Data Analyst Career Progression – Most Common Paths to Take

When you are trying to find your way as a data analyst, it can be confusing and daunting. Your career path isn’t as straightforward as other professions, and you may be left worrying or wondering about your future. You may be asking yourself how I can progress in my career? Or is there a career path as a data analyst? Luckily for you, we are here to help.

In this post, we will map out the most common paths that people take to further their careers as data analysts. We will go through a step-by-step guide that will take you from the very beginning of your data analysis career through some of the potential avenues to progress throughout your career.

Where to Begin on Your Data Analysis Journey?

As with any career, the first step is the same. Gain the necessary information to be able to do the job. If you are a complete novice, you will need to learn the data analysis process. You will also have to know about Python, and you will need to be proficient in tools such as Excel. You can teach yourself all of these skills but you can reduce your learning curve by doing courses and certificates on them.

You will also need to learn about data mining and the ethics surrounding data analysis. Knowing all of these skills can take a lot of commitment and time. To ensure that all of the information you are learning is adequate and up to date, you can take a data analytics course. This will provide you with a quality education that can help you jumpstart your career.

Once you have the qualifications or experience needed to get started, it’s time to hunt for a job.

How to Get Your Foot in the Door?

Now that you have the training and knowledge needed for the role, it’s time to land a job. The first step is to get your resumé in order, then you can start applying for jobs. The only issue is, which jobs should you apply for first?

Usually, when you are hunting for a data analyst job without experience, you will have to apply for a junior analyst job. This is a great way to get started on your career and gain essential expertise to assist your data analyst career progression.

You may also land yourself a data analyst internship. This is also a great way to get hands-on experience to feel for the profession as you learn vital skills. Internships will also promote promotion within the same company, which can help you to progress in your career.

Where you start in your data analyst career is not very important as long as you continue to the next step, career progression.

Now That You Have Started, Where Do You Go Next?

The next step in your data analyst career is to get hired for a more senior role. This can be within the same company, or you may have to leave to find a more senior position.

This is where you will look for senior data analyst roles or analytics management positions. Either of these roles is the most common next step in a data analysis career.

Some analysts will choose to become data specialists rather than senior analysts. This choice is up to personal preference as both roles are considered senior positions. A data specialist will specialize in a specific area of data analysis. This may be financial analysis, healthcare analysis, marketing analysis for insurance claim analysis. These specialist positions will be higher paid than normal data analysis roles.

The next step is a common choice for data analysts, and it usually pays off, becoming a data scientist.

Data Analyst to Data Scientist

While these two roles are commonly mixed up, there are some distinct differences. Data analysts study data to learn about aspects of the business. Data scientists use existing data to make projections for the future across the company to plan for the future. Data scientists also get paid a much higher salary than data analysts.

To become a data scientist, you will need to gain additional expertise and skills. You can achieve all of the necessary information by enrolling in a credible online data scientist course.

Data scientists’ positions can further progress into other roles such as machine learning, data modeling, and building algorithms. These are all considered scientific positions and a great career if you have the skills and interests needed for the roles.

Another option for experienced data analysts is to become a data analytics consultant.

Data Analytics Consultant

This is a viable career option for data analysts with 7+ years of experience in their field. A data analytics consultant takes on the same roles as a data analyst but across multiple companies.

This will be in a consultancy role which will provide you with more freedom in your job. You may even be able to work remotely, which can allow you to travel and work simultaneously.

Career Options and Salaries for Your Data Analysis Career

Here we have outlined the most common careers that people choose after starting as a data analyst. The average salary will follow the job according to indeed.

  • Junior data analyst: $58,090
  • Data analyst: $75,307
  • Senior data analyst: $97,348
  • Data analytics manager: $89,287
  • Data scientist: $122,511
  • Financial analyst: $72,281
  • Healthcare analyst: $63,411
  • Insurance claims analyst: $51,033
  • Marketing analyst: $65,848
  • Systems analyst: $78,212
  • Machine learning engineer: $146,352
  • Data analytics consultant: $77,365
  • Chief data officer: $178,606

Final Thoughts

As you can see from the list above, there are many career paths available as a data analyst. These careers range across a wide variety of salaries.

Depending on your skills and experience, you can apply for a variety of jobs. Once you find a career path that you love, you will have plenty of opportunities to earn a good living and progress in your career.

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