Java Developer (HDPCD- Java)
  • HDP Certified Administrator (HDPCA)
  • HDP Certified Apache Spark Developer (HDPCD- Spark)
  • Hortonworks Data Flow Certified NIFI Architect (HDFCNA)

Apart from these certifications, it is recommended to take up the certifications for the following:


  • R software, SAS, Pandas
  • Python, MongoDB
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Apache Storm and MapReduce
  • Apache Cassandra, Apache Spark, and Scala
  • Apache Pig, Apache Hive, and Zookeeper


Following are a few relevant external professional certifications for getting validation for your big data skills. These certifications are often preferred by recruiters as these show the expertise and capabilities of the candidate well.


  • Analytics Certifications
    • Certified Analytics Professional
    • Certification of Professional Achievement in Data Sciences
    • Analytics: Optimizing Big Data Certificate
  • MongoDB Certifications
    • MongoDB Certified DBA Associate DBA Associate
    • MongoDB Certified Developer Associate
  • Data Sciences Certifications
    • EMC Proven Professional Data Scientists Associate (EMCDSA)
  • Data Mining Certifications
    • Stanford Data Mining and Applications Graduate Certificate
    • Mining Massive Data Sets Graduate Certificate
  • SAS Certifications
    • SAS Certified Data Scientist Using SAS 9
    • SAS Certified Big Data Professional

You shall pursue these certifications to learn the know-how of big data technologies and tools. These certifications can make an impact in your salary package, as well as the companies, pay a premium to the certified professionals.


What are the Different Big Data Careers in the Market?


Though there is a general big data professional term used commonly, there are many big data careers that one can explore as per the capability and interest. These big data careers are as follows:


1. Big Data Engineer

Big data engineers are the professionals who are responsible for building the designs made by solution architects. It is one of the well-known and demanding big data careers. This is one of the most common roles in the big data world. A big data engineer is the one who develops, tests maintain and manages big data solutions in the organizations.


2. Data Scientist

One of the most sought-after among available big data careers, the data scientists are the people who use the analytical and technical skills for the extraction of insights from the big data. They turn the structured and unstructured data into meaningful insights.


3. Big Data Analyst

This is the most sought-after role in the big data field, and the talent is usually scarce for this. The big data analyst requires the fundamental knowledge of big data technologies like Hadoop, Hive, Pig, etc. 

For this job role, professionals must have an analytics skill along with set basic statistics and algorithm knowledge to find relevant information from the datasets. 


4. Data Visualization Developer

This role involves the responsibilities of designing, developing, and supporting data visualization activities. The data visualization developers are responsible to design, conceptualize, and develop graphic or data visualizations. They have strong technical skills for using relevant technologies to implement the visualization.


5. Machine Learning Engineer

Machine learning is an important part of the big data field today. They are responsible for developing data analysis software. The analytic software helps to run the components autonomously without human supervision.


6. Business Intelligence Engineer

BI Engineers carry the expertise of the reporting tools used to query and manage the data warehouses. BI engineers have hands-on experience with big data to solve complex issues. 


  1. Business Analytics Specialist

This role is for the special expert in the field of business analytics who helps in the development of scripts, test scripts, and perform testing. They even take up business research activities to understand and analyze the issues to develop cost-effective solutions.


8. Machine Learning Scientist

The machine learning scientist is the role of the people who work in the research and development department. They work on making algorithms to use in adaptive systems. They work on product suggestions and forecast the demand.




As big data is a high priority among employers today, it is the right time to attain the required skills and expertise for the professionals. With Big Data skills, professionals can go for one of the available big data careers well. There are specialized training and courses available that the professionals can take up.


Hence, with the kind of growth the industry is witnessing, it is the perfect time to add big data skills to your resume and give your big data career a boost with the hottest jobs today with us!