The job of data analytics is promising. The average salary of a top data analytics job can be more than $100,000. That’s nearly two times more than the median salary in the United States. Meanwhile, there are many different types of data analytics jobs you can choose from.
But before you jump on the data bandwagon, it is important to consider your existing abilities and skills. Not everyone has the capability to pick up and learn all of these skills at once. By understanding your abilities, you can find a job that best suits your needs.
Table of Contents
1. Data Analyst
The job of a data analyst is to take the raw data, analyze it, and report his or her findings. This can span from finding patterns in graphs for large companies to combing through social media sites looking at user sentiments. Data analysts are responsible for knowing how to program in order to obtain the necessary information.
And since they are required to report their findings, it is necessary that they have excellent communication skills.
Data analytics typically need a Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree in computer science, mathematics, statistics, or engineering.
However, some companies are beginning to customize their hiring process to find people with less formal training. For example, some data analysts have backgrounds as business professionals. It is becoming more common for companies to hire business-savvy people and train them on the job.
2. Data Scientist
The difference between a data scientist and a data analyst is that the job of a data scientist requires more advanced mathematics skills. A data scientist must have knowledge about machine learning, pattern detection, clustering algorithms, computational statistics, natural language processing, deep learning, artificial intelligence, and so on.
Also, most companies are looking for people with at least a Master’s degree in computer science, statistics, engineering, mathematics, or machine learning.
3. Data Architect
The data architect is responsible for designing the architecture of the company’s data systems. They do this by making sure that all of the information can be shared across different departments, and that each team will have access to the correct databases.
Typically this job does not require a degree or extensive education, but some companies may look more favorably on applicants with Bachelor’s degrees in computer science or the applied sciences. Many companies now expect applicants to have extensive experience as well.
The data architect will be required to use programming and database skills, so having an understanding of these concepts would be helpful even if you do not earn a degree related directly to this field.
4. Data Engineer
The job of a data engineer is to take the analysis that the data scientists and investigators find and implement it into usable reports. This already requires some programming skills, but having knowledge about databases, distributed systems, and analytics engines would help you stand out and move up into a data architect position.
5. Machine Learning Engineer
The machine learning engineer is responsible for taking data from many different sources and creating algorithms that will predict future outcomes. There are also jobs in business consulting for this position since it requires knowledge about not only programming but statistics and modeling as well.
The education requirements are a Master’s degree in computer science or the mathematics field as mentioned before. The majority of companies expect applicants to have this level of education, but some will hire those with Bachelor’s degrees.
6. Business Intelligence Analyst
A business intelligence analyst is responsible for taking the data that the companies have collected and displaying it in a way that is easy to understand. They do this by creating dashboards and reports, and often build customized databases and engines to give them more control over how they create these visualizations.
Having a degree in fields such as computer science or MIS is was previously required in order to get this type of job, but many companies in the tech industry are now looking for people without degrees. For example, Facebook hires business intelligence analysts with 1-2 years of work experience and a high GPA.
7. Logistics Analyst
This position usually requires a Bachelor’s degree in computer science, mathematics, engineering, or the applied sciences. The logistics analyst will use predictive modeling to create algorithms that figure out how to best distribute goods around the world. This is one of the most specialized types of data analysis jobs, so those with degrees have an edge on getting these highly competitive positions.
8. Business Systems Analyst
Business systems analysts are responsible for taking the business’s needs and creating a system that will meet those needs. They do this by collecting requirements, testing applications to see if they fit, and making sure all the data from their clients is organized.
Once again, a Bachelor’s degree used to be required to get this type of job, but now many companies will look more favorably on those with extensive work experience. This means that you can gain much of the required skills by working in related jobs, without going to college.
Many people who want to work as a business systems analyst decide to get an MBA or Master’s degree as well, but it is not necessary as long as you have extensive experience.
9. Quantitative Analyst
A quantitative analyst is responsible for designing, testing, and implementing the mathematical models that are used in the company. They will use their skills to predict what might happen in the future, either to generate revenue or reduce costs.
This position requires a strong educational background, especially since many people want to get into this type of work, and the competition is very high. Most companies will require at least a Bachelor’s degree in statistics, mathematics, physics, or computer science.
Those who are interested in this type of job but do not want to go back to school can look into getting an Associate’s degree as well as extensive experience. Even with just an Associate’s degree, you will have a much easier time finding work.
10. Marketing Analyst
A marketing analyst is responsible for using data to drive marketing strategies. By collecting and analyzing information, they will be able to determine how a product can gain more users, or what kind of advertising would work best for the company’s target audience.
This position requires some degree of understanding of business principles, but most companies will also look at your educational background when hiring. Bachelor’s degrees such as accounting, finance, or economics are all useful degrees to have for this type of job.
Companies also look at work experience, and any jobs where you gained experience in marketing would be a good addition to your resume. Some companies even prefer candidates who have worked as interns during their studies.
11. Operations Analyst
An operations analyst is responsible for making sure that all of the company’s internal processes are as efficient as possible. They do this by looking at customer needs and expectations, then designing systems to meet those standards.
This type of job does not usually require a degree, since it will often be given to someone within the company who has shown themselves to be capable. The most important thing to show in order to get this job is previous experience.
You will need to have a thorough understanding of all of the company’s systems, and you will probably be involved with working on new ideas as well. Anyone who wants to work as an operations analyst should start by gaining experience, then moving into an entry-level position, which they can then support to become an operations analyst.
12. Project Manager
A project manager is responsible for making sure that all of the company’s projects are completed on time and under budget. They will work closely with clients to determine what needs to be done, then they will assign tasks out to their employees.
Since you will often deal directly with clients, it is important that you have excellent communication skills. If you are more technically minded, you may be able to work as a project manager by also having extensive experience with the day-to-day work of data analytics.
Large companies within the industry are most likely to hire people with degrees in business or project management. You will need lots of relevant work experience since this is an excellent position for advanced degree holders.
It is important to note that the larger the company, the more likely they are to hire someone with a degree and lots of prior work experience. For those who want to get into the industry but don’t know if data analytics is for them, try getting an entry-level position as a project manager or analyst first, then move into a more specialized area.
There are common types of data analytics jobs, and as you can see they all require a different set of skills. No matter what type of data analytics job you are interested in getting, make sure that you have an excellent educational background and lots of relevant experience.
Even if you aren’t sure that you want to work as a data analyst, by gaining experience in the industry, you will have more options when it comes time to apply for jobs.