So you’ve been itching to grow within your organization or switch jobs. You did your research, and you want to become a data analyst. It makes sense, demand for data analysts is booming, and it’s a top career choice. But there’s just one problem. You don’t have the technical skills, experience, or a college degree to get an entry-level data analyst job.
We have good news for you – it is possible to become an entry-level data analyst without experience or even a college degree. This article will explain how to explore a career in data analytics, and provide resume examples that worked for Pathstream students!
Why it’s possible to get an entry-level data analyst job with no previous experience or college degree?
Many employers are open to hiring people without prior experience. We’ve seen it happen. There are a couple of reasons that make data analytics industry easier to enter:
- The data industry is rapidly growing, which means more data job opportunities.
- Technology generates more data than ever, but it means nothing if we don’t have data analysts organizing it into actionable insights. With demand projected to grow by 12.3% in the next decade (Burning Glass Technologies), companies need data analysts. Now is the perfect time to career jump.
- Transferrable Skills. Suppose you’re a team lead at Walmart and have excellent communication skills that you developed. Guess what? That’s a transferable skill that data analysts need to present their findings to various stakeholders. Many soft skills are essential in data analytics. You most likely already have some of the skills you need to get an entry-level data analyst position.
How to become an entry-level data analyst
Identify your transferable skills.
It’s easy to forget that you most likely have a solid skillset that you developed during your career. Sit down and audit the skills you currently possess. Think about the skills you identify and how they might transfer to a data analytics career.
Learn the technical skills.
We recommend determining what skills you need by reading “Top skills data analysts need in 2022″. Then look for courses to teach you these skills. You can opt for a self-paced approach and sign-up for free classes online. If you’re looking for a program with more guidance but still flexibly pace, consider certificate programs.
Consider a certificate program.
You don’t need a data analytics degree to become a data analyst, but you need to build your technical skills and foundational knowledge. The best way to do this in a short period is by enrolling in a certificate program. The best programs are project-based and provide career service resources to students.
- A hands-on curriculum equips you to master the skills through practice
- Projects help you build a portfolio to showcase your experience to potential employers
- Programs with career guidance prepare and guide you through the job search
- These programs are more affordable than going back to college
Protip: If you’re concerned about the program’s cost, look into your employer’s education benefits. You may be eligible for tuition reimbursement through your employer, or your employer might cover the expense. Find out if you’re eligible here.
Develop a portfolio using your projects.
If you have no data analytics experience, you need a portfolio. Employers want to see proof that you can apply what you know to real projects. You can build a portfolio by using the projects from your certificate program, freelancing, or volunteering your data skills to a small business or nonprofit.
The types of projects that you should include in your portfolio are those that demonstrate your ability to:
- Scrape data from different sources
- Clean up raw data
- Visualize your findings
- Pull actionable insights
Set up alerts for entry-level data analyst roles.
If you’re looking for opportunities outside of your organization, then set up alerts on job boards. This step is often overlooked but makes your life easier! You can do this on Indeed, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Wayup to notify you when a data analyst job that meets your criteria is posted. You can also create a shortlist of companies you would like to work for and schedule time on your calendar to monitor their job boards. Connect with people who work at your target companies and set up an informational interview. Remember, most jobs are filled through networking, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
Focus your effort on the top industries hiring.
If you aren’t particularly passionate about entering a specific industry and want to learn more about which industries are looking to hire more data analysts, check out this shortlist of 5 industries hiring data analysts and even included the top 3 companies hiring in each sector.
Update your resume.
Once you’re confident a job posting is what you’re looking for, edit your resume to highlight relevant experience aligned to the job requirements. Make sure you proofread your resume and ask someone to provide feedback.
Here are some more resources to help you:
Prepare for your first data analyst interview.
Great job; you lined up a few interviews! This last tip is to help you set yourself up for success and prepare to ace the interview. Most companies will set up a 30-40 minutes phone screen with their recruiters or hiring managers. This interview helps them get a sense of your background and potential fit for the role. We put together a few blog posts to help you stand out during your interview for an entry-level data analyst role.
Are you ready to start your new career?
Whether you’re changing jobs or looking to get promoted within your organization, Pathstream can help you become an entry-level data analyst. We designed the Data Analytics Certificate Program to help you expand your knowledge of data analytics and learn how to use the right tools for a data job. If you’d like to learn more about the certificate – including a detailed syllabus, you can visit our Tableau Data Analytics page here.
Check out and click here to download our resume examples below!