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Unexpected Career Paths That Use Big Data

Big data is no longer simply a buzzword that gets tossed around the boardroom. It is a tangible, beneficial part of our technologically driven world, and with the rise of big data came the obvious career paths for data scientists and engineers. While these careers still remain solid options for those wanting to capitalize on big data’s now nearly ubiquitous presence in the world around us, there are other options for those who might not be passionate about data science and engineering.

With big data now permeating so many different aspects of our lives, it was only a matter of time before new career paths opened up that were more than just big data adjacent. While some of these industries offering up big data-related jobs aren’t too surprising, there are a few that might surprise anyone.

Financial Trading

Big data has changed the way the world of finance works on a fundamental level. Every day, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) involves itself in huge amounts of data, both on the giving and receiving end. The sheer amount of data generated by the NYSE daily has the potential to give traders valuable insights into potential shifts in markets that might not ever have been noticed without analysis.

While film and television tend to depict traders as living glamorous lifestyles with more money than they know what to do with, the fact of the matter is that FX traders actually lose a good deal of money. It is a job that requires the spinning of many plates including managing risk and the expectations of clients, predicting how markets will move, and dealing with the fallout when markets behave in unexpected ways. However, this is a job that can be made infinitely easier with the application of big data.

Though Artificial Intelligence has been used in the financial sector since the 1970s, big data has opened up a whole new way for machine learning and AI to be used. Now, you don’t need anything more than a finance degree to reap the benefits of big data, as AI has the ability to parse the huge data pools into useful information without the need for in-depth human analysis. While familiarizing yourself with how big data is analyzed and implemented in the world of finance is certainly beneficial, you don’t need to go back to college for a full-blown degree to make it work for you.

Analytics

In order to take full advantage of the big data revolution, a career in analytics is one of the more straightforward approaches you can take. The benefits of an analytics background when dealing with big data are innumerable, as an analyst of huge sets of data is doing the same thing as they would with smaller sets, but on a much larger scale. While AI and machine learning are able to quickly sift through the data lakes for relevant information, a human analyst still possesses the capability to think laterally about data and might discover trends a computer wouldn’t.

Big data analysts have quite the list of perks when it comes to their chosen profession. They can realistically hold out for a job at whatever company suits them if they have the appropriate background, as there are not enough analysts to go around to all of the corporations that need them. Big data analysts also have an immense amount of decision-making power within a company, and generally don’t run into a glass ceiling that might slow their career.

If you don’t have a passion for the tech industry, you can go to any number of other industries that offer careers to people with the requisite knowledge of big data. Whether you want to help farmers use sensor data to reinvent their business, or work with a taxi company to plan more effective routes that increase profit and reduce emissions, being able to analyze big data will get you where you want to go. As a big data analyst, the world is your oyster.

The Legal World

One of the more surprising areas that has made use of big data is the legal industry. Predictive analytics has long been tied to big data and the careers therein, but the idea that big data could upset the legal industry didn’t seem all that likely. However, the opaque world of law is seemingly ready for disruption via big data.

Big data is transforming the legal industry by helping consumers to find legal assistance that will be most beneficial to them. It inherently drives more informed decision making, no matter the field it is applied to. However, many traditional legal firms have been slow to adopt big data solutions to help solve their problems. Because of this reticence to get on board the big data train, law firms are beginning to see the disruption of their industry in earnest.

Companies like LegalZoom are able to provide businesses with affordable legal assistance by embracing the changing technology around them. By taking large pools of data, they are able to quickly direct consumers to the help that they need with minimal outside noise. This is beneficial to both the consumer and the company, and it is all thanks to big data.

Big data doesn’t have to be an esoteric, unknowable thing anymore. Its uses are now so varied that you can find an interesting career involving big data in nearly any field. Big data is no longer the future — it is the present. We have every opportunity to make it work to our advantage if we choose to seek them out.

About the Author

Avery Phillips is a freelance human based out of the beautiful Treasure Valley. She loves all things in nature, especially humans. Leave a comment down below or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or comments.

 

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