How to Kickstart a Career as a Data Analyst

How to Kickstart a Career as a Data Analyst

Are you looking at starting up a career path in Data Analytics? Well, look no further, we’ve taken out time to put together the necessities for a career path in Data Analytics.

Organizations in several industries are now increasingly relying on data to make major business decisions. Various decisions like; what products to develop, new investments to make, which new markets to enter, as well as decide on new or existing customers to target.

The role of data analysis can now empower business leaders to make decisions based on facts, trends, and statistical numbers. With so much information out there, businesses need to be able to navigate through the noise, and get the right information, so that they can make the best decisions and strategize for growth. They can also use data to identify inefficiencies and other business problems that need to be addressed.

In these organizations, the job of the data analyst is to assign a numerical value to these important business functions so performance can be assessed and compared over time. But the job involves more than just looking at numbers: An analyst also needs to know how to use data to enable an organization to make more informed decisions.  

If the role of a data analyst sounds like a good fit for you, here’s what you need to know.

Why You Should Consider a Career Path in Data Analytics

A degree in data analytics would impart you with important transferable skills, such as project management, critical-thinking, and problem-solving. It will open up opportunities across industries as data managers, data consultants, consumer and market knowledge managers, chief data officers, big data architects, and business and many more. Below are key reasons why you should consider this career path.

  • Data Analytics is Significant for Top Organizations

Business managers are now making their business decisions based on data-led insight. Data specialists have a tremendous impact on business strategies and marketing tactics. Hence influencing business activities immensely

  • High Demand

According to IBM, the number of jobs for data professionals in the U.S will increase to 2,720,000 by 2020. Demand for knowledgeable data analytics professionals currently outweighs the supply, meaning that companies are willing to pay a premium to fill their open job positions. This is an obvious benefit of a career in data analytics

  • Gain a Range of Related Skills

A career in data analytics will open you to a range of related skill set that is necessary for your role as a data analyst. Skills like project management, critical-thinking, problem-solving, and many more. The great thing about being an analytics specialist is that the field encompasses so much more than simply knowing how to work with data.

  • Job Opportunities on the Rise

Data analyst roles are particularly in demand within the data science field. This is because businesses want to manipulate and cleanse their data to build reports that give a clear overview of their business. Quantitative analysis is an important skill to analyze big datasets.

Education Outlook

To obtain a position in the field, you must have knowledge of databases, the Internet, software, troubleshooting, statistics, reporting, and analysis. Once you’ve completed your program, you must be able to solve problems, work with clients, and think analytically. University education is essential for this field of work.

Some degrees required for a career in data analytics are:

  • Mathematics
  • Finance
  • Statistics
  • Economics
  • Computer science

Key Skills Required

  • Programming Languages
  • Data Visualization
  • Data Warehousing
  • SQL Databases
  • Database Querying Languages
  • Data Mining, Cleaning and Munging
  • Advanced Microsoft Excel:
  • Machine Learning

Other Skills Required

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Mathematical ability
  • Programming languages, such as SQL, Oracle and Python.
  • Analytical & Interpretation skill; Ability to analyze, model and interpret data.
  • A methodical and logical approach.
  • The ability to plan work and meet deadlines.
  • Accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Data entry

Changing Career Path & How to Become a Data Analyst

While it is essential to have a degree in the field, a data analyst requires quite a bulk of skill sets which can as well be acquired if you do not have a degree in the field or any other related. This applies especially if you are considering a change of career to the field.

Step 1: Complete Minimum Data Analyst Education Requirements

Most entry-level data analyst jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree. Higher-level data analyst jobs usually guarantee higher pay and may require you to have a master’s or a doctoral degree. You should consider taking courses such as mathematics, statistics, research, and computer science.

Step 2: Get an Internship Placement

If you’re a fresher with no industry experience, an internship is one of the best ways to kickstart your career as a data analyst and this would most likely land you a job role after the internship. An internship would offer you a chance to get industry experience while working with experienced Data Analysts and so much more to learn (hands-on) within a few months that will shape your professional career.

Step 3: Take an Online Course and Become Certified

This is very necessary for you if you are considering a swap to this field and do not already have a background in the field. You can further dig deeper online with courses and learn step by step from the basics and so it is easy to understand. You will also learn to work with real-life databases through practical examples.

Step 4: Work on Projects

I believe that the best way to earn perfection in what you have learned is by putting your knowledge into practice. Nothing shows that you know anything until you can do something with what you have learned. So… get engaged and start working on a project. This would even give you ideas about the different possibilities and challenges faced by data analysts in their day-to-day engagements.

Step 5: Build your Digital Portfolio (Online Profile)

Finally, you’ve worked so hard to learn all these new concepts. You should complement all that effort with learning how to showcase your skills. Get familiarized with platforms to build your portfolio; Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and most especially LinkedIn

You need to build your digital presence, showcase your potential and demonstrate the skills you have acquired during your data analytics journey. Let the world know!

Salary Outlook for a Data Analyst

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of data analysts including computer and information research scientists is projected to grow 11 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations.

How much do data analysts earn? Data analyst salaries vary, depending on education level, years of experience, industry, location and skills. The average annual salary for data analysts in the United States is $70,033 per year

Are you looking at starting a career in Data Analytics? Then this is for you!

The Cedar STEM and Entrepreneurship hub in partnership with Lonadek and Microsoft, has just launched an initiative on October 31, 2020, to help 25 million people worldwide acquire the digital skills needed in a COVID-19 economy – to drive Global Skills that will help them thrive in pressing times like this.

Among the free courses offered is one for Data Analytics that covers the essentials for the field. Get free access to the Software Developer course +International Certification.

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