These are the areas of concentration Microsoft is most in need of right now, according to its jobs blog:
Data Mining/Machine Learning/AI/Natural Language Processing
Business Intelligence/Competitive Intelligence
Analytics/Statistics – specifically Web Analytics, A/B Testing and statistical analysis
Microsoft Careers Jobs Blog: The Top Three hottest new majors for a career in technology
No surprises there. See “The Coming Data Explosion” for more on the subject of big data.
Update: See also: The Big Data Explosion and the Demand for the Statistical Tools to Analyze It “If The Graduate were remade today, the advice to young Benjamin Braddock might be ‘just one word… statistics.'”