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Which Big Data Skills Are Most in Demand?

As digital transformation, the Internet of Things and automation takes hold across almost every  industry across the world, more data is being produced than ever before. The World Economic Forum (WEF) estimate that the entire digital universe is expected to generate 44 zettabytes per day by 2020 - that’s 40 times more bytes than there are stars in the observable universe.  

And forget all about cryptocurrency - as the world moves rapidly towards a digital-first mentality, it’s becoming clear that data is the future’s most powerful currency. Business commentators suggest that soon every company in the world will either buy or sell data as it becomes increasingly valuable. It has the power to help businesses make smarter decisions that fuel growth, gain a competitive advantage and reduce their costs. 

However, it’s not enough for companies to simply have access to huge data sets: the key is knowing what to do with them. That’s where data engineers, database administrators, data architects, data analysts and data scientists come in. The demand for workers with specialist data skills like this has more than tripled over five years (+231%), so it’s no surprise that these are highly sought after and lucrative jobs; in fact ‘data scientist’ was America’s highest paying entry level job in 2019.   

So whether you’re looking to kickstart your big data career, or you’re already working in tech and want to sharpen your knowledge to help you secure one of the roles above, there are a number of key skills you’ll need to harness. That’s where we come in. As members of the UK government funded Institute of Coding, we’re dedicated to filling the skills gap that is needed to drive digital change.  Join us as we explore those that are most in demand, and take a closer look at how our Computer Science with Data Analytics MSc will equip you with the expertise you need to drive digital change.  

1. Programming

Data scientists have traditionally come from a background that is quite far removed from computer science and software engineering. However, as the two worlds increasingly collide due to the worldwide growth of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, developing a strong knowledge of programming languages can help set you apart from the competition. And if your dream job involves working with, or developing big data platforms - such as becoming a data engineer, database administrator or data architect - this is a key skill that you definitely need to harness. 

Over the course of our dedicated Object Orientated Programming (OOP) module, you’ll learn how to design, implement, test and document programs and gain practical programming experience by solving small scale problems. Don’t worry if you don’t have previous experience - we’ll teach you everything you need. 

2. Database Modelling, Data Warehousing and Data Processing 

Database modelling, data warehousing and data processing form the bedrock of the big data movement. Getting to grips with current database technology, learning how to design and manipulate databases with relational algebra and SQL and exploring data warehousing techniques to help you integrate and consolidate data from different sources is paramount. Throughout the course, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to put these skills into practice. You’ll work on realistic data problems to understand more about new machine learning techniques, as well as exploring the options available to help host multi-terabyte datasets using cloud service providers. You’ll also master appropriate distributed operating systems, such as Hadoop.  

3. Data Interpretation, Visualisation and Analysis 

As an increasing number of businesses look to harness the power of big data, it’s essential that you know how useful insights can be extracted, interpreted and analysed to help make better strategic, tactical and operational business decisions. In our dedicated Statistics and Business Intelligence module, you’ll put your learning into practice and grow your knowledge of how to apply cutting-edge analytical techniques to business data to draw actionable insights. 

During our Big Data and Cloud Computing module, you’ll also tackle a realistic big data problem and explore how to combine science and mathematics with creativity to visualise data through 2D and 3D methods. You’ll learn how to effectively communicate relationships within large data sets through data visualisation techniques that could help others within your business to understand more and drive value from your findings; skills that will set you apart if you’re looking to become a Business Intelligence Analyst, Data Scientist or Data Analyst.  

4. Problem Solving

No matter which career route you choose, developing an analytical mind will take you far in big data - and honing those skills will take practice. Throughout the course you’ll be encouraged to do just that and during your dissertation project, you’ll have the opportunity to apply your knowledge and grow your problem solving capabilities during a substantial piece of independent research. 

Drive Digital Change: Join Our Computer Science Masters 

Learn more about our Computer Science MSc here, and discover how our specialist data analytics pathway will help you to shape the digital revolution.  

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