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How do I start a career in data analytics?

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Data analytics is a lucrative career path. Many businesses are taking data very seriously, so analyzing it is important in decision-making. Interpreting data correctly is the first step to getting real solutions for companies and all sorts of businesses. If you are interested in this career path, you must first understand what it is all about.

A career in data analytics is a good choice for those who like solving puzzles and working with numbers. Analysts gather, clean, and study data to help with business decisions. Anyone considering a career in this area should understand what is required. 

Data analytics jobs are available in all industries. There are different paths you can take so as to secure your first job in the field. Data analytics is a good choice for those who want to start their professional journey and pivot to something new. 

Guide on getting started

  • Foundational education

This is the first to start a career in data analytics. Anyone new to data analytics should get foundational information. It gives you an idea about the career.  With the information, you can decide whether you are interested in the career. You get the chance to know the skills you would need should you continue with your pursuit. 

Some positions in data analytics require a degree. You may choose to get some foundational knowledge and add a degree in computer science, maths, or other fields through alternative programs like self-study courses, boot camps, and professional certificate programs can be considered as well. 

  • Technical skills

To thrive in data analytics, you need technical skills. Whether you learn independently, take a professional certificate, or do a degree program, technical skills are necessary if you want to be hired. Some of these include:

  1. Data preparation and cleaning

  2. Data visualization

  3. Structured query language or SQL

  4. Python or R programming

  5. Statistics

It is important to look at job lists. This gives you an idea of the roles available. This way, you may consider the areas that interest you and focus on the visualization tools and languages listed. 

  • Communication skills

Communication skills are important in data analytics; you cannot do well without them. You may have to present findings to people not knowledgeable in technical matters.  Communication is the icing when you have domain knowledge and can solve problems. 

  • Handle projects that have real data

To hasten the learning curve, you need to handle real data. In this way, you get hands on experience in finding value in data. It is wise to find courses or degree programs that have hands-on projects and real data sets to work with. There are also free data sets available that can be used for project designs. Pick topics you are interested in and practice for them to work well. There are some free resources available on different platforms.


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  • Come up with a work portfolio.

When working with data sets, you get from the internet or when you handle such assignments as you learn, create a portfolio. This portfolio shows your skills and is exactly what a hiring manager wants to see. If your portfolio is strong, you stand a better chance of securing employment. Your portfolio should demonstrate the following:

  1. Ability to get data from various sources

  2. Ability to not only clean but normalize the raw data collected

  3. Ability to visualize all findings made through visualization methods such as maps, charts, and graphs

  4. Use the data to draw some actionable insights

Your portfolio should also have group projects, if any, as it shows you can work in a team. Looking at completed portfolios can give you some inspiration on what is expected. 

  • Findings presentation

While gaining technical skills is important, communication should never be ignored. Finding presentations to the stakeholders in a company is important. These are the decision-makers, and they can use the analyzed data for decision-making. Data can be used to tell stories, and making data-driven decisions can be very wise for any company.


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  • Get a data analyst entry-level job

 After you get some experience presenting findings, you must create a resume and apply for an entry job as a data analyst. You should not fear doing it even if you feel like you are not fully qualified for a job. Your enthusiasm, portfolio, and skills are important, even if you don’t meet every qualification listed. 

You could get an internship through university career services for those in school. Such an opportunity gives you real experience and a chance to apply everything that you learn on the job. 

  • Consider getting an advanced degree or certification

In your data analytics job, you must consider the best way to move forward and the qualification you should add to advance. Some certifications give you even more qualifications to land better-paying jobs in data analytics. You can pursue an online degree from an accredited university to earn and work as you continue learning. Some universities have data science courses designed for those interested in the field. This is the only way to achieve goals and improve outcomes through data. A degree in data analytics or other data science-related fields may be a good idea if you aim for advanced levels. Even though an advanced degree is not a requirement, getting one gives you even more chances. 


Anyone interested in a data analytics career should have the basic information to start. Data analytics is one of the lucrative career options available in the job market today with a good salary. This job area has great growth and great potential for the future. The career requires technical expertise, but there are jobs that non-technical individuals can go for. A career in data analytics is possible for those with no computer science background as well. You need a bachelor’s degree for most entry-level jobs. Some employers waive computer science, making it even easier to apply. 

Data analytics has gained a good reputation because many businesses want to make decisions based on data to help improve services, products, and processes. Data analytics can positively impact a business, and many people realize that now. This is why more job opportunities are coming up each day.

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