Is it actually possible to become a data analyst without experience? Well, it is very much possible to become a data analyst with no previous experience.
The worldwide data analytics market was estimated at $49 billion USD in 2019. That is more than double the value in 2015. From 2020 to 2023, the market is expected to increase at a 30% annual rate.
This tremendous industrial expansion is immediately mirrored in the data analytics employment market. The World Economic Forum lists seven high-growth emerging professions in their Jobs of Tomorrow Report (2020), with data and artificial intelligence (AI) displaying the greatest growth rate at 41% per year.
Finally, a thriving data market means a plethora of employment prospects for data professionals—and, for the time being, demand vastly outnumbers supply.
Thus, If you are looking for a career swap and you are still in doubt, I want you to read through this article as I will be explaining the major steps it will take to become a data analyst with no experience by answering some of the questions that might be bugging your mind like;
- Who is a data analyst
- What steps do you need to take to become a data analyst?
- How can you increase your chances of getting hired?
- What kinds of companies (and salary) can you expect to work for?
- What next?
Who is a Data Analyst?
These days, a lot of companies receive a great amount of data that can be analyzed and used to optimize their strategies. In other to better understand this large amount of data, these companies require the service of a professional Data Analyst.
Hence, the work of a data analyst is to process these varying data about the customers, products, or the company’s performance as such give out useful indicators to the decision-makers.
The information provided by the data analyst helps the company to make informed decisions such as knowing the kind of product to be offered to the customers according to their needs, a strategy to be adopted by the marketing team, or the production process they need to improve to drive more sales.
Data Analyst Qualifications
Becoming a data analyst requires both skills and academic qualifications. let’s delve into these two categorically.
Data Analyst Academic Qualifications:
To easily land an entry-level job in data analysis, you need to graduate with a high GPA from a data analysis program. A degree in mathematics, economics, or statistics from a well-reputed university can be enough to give you the opportunity you need in data analysis even if it’s not your specialty.
You need at least a bachelor’s level degree to get into most entry-level jobs as a data analyst. But to advance in your career as a higher-level data analyst and earn more you will need either a master’s degree or doctoral degree.
Thus, if you are interested in data analytics, you should get a master’s degree in either Data Science or Business Analytics. That will be helpful and give you a boost.
You don’t have the time to go back to university to get a degree in other boosts your career in data analytics? Don’t worry, you can enroll in an online course. There are numerous online courses that can give you the practical knowledge you need to advance your career as a data analyst.
A Data Analyst skills:
The skills of a data analyst can be classified into three groups namely:
- programming languages: you need to be proficient in at least one programming language as a data analyst. In other words, the more programming language you the better. some of the programming languages you should know to include R, Python, C++, JAVA, MATLAB, PHP, and more.
- Data management and manipulation: R, HIVE, and SQL are some of the languages you should be familiar with as a data analyst. Being able to build queries in other to extract data is an important aspect of data analysis. so, if you are able to analyze data, the next thing is to be able to produce an accurate report. some standard tools you can do that with include Oracle visual Analyzer, Microsoft Power BI, SAS, Cognos, Tableau etc
- Field knowledge and good communication skills: Having good domain knowledge coupled with great communication skills is a fine combination every data analyst should have.
Owing to the fact that a data analyst’s job is to make sure that decision-makers have accurate and well-detailed information to help them do their job. A data analyst needs to understand specific user requirements as well as a deep understanding of data.
Thus, having good communication skills allows the analyst to relate well with various clients, executives, IT specialists, etc. In other to align the data obtained with the overall business objectives. Nonetheless, the job of a data analyst helps to modify and improve some of the business processes.
- Great understanding of Mathematics: Having a great grasp of mathematics and statistics is a must-have for every data analyst. You need to be comfortable working with formulae in other to solve some real-world problems. Common business problems such as compound interest, depreciation and other statistical measures eg mean, median, mode, etc should not be a problem for any data analyst.
For data visualization, you should be able to work with tables, graphs, charts, and more. Linear algebra and multivariable calculus knowledge are very important as they will be frequently used in data analysis.
