Check Out the Highest-Paying Data Skills

According to Dice’s latest Salary Survey (PDF), those tech professionals who specialize in data warehousing and analytics can expect to pull down high salaries. While that isn’t exactly a shocking conclusion (so-called “Big Data” has paid big bucks for the past several years), it’s always interesting to see which data skills earn the most cash and perks.

With that in mind, here are the specialized platforms that prompt the highest average pay from employers, in descending order:

1. MapReduce

Salary: $125,009
Year-over-year change:
-0.3 percent

Database administrators, data scientists, and other tech pros tasked with storing and processing data rely on MapReduce as a vital tool. A programming model for processing large datasets in parallel, MapReduce can speed up projects (although such speed benefits are not necessarily guaranteed) and introduce added reliability by delegating operations to different nodes within a network.

2. HBase

Salary: $123,934
Year-over-year change:
5.7 percent

Modeled on Google’s Bigtable, and written in Java, HBase is a non-relational, distributed database that runs on top of the ever-popular Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS). Database administrators and data scientists rely on it as a fault-tolerant way to store large amounts of information, boosted by features such as compression, per-column filters, and in-memory operation.

3. Cassandra

Salary: $123,459
Year-over-year change:
2.2 percent

Cassandra’s open-source data-management system can handle data across multiple datacenters and servers. While that sounds like a lot of other tools on the market, experts prize Cassandra for its low latency, especially at scale.

4. Apache Kafka

Salary: $122,728
Year-over-year change:
N/A

Developed by the Apache Software Foundation, and written in Scala, Apache Kafka provides a unified, low-latency platform for handling data-feeds in real time. The platform can handle hundreds of megabytes of writes and reads per second; its design, with an emphasis on clusters, is also notable for its fault tolerance.

5. Elasticsearch

Salary: $120,002
Year-over-year change:
N/A

A Java-based search server built on Lucene, an open-source information retrieval software library, Elasticsearch offers a RESTful web interface and schema-free JSON documents. It is paired with Logstash, a data-collection and log-parsing engine, and Kibana, an analytics and visualization platform, into what is known by many as the “ELK Stack” or “Elastic Stack.” Companies rely on this stack to provide insights into both structured and unstructured data.

6. Pig

Salary: $119,118
Year-over-year change:
-4.2 percent

Birthed within the bowels of Yahoo’s research division as a way of executing MapReduce jobs on huge datasets, Pig (which relies on a specialized language known as Pig Latin) lets developers create programs that run on Hadoop.

7. Solr

Salary: $119,032
Year-over-year change:
0.1 percent

Solr, a Java-based enterprise search platform, is similar to Elasticsearch in that it originated in the Apache Lucene project. Features include faceted search, database integration, rich document handling, and, of course, text search. Larger companies leverage Solr because it’s considered highly scalable.

8. Hadoop

Salary: $118,625
Year-over-year change:
-2.5 percent

At this point, Apache Hadoop is the elder statesman of Big Data. Even if it hasn’t achieved the ubiquity that some pundits predicted years ago (a December 2015 study from Dresner Advisory Services, for example, had only 17 percent of responding companies saying they stored and managed data via Hadoop), it’s still a platform that many firms rely upon for running data applications on large hardware clusters. For those companies looking for improved ease-of-use and faster data processing, various software vendors continue to maintain proprietary Hadoop distributions.

9. Hive

Salary: $118,589
Year-over-year change:
-1.3 percent

Hive, a database system built atop Hadoop, includes a specialized variant of SQL that allows data experts to create tables and store data across a distributed Hadoop file system. As with other platforms on this list, the emphasis is on performance optimization.

10. RabbitMQ

Salary: $116,909
Year-over-year change:
N/A

RabbitMQ, written in Erlang and built on the Open Telecom Platform framework, is open-source message-broker software (a.k.a., message-oriented middleware). It features client libraries for all major programming languages.

Image Credit: Mooshny/Shutterstock.com

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