Why Hadoop and What Skills Should I Learn?

[important]This blog article was inspired by a reader comment from Tony asking about what is the significance of Hadoop and what specific skills he should learn.[/important]

Hi Tony, Hadoop permits the storage and processing of large volumes of data with cheap commodity hardware.  As everything becomes more digital in the information age, the high volume, high velocity, and high variety of data being created need to be stored in way that’s relatively cheap, fast, and easy.  Hadoop is open source software which acts like the “operating system” for the distributed HDFS data file system.  This infrastructure layer makes it feasible for folks to analyze and explore the large volumes of data with MapReduce and related programming environments for various business or social purposes, such as understanding customer behavior as well as to find a cure for rare diseases.

The need for processing data is generating demand for employees to work with the data.  Gartner predicts 4.4 million IT jobs globally will be created by 2015 to handle big data.

As far as what big data skills to learn during this time of transition, it should be a combination of not just what’s highest paying but also what areas you have passion for.  I see 3 broad groups of data specialists.

  1. Current system administrators can learn some Java skills as well as cloud services management skills to start working with Hadoop installation and operations.
  2. Current DBAs and ETL data architects can learn Apache Pig and related technologies to develop, operate, and optimize the massive data flows going into the Hadoop system.
  3. Current BI analysts and data analysts can learn SQL and Hive and R and Python to wrangle, analyze, and visualize the data collected within Hadoop.

Tony, which of these 3 areas would you be most interested in?

Ultimately, in my experience, people who do things in their career that they are excited about and have a passion for, can go farther and faster with the self-motivation than if they did something that they didn’t like, but felt like they needed to do it for other reasons.  You are awesome in already taking initiative in your career by doing your research including visiting my blog.

This current wave of “big data” has tremendous opportunities.  The deluge of big data is likely to persist in the future.  Tools to handle big data will eventually become mainstream and commonplace, which is when almost everyone is working with big data.  However, enterprising folks can still get ahead of the mainstream today by investing in skills and career development.  I realize this may sound like hyperbole, but this is the historical pattern that we have seen around how technology gets adopted and the resulting shifts in the workforce (e.g. printing press, radio, television, computers, internet, etc.).

Tony, I wish you and my other readers the best as you transform yourselves by learning Hadoop or other big data technologies.  I hope that my blog can help you along on your journey.  Feel free to ask other questions any time.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.hadoopwizard.com/hadoop-skills-learn/


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    • vikram on April 6, 2014 at 1:04 am


    I dont know anything about Big Data or Hadoop .Now I want to learnt those technologies can you guide me to learnt and ellaborate the concepts in that.

    vikram B

    • Paws on April 28, 2014 at 10:22 am


    I came to know about big data and analytics very recently. I am a web developer for the past 6.5 years. I am interested in big data related concepts. Please guide me what should I start learning to become a big data developer. Also, what are the skills essential for a Big data analyst ?

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      • Shirin on September 27, 2014 at 2:02 am


      I’m a data storage admin having some 6+ yrs of experience on SAN and NAS. I dont know anything about big data or hadoop, but I’m interested to learn it. What are the prerequisites to join this course?


    • tharun kumaar on June 7, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    hello sir
    can a graduate fresher like me with no previous experience get into Big Data-Hadoop world.

      • raghu on June 17, 2014 at 5:57 am

      hi tharun appreciate ur interest in BIG DATA , yes any fresher like U can get into this bigdata world but only with strong knowledge about each tool you r interested in.

    • Sharie on June 25, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Fantastic Jimmy for a wonderful article! Big Data is the way to go!

    Please keep posting such interesting articles. Really interested to know where the new tide in the industry moving towards,

    Vikram, Paws amd Tharun, I found this free course on hadoop-skills.com (http://goo.gl/oYfN2I) which just might be the thing which you are looking for.

    Hope this helps!


    • Manish Gupta on July 3, 2014 at 6:02 am


    I want to learn hadoop how to start it what are all concept i need to know..i just know asp.net c# .

    Manish gupta

    • Gunaseelan on July 21, 2014 at 5:36 am

    Hi Jimmy,

    I have more than 8 years of experience in JAVA and SQL and i want to learn Big Data techniques. Can you please guide me which book/forum i need to refer for Big Data concepts and programming.



    • venkatesh on August 11, 2014 at 3:34 am

    Am venkatesh working as a s/w tester and am a fresher.Just recently i joined in one of the MNC. As a fresher how i can start my learning skills in Hadoop. What are the areas that i want focus first. And i know only basics java and sql..please help me in this.


    • pavan on September 28, 2014 at 4:18 am

    i completed my b.tech and my specialization was civil . Now i want to join in IT industry . i heard that hadoop has a good future . i decided to learn that , can anybody tell me , what are the basics needed to learn hadoop administration course . kindly send me your answer , that will valuable to my carrier

    • Rohit Kumar Sharma on September 29, 2014 at 12:24 am

    Dear ,

    I dont have an exposure on JAVA , PHP , SQL and other languages, however have 8 years of exp in Compliace and Information Security . How Difficult or easy could it be for me to get sufficient exposure on it ?

    • Shafi on October 7, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    Hi All,

    I am working in TCS in BPO sector. I would like to move into IT sector, also I am interested in Hadoop Big data. But I do not have any knowledge in this and I don’t have any exposure to any of the languages.

    Please let me know if can still go ahead and study Hadoop. If no suggest me a good and easy course to do.



    • Siddharth on November 6, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    Hi All,

    I am working in BI company in ETL developement tools for 6 months in a startup . I have learnt the hadoop technology like PIG and HIVE through online course like Coursera .So my question is can I make a jump into Big Data Companies with just 6 months exp in BI?

    • Bharathi Durai Raj on January 20, 2015 at 4:33 am


    I am working in reputed company recently came to know about this course but I don’t have an exposure on JAVA , PHP and other languages, however have 7 years of exp in Unix Shell Scripting and Production support. How Difficult or easy could it be for me to get sufficient exposure on it ?

    • Seetham on February 9, 2015 at 1:02 am

    I am a mainframe professional but now i want to Learn Hadoop.
    I am not aware of Either Java , Linux or DW tools.
    I request you to Guide me how should i start with Hadoop and which one i got to learn first?
    Which is better to learn and quickly?Java or ETL or Linux?

    Kindly guide me regarding the same and let me know the perfect step wise Learning of Hadoop as i want to learn it at the earliest.

    Thanks and Regards,

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