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I recently spoke with one of my old college classmates over tea. He is a leading data scientist for a Fortune 500 company. While catching up for the first time in eight years, we discussed the fascinating changes that big data has brought over the past few years. Data evangelists have written countless articles and given numerous keynote speeches about the ways that big data has changed our lives. They have mostly focused on the implications for consumers and administrators. There hasn’t been as much discussion about the changes the field has created for people seeking a career in big data. However, that is an important trend that warrants discussion.
When you really look at the employment data, it becomes clear that the demand for big data jobs is surging. According to estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy is expected to create 11.5 million big data jobs by 2026.
What are the caveats with this estimate?
People working in the big data profession are enthusiastic about the growing job opportunities that are available to them. However, they should not assume that job growth will be uniform across all big data specialties. As with any profession, there is going to be a mismatch between supply and demand four different job titles.
You need to be aware of this before pursuing a career in big data. There are a number of different specialties that you can pursue.
Some specialties are obvious, such as machine learning professionals. This is one of the reasons that the number of people receiving machine learning courses has increased.
One career track that people interested in big data might want to consider is the mathematical sciences. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics analyst Michael Rieley, the need for big data solutions is driving demand for people with backgrounds in mathematics. Employment for people working in the mathematical sciences is expected to grow by almost 28% between 2016 and 2026. The total growth rate for all occupations in that same time period is 7.4%. This is largely due to the need for mathematicians to develop big data algorithms.
Within the field of mathematical sciences, you can see promising job opportunities in certain specialties. One example is with actuaries. The demand for actuary jobs is expected to increase by 22%. Although this only accounts for about 5,000 new big data jobs, it still illustrates some of the ways that big data is changing the economy.
Some of the trends seem surprising at first. Experts without a strong understanding of the actuary profession would probably assume that big data would actually cause jobs in that sector to shrink. Their assumption would be based on the fact that big data has led to new technology, which can improve the efficiency of many actual real processes, thereby potentially making actuaries redundant.
However, it is only likely to replace lower skilled professionals. Actuaries and other professionals that have received extensive training will actually be in even greater demand. They will not be replaced by technology, but rather utilize it to perform their jobs even better.
The number of big data jobs will also grow more quickly in some industries than others. Healthcare is one example. The number of big data jobs in the healthcare industry is expected to grow around 30% within the next few years. There are a number of reasons that big daddy is becoming more important in the healthcare sector, including:
- Developing a deeper understanding of various health problems people face
- Ensuring better security solutions to protect data in accordance with HIPAA
- Big data is helping them identify correlations between changing demographics and the growth of various health problems, which necessitates additional resources
So many factors are causing big data jobs to increase over the next decade. This is a promising development for anybody working in the field.