Pros and Cons of In-House Big Data Jobs - dummies

Pros and Cons of In-House Big Data Jobs

By Jason Williamson

Being the in-house big data expert — be it corporate IT or within a business unit — is a great path to consider if consulting or working for a product company isn’t for you. Working directly for a company has its own unique cultural, professional, and career path consideration — both positive and negative.


Working on the inside has a lot of benefits over working for a consulting firm or a product company. Working directly for a company allows you to go extremely deep within that firm’s business.

Here are some advantages of working for a company directly:

  • You’ll have a very unique skill set within the organization. In almost any in-house big data role, you’ll be the minority even among technologists.

  • You’ll have the opportunity to go very deep within an industry. Staying put in one place gives you a chance to gain deep industry experience. This can happen as a consultant, to be sure, but it will almost always happen for in-house talent.

  • You’ll be highly visible. Big data is extremely important to driving innovation and value. Any project you work on will have a high degree of management visibility and likely high reward for success.

  • You’ll have a chance to build something from the ground up. Most big data teams within a firm are small. As such, no matter your level, you’ll have a significant impact on how the team grows and matures.


Working directly for a company has its downsides. These cons are largely related to the type of culture you prefer to work in.

  • You’ll be a lone wolf. You may not be a “one-man wolf-pack” like Zach Galifianakis’s character in The Hangover, but you’ll certainly be in the minority. That means you’re the expert, and career development may be a challenge.

  • You may be pigeonholed. Some people who work within a company’s IT department can feel stuck after a number of years. If you like frequent change, this may not be the place for you.

  • You have limited earning potential. Money isn’t everything, but it is important. Consultants tend to have higher earnings, so be ready for not getting compensated as much as your consulting friends.