Big Data Is Creating Big Job Demand

Programming and development abilities top many employers' most-sought-after-skills lists, as big data and mobile-platform development jack up demand to new levels.

Wall Street firms, for example, are searching hard for programmers with a side of database skills, according to employment recruiter eFinancialCareers, which specializes in financial gigs. When the site posted its top 10 skill searches for the summer of 2012, programming languages and databases were at the top "by a wide margin," a company statement reported.

It's also evident what's driving a large part of this aggressive searching: big data. That's because C and Java programming skills were the top specific skills sought for data applications that need C's speed of execution and data engines like Hadoop that are all about the Java.

The next most-sought skill? SQL, the database query language that's still very pervasive in relational databases and even in some of the non-relational databases that are such hot properties in big-data land these days.

"The next four skill sets on Wall Street's 'buy' list are fixed-income, risk, project-management and business analysis. Technology pervades these jobs as well," an eFinancialCareers representative said.

Consider job listings such as the one for an investment bank and securities firm looking for a fixed-income quantitative analyst who's well-versed in matrix-oriented programming languages such as MATLAB, R, Python, or GAUSS, and who has a working knowledge of Ruby, VBA, SQL, and database programming. 

The meshing of technology and business skills is a big "get" for most businesses, as any geek who can speak numbers or any suit who can grok tech is highly sought candidates.

Programming and development is also the big target for the technology sector. Tech job site Dice.com recently released its top-skill requests for the year as of October 1, and software development topped its list, too. Quality assurance came in second, followed by Python, SOAP and virtualization skills, respectively.

"Software development is beyond compare in today's tech-job market. Even if you are not an engineer –- many hiring managers want candidates to have a thorough understanding of the software development lifecycle. More development equals more QA or ensuring a project, product or service meets certain standards and satisfies requirements," wrote Managing Director Alice Hill on the Dice blog.

High finance is not the only sector hiring tech workers. Last month General Motors announced it would hire up to 10,000 IT workers globally, kicking it off with 500 new IT slots in its Austin "innovation center."

Yesterday, GM followed up on that, announcing a new innovation center in the Detroit suburb of Warren, Mich., which will need 1,500 IT staffers. The company plans to open two more such tech centers in the United States soon, spreading the wealth, as it were, to make up for some regional shortages in programmers and developers.

Programming has been at the top of the career skills lists for quite a while, and there are no signs of this demand abating any time soon. Between big data and mobile-application demand alone, those who code well should have more employment opportunities for some time to come.

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