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Data Scientist: Rebekah Harvey talks Big Data and career opportunities

‎07-03-2013 02:44 PM - edited ‎10-31-2013 01:51 PM

Big Data - HP Discover 2013 Las Vegas

(photo courtesy: Karl Kovacs)


By Rebekah Harvey, Ph.D., Education - Training and Performance Improvement


RebekahHarvey.jpgRebekah Harvey serves as the Director of Worldwide Product Management for Hewlett-Packard’s ExpertOne program with responsibility for training, certification and learning product strategy and implementation. Recognized by IDC as a market leader in IT skills training and certification, ExpertOne spans the entire HP portfolio with the industry’s most complete range of IT skill development offerings.


I recently had the pleasure of talking with John Furriier and Dave Vellante on The Cube.  My interview with them came at the end of a great week at HP Discover talking with HP customers, partners and certified professionals about the future skills that are critical for the new style of IT.


When looking at the new style of IT, there are several critical things to consider depending on where you are in your career. 


New to IT


If you are new to IT, it's critical to develop not only your technical skills but also your business skills.  If you don't understand the business implications of your work and if you can't articulate that value, you will never be viewed as critical to your organization's long-term success.  From a skills-development perspective, invest in some basic business classes. If you don't know how already, learn how to read a financial sheet, learn about how marketing organizations are driving IT innovation and demand, learn what matters to the organizations you support, and fully understand and share widely the value IT brings to your organization. 




Mid-Career Professionals


If you are mid-career, chances are you are working in a technology silo in an architect, integrator or administrator role in servers, storage or networking.  Based on my own research and based on what I heard from our customers and partners, deep technical skills in a specific technology silo will be in limited demand in the future. For the administrator roles, in particular, there is a very real and immediate need for what I will call "generalist" skills.  There is tremendous demand for system admins who have skills that cut across the data center to drive optimization and efficiency. 


In addition to generalists, a new kind of role is emerging with the evolution and maturation of "Big Data."  The role of Data Scientist has been discussed repeatedly in the blogosphere. More informed individuals than I have explained the differences between data scientists and business intelligence analysts.  Needless to say, by all accounts, the job pool looks deep and the number of competing swimmers, few.  If you have a penchant for data, an ability to understand the business value of that data, and the ability to put that together into a compelling business story, you may just be able to write your own ticket.


There are many programs available to help you ramp up your skills, cross-train to new skills, and learn more about what kinds of skills will be critical to support the new style of IT.  One such program is the ExpertOne program from HP, so check us out at  


Join the conversation:

@HPExpertOne Twitter

HP ExpertOne  LinkedIn group

HP ExpertOne Google+ community

HP ExpertOne Enterprise community (forums, knowledge base) 

About the Author


20+ years in IT, including data center architect, pre-sales engineer, certification development and management. Passion for technology, gadgets and the outdoors. Always looking for ways to blend them together in one big adventure.

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