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What Can You Do with a Degree in Data Analytics?

Every sector of the economy now thrives in an ecosystem built on big data. But big data alone won’t help solve problems. To help decipher the hidden trends and discover the answers hidden within the data, businesses of all sizes and government organizations turn to data analysts, who possess the critical skills and programming knowledge to turn big data into actionable solutions.

Data analysts serve as the backbone for all data analytics operations. Some data analysts spend years learning the languages and technical skills necessary to specialize in data analytics, but a degree in data analytics can help anyone fast-track their way into a data analyst career.

Data Analytics for Beginners

All data analytics starts with the obvious — data. There are infinite ways to use data, but as the amount of available data grows larger (.e.g., “big data”), analyzing that information becomes far more complicated.

Researchers predict that we’ll have created 44 zettabytes of data by the end of 2020, with 2.5 quintillion bytes of data produced every day. That amount of data can’t be computed and analyzed using just a pen and paper or your phone’s calculator app. Computer programs are now necessary to process and make sense of what the data is telling us.

This is where modern data analytics becomes absolutely necessary. Data analytics combine the interests and skills of three key areas:

  • Statistics
  • Information technology
  • Organizational decision making

Data analytics surrounds the use of statistical and mathematical models and equations, applied to big data through the use of information technology applications and programs. Once the computer programs run an analysis of the data, data analysts help organizations make sense of it all.

Quite often, the understanding of what the data means is accomplished through Business Intelligence (BI) visualization tools or other visualization programs that help stakeholders comprehend and use the data to make important decisions.

Most In-Demand Data Analytics Skills

Data analysts need a suite of skills to be successful. Many of these skills are technical in nature, although certain soft skills or personality traits are also beneficial for success as a data analyst.

Some of the top in-demand skills for data analysts include:

  1. Structured Query Language (SQL)
  2. Statistical programming languages (commonly Python or R)
  3. Statistics
  4. Machine learning
  5. Spreadsheet software (especially Microsoft Excel)
  6. Data visualization
  7. Communication (to include writing and public speaking)
  8. Critical thinking
  9. Problem-solving
  10. Collaboration
  11. Data warehousing
  12. Data preparation

Data analysts should also become intimately familiar with one or more specific industries, the type of data those industries utilize, and how that data is best presented for key stakeholders. One dataset could be analyzed a dozen different ways, with meaningful insights that vary for different businesses or organizations.

Many of the skills required of expert data analysts are among the most in-demand skills that employers need.

How Much do Data Analysts Earn?

Data analytics is highly technical and extremely specialized. Specialists are compensated well for their knowledge and talents. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median pay for a data analyst is over $84,000 per year.

The job growth in the sector is also far above average. BLS expects to see more than 28,000 jobs added through 2028. As a whole, this job sector is increasing its job demand by 26%, well above the 5% average growth rate for all sectors.

How to Earn a Data Analytics Degree

Start or continue your journey toward becoming a data analyst with the Master of Science in Human Genetics and Genomic Data Analytics (MSGDA) at KGI.

KGI offers a two-year degree program that will help you develop expert knowledge of the most in-demand data analytics tools, programming languages, and skills. And with a focus in Genetics and Genomic Data, you’ll be ready to take on the big data challenges of one of the fastest-growing and increasingly important industries on the market.

You can further specialize in Clinical Decision Support, Clinical Trial Design, or Assay Development to help put your data analytics skills to use in making a difference at the forefront of medical science and research.

Contact KGI today to learn more about our well-regarded Master of Science in Human Genetics and Genomic Data Analytics program, including application requirements, tuition, and financial aid opportunities.