Slideshow 2015's Top Stories: 10 Best Paying Big Data Career Skills

  • December 18 2015, 6:30am EST
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10 Best Paying Big Data Career Skills

Big data and cloud experts earned the best U.S. technology paychecks in 2014, according to's salary survey results. But which 10 technology skill sets deliver those big salaries? Here are the top 10.

10. Hadoop

Apache Hadoop, the open source platform for distributed storage, has caught on for big data projects across the globe. Hadoop providers like Cloudera, Hortonworks, and MapR technologies have rapidly growing customer bases. And that has created a strong need for Hadoop experts across the corporate IT, consulting and service provider landscapes. The average salary for a true Hadoop professional is $121,313.

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9. Flume

Apache Flume allows businesses to collect, aggregate and move massive amounts of log data. It’s particularly popular for moving data into a Hadoop cluster for big data deployments. The average salary for a true Flume professional is $123,186.

8. Chef

Chef is a configuration management tool that makes it easier to manage servers. It can integrate with public cloud systems like Rackspace, Amazon EC2, Google Cloud Platform, OpenStack and Microsoft Azure. The average salary for a true Chef professional is $123,458.


ABAP (Advanced Business Application Programming), created by SAP, works with numerous SAP applications. More recently, SAP has brought ABAP and SAP HANA together with features that give developers the “best of both worlds,” the company claims. Demand for ABAP skills remains high, with a true ABAP professional earning an average salary of $124,262.

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6. Pig

Apache Pig is a platform for analyzing large data sets. Pig is known for ease of programming, optimization opportunities and extensibility. The average salary for a true Pig professional is $124,563.

5. HBase

HBase is an open source, non-relational, distributed database modeled after Google’s BigTable and written in Java. It’s part of the Apache Hadoop project. It provides fault tolerant storage and quick access to large quantities of sparse data. The average salary for a true HBase professional is $126,369.

4. Cloudera

Cloudera is a version of Apache Hadoop that targets enterprise-class big data projects. Thee former engineers from Google, Yahoo and Facebook joined with a former Oracle executive to launch the company in October 2008. The company raised $900 million in early 2014 – backed by Google Ventures, Intel and other big names. The average salary for a true Cloudera professional is $126,816.

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3. MapReduce

MapReduce is a programming model for processing and generating large data sets on a cluster. Like many of the skill sets on this list, it’s closely associated with the big data boom. It’s useful for such apps as web access log stats, machine learning and statistical machine translation, among others. The average salary for a true MapReduce professional is $127,315.

2. Cassandra

Apache Cassandra is a NoSQL database system designed to handle large amounts of data across commodity servers. It offers high availability with no single point of failure. The NoSQL clusters can span multiple datacenters. The average salary for a true Cassandra professional is $128, 646.

1. PaaS

Platform as a service (PaaS) allows customers to develop, run and manage applications in the cloud without needing to build or maintain the underlying infrastructure. Not by coincidence, a growing number of big data applications are deployed atop PaaS clouds. The average salary for a true PaaS professional is $130,081.Image: iStock

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Encore, Encore

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