Data Analyst Qualifications
A bachelors degree is generally the minimum educational qualification for data analyst jobs. Many candidates go on to pursue an advanced degree to have an extra edge in applying for more competitive positions. Analysts often have a degree in computer science, computer engineering, mathematics, or statistics, but other fields can also be acceptable, such as business administration, marketing, or law. When choosing classes, it is important to focus on computer science, data management, statistics, and software applications.
To qualify for a data analyst position, you should have strong mathematical skills and be extremely detail-oriented. Data analysts must be proficient in various computer systems and the concepts of data management and database structures. Solid writing skills are a definite plus. Data analysts generally work independently and prepare detailed summaries of their findings as well as more generalized briefings and press releases.
Having some familiarity with the industry to which you are applying to can certainly be a bonus to potential employers. Work experience as a computer programmer or software developer can provide you with many of the qualifications useful to you in a data analyst career. It is imperative that you have some previous knowledge of computer systems for any data analyst job. Most jobs will expect you to be at least somewhat skilled in statistical methods, working with large databases, and writing SQL queries.
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