Big Data Analytics: Career Prospects in India & Abroad And Top Universities for Masters

There has been a tremendous buzz around the Big Data (also referred to as Internet of Things) and Big Data Analytics Jobs in 2014 & 2015. If the previous years saw the mega trends of Big Data, Cloud, DevOps & Internet of Things; 2015 was the year of machine data analytics. According to analysts, the big data market has been predicted to be USD $50 Billion by 2019. Hence, Masters (MS) in Data Science or Data Analytics has been one of the most Hot trends among study abroad students and working professionals in recent times. In this article, I am going to cover brief introduction on Big Data and BDA, jobs and career opportunities in big data analytics in India and abroad, top countries for big data analytics professionals and data scientists, salaries at various career stages, top industries, key skills and tools for data analytics, and top universities for MS in Data Analytics (Data Science) in the UK, US and other countries.

Big Data Analytics

While counselling students, I get to hear a variety of queries ranging from best courses, top universities, to application process, scholarship schemes, fee structures and job opportunities after doing a particular course in a particular country. However, I have noticed a particular query that has been quite trending these days – best courses and/or top universities for MS in Data Analytics or MS in Data Science. I am sure it is an effect of the current buzz around Big Data (Smart Data) or Big Data Analytics. Before knowing about the best programs for a career in Data Analytics, let have some background knowledge first.

What is Big Data?

Big Data is a broad, popular and evolving term for extremely large amount of structured, semi-structured and unstructured (non-structured) data sets, which can be analysed using special software and techniques in order to find patterns, trends and associations of human behaviours and interactions. In true sense, it is much more than data; it is about insights and impacts and hence it is massive and messy. It has got the potential for solving business problems and creating new business opportunities. While Big Data is all about simply data, Internet of Things (IoT) is about data, devices and connectivity. Big Data and IoT are two sides of the same coin.

What is Big Data Analytics?

Big Data Analytics is the process of analysing big data to reveal hidden patterns, unique correlations, popular trends, customer (consumer) behaviour and other critical and useful business information. With BDA, data scientists and other professionals can analyse massive volumes of data, which cannot be done (or too complex and/or too much time-consuming) by conventional analytics and business intelligence tools. There is a huge amount of Big Data floating around everywhere. This massive amount of data need to be collected, preserved and analysed in order improve business, decision making and giving competitive edge over the competitors. Big Data Analytic(BDA) involves use of analytics to help the business; predicts many aspect of the business and provides competitive edge in understanding the mindset, trends and patterns of customers.

Different Between Big Data Analytics and Business Intelligence:

Big Data Analytics
Big Data

Business Intelligence (BI) involves all the components of the operation; from the time when data is collected to the time it gets accessed. BI deals with transformation of raw data into useful insights for analytical purposes. Analytics is the process performed on the data delivered by BI to generate meaningful insights with the purpose of decision driving and revenue (or impact) generation. Read more on Business Analytics vs Business Intelligence by Timo Elliott.

How Big is the Big Data?

Everyday business and consumers life creates 2.5 quintillion bytes of data per day. 90% of the data in the world has been created in the last two years only.

Big Data Analytics hadoop
Big Data Hadoop

Job & Career Opportunities in Big Data Analytics

There is a plethora of career opportunities for the professionals who have got sound knowledge and skill-set in the field of Big Data Analytics globally. In India the growing economy, rising number of startups, consumer driven market, e-commerce boom and billion-plus population are some of the important factors that will create huge opportunities in the Big Data Analytics field along with opportunity of earning Big Money.

Career in Big Data Analytics Tools
BDA Tools

Top Countries with Big Demand for Big Data Analytics Professionals

There was an increase of 26% in demand of Data Analytics professionals in 2015 worldwide; and it is supposed to reach the mark of 50% by 2019. Randstad reports that the annual salary hikes for Data Analytics (BDA) professionals in India is 50% more than other IT professionals. According to McKinsey Global Institute survey, USA will face a shortage of around 190,000 data scientists and 1.5 million Big Data Analytics professionals by 2018. As per as Forbes, the annual median salary of Big Data Analytics professionals in the US is USD $103,000.  In Australia, the median salary of Data Analyst