- Microsoft Excel: You should be comfortable working with Microsoft excel. Arranging data and working numbers will be a major task for every data analyst.
What is the Salary of A Data Analyst?
From experience, different factors usually contribute to the annual salary of every professional and it’s no different with a data analyst.
So for a data analyst, your level of education, skill sets, and years of meaningful experience all contribute to your annual take-home salary. Even your location will affect how much you make as a data analyst.
The typical base income for a junior data analyst in the United States is $56,956 USD, according to Indeed statistics. This is more than the national average salary of $49,764, so it’s not a terrible place to start!
Here is the average salary of a data analyst annually with different levels of experience:
|Entry Level Data Analyst|
|Salary Range in INR||₹172,794 – ₹716,015|
|Salary Range in USD||$40,585 – $78,832|
|Mid-Level Data Analyst|
|Salary Range in INR||₹289,109 – ₹1,186,711|
|Salary Range in USD||$45,244 – $91,092|
|Experienced Data Analyst|
|Salary Range in INR||₹363,414 – ₹1,970,089|
|Salary Range in USD||$45,280 – $99,542|
What is the Career Path of a Data Analyst?
In recent times, data analysis is considered one of the most important skills anyone can have. This made it one of the most sorts after skills by industry professionals. Thus it’s not surprising that the growth rate for the demand for data analysts will be up by 19% over the next seven years.
Here are some of the industries where the demand for a data analyst is very high.
- Market Research: You can not separate market research from data analysis. The major success of every marketing campaign seriously hinges on understanding data analytics. Thus, 72% of marketers now consider data analysis to be a vital thriving point for the growing landscape in marketing. For instance, a company that is about to launch a new product or service now depends on data analysis to make informed decisions.
- Finance and investments: Another industry in dying need of data analysts is the finance and investment industry. They need both entry-level data analysts and experts. The career path of a data analyst in financial institutions like investment banking is usually in the management department. If you do exceedingly well you are considered for promotion by senior management as it is believed you will do a good job in handling new recruits.
- Sales: The need for a data analyst in this sector can not be overemphasized. as they are required to analyze data related to product sales, and customer satisfaction as well as identify the potential sales barriers in the company and help decision-makers.
Entry Level Data Analyst
Thus, if you have chosen a career in data analysis, it will be nice for you to know that an entry-level data analyst makes a good income though, this is depending on your experience and skill sets.
Different industries require different sets of skills, you need to know which one the company you intend to work for needs.
For instance, a data analyst employed in a company might be required to run queries against the available data for finding important trends, and processing this data might be useful to the Data scientist. Thus, data analysts are very good at writing database query language like SQL and also produce visuals to better understand the data available to them.
A data scientist builds models using machine learning to make various predictions and as such explain the future of the company or organization. They work closely with the data analyst while getting the data used in the building of the machine learning model. However, the annual salary of a data scientist is much higher than that of a data analyst as they are short in supply.
With the relevant skill sets acquired, a data analyst can go on to become a data scientist since they already have some skills of their own and experience working with professional data scientists.
How the technical work of every data analyst will keep reducing while their managerial work increases as they climb the corporate data.
How Do I Become A Data Analyst?
I know at this point you might be asking how do I become a data analyst? earning a bachelor’s degree is your first step to becoming a data analyst. This is because, for most entry-level jobs for data analysis, you require a bachelor’s certificate in any of the following disciplines. They include:
- Computer science and
- Information management.
Your major focus as a newbie in the industry is to gain enough experience and exposure so as put yourself in a position of strength.
As it is with other professions, gaining working experience is invaluable to a data analyst. Thus, there are many internship opportunities open to data analysts. take up one of these opportunities to build your experience and resume.
This career path is ever-changing, thus choosing it means committing yourself to lifetime learning in other to keep up with new trends and technologies.
How do I Become a Data Analyst with No Experience?
In this modern age, you can comfortably change your career without too much rigor, because all the resources you need are already available.
what you need to do is to access it. Becoming a data analyst without experience is simple, you need to earn a degree through an online course in data analysis. That will help you build a foundation in the field of study.
These courses grant you access to real-life projects that will help you develop your skills.
