For those that have an urge to use data to improve the world around them, a data analyst career path is the perfect fit.
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Data analytics is a growing field with huge demand from businesses looking to bring on new analysts. Regardless of your educational background and work experience, there are data analyst roles out there that could be a great fit for you.
Learn more about the data analyst career path and how to land a job as a data analyst below.
In short, a data analyst is someone who analyzes raw data. However, the type of research you’ll be doing on a daily basis depends on the career path and industry you choose to work in. Typically, you’ll be working with company data to look for relevant patterns and trends that can be used to make business decisions. An entry-level data analyst role is a great way to break into the tech industry, regardless of your previous work experience.
Generally, data analysts break into 3 different types of roles,
Operations analysts use data to help make informed decisions about how to improve internal company processes.
Read more about Operations Analyst (Coming Soon!)
Product Analysts & Business Analysts:
Product-focused analysts like Product Analysts and Business Analysts explore data patterns to analyze market trends and make product and marketing decisions.
Read more about Business & Product Analyst (Coming Soon!)
A knack for data science means getting into the weeds with a large amount of structured and unstructured data. You will answer challenging questions or build models to power smart products like chatbots, recommendation engines, and other artificial intelligence tools.
Read more about Data Scientist (Coming Soon!)
Learn more about what it means to be a data analyst in JobStep’s What is a Data Analyst Career Path guide.
Your job responsibilities as a data analyst generally involve assessing data and using it to help make decisions for your business.
However, what you do on the day-to-day will vary significantly depending on your company of choice and the role type you choose.
Below are some examples of how data analysts’ responsibilities vary by the team they work on:
|Starting||3-5 Years of Experience||Career Growth|
|Operations Analyst||$40K||50-$70K||Operations Manager ($100K)|
Senior Business Analyst ($100K+)
|Data Analyst||$70-$90K||Junior Data Scientist ($90k-$100K)
Data Analyst ($90k-$110K)
Senior Data Analyst ($90k-$110K)
|Data Scientist ($120k-$200K)|
Keep in mind, data analyst salaries vary drastically depending on where you live and work from.
Check out these resources on salaries in the top data analyst job markets as you decide where to work:
Believe it or not, you don’t need a data-oriented college degree to land a data analytics role. JobStep has helped former arts majors, engineers, sales representatives, and journalists switch career paths (link to switch career paths blog here) into data analysis.
There really is no ‘typical” degree that companies look for when hiring data analysts. Many organizations are totally fine with applicants getting their data science or analytics education via an online course or boot camp. You will need to demonstrate that you’ve learned and applied analytics skills with real projects. It’s easier than ever to run your own data analysis projects at home.
To break into an entry-level operations analyst role
(Typically starting at $55K in Major Metropolitan cities)
To break into an entry-level data analyst role
(Typically starting at $70K in Major Metropolitan Cities)
(COMING SOON!) Learn more about what it takes to be a data analyst in our Data Analyst Education Requirements guide.
You’ve made a wise decision picking data analytics career path.
Now, it’s time to start applying
In the first half of 2021 alone, JobStep applied to 1200+ analyst positions. Here’s what to expect with the application process:
Once you’ve submitted an application,
Data Analyst Sample Resumes
Here’s how to optimize your resume & cover letter to make sure you get the highest number of interviews.
Your data analyst resume will need to show a potential employer that you have experience analyzing data and using it to make a conclusion. Employers usually like to see experience working in team-settings in previous roles and experience analyzing data with SQL and excel. Your experience doesn’t have to be from paid work experiences. You can demonstrate having worked in SQL in side projects or from taking online courses.
Data Analyst Sample Cover Letter
You should convey a passion for asking (and answering) challenging questions through the use of data sets in your cover letter.