professionals are almost twice than the median salary of all other professionals, as per as the Skills and Salary Survey Report (2013) published by the Institute of Analytics Professionals of Australia (IAPA). UK is also facing a stiff challenge in meeting the demand of qualified and skilled BDA professionals. Fresh Data Science graduates can earn an average annual salary of £35,000; whereas candidates with 2 – 6 years of experience (or high-caliber fresher with strong knowledge of Big Data tools) can earn £75,000 to £120,000 per year (Randstad, Reed and other sources). Ireland is another country with a lot of job opportunities in the particular field. Dublin hosts the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) headquarters of IT and Technology giants like Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Apple, Yahoo etc., and hence demands of Big Data Analytics is quite obvious. Last but not the least, Canada is also a great destination for Data Analytics professionals. According to the recent IDC and Workopolis, there was a 7.8% increase in starting salary for Big Data graduates, with average salaries ranging from CAD $109,000 to $139,250 per year.

Career Scopes of and Salary Packages of Big Data Analytics Professionals in India

In India, the demand of people with good knowledge of Big Data Analytics is huge and currently there is a huge shortage. At entry level a Masters degree holder in Data Science, Data Analytics or related degree can fetch a pay package of 4 – 10 Lakhs per annum. Professionals with 3 – 6 years and 6 – 10 years of experience can expect annual salary of 10 – 20 Lakhs and 15 – 30 Lakhs respectively. With 10 – 15 years of experience it is also possible to earn an annual package of more than 1 crore. All the salary figures are as per as the reports by Analytics India. Please also see the median salary report in the Big Data Analytics domain in India by below.

Median Salary Report in the Big Data Analytics domain in India (Source:
Median Salary Report in the Data Analytics domain in India (Source:

Top Big Data Analytics Recruiting Industries for Professionals:

Forbes reported an increase of more than 80% in demand of Data Analytics professionals between 2013 and 2014. There was a 123.60% jump in demand for Information Technology Project Managers with big data expertise, and an 89.8% increase for Computer Systems Analysts in the same period. According to Forbes in 2015, the top sectors with the most job openings requiring big data expertise include Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (27.14%), Information Technologies (18.89%), Manufacturing (12.35%), Retail (9.62%) and Renewable Energy, Sustainability, Waste Management & Remediation Services (8.20%).

Pre-requisite Background for a Career in Big Data Analytics

Ideally, IT, Engineering, Mathematics, Statistics and Finance graduates are the hot favorites for job roles in BDA. But, if you have got a knack for numbers and possess good analytical skills – you can make a mark in this field. Graduates from non-IT background can opt for courses on MS-Excel, R, SPSS, SAS, Python and grasp Techniques of Regression, Predictive Analysis, Data Mining, Sentiment Analysis etc. to enhance their analytics knowledge. You will require to practice a lot. Another useful way would be to participate in various competitions hosted on sites like Kaggle and AnalyticsVidhya.

What Skill Sets are required for a role in Big Data Analytics?

In the Big Data Analytics domain, you are supposed to analyze numerical – so quantitative skills are essential. You should be an expert in handling software packages to optimize the operations and increase the operational effectiveness. Last but not the least, you must possess excellent managerial skills, creativity along with sound business acumen. You will deal with business intelligence, analytics (descriptive, predictive and prescriptive) and data mining tasks. Your work will be very critical to drive business decisions and continuous innovation.

Top Tools (Platforms) / Technical Skills in Big Data Analytics

Big Data Analytics
Big Data & Data Science

Hadoop: Hadoop is one of the most in-demand tools in the field. It is an open source platform for distributed data storage.

NoSQL: Common database that are often the source of data crunched in Hadoop. In the world of Big Data Hadoop and NoSQL are opposite sides of a virtual cycle.

Flume: it allows businesses to collect, aggregate and move massive amount of log data.

Chef: Chef is a configuration management tool for server management. It can integrate with public cloud systems like Rackspace, Amazon EC2, Google Cloud Platform, OpenStack, Microsoft Azure etc.

ABAP: a programming tool from SAP.

Pig: a platform for analyzing large data sets with ease, better optimization and extensibility.

HBase: an open source platform for non-relational and distributed database

Cloudera: One of the most popular next-generation data management and analytics platforms. It provides one of the fastest, secure and fastest Apache Hadoop-based software, support and services.

