big data skills

Top 10 Big Data Skills to Get Big Data Jobs

Big Data has become an inevitable word in the technology world today. The data sciences and big data technologies are driving organizations to make their decisions, thus they are demanding big data skills. It isn’t a buzzword nowadays as it has hit the mainstream.  The tools and technologies in the field of Big data have also grown tremendously. For the real-time analysis and usage of data, big data is the answer. Let’s dive deep into the Big Data world!

Recommended Reading: Top 10 Open Source Big Data Tools

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 the 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 a 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%. With the growing need for work in big data, Big data career is becoming equally important.

Big data career

 Chart caption: Enterprise Big data adoption study as per IDG 2014

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

Want to know about the current status of Big Data job market? Here are the Job Trends for Big Data Professionals in India!

Top 10 Big Data Skills in Huge Demand in 2018

The Big data world is continually changing today with more number of innovations taking place every day. To land these lucrative jobs, certain special big data skills can help 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.

2. 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. The professionals with NoSQL expertise can find opportunities everywhere. 

3. 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 the big organizations.

4. 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. These fields can help in developing recommendation, classification and personalization systems. The professionals with the knowledge of data mining and machine learning are heavily paid as well.

5. 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 the Spark skills. The rise of the in-memory stack of Spark has made the Spark a high paying job as well.

New in the Big Data world? Here we’ve explained how you can start Big Data Career as a fresher.

6. 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. The knowledge of tools like SAS, SPSS, R, etc. help in adding to your skills as well. Hence, the industry required professionals with the quantitative background in large numbers.

7. 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.

8. Data Mining: Data mining has reached new heights in today’s IT world. The professionals who carry the experience of data mining tools and technologies are in 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.

9. 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.

10. SQL: SQL is the data centered 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?

This is indeed the most relevant question while you are thinking to grow as a Big data professional. No doubt, it needs a right roadmap to develop your big data skills that can boost your big data career. There are certain technical 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

Hadoop and Spark are the top-most Big Data Technologies. Let’s choose one from these Big Data Careers – Spark Developer or Hadoop Admin.

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 an ability to interpret the data by visualizing it. This needs a specific science and mathematics edge to understand the complex data with creativity and imagination. Learning the analytics tools can help you to develop your data visualization and analytics skills.

  • Programming Ability

The ability to code and conduct statistical and quantitative analysis is a significant requirement in 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.

The technical skills will also include database skills as big data technologies mostly deal with a significant amount of data. Hence an analytical and technical perspective can make you grow in your big data career.

  • Familiarity with Technologies

It is important for a big data professional 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 help in performing research analysis and reaching conclusions.

These technologies include SPSS, Excel, SQL, SAS, R, MatLab, Python, Linux, Hadoop, Scala, etc. There are many open source technologies written in other languages giving an edge to the technical experts. The demand for people with both statistical and programming skills is even higher.

  • Hands on experience and developing yourself

It is necessary to get your hands dirty. Try to gain hands-on experience with the big data tools you are learning. Since the 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 on big data tools. You can look for online courses and certifications for learning the technologies better.

Cloudera and Hortoworks are two most popular vendors of Big Data Certifications. Let’s find out which one is better for Big Data certification – Cloudera or Hortornworks!

Suggested Big Data Certifications to Get a Job Easily

To learn big data, it is important to get some hands-on experience apart from the 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.

There are some important, helpful certifications in building a career in big data.

Cloudera Certifications

The certifications by Cloudera can help you in demonstrating your expertise and mastery in the field. These certifications check your skills in Hadoop stack and related 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): Under this part, 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)

Want to expand your Big Data knowledge? Start reading big data blogs. Here we present A Complete List of Big Data Blogs.

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

Here is the list of 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.

Want to become a certified Big Data professional? Choose one from the best Big Data Certifications in 2018.


Big Data Skills are in huge demand and will remain for long. By learning and gaining experience with the top big data skills, the professionals can pursue their big data career well. Here we’ve covered some fundamental skills that you should be aware of to become a big data professional.

At Whizlabs, we are aimed to help professionals to enhance their big data skills. We help professionals to earn big data certifications through our best-in-industry Big data training. Here are our offerings on Big Data –

Start learning to enhance your Big Data skills and have a bright Big Data career!

About Aditi Malhotra

Aditi Malhotra is the Content Marketing Manager at Whizlabs. Having a Master in Journalism and Mass Communication, she helps businesses stop playing around with Content Marketing and start seeing tangible ROI. A writer by day and a reader by night, she is a fine blend of both reality and fantasy. Apart from her professional commitments, she is also endearing to publish a book authored by her very soon.

3 thoughts on “Top 10 Big Data Skills to Get Big Data Jobs”

  1. Thanks for sharing your innovative ideas to our vision. I have read your blog and I gathered some new information through your Big Data blog. Your blog is really very informative and unique. Keep posting like this. Awaiting for your further update.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top