Don’t spend too much time worrying about your cover letter. Based on JobStep’s research, non-profit employers are the only ones who are likely to try to read every applicant’s cover letters. Everyone else will only read them if they have extra time and see something in your resume they’d like more context on. Otherwise, they’ll skim it quickly right before the interview to come up with questions to ask you. If an employer requires a cover letter, you are 44% more likely to get an interview than for a job that doesn’t require one.
An analyst job interview usually requires you to show your analytical skill to study data to look for trends within a team environment.
The average number of interview rounds for a data analytics role is 4. You can anticipate questions to test your knowledge on:
Read on for more detailed interview questions and answers in the Data Analyst Job Interview guide (Coming Soon!).
Data analysts are among the most sought after job types in many industries.
The following industries are among the most popular:
Work with the experts at JobStep to
Land a data analyst role in a booming industry
The following list are job titles where you’ll likely do data analyst work. With the growing popularity of data roles in general, brands may use “analyst” in their job titles even if there’s not much data analysis being done. As a result, you’ll want to choose the roles you apply for strategically.
Most Common Job Titles
Entry-Level Business & Data Analyst Roles
Typically Starting in the Operations & Marketing Teams
Specialized Business Analyst Roles
Data Visualization & Storytelling Roles
Data Science, Machine Learning, and Data Engineering Roles
Requires the most technical skill set
What Does a Data Analyst Do?
What Cities Are Best for
Data Analyst Roles?
Data analytics is a rapidly growing space within countless industries and companies. With remote jobs being available, some areas that hire data analysts are found in more tech-driven areas with a larger tech industry. These cities include San Francisco, NY, Boston, LA, Austin, Washington DC, Seattle, Denver, and Chicago.
What Degrees and/or Skills
Do I Need to Be a Data Analyst?
As mentioned above, JobStep has helped job seekers with a variety of backgrounds and degrees break into the data analyst career path.
Traditionally, the most popular data analyst degrees are economics, engineering, and business. There is also substantial demand for smart analytical individuals that many companies will hire who got educated via online courses. We recommend data analytics and SQL via online courses from programs like Mode Analytics SQL School, Khan Academy, and SQLZOO.
There are three primary ways one can become a data analyst:
Learning data analytics on the job. The most common business functions that intersect with data analytics are sales, marketing, customer success, and revenue operations.
You can also build your skills by:
Getting a bachelor’s degree in a technical field, such as statistics, science, mathematics, engineering, computer science or IT. Internships in college in data analysis or collegiate machine learning courses may help you land a role directly as a data scientist.
Data Analyst vs Data Scientist: What’s
In many cases, data analyst roles and data science roles are similar. In fact, many would consider a data science job as a career in data within the data analyst field. Overall, a data science role may fall under the umbrella of machine learning, data engineering, predictive modeling, and business intelligence (oftentimes using data analysis)
A data analyst is usually analyzing existing data about a business or product specifically.
A data scientist is thinking about what data to collect, how to collect it, what kinds of questions to ask. Data science can also include more predictive modeling and often requires more heavy coding in the Python programming language or R.
Are you wondering if you’re qualified for a data analyst role, or want to find out how to get qualified?
Here’s how to optimize your resume to make sure you get the highest numbers of interviews.
Your data analyst resume will need to show a potential employer that you have experience analyzing data and using it to make a conclusion.
Emplowers usually like to see experience working in team-settings in previous roles and experience analyzing data with SQL and Excel.
Your experience doesn’t have to be from paid work experience. You can demonstrate having worked in SQL in side projects or from taking online courses.
In your cover letter, you should convey a passion for asking (and answering) challenging questions through the use of data sets.
Don’t spend too much time worrying about your cover letter. Based on JobStep’s research, non-profit emplowers are the only ones who are likely to try to read every applicant’s cover letters. Everyone else will only read them if they have extra time and see something in your resume they’d like more context on. Otherwise, they’ll skim it quickly right before the interview to come up with questions to ask you. If an employer requires a cover letter, you are 44% more likely to get an interview than for a job that doesn’t require one.