MapReduce: a programming model for processing and generating large data sets on a cluster.

Cassandra: NoSQL database system designed for handling large data sets across commodity servers.

PaaS: a cloud computing service that provides platform to customers to develop, run and manage applications in the cloud without the need of building and maintaining complex underlying infrastructure.

YARN: a large-scale, distributed operating system for Big Data applications.

Hive: another platform analyzing large data sets. First created at Facebook, Hive is a data warehouse system for Hadoop that allows easy data summarization, ad-hoc queries, and analysis of large data sets.

Top Courses and Study Abroad Countries

Now let’s have a look at the top programs that can accelerate your career in the field of the Data Analytics.

MSc Data Analytics
Master of Analytics

Top Master Programs in Data Science/Analytics in UK

  • MSc Web Science and Big Data AnalyticsUniversity College London (UCL)
  • MSc Advanced Computer Science (Data Analytics)University of Leeds
  • MSc Data AnalyticsUniversity of Warwick
  • MSc Business AnalyticsImperial College London
  • MSc Business Intelligence and Data MiningDe Montfort University
  • MSc Data ScienceRobert Gordon University
  • MSc Big Data AnalyticsSheffield Hallam University
  • MSc Data Science and AnalyticsRoyal Holloway, University of London
  • MSc Advanced Computer ScienceUniversity of Reading
  • MSc Data ScienceHeriot Watt University
  • MSc Data ScienceUniversity of Dundee
  • MSc Data EngineeringUniversity of Dundee
  • MSc Big Data and Text AnalyticsUniversity of Essex
  • MSc Data ScienceUniversity of Glasgow
  • MSc Big DataUniversity of Stirling
  • MSc Data ScienceCity University London

Top Universities offering Master programs in Data Science/Analytics in USA

  • Bentley University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Columbia University
  • DePaul University
  • Drexel University
  • Harvard University
  • Louisiana State University
  • MIT
  • New York University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Northwestern University
  • Rutgers University
  • Stanford University
  • UC Berkeley
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Connecticut
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Tennessee

Business Schools offering Programs in Big Data Analytics

  • Kelley Business School – Indiana University (MBA)
  • Sloan Business School – Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MS)
  • WP School of Business – Arizona State University (MS)

Top Universities for Big Data Analytics in Other Countries

  • University of Melbourne (Australia)
  • University of Sydney (Australia)
  • University of South Australia (Australia)
  • Monash University (Australia)
  • University of Technology Sydney (Australia)
  • University of Ottawa (Canada)
  • York University (Canada)
  • Simon Fraser University (Canada)
  • Saint Mary’s University (Canada)
  • Lambton College (Canada)
  • ESSEC Business School (France)
  • Toulouse Business School (France)
  • University College Cork (Ireland)
  • National University of Ireland Galway (Ireland)
  • University College Dublin (Ireland)
  • University College Cork (Ireland)
  • Dublin City University (Ireland)
  • National College of Ireland (Ireland)
  • University of Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • TU Munich (Germany)
  • TU Berlin (Germany)
  • Mannheim University (Germany)
  • Erasmus IT4BI (Trans-Europe)
  • Erasmus EIT ICT (Trans-Europe)
  • Erasmus DMKM (Trans-Europe)
  • Linkoping University, Institute of Technology (Sweden)
  • KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden)
  • National University of Singapore (Singapore)
  • Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)

Recommended Reading:

Fall 2017 Application Deadlines and Required GRE Scores for MS at Top US Universities

Big Data Analytics Among Top Trending Courses for Study Abroad

To sum up, Data Analytics is a booming field and it will continue to be in the coming years. It does not matter if you study in India, UK, US or any other country. If you are knowledgeable and skilled enough with Big Data Analytics Tools, you can get a handsome paying job anywhere in the world. A Masters degree in Big Data Analytics is the hot new trend; and you should also know about How To Get Job in Big Data Analytics. If you are unsure how to land up with a career in Big Data Analytics, here is a nice post on How to kickstart a career in Data Science.

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If you need advice regarding program or universities; or guidance regarding applications (and admission) for Masters in Data Science or Data Analytics – comment your queries below or reach me at