Jan 23, 2019

Learning Big Data: Essential Skills for Big Data Careers

The field of data science and big data analytics is packed with excellent job possibilities. Big data plays a big role not only in the tech industry, but also in industries as diverse as finance and healthcare. By taking a hands-on big data course, you can get your foot in the door for careers such as database manager, data engineer, data architect, or data analyst or boost your management or programming career with in-depth knowledge. If you’re interested in learning big data, these skills are essential for a variety of different roles.


Before you can get started in the world of big data, you should have some basic programming skills under your belt. You can learn essentials such as Python in Udacity’s Programming for Data Science nanodegree program. Java, C, C++, and Perl can also come in handy.

SQL and NoSQL Databases

Databases are key components in the data management and analysis process. Big data requires the ability to store large amounts of data in an organized and accessible way. SQL databases were once industry standards, and many companies still use them. However, NoSQL databases are becoming more widespread.

Apache Hadoop and Spark

Apache Hadoop is a powerful data-processing tool created from Google's MapReduce framework. Apache Spark is a processing engine that works with Hadoop to perform tasks such as machine learning and streaming. If you want to learn analytics online, be sure to gain some experience with these tools.

Data Visualization

Data visualization helps make your data accessible and presentable, so this is a component of many big data analytics courses. Udacity's Data Analyst Nanodegree program teaches you how to perform data visualization using Python. Tableau and Qlikview are also helpful tools to learn how to use.

Machine Learning

Machine learning is becoming an integral component of big data. Processing large amounts of data can be labor intensive, and machine learning can help speed up the process. Applications in the field include recommendation systems, data mining, and data classification. As you complete your big data management course, consider completing a Machine Learning Engineer nanodegree program as well.

Data Mining

If you want to analyze data, you have to get that data in the first place. Data mining tools such as Apache Mahout and Rapid Miner help you carry out these tasks efficiently, letting you sort through repetition and find relevant data in a timely manner.

In addition to hard skills, soft skills such as teamwork, adaptability, and communication can also help you during your career. Having hands-on experience with other areas of technology can also be beneficial. If you want to keep your skillset evolving as you progress through your career, Udacity's Nanodegree programs let you adapt your learning to your own schedule.