10 Must-Have Big Data Skills to Land a Job in 2024

avcontentteam 23 Feb, 2024 • 8 min read


In the rapidly evolving world of modern business, big data skills have emerged as indispensable for unlocking the true potential of data. This article delves into the core competencies needed to effectively navigate the realm of big data. Whether you are an aspiring data scientist, a seasoned IT professional, or a business leader, mastering data analysis, processing, and advanced machine learning techniques is vital to remain competitive and thrive in today’s data-driven era.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand what big data is.
  • Understand the importance of big data.
  • Get familiar with each skill important for a big data professional.

What is Big Data?

The term big data is used when referring to an immense amount of data which is either unstructured, structured, or semi-structured. Data formats such as text, videos, photos, and social media posts are all included. This huge amount of data poses handling challenges for traditional data processing techniques. Big Data demands the employment of specialized storage, processing, and analysis equipment and techniques to efficiently deal with its 5 characteristics:

  • Veracity
  • Volume
  • Variety
  • Velocity
  • Value
Characteristics of Big Data
Source: Medium

Why is Big Data Important? 

Innovation and Product Development: Big Data fuels innovation by giving organizations a greater understanding of customer preferences, emerging patterns, and market trends. With this knowledge, they may develop unique solutions tailored to the demands of particular consumers.

Insights and Decision-Making: Big Data enables businesses to analyze and extract important insights from massive, diversified information. Businesses may make data-driven decisions, optimize processes, and gain a competitive advantage by identifying patterns, trends, and correlations.

Improved Efficiency and Productivity: Big Data analytics assists organizations in identifying inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and places for process improvement. Businesses can increase efficiency and productivity through resource allocation, optimizing operations, and supply chain management.

Risk Management and Fraud Detection: Big Data analytics is essential for detecting possible hazards, fraud tendencies, and abnormalities. Organizations may proactively detect and reduce threats by analyzing huge amounts of data in real-time, guaranteeing the security of money transactions and sensitive data.

Personalized Customer Experiences: Big Data helps businesses to collect and analyze customer data at scale. This data aids in developing targeted marketing campaigns, personalized experiences, and tailored suggestions, increasing consumer happiness and trust.

Scientific and Medical Advancements: Scientific research and medical advancements are being revolutionized by Big Data. Researchers can gain insights, identify new medicines, anticipate disease outbreaks, and enhance public health by analyzing enormous amounts of information.

Big Data Market Trend in 2024

Let us go through some top facts and statistics on the importance of big data:

  • The worldwide Big Data and Analytics market is valued at $274 billion.
  • Colocation data centers generate over $50 billion in income per year.
  • 2.5 (approx.) quintillion bytes of data are created on a daily basis.
  • 43% of IT decision-makers feel that their IT infrastructure would be unable to meet future data demands.
  • Big Data analytics in healthcare might be worth $79.23 billion by 2028.
  • The digital universe contains over 44 zettabytes of data.
  • End-user consumption of cloud computing is estimated to be approx. $500 billion per year.
  • 45% of firms outsource some of their Big Data workloads to the cloud.

Top 10 Big Data Skills to Have in 2024

In order to land a job in this rapidly changing industry, it is important to have the ten necessary big data skills that will make you stand out from other applicants.

  • Problem-Solving 
  • Programming Languages  
  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • SQL and NoSQL Databases
  • Data Warehousing
  • Data Mining
  • Distributed Frameworks
  • Cloud Computing
  • Interpretation and Data Visualization 
  • Machine Learning


Big data specialists must possess excellent problem-solving skills to address challenges related to data quality, scalability, privacy, and computing efficiency. They need to devise creative solutions to optimize data processing procedures. Not only that, they also need strong quantitative analysis and analytical skills which are crucial for extracting valuable insights from massive datasets through statistical analysis, hypothesis testing, and mathematical modeling. These skills facilitate data-driven decision-making and pattern recognition.

An essential tool to master before learning any other big data technology to master problem-solving skills is Excel. Microsoft Excel is a simple yet effective analytical tool to store data and analyze it. Mastering Excel will help any big data professional to hone their problem-solving skills.

Programming Languages

Pprogramming languages are extremely important for any big data professional. Every big data engineer will be involved with designing and building pipelines. For this, it is crucial for a big data professional to know the ins and outs of programming.

There is not a set programming language that a big data professional needs to know. However, knowledge of any popular language from the likes of Python, Java, or Scala would be good enough.

Data Structure and Algorithms

Now, knowledge of programming languages is one thing but how to write efficient code is another. Writing efficient code is important to optimize the storage utilization to handle big complex data. For this, we have the concepts of data structures and algorithms which are the cornerstones of computer science.

These concepts are extremely important for big data professionals. For example, how would you sort an array containing millions of records? If you go by the brute force method, you will end up utilizing a lot of unnecessary resources. Or let’s say, how can you efficiently store a sparse array? To know the answers to such real-life problems you need to understand data structures and algorithms.

SQL and NoSQL Databases

Structured Query Language or SQL is a query language to manage data in a relational database. These databases store data in a structured format within rows and columns. MySQL and PostgreSQL are the two most popular SQL databases.

On the other hand, not all data can be incorporated strictly within a structured table. Also, SQL databases will not be suitable for all purposes as they lack data throughput speed and flexibility to store unstructured data. For these reasons, there are different kinds of databases known as NoSQL databases specially designed for such purposes. MongoDB and Cassandra are two such databases. You can have a look at NoSQL databases in this article.

Explore the top 10 SQL projects here.