Then get an internship and take on some freelance jobs, that way you build up your working experience before going for the big jobs.
Actionable Steps on How to Become a Data Analyst From Scratch
It has been established that you can become a data analyst from scratch without experience but first, you must learn the important skills needed to excel in your new career and also start marketing yourself as a data analyst.
Thus, here are our simple actionable steps you can take now to get your career change underway;
1. Get a data analytics certification:
To become a data analyst, you don’t need a full-fledged degree, but you do need a systematic and formal approach to obtaining the required skills. A project-based course is the greatest (and most flexible) approach to accomplish so. When selecting a course, consider the following factors:
- A hands-on curriculum that contributes to your portfolio
- Some forms of mentorship
- A certificate of completion
- A focus on job preparation and career advice
- A job guarantee
For help finding the right course, take a look at How to Earn a Degree Online Fast in Accredited schools.
2. Put together your data analytics portfolio
Data analytics is a hands-on industry, and companies want to see evidence that you can apply what you’ve learned to real-world tasks. Since this article is about becoming a data analyst without real-world experience, you may be wondering what you should put in your data portfolio. Here are some suggestions:
- Take a course that includes projects in the curriculum
- Work on passion projects.
- Volunteer your data skills
3. Identify (and emphasize) your transferable skills
When you’re immersed in acquiring new skills, it’s easy to forget that you already have a very excellent skill set—and that it will contribute to the value you provide as a data analyst. It’s especially vital to establish similarities between your prior experience and your current employment if you’re completely new to the world of data.
Spend some time defining your core hard and soft skills and considering how they may be used in data analytics.
Perhaps you have a background in marketing and are already familiar with some basic analytics tools.
Maybe you’re a teacher, so you’re fantastic at explaining things—an ideal ability for presenting your data insights and clarifying what they imply to non-technical stakeholders.
Can you see how apparently unconnected experience will help you stand out as a great data analyst? The key is to realize your worth and communicate it to companies through your portfolio, resumé, and how you present yourself in interviews.
How to increase your chances of getting hired?
You’re honing your talents and growing your portfolio. What else can you do to improve your chances of landing a job?
In the lack of industry expertise, the greatest way to strengthen your competitive edge is to realize the unique value you bring to the sector as a novice.
Finally, it all comes down to how you present yourself. In addition to learning the necessary skills, you must reframe your perception of your lack of experience. Perhaps it isn’t such a disadvantage after all, and will help you stand out from the pack!
What kinds of companies can you expect to work for?
Data analysts are among the most in-demand professions, and once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, you’ll be able to work in practically any sector. When you first start out, you may expect to be called a “data analyst” or “junior data analyst.” More specialized positions, such as healthcare data analyst, will need previous industry expertise.
As a freshly certified analyst, you are likely to find work in the following industries:
- Media and entertainment
- Wellness and fitness
- Transport and logistics ETC
Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Data Analyst without Experience.
1. You must hold a degree in any relevant field and should have domain knowledge in the area you are working in.
2. Knowledge of Programming.
3. Knowledge of Data Analysis Tools.
4. Understanding of Statistics and Machine Learning Algorithms.
5. Knowledge of Data Visualization Tools.
As of 2020, many companies have adopted big data and data analytic technologies. Due to this, the demand for data analysts is skyrocketing. In fact, many studies predict data analytics to be the job of the future
Make the most of your three months and learn everything you can. Because time is limited, the emphasis should be on learning Excel, SQL, R/ Python, Tableau/ PowerBI, and ML if time allows. Investing your time in projects will also give you an advantage when applying for jobs.
This is a fast way of knowing how to Become a Data Analyst (with or Without a Degree)
1. Get a foundational education.
2. Build your technical skills.
3. Work on projects with real data.
4. Develop a portfolio of your work.
5. Practice presenting your findings.
6. Get an entry-level data analyst job.
7. Consider certification or an advanced degree.
choosing a career in data analysis can be excitingly rewarding because you get to live your dream life. Don’t be fast to jump into the professional scene just yet. take your time to build the experience as it is what will carry you throughout your career.
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