Top 10 data analyst jobs and who's hiring
Are you ready to hop on the data science bandwagon and land one of the top data analyst jobs in the market? Hold tight, because we're diving into the world of data analytics, where professionals utilize their analytical skills and various tools like Microsoft Excel to uncover insights, drive business growth, and foster decision-making.
Data analysts typically hold a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field and display exceptional detail-oriented and critical thinking abilities. Now, does a career in data analytics pay well? You bet! They often enjoy competitive salaries, and the challenge of the job lies in understanding complex data models and transforming raw data into meaningful information.
In this article — apart from learning about the top 10 data analyst jobs currently in high demand — you'll also discover who's hiring. Get ready to navigate the diverse and exciting realm of data analytics jobs and find the perfect role!
1. Business analyst
Average salary: $84,000 per year
A business analyst acts like a data detective, diving deep into data sets to turn numbers into useful insights — all to help the company run at its best. While this job title often requires a strong foundation in data analysis, a bachelor's degree in a related field, and a knack for specific business intelligence tools, it also emphasizes soft skills.
We’re talking about strong communication skills, problem-solving, and collaborating with team members. That’s because business analysts don’t only need to be good at analyzing data but also translating their research into easy-to-understand reports for stakeholders. While there are some entry-level gigs out there, most companies usually look for candidates with at least 2-3 years of relevant experience.
2. Data scientist
Average salary: $124,000 per year
Picture a data scientist as this data wizard who helps businesses find patterns and trends about their company within tons of raw information. These experts have serious skills in coding (think Python), algorithms, and statistical models. They’re usually backed by a solid degree like a Master's or Ph.D. in a field like computer science or engineering. But you can also land this job type with a bachelor’s.
But beyond the technical skills, they're pretty savvy when it comes to sharp communication and creative problem-solving. Why? It's not only about discovering patterns in data but also using visualization tools to present that complex knowledge in an accessible way. There are many entry-level or junior-level positions available for people to break into the field, but having a good 3-5 years of hands-on experience will capture companies’ attention.
3. Senior data analyst
Average salary: $95,000 per year
You might’ve also heard of a senior data analyst being referred to as a computer systems analyst. But regardless of what you call it, this veteran data specialist helps sail through the waves of data and steer the ship of a company's data-driven strategies.
In comparison to a junior data analyst role, they boast a lot more experience, a deeper understanding of the industry, and take on greater initiatives. That means there’s even more emphasis on communication and leadership skills. They also tend to guide and mentor junior data analysts and actively collaborate with other departments. Most companies expect at least five years of experience under your belt and at least a bachelor’s degree in a field like mathematics or computer science.
4. Data engineer
Average salary: $129,000 per year
Data engineers lay the groundwork for data analysts and data scientists to work their magic. These technical maestros are responsible for designing, building, and maintaining the systems that store, process, and manage a company's precious metrics. They juggle many skills like programming, big data technologies, and SQL — usually backed by at least a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field.
Teamwork and communication play a huge role, as they need to collaborate with other data professionals to ensure everything's running smoothly. Companies often prefer candidates with a solid 3-5 years of field experience.
5. Quality assurance analyst
Average salary: $41,000 per year
Also known as a quality management analyst, a quality assurance analyst is a person who has an organization's back when making sure products, systems, or software meet the highest standards. They meticulously test, analyze, and scrutinize every nook and cranny to make sure it's nothing short of fantastic.
With their attention to detail, these gatekeepers of quality need to know their way around various testing tools and methodologies with the relevant training or certification. But that's not all; they also rely on soft skills like exceptional written and verbal communication and strong analytical skills as they collaborate with different departments to iron out potential issues. Many entry-level roles exist for this position.
6. Network analyst
Average salary: $77,000 per year
Network analysts keep a company’s digital lifeline up and running, so data can zip from point A to B without any disruptions. These tech-savvy pros set up, troubleshoot, and optimize networks, all while staying on top of the latest hardware, software, and security protocols. But they also might need to come up with tech solutions to business-related issues, too.
They typically have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or telecommunications. A Cisco certification is also a plus, as well as the ability to collaborate and react swiftly to any hiccups along the way.
7. Production analyst
Average salary: $69,000 per year
The primary role of a production analyst is to optimize and streamline the manufacturing or production process so it runs like a well-oiled machine. They’re responsible for evaluating production data, identifying bottlenecks, and creating strategies to increase efficiency and reduce costs.
Though they often have a bachelor's degree in business or a technical field, relevant professional experience might also do the trick. On top of knowing their way around database management systems, they need soft skills like communication, adaptability, and innovation to help implement business decisions across the company. Generally, companies are on the lookout for candidates who’ve got around 2-3 years of experience in the production or manufacturing world.
8. Compensation analyst
Average salary: $80,000 per year
A compensation analyst designs, analyzes, and maintains fair and competitive employee benefits programs. Their keen eye for data helps them evaluate market trends, review salary data, and make sure a company’s pay scale keeps up with industry standards.
With a bachelor's degree in human resources, finance (or a related field), and a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) — or Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification — these specialists showcase hard skills like data analysis and proficiency in HR software. They also use soft skills like outstanding people skills and problem-solving abilities. They've got to be good at working with others and explaining compensation plans to both HR folks and employees. Employers prefer compensation analysts to be backed by at least three years of experience.
9. Data analytics specialist
Average salary: $72,000 per year
Data analytics specialists have a laser focus on uncovering trends, patterns, and insights from complex data sets. While data analyst roles provide general data analysis support across an organization, a data analytics specialist hones in on developing advanced methodologies, tools, and techniques to dive deeper into the data and address specific business challenges.
They often hold a bachelor's degree or higher in business or commerce and pursue certifications in certain niches. Also, they’re armed with advanced technical knowledge and skills related to a specific subject. And let’s not forget that communication and problem-solving abilities are essential to the job description. Their experience can come from other roles, as it’s really their skill set that’s most important since tackling intricate data puzzles requires a seasoned touch.
10. Junior data analyst
Average salary: $73,000 per year
Commonly an entry-level position, junior data analysts are eager apprentices in the data-driven world. They work to use data to uncover insights and drive business growth. While they have a solid foundation in data analysis, programming languages, and statistical tools, they’re usually beginning their journey in the field or have just a few years of experience.
While seniors tackle more complex project management and shoulder leadership responsibilities, juniors tend to work on entry-level tasks and learn the ropes under expert guidance. Junior data analysts focus on sharpening their hard skills, as well as honing crucial soft skills like teamwork, communication, and adaptability. These skills become more important as they progress in their careers.
Who’s hiring data analysts on Handshake?
Your data analyst job awaits
As the field of data science continues to grow, it’s a rich and rewarding sector for ambitious professionals to tap into. The key is being well-equipped with the right combination of hard and soft skills and staying updated with industry trends.
Ready to embark on your data analytics career journey? Head over to Handshake, sign up today, and set up job alerts to stay informed about the latest part-time, onsite, and full-time data analytics openings.