Data Analyst Career Paths: How to Land a Lucrative Career in Data Analytics
At the beginning of 2020, the amount of data on the Internet was approximated at around 44 zettabytes. And further analysis has proclaimed that by 2025, the amount of data generated per day should be somewhere near 463 exabytes or 463 billion gigabytes
A zettabyte is a unit of digital measurement that is equal to 1 trillion gigabytes. But, to put it more plainly, currently it’s estimated that 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every single day. No matter the terminology used, that’s simply a lot of information being created, shared, and stored each day.
With all of the information online today, this makes data analytics an important factor for a number of industries, especially for those hoping to create quality customer engagement and successful business models. As such, careers in data analytics are in high demand.
Data analytics careers also have an impressive job growth outlook of over 25 percent. And this means that jobs within the data analytics space are expected to be in increasing demand for the foreseeable future.
In this short guide, we’ll explore the nature of data analytics careers and how you can get started in this growing industry.
What Exactly is Data Analytics?
Data analytics is the process of analyzing data in order to come up with solutions, identify trends, and to answer specific questions. In the world of big data, understanding data is a huge part of keeping focused business goals. And as data analytics is a broad field in itself, it’s often broken down into the particular process and goal that it serves.
Primarily, data analytics is broken down into 4 domain categories, i.e., diagnostic, descriptive, prescriptive, and predictive. And each area functions to provide insightful information for a specific goal.
For example, diagnostic analytics, in particular, works to answer questions about why things happened over a specific timeline. And this information is used to come up with solutions for future practices.
How to Become a Data Analyst
The educational pathways to becoming a data analyst are as diverse as the field itself. And many analysts begin with a genuine interest and passion for crunching numbers and searching for solutions.
Beyond a healthy interest in data analytics or data science, if you’re looking to get your foot in the door in the data analytics space, enrolling in a data analytics bootcamp is a great first step.
Bootcamps teach the basics of data analytics such as coding language, geo-mapping, dashboarding, and regression analysis.
Upon graduation from bootcamp, many aspiring data analysts are able to land entry-level and mid-level career positions. Or they’ll go on to continue their education with an accredited degree program while simultaneously working in their desired field.
Attaining a bachelor’s degree in some form of computer science is often considered a preferred educational path for anyone interested in pursuing data analytics. But you should note that you do not necessarily need a 4-year degree to get started in the field.
Most students achieve an associate’s of applied science degree (AAS) in a related computer science field and go on to land lucrative careers with impressive salaries. However, those who pursue a bachelor’s degree are often attempting to land jobs in focused fields of analytics.
For those looking for the most earning power, attaining a graduate degree in a focused field of data science or computer science will elevate your earning potential to the highest levels. And many prospective students who choose this route end up being data engineers, data scientists, or business intelligence analysts.
Data Analyst Job Titles
As mentioned, there are a variety of jobs within the data analytics space, and all positions hold above-average salaries with the potential for advancement. However, depending on the business and position requirements, a data analytics job may include a variety of duties that are also industry-specific.
For example, data analysts within the financial sector often have advanced knowledge of banking systems and metrics that are specific to financial management.
A few of the most common data analytics jobs include the following:
- Data analyst
- Marketing analyst
- Operations analyst
- IT systems analyst
- Data analytics consultant
- Quantitative analyst
- Data engineer
- Data scientist
You should also note that some data analytic titles often have different names depending on the industry they operate within.
As such, job titles such as “healthcare data analyst” or “intelligence analyst” for government entities would most likely require industry-specific knowledge. And a “business analyst” would have inside knowledge on practices regarding growing a business and the like.
Projected Job Outlook
Overall, jobs within the data analytics space are expected to see above-average growth exceeding 25 percent. And as more development occurs within the tech sector, more data analyst jobs are being added each year.
Additionally, with the recent upswing in remote work, more information is being stored online than in recent history. Subsequently, the need for cloud analysts is expected to be in the highest demand going forward beyond 2022.
All in all, with even a basic education in data analytics, landing an entry-level position as a data analyst can be easily attained. And many of these positions start at a salary level greater than $70,000 per year.
The Ideal Career Path
In order to secure a job in the data analytics industry, a background in coding, Python, SQL, and having above-average data visualization skills are considered the perfect recipe for becoming a data analyst. And to reach this level of education, a data analytics bootcamp is often considered the perfect starting point.
Once you’ve learned the basics, continuing your education will largely be at your discretion, depending on how far you want to advance your career. But if you want to reach the highest earning potential and enjoy a salary of $95,000 per year or greater, education at the Master’s degree level is generally the preferred path.
Data analytics is evolving at an exponential rate alongside the advancement of technology. As such, anyone entering the field of data analytics needs to be prepared to keep up with industry trends, tools, and the technology that facilitates maintaining a career within this industry.