Data Analytics is currently an in-demand profession. More data than ever is being created, and this trend is likely to continue. A survey published by Statista found that 149 zettabytes of data are expected to be created by 2024. Along with this onslaught of data comes the corresponding need for qualified Data Analysts to make sense of it all.
But how hard is it to become a Data Analyst in 2022? And how difficult is it to be a good Data Analyst? This article will take a look at some of the common challenges of becoming a Data Analyst, as well as working in this profession. It will also provide some tips for those who are interested in launching a career in this hot field.
Why are People Pursuing a Career in Data Analytics?
Many exciting and high-paying career opportunities are currently available for aspiring Data Analysts. So far in 2022, the number-one-ranked job in America is Information Security Analyst. In addition to competitive salary rates, there are many other reasons people are gravitating toward a career in data analytics:
- It’s becoming increasingly rare to find a business that doesn’t invest in data-driven analytics. In order to remain competitive in 2022, investing in employees who can work with big data is essential for most businesses around the globe.
- Since Data Analysts are one of the most sought-after professions around the globe, even entry-level positions offer great perks, such as good benefits or stock options.
- Data Analysts are decision-makers. They analyze and make sense of data in order to help companies make important business decisions. Many candidates find this profession to be empowering for this reason.
- The skills necessary to be a successful Data Analysts, such as Python training and experience creating data visualizations, are transferable skills that can also be used in other industries.
- A career in data analytics is a great way to improve on math skills like numerical analysis, linear algebra, and applied statistics. In addition, Data Analysts also commonly rely on other skill-sets as well, such as business intelligence, marketing, sales, or finance. Working in this field is a great way to become a well-rounded, marketable employee well-versed in a variety of skills.
Challenges of Becoming a Data Analyst
While there are currently many job openings in the field of data analytics, breaking into a role at a new company or organization can present challenges:
- Data jobs at large companies or organizations can be demanding in terms of workload and deadlines. While these positions typically offer higher pay than would be provided at smaller companies, they sometimes come with long hours or additional stress.
- As the technological landscape continues to rapidly change, it’s crucial for Data Analysts to stay abreast of the most current business intelligence platforms, data visualization software, programming languages, and other tools required to handle data.
- Skilled Data Analysts must be able to perform many roles within an organization. This is why most Data Analysts are multi-taskers who know how to balance multiple demands and meet deadlines.
- Some aspects of Data Analytics are tedious. Data cleansing requires intense focus, as does data modeling. Overlooking mistakes in data can have serious consequences down the line, and result in misleading or incorrect conclusions.
Tips for Pursuing a Career in Data Analytics
It’s a given that those who are considering embarking on a data analytics career have a passion for working with data. In addition, there are several other core skills and educational components that can help Data Analysts begin a professional journey:
- Undergraduate study. For many, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in data analytics or a related field is a great first step toward a career working with data. While not all colleges and universities offer a major in data analytics, many students choose to study a related field that teaches some related concepts and skills, such as computer science, math, statistics, or business.
- Graduate study. In addition to the bachelor’s degree in data analytics, a popular option for learners hoping to gain a more specialized and advanced set of skills is to pursue a master’s or doctorate degree in this field. Master’s degrees typically take between 12 and 15 months to complete. Since graduate study is more specialized than an undergraduate degree in data analytics, students often get to choose an area of focus in line with their career goals and electives that reinforce this trajectory. For example, some institutions offer graduate study in cybersecurity, financial analytics, or consulting.
- Certificate in Data Analytics. Another great way to learn more about data analytics is to study for a certificate in this field. There are many perks to this form of learning. Most certificate programs are twelve months or less in duration. This makes certificate study a good option for those who don’t want to spend four or more years enrolled in college courses but still seek out industry-relevant training. In addition, certificate programs help learners specialize in one or several aspects of data analytics. For example, data analytics certificates sometimes focus on just one topic, such as R or Python programming languages, or provide a more robust overview of a topic, such as data visualization.
- Real-world experience. In addition to a solid educational background, it’s also important for Data Analysts to be familiar with real-world examples of how data is being handled in various industries, such as government, business, and finance. This kind of knowledge helps paint a larger picture of the role data analytics plays within existing structures and indicates to employers that a candidate not only understands hypothetical analytic situations, but can also work under pressure.
- Technical knowledge. Most employers seek out Data Analysts who bring a certain level of technical expertise to the table. While some jobs provide training to help employees learn programming languages or data visualization software, others search for candidates who already have this training. The following are some of the most important technical skills to brush up on if you are looking to start a career in data analytics:
- Programming languages like SQL, R, and Python
- Data preparation and cleansing techniques
- Statistical analysis
- Creative skills. Great Data Analysts balance their technical training with the creativity required to bring their findings to life in a form that others can understand. This is why training in data analytics software and programs such as Tableau, Infogram, or Plotly is another important skill for aspiring Data Analysts. In addition to using these programs to help visually represent their findings, Data Analysts also must know how to clearly present their conclusions, which often requires practice and feedback.
Is a Career in Data Analytics Right for Me?
Simply having a passion for numbers or an eye for statistics isn’t enough to necessarily make you a good Data Analyst. This career path involves many skill-sets, competencies, and areas of expertise, as well as some personal characteristics. If you are interested in this profession, first ask yourself:
- Am I a curious person by nature?
- Am I interested in problem-solving?
- Am I interested in performing research?
- Am I good at collaborating with others?
- Am I comfortable with presenting information?
- Am I a logical and analytical person?
- Am I detail-oriented?
- Am I deadline-driven?
- Am I creative?
- Am I well-organized?
The more of the above skills you possess, the more likely that you will find a career in data analytics to be a good match for you. And for those who may not have formal programming or data visualization training, don’t be discouraged; many great learning opportunities are available to help you break into this in-demand field.
Start Learning Data Analytics with Hands-On Classes
An important component to pursuing a career as a Data Analyst is education. If you are interested in starting to learn about big data, or wish to update your skill-set, Noble Desktop’s data analytics classes are a great starting point. Courses are currently available in topics such as Excel, Python, and data analytics, among others skills necessary for analyzing data.
Those who are committed to learning in an intensive educational environment may also consider enrolling in a data analytics or data science bootcamp. These rigorous courses are taught by industry experts and provide timely instruction on how to handle large sets of data. Over 110 bootcamp options are available for beginners, intermediate, and advanced students looking to master skills and topics like data analytics, data visualization, data science, and Python, among others.
For those searching for a data analytics class nearby, Noble’s data analytics Classes Near Me tool provides an easy way to locate and browse the 400-plus data analytics classes currently offered in the in-person and live online formats. Course lengths vary from three hours to nine months and cost $119-$60,229.