Data Warehousing

Besides databases, it is also important for big data professionals to be proficient in working with data warehouses. Data warehouses are different from simple databases as they are specially designed to store data for analytical purposes.

Data stored in data warehouses is already aggregated from raw data and is ready to be consumed by data analysts. You will need to learn about data warehousing design architecture like Star and Snowflake schemas and when to use which one.

Hive is a very popular data warehouse tool. You can learn about Hive in this article.

Data Mining

For big data professionals, data mining is crucial. It enables the extraction of meaningful insights from vast datasets through techniques like association rule mining, classification, and clustering. By uncovering patterns and anomalies, data mining facilitates informed decision-making across industries like business, finance, and healthcare. Data mining enhances predictive modeling and trend forecasting, enabling professionals to derive actionable insights and drive strategic initiatives. It’s a cornerstone for unlocking the potential of big data, allowing professionals to harness its power for innovation and competitive advantage.

Explore these top 14 data mining projects.

Distributed Frameworks

Big data professionals or data architects work with distributed systems because big data cannot be stored and processed on a single machine. Single machines are prone to fail and can quickly overcome their storage.

There are a lot of distributed frameworks the most important of which is Apache Hadoop. Apache Hadoop has an ecosystem of tools serving various purposes. It has HDFS which is the distributed storage layer storing data in various worker nodes and handling fault tolerance. Then it has the MapReduce component responsible for the distributed processing of big data. Then it has components like Sqoop, HBase, etc. on top for handling the data. You can check out all of that over here.

Besides Hadoop, there is also Apache Spark which is more efficient than Hadoop in processing the data. It is much faster as it handles data in memory thereby reducing the input-output operations happening in MapReduce. You can read about Apache Spark in this article.

Cloud Computing

The task of a big data professional is essentially to design an architecture to manage and store big data. Now this architecture can be designed on-premise. However, given the low cost of resources on the cloud, a lot of organizations are moving their infrastructure to platforms like AWS, Azure, or GCP. Therefore, it is extremely important for big data professionals to understand the cloud platforms really well to effectively utilize the resources and design cost-effective pipelines.

Interpretation and Data Visualization

Effectively understanding and visually presenting data insights are vital for engaging stakeholders. Data visualization skills enable the development of relevant graphs, charts, and dashboards that aid in comprehension and decision-making. For this purpose, it is important to learn tools like Tableau or PowerBI. You can

Machine Learning

Besides learning big data technologies, big data engineers also need to learn about data science machine learning, and deep learning algorithms. This is important because the end user of any data warehouse or database is a data scientist. So if a big data engineer has good knowledge of machine learning algorithms, they will have a clear understanding of the data requirements from a data scientist or a data analyst. This will reduce the knowledge gap between the two and smooth out the automation process. So having knowledge of basic algorithms like linear regression, logistic regression, KNN, SVM, Neural Networks, CNNs, etc. will go a long way in a big data professional’s career.

Big Data Job Roles and Salary

Job RoleAverage Salary
Big Data Engineer₹ 3.6 Lakhs to ₹ 20.4 Lakhs
Data Engineer₹ 3.3 Lakhs to ₹ 20.9 Lakhs
Machine Learning Engineer₹ 3.0 Lakhs to ₹ 21.0 Lakhs
Big Data Architect₹ 14.7 Lakhs to ₹ 45.0 Lakhs
Data Analyst₹ 1.6 Lakhs to ₹ 12 Lakhs
Data Scientist₹ 3.6 Lakhs to ₹ 25.9 Lakhs
Data Governance Analyst₹ 3.7 Lakhs to ₹ 39.1 Lakhs
Data Warehouse Manager₹ 2.3 Lakhs to ₹ 13.3 Lakhs
Business Intelligence Developer₹ 3.0 Lakhs to ₹ 15.0 Lakhs
Data Visualization Specialist₹ 2.1 Lakhs to ₹ 17.0 Lakhs


The present era is witnessing a soaring demand for big data skills like programming languages, machine learning, distributed computing, and cloud computing. You may position yourself as a sought-after professional in the quickly changing field of big data by constantly updating your skill set and remaining adaptive. Achieving these 10 must-have big data developer skills or big data engineer skills described above will definitely raise your odds of landing a job in the big data area in 2024. Consider signing up for our Blackbelt+ program if you are interested in mastering big data skills!

Key Takeaways

  • Big data skills are essential for navigating today’s data-driven landscape.
  • Proficiency in problem-solving, programming languages, data structures, SQL/NoSQL databases, data warehousing, data mining, distributed frameworks, cloud computing, data interpretation, visualization, and machine learning is crucial.
  • These skills empower professionals to address complex data challenges and position them as invaluable assets in the evolving big data ecosystem, enhancing their career prospects in 2024 and beyond.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is big data a technical skill?

A. Big data is an area that necessitates a mixture of technical abilities such as programming, data administration, and data analysis and not a technical skill of its own.

Q2. Which big data skills are essential for working with big data?

A. Programming languages, quantitative analysis, data mining, data visualization, problem-solving, SQL/NoSQL databases, cloud computing, machine learning,  and continuous learning are all essential skills for big data.

Q3. What big data skills are most in-demand?

A. The big data skills currently high in demand are:

– Programming languages (Python, R, Java)
– Machine learning
– Data visualization
– Cloud computing (AWS, Azure)
– SQL /NoSQL databases

Q4. What are the 5 elements of big data?

A. Volume (large datasets), velocity (high-speed data generation), variety (different data kinds), veracity (uncertainty and noise in data), and value (extracting important insights from data) are the five elements of big data.

avcontentteam 23 Feb 2024

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