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Where will big data hiring be focused in 2015?

The last year has seen huge growth in demand for professionals with expertise in big data analytics, as the technology matures and moves within reach of more companies. And this is a trend that's set to continue in 2015, with competition for the best talent set to be high.

A recent analysis of job listings and hiring data conducted for Forbes magazine reveals where much of the focus will be. Contributor to the publication Louis Columbus reviewed the database of WANTED Analytics, examining interest in positions requiring four key skillsets needed for effective big data analytics – data acquisition, data mining, data analysis and data structures.

It found demand for big data expertise across a range of key occupations saw strong growth over the last 12 months. Among the listings with the largest rises, IT project managers who have big data skills saw a 123.6 per cent increase in demand, while interest in computer systems analysts grew by 89.8 per cent.

As of December 2014, there were an average of 12 candidates per job opening, with big data openings hiring a Hiring Scale score of 76 out of 100. This indicates many businesses are finding it tough to locate staff with the expertise they need, as the larger the score, the more difficult it is for employers to fill positions.

When it comes to the technologies that applicants are expected to have expertise in, knowledge of Java was the most commonly-mentioned requirement, followed by an understanding of SQL and Hadoop.

However, the fastest-growing skills were familiarity with Python programming and Linux, which saw demand climb by 96.9 per cent and 76.6 per cent respectively compared with last year.

The data also revealed industries across all parts of the economy are seeing increases in demand for big data and data science expertise, as the technology proves its worth for a wide variety of use cases.

Mr Columbus revealed that as of December 29th, the industry with the highest demand for big data professionals was professional, scientific and technical services, which made up 27.14 per cent of all available job openings.

This was followed by information technology (18.89 per cent), manufacturing (12.35 per cent) and retail (9.62 per cent).