Frenkiel also notes the importance of passion, and not just in data jobs, but in every career, "At the end of the day what matters is passion. Life is too short to work somewhere where you don't have the passion for what you do."
Networking, networking, networking
This might go for any job, but networking can go a long way in helping shape your career in big data. You'll want to engage with the industry by leaving your desk and heading to conferences and other meetings that focus on data. Meeting professionals in the industry and staying on top of the latest technology through social media, conferences and personal meetings can not only help you in your current job, but can help you with future prospects as well.
You'll need to stay on top of your game when it comes to big data. Try out new and interesting software and other tools, and stay current on sites like GitHub, where you can get free copies of software. This way you'll know what works and what doesn't work, for your company, and you won't find yourself left behind when a new toolkit is released.
You don't need to consider going back to school to get into big data either, because it isn't really dedicated to just IT or technology. Data touches nearly every department in a company, so your background in business or marketing can help you just as much as a background in computer science.
Frenkiel suggests "hacking your way into proficiency," which means heading to Amazon to find a book that will teach you SQL. From there, as long as you can back up your experience and knowledge, you can consider a career in big data. "If you're in marketing operations or sales operations or a project manager you can definitely pick up these big data skills now, without having to go into a classroom," Frenkiel says.
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