Only you can decide if a data analyst job is good or not depending on your situation. But to help make your mind, let’s take a look at some important factors ranging from salary to commute.
Most employers will ask that you have at least a bachelor degree in hand to be a data analyst. For that reason alone you can expect the salary to be above the median and average individual income of most (any?) city.
You can expect to have a salary in the same range as IT professionals and engineers.
On top of your base salary, you can expect to have either a bonus or some stocks, or both. That’s especially true as your seniority increases. You can refer to sites such as PayScale or Glassdoor for salary statistics in your region.
A data analyst position is very versatile and will give you a lot of options to advance your career. Once you reached the senior level, you will often have 3 choices in front of you:
- Continue to expand your technical skills towards a Data Science position.
- Develop you managerial skills and be responsible for a team of analysts.
- Branch out to another field such as marketing where you can apply your data analysis skills.
As a data analyst, people will turn to you to make sense of their data. You will feel appreciated and part of your employer’s success. You will often be the one people turn to in meetings, the math person in the room.
Most data analysts that I know take much pride in their work and feel important in their organization. They feel like they add value and are a key component or a lot of projects.
People respect their intelligence and they love it. It’s a great career to boost your self confidence and grow as a professional.
Since data analysts are in demand companies have to be creative to attract the best of them.
Perks can include free lunches & snacks, really good insurance, Foosball tables, Xbox and PS4 on the workplace, flexible schedule, and the ability to work from home.
Regarding that last point: Since only a laptop is needed to do the work, it is not uncommon to see data analysts working some days, or even exclusively from home.
As a data analyst you may or may not be spending all day alone at your desk. I have seen companies that have only one data analyst, and others that have a large team dedicated to data analysis.
In general though, most data analysts have to collaborate with different stakeholders and communicate results to management.
It is very important that you work for a company that share your vision on team work.
The skill set required is demanding compared to other careers. As a data analyst you will need to be strong in at least the following skills:
- Math and Statistics
- Scripting and Programming
- Data Engineering
- Communication skill
- Consultative skill
- Presentation skill
- Basic to advanced Machine learning
Those skills need to be updated as new technology and methods become widely used.
That means you will need to be continuously learning as a data analyst.
Education and Training
To be a data analyst you will most likely need at least a bachelor degree. You bachelor degree should preferably be in a quantitative field such as Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science, or Engineering.
That being said, it is also possible to be a data analyst with an unrelated bachelor degree such as biology, if you can show your data analysis skills to employers.
I even saw some candidates with no bachelor degree get a data analyst job, although you should know that you’ll mostly be screened out of the process without one. That’s true especially for big tech companies like Google and Facebook.
Everywhere where there’s a lot of data, there’s normally at least one data analyst. Some of the biggest industries where data analysts work are:
- Tech (Apple, Microsoft, etc)
The most skilled data analysts often work in tech companies since the data (and the paycheck) is tremendously bigger.
Work hours tend to be very reasonable, but you can expect to work more than the regular 9-5. That’s true especially in busy or stressful periods.
Depending on your seniority, it is not uncommon for a manager to ask you to do a last minute analysis at 5 PM, which means you may be stuck doing it until 10 PM. That’s also true for most lucrative careers though.
Since larger companies tend to hire the most data analysts, you will most likely work downtown or in a popular neighborhood. If you live in the suburb you might want to relocate for shorter commute.
In major big cities you will have to take public transportation to go to work. It’s not uncommon to see 30-60 mins commute.
If you want more info regarding if a data analyst job is a good one please leave a comment.