Big Data Careers: Jobs in Database Management and Analytics

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published August 8, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Big data refers to data sets that are massive, fast-growing, and complex. The study, analysis, and management of big data is a diverse and growing field offering an increasing number of career opportunities. If you're studying big data, considering a career change, or looking for ways to advance your career in big data, you may benefit from learning what career path you can explore in this field. In this article, we discuss what big data careers are, list some types of jobs in big data, and provide some tips for finding big data jobs.

What are big data careers?

Big data careers are jobs that relate to the management and analysis of large and complex data sets. There can be a fairly wide variety of job duties and skill requirements within the big data field. Some jobs focus on the technical aspects of managing, storing, and accessing large volumes of data, while others focus more on analysis and interpretation.

Related: Why Do Companies Collect Data? (With Various Methods)

Types of big data careers

There are a variety of types of careers related to big data, suited to a range of skills, education, and experience levels. When considering a career in big data, it's helpful to consider that there's often an opportunity to begin in an entry-level position and, with the right training and education, work toward a more senior role.

Depending on the size of the company and the complexity of the data set, some roles may be very specific, while others might involve a wider range of responsibilities. Because of the variance that can exist in requirements and job duties, some roles can be unique, but overall there are some common types of big data jobs that appear frequently. Here are some examples:

1. Data analyst

National average salary: $58,443 per year

Primary duties: A data analyst performs a range of functions related to data interpretation, including collecting, preparing, and analyzing. They use modelling and statistics to extract useful information from the raw data. An important part of a data analyst's job is communicating their findings. This often involves creating reports that include charts and graphs, presenting information to management teams, and answering questions.

Data analysts typically require strong critical thinking and mathematical skills. Attention to detail can also be important, as identifying outliers and transcribing information accurately are essential parts of the job. Educational requirements for data analysts can vary, but typically post-secondary education in statistics or a related field is necessary. Some colleges and universities offer courses, programs, and certificates in data analytics.

Related: How to Become a Big Data Analyst (With Salary Expectations)

2. Developer

National average salary: $75,573 per year

Primary duties: Big data developers are programmers who design, implement, and maintain data pipelines. Big data development is a highly technical role that requires strong coding skills. A developer creates solutions to address issues with a company's data collection and management system. They also work to identify ways to capture and store data in a way that aligns with the company's objectives.

Developers require extensive computer database skills, problem-solving skills, and teamwork abilities. Typically, a university degree in computer science, information technology, or a similar field is a requirement for a developer, but a combination of experience and training in database development may also suffice. The key qualifications for a developer are knowledge of data warehousing systems, tools, and coding languages.

Related: Big Data Usage and How It Benefits Different Industries

3. Data scientist

National average salary: $81,405 per year

Primary duties: Data scientists both gather and analyze data. They're responsible for gathering, organizing, and interpreting data from unusual or unstructured sources such as social media feeds. This job involves a combination of technical work and data analysis.

Some skills required to excel in a data scientist career include attention to detail, communication skills, and critical thinking. Most data scientist positions require a university degree in data science. A bachelor's degree combined with training and experience may be sufficient in some situations, but typically, this career requires a master's degree.

Related: How to Become a Data Scientist in 5 Essential Steps

4. Software engineer

National average salary: $83,576 per year

Primary duties: A big data software engineer builds and maintains software to collect, store, and process large data sets. They identify and implement software solutions that align with a company's objectives for data collection and analysis. This is a highly technical career that requires knowledge of database systems and software applications.

A software engineer requires strong technical skills, knowledge of coding languages and software design principles, and attention to detail. The minimum educational requirement for a software engineer is usually a bachelor's degree in computer science.

5. Front-end developer

National average salary: $84,600 per year

Primary duties: A front-end developer specializes in the design of the client-facing side of a data collection system. They design website interfaces that a company uses to view data insights and updates. Front-end developers work to ensure a smooth user experience and may address issues like webpage-device compatibility, ease of use, and aesthetic design.

They require a sound knowledge of coding and current web development principles. Typically, post-secondary education in computer science or a similar field is a requirement for this career. Ongoing training or education can be a requirement for front-end developers.

Related: 28 Front-End Developer Interview Questions and Answers

6. Full stack developer

National average salary: $86,757 per year

Primary duties: A full stack developer works on both the front end and the back end of a data system, meaning they develop and maintain the user-facing interface and also the data warehouse. A full-stack developer might work with a smaller-scale system or for a smaller organization that doesn't have the requirement or the resources to hire both a back-end and front-end developer. They might also work in a team management capacity.

A full-stack developer requires strong technical and coding skills, along with in-depth knowledge of computer programming and web design. Because of the required level of skills and knowledge, a university education in computer science or a related field is typically necessary for a career as a full-stack developer.

7. Development operations engineer

National average salary: $99,903 per year

Primary duties: A development operations engineer manages the development and implementation of database applications. They have a combination of technical knowledge, understanding of data analysis, and problem-solving skills to identify ways to improve data management systems and implement the required changes.

Development operations engineers typically require a university education in computer science or a related field, or a combination of extensive training and experience in computer programming, coding languages, and application development. In addition, they require an in-depth understanding of data analytics, which they might gain through a college diploma, certificate program, or university program.

8. Senior software engineer

National average salary: $103,370 per year

Primary duties: A big data senior software engineer typically leads a team of developers working on a data management system. The senior software engineer requires an understanding of the various components of a data management system, including the front end, the warehouse, and analysis tools. As senior engineers are responsible for communicating with clients and managers and leading their own team, they typically benefit from having strong communication skills.

They require extensive knowledge and experience in computer programming, coding, and web design. Typically, this means that a university degree in computer science is necessary, and an advanced degree may be a prerequisite. Additional education in data analytics or management is also a requirement, although a college diploma or certificate may be sufficient.

Related: The Top 25 Best Paying Technology Jobs (With Salaries)

Tips for finding big data jobs

If you're interested in a career in big data, you can start by reviewing some job postings and identifying common requirements. Big data jobs exist in a variety of industries and locations. Here are some tips that may be helpful when seeking a job in big data:

  • Ensure that your education and skills meet the job requirements. While soft skills can be important in all occupations, most jobs in big data require specific technical skills and knowledge. You might upgrade your skills and focus your job search on positions that fit your qualifications.

  • Leverage your network. If you know others who work in big data, it's helpful to ask them how they started their careers or whether they know of any opportunities.

  • Create an effective resume. A strong resume can help improve your chances of receiving an interview. When preparing a resume to apply to big data jobs, it's typically a good idea to highlight any experience or education you have in programming, statistics, or data analysis.

  • Research the employer. If you're considering applying for a particular position, it may be worthwhile to research the employer to determine which of your skills might be most valuable to them. Because of the wide-ranging nature of big data jobs, there can be differences in expectations from one employer to another, and understanding them can help you prepare for an interview.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries‌ ‌may‌ ‌‌vary‌‌ ‌depending‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌organization‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌candidate's‌ ‌experience,‌ ‌academic‌ background‌, ‌and‌ ‌location.‌

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