Demand for big data skills is expected to create an average of 56,000 jobs in the UK a year until 2020.
A study by business analytics firm SAS and the Tech partnership employers’ network predicts that by 2020 the UK will have created 346,000 jobs for professionals with big data skills, a total increase of 160% since 2013.
By contrast, overall employment in the UK is set to rise by just 6%.
The report also revealed that demand for such roles has pushed the average salary to £55,000, which is 31% higher than the average IT position.
Despite the activity, however, there is still a significant shortage of skilled professionals, with three quarters of big data positions currently considered either ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ difficult to fill, according to the research.
Director of the Tech Partnership, Karen Price, said: "This report confirms that big data is a highly significant growth area for the UK economy, yet there is a real shortage of skilled people coming into the industry.
"With the number of available jobs in big data increasing every year, it’s vital that we attract new talent into the industry to ensure that businesses have the skilled staff they need to grow and be successful.
Mark Wilkinson, Managing Director, SAS UK & Ireland, says big data is the "new oil" of the information economy and believes that experts will act as refiners by extracting valuable insights.
He said: "SAS has already invested more than £100m in the UK to support universities and develop the next generation of big data professionals. This year we took it even further offering a free university edition of our software to all students – backed by online training and community support.
The research comes after another report by EMC found that 45% of UK businesses have no experience using data analytics platforms, while 62% do not understand customer data, particularly relating to ethics, responsibility and compliance.