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How to Become a Data Analyst

Do You Need a Degree to Be a Data Analyst?

Ready to start your career in Data? Find out more about BrainStation's Data Science Bootcamp

No, you do not need a degree to be a Data Analyst, but you do need the right hard and soft skills to be considered for a role in data analysis.

Keep in mind that traditionally, most entry-level Data Analyst jobs have required at least a bachelor’s degree. And having a master’s degree in Data Science or Business Analytics is very helpful—in 2017, IBM found that 39 percent of Data Scientists and Advanced Data Analysts jobs required a master’s or PhD.

What is the DIfference Between a Data Analyst and a Data Scientist?

A Data Analyst finds meaningful insights from data, effectively finding answers to a given set of questions from data. A Data Scientist, on the other hand, aims to predict the future using past patterns and trends.

Becoming a Data Analyst, therefore, is not quite the same thing as becoming a Data Scientist, which is generally a more senior position involving more technical expertise. In many ways, data analytics can be considered a more entry-level field; it’s more narrowly focused on business intelligence (BI), which might remove barriers to entry for people who have the skills but not the degree. In fact, across industries and fields, many organizations value skills and experience over formal education, such that some have even dropped educational requirements.

Are Data Science Bootcamps Worth It?

Yes, data science bootcamps and courses are an increasingly worthwhile investment. Bootcamps and courses teaching data science and analytics skills have quickly grown in popularity because they offer the kind of focused, accelerated and immersive learning best suited to equip people for careers in data with the field-specific, job-ready skills they’ll need. In fact, more than 90 percent of BrainStation bootcamp graduates find work within six months of graduation.

The best of these programs help students learn a tailored selection of field-specific languages and platforms that can open a number of doors on the job front:

  • Python
  • R
  • SQL
  • Hadoop
  • Spark

They also provide hands-on experience with:

  • Data collecting
  • Data analysis
  • Data visualization
  • Statistical analysis
  • Predictive analytics
  • Programming

The success of data science bootcamps may also come down to financial considerations. According to Course Report, the average tuition for a four-year computer science program is over $163,000, with bachelor’s degree holders earning an average of $59,124. Bootcamps that specialize in data science skills, on the other hand, are usually 12 to 14 weeks long, with tuition in the $11–15,000 range—and these bootcamp graduates go on to earn an average of $70,698.

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