Big Data Salaries, Job Opportunities Soaring

Scientific dataWant to make more than your organization’s CIO? If the answer is yes, become a data scientist manager.

While most BI and data warehousing salaries remain stagnant through 2014, big data analytics professionals and data scientists are rare, prized – and well compensated, according to InformationWeek’s new BI and Analytics Salary Survey 2014 and Burtch Works’ Salaries for Big Data Professionals Report, with managers even making more annually than CIOs reported in the InformationWeek survey.

The median staff salary for data scientists is $120,000, while the median salary is $87,000 for BI/analytics, $90,000 for big data and $100,000 for data integrating/warehousing.

The median management salary for data scientists is $160,000, while the median management salary is $110,000 for BI/analytics, $145,000 for big data and $120,000 for data integrating/warehousing. Comparatively, the median base salary for a CIO is $150,000, according to the InformationWeek survey.

Conducted from November 2013 to February 2014 with 11,662 full-time information technology respondents across 23 categories, the InformationWeek salary survey found that most IT skill sets were in demand, though most salaries were merely keeping pace with inflation. However, big data practitioners and data scientists are two emerging categories that, while their job descriptions are not consistently defined, are two titles at the top of the pay scale.

Described by IBM as “part analyst, part artist,” a data scientist explores and examines data from multiple disparate sources, for the purpose of discovering a solution to a business problem that could turn into a competitive advantage.

Big data job titles range from analysts to architects to engineers, and in domains from retail to healthcare to the public sector, but who all “manage, mine and draw actionable insights” from large data sets, said Joe McKendrick, a contributing editor at SmartPlanet, in an article on big data jobs.

With the explosion of big data as a key for business competition, insight and growth, big data professionals and data scientists are in high demand, but they’re also a rare breed. The U.S. faces a shortfall of 140,000 to 190,000 big data professionals through 2018, according to a 2013 projection from McKinsey & Company. To help address the need for big data professionals, several universities have added new programs.

“I have a colleague who compares the whole big data thing to Eisenhower’s interstate system,” said Dr. Kenneth Gilbert, head of the University of Tennessee’s business analytics department in an article in Today’s Engineer. “It’s going to create business opportunities that people can’t even imagine at this point.”

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