Data makes the world go round. We use it to understand everything about our daily lives, from what we should eat to how disease is spread. Data tracks births and deaths and the strength of our economy. Most important to marketers and major corporations, data is able to predict the buying behavior of consumers.
If you like working with numbers and can translate them into language that anyone can understand, working as a data analytics specialist could be ideal for you. The professional demand is definitely there. Just follow these steps to your exciting new career!
Choose a Specialty
Different businesses have different needs for data analysis. You can specialize in market research, logistics, or finance. You may be called upon to use your analysis to reduce costs, source new materials, track sales, or make effective use of labor.
You might also consider specializing in a particular industry. If you love exploring the way people use social media, that’s one popular specialization with opportunities to work with either established companies or startups. Healthcare is another potential specialization, and in this case, the data you analyze will have real implications for human health.
Review Your Credentials
The minimum level of education for a data analysis specialist is a Bachelor’s degree. Most people in the field choose a degree in math, computer science, or statistics. If you hope to progress to a high level position, a Master’s degree may be required.
On top of a college degree, it’s also helpful to have a certification in data analysis to add to your resume. The course will cover data analytics as a concept as well as its application via programs like Excel and programming languages like Python.
You will encounter concepts including data visualization, predictive analytics, probability theory, statistical modeling, and risk management and learn how to apply them in a professional environment. Good certification courses also include a capstone element that provides some real-world training in the field.
Choose a Certification Course
If you already have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in data analysis, you may not need an additional certification course. But if you are changing careers or graduated from college more than ten years ago, going for that certification can ensure that you are up-to-date with today’s tools for data analysis.
The good news is that many certification courses are available online and can be done at your own pace. These courses may be administered by top colleges including Cornell, Penn State, and Georgia Tech or provided by specialists in online learning.
Choosing the right course can be tricky, however. If you are just getting started and haven’t fully decided on a specialty, go for an introductory program. Many courses are more specific and cover data analysis with programming languages Python, SQL, or R. Others focus on data analysis for social media, healthcare, or companies utilizing Lean Six Sigma management techniques.
Customize Your Resume
Once you are satisfied with your educational credentials, organize your resume to spotlight them. Include relevant education as well as a breakdown of special skills that support your application. For example, include all of the programming languages and software packages that you can utilize to perform data analysis tasks.
Also be sure to use language that incorporates the industry or specialty you want. Whether that’s finance, logistics, or market trends within Fortune 500, healthcare, or banking, include keywords that assure your potential employer of your expertise.
A capstone experience comes in handy here as you’ll be able to detail some real-world experience. If you don’t have a capstone included in your certification, seek out an internship program, freelance gig, or volunteer opportunity to improve your resume.
Finding the Job
Most job searches today are done online, and yours will be no different. As you search, use the keywords that describe your dream job to filter searches down to the most relevant results. Major job search websites may yield results, but it’s still best to start with sites that specialize in tech positions, such as ai-jobs.net, Big
Data Jobs, and Data Elixir
If your passion is connected to a particular industry, take time to research all of the local businesses within that niche. Search their job openings directly rather than through an aggregation portal.
Don’t Forget to Network
We’d like to think that all applicants for a position have an equal shot based on their qualifications and experience. But in reality, who you know matters.
Professional networking can not only help get your foot in the door, but also inspire confidence in the hiring manager during your interview.
Attend local gatherings of data analysis professionals or people in your industry of choice. Sign up for seminars given by leaders in the field. Engage regularly with articles published on the subject. Anything you can do to improve your name recognition in the field of data analysis helps. Don’t forget that this includes mentoring and supporting others on their professional journeys.
By following the path we’ve presented, you will be well positioned to accept a fantastic job in data analysis. It’s a lucrative field, with average salaries ranging from $60,000 to $138,000 per year. The jobs are plentiful, but don’t wait to get started. The numbers say that now is an excellent time to pursue data analysis!