Big data's role in the global economy is transforming businesses and driving growth. By 2020, experts predict that there will be more than 2.7 million big data and analytics jobs open to qualified individuals--that's 400,000 more positions than there are today. This urgent need for skilled professionals is the primary reason that big data careers pay big money: These qualified professionals with specific skill sets and experience aren't easy to find. Salaries for big data careers are increasing just as quickly as the demand for skilled professionals. Many of these jobs report compensation well into the six-figure range and above market pay in order to compete in the talent war, according to research from IT jobs site Robert Half Technology (RHT).