If you’re looking for a career where job security, longevity, and high salaries are the norm, congratulations—your search is over! Skilled candidates in data science and data analytics are among the most sought-after across nearly every industry, from health care and finance to marketing, government, and public policy. As a result, even entry-level data analyst salaries are some of the highest in the nation.
Data Analysts and Data Scientists: What’s the Difference?
If you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably done some research on careers in the data space and come across the terms “data analyst” and “data scientist.” These are common job titles for people who work in the field, but despite the overlap in their job descriptions, they’re not interchangeable. Both roles work with data, but they differ in how far they go in using that data.
Data analysts identify patterns within data and create visual representations of those patterns, making it easy for anyone to understand what the data shows. Data scientists take things a step further by applying their analysis toward solutions for their company using software engineering, machine learning or other high-level skills such as artificial intelligence.
For example, a data analyst in marketing for a mobile gaming company could use customer data to create charts and other visual aids showing when a player is most likely to uninstall the game when the levels get too hard. A data scientist could use the same data to build an algorithm customizing the difficulty level for each player, helping them find the “sweet spot” where there’s still a challenge, but not so much that they want to leave the game. (This really happens! Ever played Candy Crush Saga?)
Once they have enough experience and education, data analysts are often able to transition to data scientist roles that come with a bump in salary and benefits.
Demand for Data Analysts is Up, But Supply is Way Down
Data analyst salaries and data scientist salaries are so competitive because, on a national level, there simply aren’t enough people to fill the surge of openings available. If you’re looking to make the switch to a new career, this challenge for hiring managers has created an ideal opening for you!
Just how big is the gap between who’s needed and who’s available? The 2018 KMPG CIO Survey, taken by over 3,600 technology leaders at companies across the U.S., showed that 46% of chief information officers see “big data and analytics” as the area most suffering from a shortage in the nation’s job market. The public sector has taken note of the growing need for data analysts, too: “data scientist” has topped the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job rankings for the last three years.
Last year, LinkedIn’s Paul Petrone wrote about some intriguing analytics-related results from the company’s 2018 Workforce Report. According to their estimations, the U.S. job market is missing more than 150,000 people with the skills required to fill positions in data science and analytics, with the biggest gaps appearing in metropolitan areas such as Boston, Seattle and the Bay Area.
These numbers all tell the same story: there’s never been a better time to get into the data science and data analytics field than right now.
How to Increase Your Employability, Value, and Salary with Data Analytics Skills
No matter what industry you’re working in, having data analytics skills on your resume can seriously boost your employability and value in the eyes of hiring managers.
Marketing data analyst salaries sit at around $68,000 a year, while highly-qualified marketing analytics managers can take home $93,250 or more, according to the American Marketing Association. If you have a data analytics job in the health care industry, information available on Glassdoor shows your average annual salary should hover around the $67,000 mark.
If you’re worried about having to “pay your dues” with an unsustainably low salary while getting your foot in the door, don’t be. Salaries for entry-level positions in data analytics rarely fall below $55,000, and most pay significantly more than that.
Build a Foundation in Data Analytics with Level from Northeastern University
Entering the data science and data analytics fields can seem like an impossible task, especially if you’ve already begun building a career in something other than data.
Level from Northeastern University makes the transition as easy as possible with programs at the introductory and intermediate levels that quickly teach you the skills you need to make yourself a more valuable, data-savvy team member in your current role, or to help you launch a new career.
When you complete the program, you’ll have access to the university’s number one-ranked career services, giving you a leg up on the competition when you’re ready to enter the job market.
For more information or to apply, go to leveledu.com.