01/10/2013 03:34 pm ET Updated Mar 12, 2013

Get Ready -- Big (Social) Data Means Big Jobs

I believe that 2013 is the beginning of a global jobs surge. An HR consultant I know said it was like a switch was flipped over the holidays -- all of a sudden, job postings were increasing and some of her clients were getting two and three job offers a day.

It's about time. Companies are realizing they can't shrink their way to greatness. It's time for growth and it seems to finally be happening.

In the world of big data and the social enterprise, look for an explosion. Social media is maturing into a viable business process, thanks to the inherent value of intelligence gleaned from big data. In fact, Gartner had this to say at the close of 2012:

"By 2015, 4.4 million IT jobs globally will be created to support big data, generating 1.9 million IT jobs in the United States," said Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner and global head of Research. "In addition, every big data-related role in the U.S. will create employment for three people outside of IT, so over the next four years a total of six million jobs in the U.S. will be generated by the information economy."

They add: "But there is a challenge. There is not enough talent in the industry."

Look for traditional high tech companies like HP, Oracle, IBM and more to get more aggressive on the certification front, both internally and externally. For example, HP's Vertica unit, which focuses on big data and unstructured data, recently launched a certification program for technology pros. HP believes that many companies have been caught off guard about the people and talent needs with big data.

So get your geek on and get ready for an avalanche of job opportunities -- but only for those who are preparing now.

I'm looking forward to the upcoming IBM Connect 2013 -- I'll be in learning mode (#alwaysbelearning) and in presentation mode. I'll be presenting with Mark Fidelman and Sandy Carter on social, big data, mobile and the cloud on January 28, 2013. Tweet me if you'll be there -- would love to connect.

Beverly Macy is the co-author of The Power of Real-Time Social Media Marketing. She also teaches Executive Global Marketing and Branding and Social Media Marketing for the UCLA Extension. Email at