The big deal behind being a Big Data Analyst

Stephen Lofthouse from Shefffield Hallam varsity, spells out the next big career field and the skill set needed for it

Published: 08th August 2016 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th August 2016 01:13 PM   |  A+A-

Big data is a growing field as businesses are amassing huge amounts of data. To understand the field better Stephen Lofthouse, senior lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, UK, takes us through its essentials


1.What skills are required to become a successful data analyst?

An ability to understand and interrogate huge sets of data is required therefore, data analysts need to know HaDoop, MapReduce, Java, SAS and other technologies. Analytics software and programming languages will continue to evolve so one should have the ability to embrace change. Also, to be able to identify a trend and understand how it can be harnessed.

2.What are the entry requirements for an MSc in Big Data analytics at Sheffield Hallam and what is the course duration?

An honours degree in computing, computer science, maths, statistics or a year of experience in computing is needed. The duration is 12-18 months.

3 Is masters necessary for it?

Masters is a catalyst to career’s progression. It helps develop skills like understanding software and analytics packages. There might be opportunities to gain work experience or professional accreditation.

4 Any prior training required?

The strongest way to enter the industry is a combination of work experience and specialist skills training.

5.What are the career options?

Jobs require skills in areas like statistical analysis and machine learning techniques, database and programming technologies, and such.

6.What is the scope of growth in this field and any advice?

In Model Workers, a 2014 report, warned of a skill gap in this. As more businesses take advantage of data analytics, the demand for candidates with specialist data mining skills is increasing. I’d advise you to consider gaining specialist skills necessary for a career in it.

7.What are salaries like?

In the UK, salaries range from £35,000 to £80,000.

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