Salary Survey PLUS: Who goes there in the Big Data realm?

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This feature first appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of Certification Magazine. Click here to get your own print or digital copy.

Who works in Big Data, and what do they do?Profiling an entire professional domain is an exercise in broad brushstrokes. So when we paint our portrait of the Big Data professional as a young (or not-so-young) worker, understand that we’re creating a fairly nebulous outline. There are, however, some solid generalizations to be drawn. If you work in the Big Data realm, then look around and see whether what’s before your eyes matches what we learned from our survey.

Slightly more than 87 percent of those who responded to our survey are male, which suggests that jobs in Big Data, as in all other sectors of the IT realm, are mostly filled by men. An overwhelming majority (95 percent) are employed full-time, vs. just 1 percent unemployment, with part-timers and students accounting for the remaining 4 percent.

College education would appear to factor heavily in Big Data employment, with 90 percent of those surveyed having climbed the education ladder high enough to hold a bachelor’s degree (47.4 percent) or master’s degree (42.8 percent).

While many working in Big Data are relatively new to the field, survey data indicates a strong core of old-timers. About 61 percent of respondents have been employed in Big Data jobs five or fewer years, but nearly 18 percent have been Big Data-focused for longer than 15 years.

Regardless of the breadth of their Big Data experience, most workers in the field are old enough to lie about their age, with 58 percent of those surveyed landing between the ages of 35 and 64. There is a youth movement in the works, however, with 37 percent falling somewhere between ages of 25 and 34.

Finally, it would seem that Big Data is a strongly corporate realm. Small and mid-sized businesses have their claim, but 23 percent of those surveyed work at organizations with between 1,000 and 10,000 employees, while a whopping 43.3 percent are just a blip in the company directory, working for mega-corporations that have more than 10,000 individual cogs spinning in a vast employment apparatus.

TABLE TALK : Where are all of the Big Data jobs? And what specializations are undertaken by the people who work them? Here’s a look at the industries that are utilizing Big Data, and what workers are doing with it:

Where do people who do Big Data for a living go to work?

We learned a few other things, too. It’s all available right now in our latest quarterly issue, or you can pull up a virtual chair and settle in here at for the big (and gradual) reveal.

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CertMag Staff


Certification Magazine was launched in 1999 and remained in print until mid-2008. Publication was restarted on a quarterly basis in February 2014. Subscribe to CertMag here.

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