Data Analysts are essential to any company that leverages information gleaned from large populations of data to make informed business decisions. Careers in this technology sector used to be extremely selective and available only to graduates with advanced information or data-focused degrees. Today, employers have laxed these prerequisites to attract and retain top talent with experience in related industries.
While there’s rarely a one-size-fits-all approach to breaking into a new career, there are two critical steps in launching your career in tech as a data analyst.
- Pursue further education. Certifications are one of the best ways to expand your technical skills, especially for candidates without advanced technical degrees. Before getting hired, you’ll need to demonstrate skills in organizing and managing data. At Pathstream, our primary data analysis program is the Tableau Data Analytics Certificate.
- Build your portfolio. If you double down on your technical skills, you should have something to show for it. Beyond credentials, an employer will want to see relevant examples of projects you’ve completed. This may include a scenario where you were required to organize an inefficient database or create an easy-to-understand visual presentation of data in a chart or graph.
Salary expectations for Data Analysts in tech
If you’re considering a career as a data analyst in tech, it’s important to understand your potential career trajectory and salary expectations. Like most careers and industries, market-rate salaries vary by geography, a company’s annual revenue, and a candidate’s credentials. Beyond years of experience, more opportunities are available to candidates who commit to a specialization or complete accredited certification programs in their field.
For 2022, Burning Glass Technologies estimated that the average salary for an entry-level data analyst in tech will range from $89,000 to $107,000. Remember that your career path does not have to end as a Data Analyst in tech. Experienced analysts with the right mix of experience and credentials can pursue several alternative careers in tech.
Advanced career pathways for Data Analysts in tech
Data Scientists utilize advanced processes to help companies gather and assess large or complex data sets. They often design custom tools and algorithms to process data for clients or employers. Data Scientists typically possess an advanced degree in a subject such as computer science, statistics, or a related field. At times. Data Scientists are tasked with project management and must learn to lead a team of data or business analysts.
Learn more about the unique differences between a Data Analyst and a Data Scientist.
Data Modelers are responsible for developing visual interpretations of data. These professionals must collaborate with business leaders and analytics team members to ensure the model is optimized for the end user and will deliver predictable results. Data Modelers typically have degrees or have completed certification programs in applied mathematics, information science, or computer studies.
Candidates interested in working in data might consider pursuing a career in database administration. Database Administrators organize and manage data, oversee access control, maintain data security programs, and customize the database per the needs of their client or company. Employers typically require Database Administrators to hold a certification from a leading software or application vendor to demonstrate the necessary skills to manage large info databases.
A Database Manager supervises junior database associates’ daily activities, assesses a client’s data storage needs, and delivers tailored tools and solutions for managing information storage. Database Managers are considered senior team members and will need to show experience in designing, developing, and producing database reports, as well as education in management information systems, computer science, or a related field.
Business Intelligence Analysts
Business Intelligence Analysts are specialized professionals who analyze datasets to create reports and projections that help companies make informed business decisions. These highly valued associates are bridges between business operations and complex technical operations. The most successful candidates offer a mix of skills, including data management and analysis, communication with non-technical team members, and a strong understanding of how complex datasets can inform strategic actions.
[Source: Robert Half 2022 Salary Guide; Technology and Burning Glass Technologies]
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