What College Degree You Need for a Career in Big Data

career in big data

There is a lot of buzz around big data nowadays, and it is growing day by day. With ground-breaking technologies emerging at a constant pace, a huge volume of data is generated from diverse sources. Organizations have to deal with the challenge of storing and analyzing data in huge volumes. Big data solutions help them manage this increasingly voluminous flow of data better. Careers in big data and data management are increasing with every passing day.

As there is a clear shortage of expert professionals, job offers in big data are becoming more lucrative. If you are eyeing a career in big data, the best way to demonstrate your proficiency is to acquire the right qualifications. Big data jobs are all about understanding data flow and structuring. Globally, most entry-level data analyst jobs need you to have a bachelor’s degree. So, if you are a graduate, you are already in the game. But it’s not all that simple.

You can develop your data analysis skill without a degree and land a job. That’s possible and doable. However, with a degree, you can have a structured way to build the right skills. It also allows you to network with professionals in the field, which is the key to career growth. The chances of finding more job opportunities are high with a degree than without one.  

Eligibility for a Big Data Certification

As mentioned, there are no specific career degrees and requirements to become a big data professional. A survey of the industry reveals that most of the people in the industry are armed with bachelor’s or master’s degrees. These degrees are in mathematics, finance, statistics, economics, science, and engineering.

If you have studied in a different field but want to explore the possibility of a career in big data, there is a way out. Enroll in big data training courses. They can help you learn the skills and techniques needed to become a big data professional.

Possible Majors for Data Analysts

These are some degree options that train you in basic data analysis skills. These majors can be a good fit if you are looking toward a career as a data analyst.

Data Science

With the demand for data professionals increasing, more colleges are adding bachelor’s degrees in data science to their courses. This degree program offers courses in computer science, statistics, and mathematics. Some programs allow specialization in areas such as finance, business, and economics.

Computer Science

Computer science programs emphasize the statistical and analytical skills of students. That’s why these programs are a good fit for aspiring data analysts. Depending on the program you choose, you may also get exposure to algorithm designs, artificial intelligence concepts, and programming languages. They can add immense value to your resume and take you closer to a dream career in big data. 

Applied Mathematics or Statistics

A degree in mathematics prepares students for careers in number crunching, which is what big data is all about. Applied mathematics and statistics have curriculum content that prepares you for real-world applications.  Your skills can be utilized in big data to make data-driven decisions. The programs might include subjects such as programming languages or statistical software packages.

Finance or Economics 

If you are interested in a career as a financial analyst or business analyst, a degree in finance or economics is certainly highly recommended. These degree programs include projects in statistics and analysis and business analytics. 


At first glance, it may not seem practical. But, a degree in psychology is now regarded as an excellent foundation to start a career in big data analytics. Psychologists use data to explain and even predict human behavior. You can boost your value with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and exposure to math and stats analysis. It will place you in a better position for a career in big data. 

Management Information Systems (MIS)

An MIS degree can put you in an advantageous position in the competitive big data job scenario. Likewise, the degree will provide you with a behind-the-scenes look at databases and how they work. So, this could come in handy as a data analyst. Most MIS degrees typically cover topics like database design, data management, and business theory. Indeed, some programs help you specialize in data analytics, data management, and business intelligence.

A deep understanding of subjects like statistics, linear algebra, and calculus can help you surge ahead of others. Also, try to sharpen your skills by enrolling in computer classes that include database and statistical software. If you already have a specific industry in mind for a big data career, join some industry-specific coursework. Many universities offer MIS degrees with a particular focus on finance, health care, and other fields.

Should You Go for a Master’s Degree in Data Analytics?

A bachelor’s degree is the preferred qualification for an entry-level job in big data. However, some companies, especially the industry movers and shakers, prefer employing candidates with higher degrees. The most preferred is a master’s in data analytics or a related field. A recent survey showed that nearly six percent of big data job descriptions required a master’s degree. That percentage doubles for jobs as analytics managers and is even more for data scientists and advanced analysts. 


Companies like higher-level degrees since they look for specialist data analysts and big data career openings. Higher degrees also come with bigger salaries. Don’t worry if you have already completed a degree unrelated to the data analysis scene. You can still make it big as a big data analyst by signing up for big data career-specific courses. A relevant degree is a must for those looking to advance their career in data analytics or want to move to data science. By sharpening your skills in terms of theory and practical knowledge, you could set yourself up for success.

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