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Top 3 Careers in Data Analytics

Top 3 Careers in Data Analytics

You can’t escape “big data” in today’s business world. It’s a hot topic that’s not likely to cool down any time soon. With the potential to make better business decisions, reduce cost, and give customers what they want – every industry is jumping on board. In today’s blog, we’ll answer the question, “What is Data Analytics?” and highlight the top three careers in this field. For each one, we’ll take a look at what you’d be doing every day, where you might work, what education you need, the job outlook, and expected salary.

What is Data Analytics?

SAS, the leader in data analytics solutions, provides a great definition. “Big data analytics examines large amounts of data to uncover hidden patterns, correlations and other insights. With today’s technology, it’s possible to analyze your data and get answers from it almost immediately.” Depending on the industry and purpose of data collection, data analytics falls into three categories:

  • Behavioral analytics is geared toward providing insights into the actions of consumers.
  • Descriptive analytics refers to the interpretation of historical data to understand changes in a business.
  • Prescriptive analytics uses technology to help businesses engage in smarter problem-solving.

But to best understand the answer to “what is data analytics,” let’s provide a few real-world scenarios.

  • Financial institutions analyze withdrawal and spending patterns to prevent fraud.
  • E-commerce companies analyze navigation and page-viewing patterns to identify website visitors who are more likely to buy a product or service.
  • Healthcare organizations analyze patient data to measure the effectiveness of certain treatments and medications.

As you can see, data analytics can make a real difference in people’s lives. Let’s talk about three careers that will put you right in the center of this exciting field.

Data Scientist

What does a data scientist do?

The goal of a data scientist is to discover insights within data, so businesses can make smarter decisions and deliver better products and services. Data scientists work with huge sets of data from many sources. To make sense of it all, they apply data mining techniques, statistical analysis, and prediction systems. Once data scientists interpret the data, they translate their findings into solutions or opportunities for stakeholders.

Where do data scientists work?

Not surprisingly, the majority of data scientists work in the technology sector. However, there’s major growth and opportunities in other industries as businesses recognize the value of data analytics. You’ll find data scientists in areas such as healthcare, telecommunications, social networking, and finance.

What are the educational requirements for data scientists?

In a recent report by Stitch Data, The State of Data Science, over 79 percent of data scientists have a graduate degree. The majority of data scientists come from STEM graduate-level backgrounds such as Computer Science, Statistics, Mathematics, and Physics. However, it’s important to note that employers are seeking candidates who also have the communication skills to help business leaders understand the data and make strategic decisions. St. Thomas University’s MS in Big Data Analytics emphasizes real-world experiences through internships to give students the opportunity to build both kinds of skills.

What are the job prospects and salary for data scientists?

The future is looking very bright for aspiring data scientists. In Glassdoor’s 50 Best Jobs in America report, data scientist ranked as the best job across every industry – for the last three years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts jobs for data scientists will grow 11 percent by 2024 and reported a median annual salary of $114,520.

Careers in Data Analytics

In addition to their data analytics skills, successful data scientists also have the ability to communicate their findings in a way non-technical stakeholders can understand.

Database Administrator

What does a database administrator do?

Database administrators use specialized software to store and organize data for an organization. They ensure the database is available to all authorized users, performing properly, and safe. Database Administrators manage backup & recovery, data modeling and design, distributed computing, database systems, and data security. They also need an understanding of database languages.

Where do database administrators work?

According to, the top employers of database administrators are in industries such as computer systems design, education, and insurance. However, any organization that has large sets of data needs a database administrator. In addition, the expansion of cloud computing as a storage option for organizations has created an increased demand for database experts across many industries.

What are the educational requirements for database administrators?

Most database administrators have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related subject. Larger organizations with complex databases often prefer applicants who have a master’s degree focusing on data, data analytics, or database management. St. Thomas University’s BS in Computer Science program provides students with a solid understanding of problem solving techniques through hands-on learning in courses like  Database System Design and Development.

What are the job prospects and salary for database administrators?

More data has been collected in the past two years than in the entire human history. So where does all this data go? A database, of course. This bodes well for database administrators. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of database administrators is projected to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual salary is a healthy $87,020.

Business Intelligence Analyst

What does a business intelligence analyst do?

A business intelligence analyst searches for valuable insights from all the data available to their organization. Their main task is to find patterns and trends in the organization’s historical data. They may also be responsible for competitor analysis, keeping up to date with industry trends, and exploring where their organization can improve and reduce costs.

Where does a business intelligence analyst work?

Like the other two careers in data analytics, the number of industries has opened up considerably in the last decade for business intelligence analysts. While many work in the technology sector, industries such as healthcare, retail, finance, and telecommunications are seeking people who can help them make data-driven decisions.

What are the educational requirements for business intelligence analysts?

Business intelligence analysts have at least a bachelor’s degree in areas such as business, management, accounting, economics, statistics, or information science. To advance in larger organizations, many employers require a master’s degree in Business Administration or Data Analytics.

What are the job prospects and salary for business intelligence analysts?

With organizations looking for ways to compete and stand out, business intelligence analysts can help create a clear advantage. Not surprisingly, employment for business intelligence analysts is projected to grow 14 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual salary matches this demand at $82,450.

Business Intelligence Analysts draw from many resources – historical data, competitive analyses, and industry benchmarks – to provide clear guidance to business leadership.

Any of these three careers in data analytics is a smart choice in today’s data-driven world. If you’d like to join this exciting field with a BS in Computer Science or an MS in Big Data Analytics from St. Thomas University, please contact us for more information.


Erin B. Ayrim

Author Erin B. Ayrim

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