Navigating The Big Data ICT Training Process In The UK

big data qualifications
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Are you considering a career in big data? There are a lot of great opportunities in the UK. You can find a lot of potential job openings, but you need to navigate the ICT training process to qualify for a work visa.

Get ICT Training to Thrive in a Career in Big Data

Data is a big deal. Many of the world’s biggest companies – like Amazon and Google have harnessed data to help them build colossal businesses that dominate their sectors. Google developed a concept called BigQuery, which ensures big data is available to help their customers thrive. Data is the lifeblood of even the smallest business in the internet age, harnessing and analyzing this data can help be hugely effective in ensuring businesses make the most of their opportunities.

For this reason, a career in data is a popular route in the internet age. A lot of these jobs used to be clustered in the United States, but a growing number of big data careers are opening up in the UK as well.

The market for big data is growing rapidly. It is expected to reach $103 billion by 2027.

So, what jobs are available to those who study big data? With such a widely applicable qualification, you could end up in almost any sector. While it is much more likely that you will end up in a technical field, you could, in theory, put your data skills to use in almost any sector.

Even very traditional sectors, such as farming, use massive amounts of data to control multiple factors in their business. The Big Data in Agriculture initiative involves over 8,000 researchers, which shows how much demand there is for data scientists in these fields. If there is a sector you can think of, in some small way they will use data in order to maximize their business.

Online Courses

One of the most likely routes to a big data qualification is by using one of the many online learning academies that exist. In the modern age, global location matters significantly less than it ever has done.

Indeed many of the top higher education institutions have at least some of their courses available to take purely online. In technical fields such as big data, there is no need for students to ever physically sit in a classroom, and many of the global leaders that we will layout below offer at least some of their courses online:


EDX is one of the biggest players in online learning. They work with some of the industry’s biggest players, like Microsoft, to help produce detailed and engaging courses that can be taken from anywhere. With courses that cover areas from Microsoft’s Azure platform to Hadoop, EDX has a course for almost every big data specialty.

EDX’s courses come from a variety of big-name industry partners such as Microsoft as well as some of the biggest universities and education institutions in the world. Currently, there are active programs from Harvard and MIT. As well as taking the courses, you can also gain certificates to help to prove your skills. EDX’s Micromasters programs are recognized as proving the skill level of those who qualify.


Coursera, like EDX, is an online learning platform that offers a variety of big data courses. The offering of Coursera is similar to EDX in that it offers courses laid on by some of the world’s leading businesses and higher education institutions. Coursera also offer several certified courses so that you can prove your technical skills to any would-be employer

Many other online companies offer very similar options to both EDX and Coursera and it is worth having a really deep look into the subject before committing to a provider as there are a huge variety of options depending on what you want to do next.

UK Based Big Data Courses

Of course, if you want to study in the UK then this is very much an option. There are a variety of big data courses taking place all over the UK at many of the UK’s higher education institutions. Of course, if you’re looking to study in the UK and are from outside the EEA, you will need to apply for a Tier 4 Student Visa to be able to travel to the UK and begin your studies.

Below we have laid out some of the big names in the higher education industry who offer data courses:

University of Stirling – MSc Big Data

Edge Hill University – MSc Big Data Analytics

Birmingham City University – MSc Big Data Analytics

Several higher education institutions work alongside recognized industry names to lay on data courses, these include:

University of Derby, Salford University and Sheffield Hallam University – all of whom have partnerships with analytics software provider SAS

Then there are other options such as Queen Mary University of London’s MSc Big Data Science which is held in partnership with IBM.

As you can see, there are a huge variety of courses available for students who wish to relocate to the UK to study for their big data course. There are also great options for those who study in the UK to convert their studies into a longer stay by switching from their Tier 4 Student Visa to another UK visa such as a Tier 2 General Visa.

The vast majority of big data courses are aimed at postgraduate study, this means that they can still be used as an entry point for Tier 4 Student Visas. They also mean that you will need to have completed a degree first, normally with a score of at least 2:1. To apply for a Tier 4 Student Visa, you will first need to gain a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies or CAS. This will enable you to make an application to come to the UK to study.

ICT Training is the Key to Thriving in a Big Data Career

If you are interested in big data then there are many options for studying the subject. As we laid out above there are many options from online courses to physical classrooms that allow students to learn about the interesting and highly desirable skill of big data. As the world continues to be ever more data-driven, those with technical skills will be highly prized. Big data is an avenue that allows students to gain incredible insight on the world of data and arms them with the skills that they will need to forge a career in this challenging but rewarding career.


So, if you are looking into data ICT training in the UK, or have any general immigration enquiries, then do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our immigration lawyers – they will be more than happy to help.

Sean is a freelance writer and big data expert. He loves to write on big data, analytics and predictive analytics.