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Big Data Creating Big Career Opportunities for IT Pros

CIO.com (via Network World), March 6 
New job opportunities are emerging for IT professionals in the field of "big data," as corporations continue to gather vast amounts of real-time data about their customers. As a result, data scientists find themselves in sudden demand. A data scientist typically has a background in computer science or mathematics as well as the analytical skills necessary to deliver the right insights. As an example of the job title's popularity, the number of Google searches of "data scientist" hit peaks 20 times higher than normal in the last quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012.
Data scientist is a popular search term in high-tech hotspots such as San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and New York. Among the U.S. companies looking to hire data scientists are PayPal, Amazon and HP. Indeed, the term "data scientist" is mentioned in 195 job listings on Dice.com. IT departments also are adding data-centric developers and system administrators who specialize in tools such as the open source Apache Hadoop software. Hadoop is an emerging skill, since companies need to manage large-scale data operations, and the whole idea of Hadoop is that you can do it inexpensively. There are opportunities related to Hadoop for both entry-level and experienced IT staff, as well as for hardware and software specialists.
Job opportunities for data scientists are emerging across all industries, from Web companies and e-retailers to financial services, healthcare, energy, utilities and media. It's very fertile ground for experienced IT professionals, but also for people coming out with computer science degrees. IT departments will be looking to hire new people in the area of big data as well as to retrain some of their existing staff to add data analysis and Hadoop-related programming and administrative skills. The career prospects for IT professionals with data management and Hadoop skills are bright: In every industry, there is a huge volume of data that is getting captured, whether it is sensor data or log data or data coming from social media.

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