How Far Can You Go with Your Data Analyst Career?

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As more companies become reliant on their data and everything it has to offer, skilled data analysts are seeing demand for their expertise rise at extraordinary rates. And, since there are a limited number of professionals around, those with the right knowledge and experience command impressive salaries and gain access to a variety of perks.

Being a data analyst means you can potentially have access to an attractive and lucrative career path. But how far you can go depends on a variety of variables, so you need to plan properly if you hope to reach the upper echelons of the field. Here’s what you need to know.

 

Educational Qualifications

Often, job seekers (especially those at the beginning of their career) assume that having a targeted degree is the only way to reach the top. However, data analytics is a relatively new field, and many universities have only offered degrees in the field specifically for the past few years at most. This means that having education in a related field is sufficient for creating a strong career as a data analyst.

Typically, you’ll need a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree to access even entry-level positions, though numerous fields may qualify. For example, a range of IT or computer science majors may suffice as well as relevant specialties like economics, mathematics, or statistics, depending on the company that is hiring.

 

Experience Counts

As with any job, having experience is often the key to reaching upper-level positions. But exactly how much you need will depend on the company and their specific needs.

Since data analytics is a somewhat fledgling field, experience gained in other related areas may be applicable to a data analyst career. That means professionals who’ve been working in a range of IT areas might not have to start at the bottom if they are interested in transitioning into this arena.

However, direct experience is often the most surefire way to make progress on any career path, even if data analytics only makes up a part of your duties initially. This may mean volunteering for relevant projects if you can’t immediately secure a position dedicated to data analytics, giving you a foot in the door as you head towards your goals.

 

Industry Considerations

While the skills of a data analyst may apply in almost any industry, you may find it easier to move up if you select one and focus on it for the duration of your career. For example, staying within the financial field, such as banks and insurance companies, may make you particularly attractive to employers operating in those arenas, possibly more so than someone whose experience is focused on healthcare, as you’ll become familiar with the industry norms and jargon, making it easier for you to integrate into those businesses in particular.

Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t switch between industries. But, if you have one that is of particular interest, dedicating your career to it could be beneficial.

If you are looking for a new data analyst position, the professionals at Bayside Solutions can connect you with leading employers throughout the area. Contact us to see how our services can help you take the next step forward in your career.