Main image of article The Highest-Paid Big Data Skills
Yes, “Big Data” has become one of those buzzwords, along with “cloud,” that’s way overused these days. But it’s clear that employers want tech pros who can analyze massive datasets and deliver actionable intelligence: According to the most recent Dice Report, firms in several states consider data-analytics skills a critical resource, one that they’re more than happy to shell out big bucks to obtain. Dice found that a full 24 percent of survey respondents in Seattle had Big Data skills—an unsurprising twist, considering the number of data-hungry firms (such as Amazon and Microsoft) that call the surrounding region home. Close behind it was Portland, with 22 percent, followed by Silicon Valley with 20 percent, Baltimore/Washington, D.C. (and its heavy contingent of federal agencies) with 19 percent, and Atlanta with 17 percent. Check out the latest analytics jobs. Whether startups and tech giants on the West Coast or federal contractors in Washington, D.C., there’s clearly a demand for analytics abilities. But which of those abilities pay the best? Here’s Dice’s list of the top seven, by average annual salary: Cassandra: $128,646 MapReduce: $127,315 Cloudera: $126,816 HBase: $126,369 Pig: $124,563 Flume: $123,186 Hadoop: $121,313 That doesn’t include perks or other incentives, of course. “Big Data” might be a buzzword… but it’s one that can prove lucrative for those with the aptitude for crunching it.

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Image: Maksim Kabakou/