Top 5 Digital Skills to Learn in 2021. Data analytics jobs — is it worth it and why? cover image

Have you ever wondered how much data is created every day? Prepare yourself: in 2021, it's 2.5 quintillion bytes. To put it simply, 90% of all the world's data has been created in the last two years alone. What's more, the volume of it is expected to double every two years from now on. Those are some mind-blowing numbers, and it's no wonder why data was recently called "the new oil" or even "the new oxygen" of the 21st century. Let's put it this way: raw data, just like oil, is not valuable itself, but when it's collected and connected to other relevant data, the magic happens. Oxygen, on the other hand, is omnipresent, vital (unlike oil), and is being created 24/7.

Whichever element you choose, one thing is evident by now: we live in a world of big data. But how is it gathered and used for a good (or, sadly, an evil) purpose? Well, it does need a human touch, and that's where data analytics — the science of analyzing raw data and making conclusions about it — steps in. Data professionals are in high demand these days, and in this article, we will give you an overview of the hottest data analytics jobs in the market. Keep on reading, and you may even find your next career adventure!

5 data analysis careers to consider in 2021

Data analyst

This job title may sound intriguing to some and tedious to others, but one thing is for sure: it's been floating around a lot lately. What do those professionals do? Yes, you guessed it right — data analysts analyze data. To be more precise, they retrieve, gather, and organize data and then use it to draw meaningful conclusions. Their daily tasks are producing reports, spotting patterns, collecting data, setting up infrastructure, and collaborating with other departments. The skills that are a must for those professionals include great knowledge of SQL, Microsoft Excel, R or Python–Statistical programming, excellent critical thinking, data visualization, and presentation skills. Companies in virtually every industry need data analysts; the question is: would you like to become one?

Average salary per year in the US in 2021: $69,690

Data scientist

Another prominent data role is the one of a data scientist. Some people think that it's synonymous with the concept of data analysts, but is it really? Even though there is an overlap in the work that both professionals do, significant differences exist too. In brief, data scientists forecast the future based on past patterns, while data analysts simply make sense out of what's already existing and known. The primary responsibilities of data scientists are the following: pulling, merging, and analyzing data, looking for patterns and trends, developing and testing new algorithms, developing predictive models, and so on. Those specialists must have prowess in mathematics, statistics, and computer science, as well as strong business acumen. They are also expected to identify trends with machine learning, make predictions based on data trends, and write code to assist in data analysis. The demand for data scientists is high, while the supply is low: according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of data science jobs will increase by about 28% through 2026. Data science can be a satisfying and lucrative long-term career path — sounds tempting, huh?

Average salary per year in the US in 2021: $120,089.

Business intelligence analyst

Before getting into details of this job role, let us ask what is business intelligence (or BI) itself? In short, it's a process of transforming data into actionable insights to inform business decisions. Therefore, the BI analysts evaluate their company's and competitors' data to improve their own enterprise's market position. They look into the company's systems, functions, and procedures and find areas in which they can increase efficiency and profit margins. Business intelligence analysts must also think of new ways to develop specific policies of data collection and data analysis methodologies. Those professionals have both excellent business (communication, creative problem-solving, leadership abilities) and technical skills (database design, data architecture, data mining and analytics, SQL, and others). Even if pursuing a BI analyst career may pose quite a few challenges, it can also present many exciting opportunities along the way. If that sounds interesting, our advice is simple: go for it!

Average salary per year in the US in 2021: $92,876.

Machine learning engineer

Are you a geek who finds machine learning (ML) fascinating? Read this one well! Machine learning engineers are programmers who research, design, and build self-running software to automate predictive models. Their duties may vary depending on the organization. Still, most of these specialists design, develop, and research machine learning systems, models, and schemes, search and select appropriate data sets, train and retrain ML systems and models as needed, and the like. ML engineers must be solid programmers and have a strong mathematical and statistical foundation. On the other hand, creative thinking skills and a sixth sense for data are also highly valued in this field. If you're interested in developing innovative ways to look at a problem and creating numerous possibilities around it, this career will suit you well! If you would like to know more about it, definitely check this machine learning specialist path out!

Average salary per year in the US in 2021: $150,660.

Quantitative analyst

Would you like to prevent a future financial crisis or at least reduce the risk of it? We know that sounds like a Herculean task, but it may be more achievable than you think! Quantitative analysts, or quants, are specialists who apply mathematical and statistical methods to financial and risk management problems. A quantitative analyst may have various responsibilities, including but not limited to financial research, systematic trading, managing risk, options pricing, quantitative programming, and so forth. Like any other data role, this job first and foremost requires being a maths whizz, having advanced computer skills, great knowledge of data mining and analysis, and extensive financial expertise. Even if this career is by no means a piece of cake, it is definitely possible to succeed in it if you have the right attitude and put in a considerable amount of effort!

Average salary per year in the US in 2021: $122,922

A short recap

Let's sum this article up with a simple question: is data analytics a promising career? Absolutely. In fact, since companies' data collection grows at breakneck speeds and everyone wants to make use of it, there has never been a better time to be a data specialist than it is now. The demand is significant, the salaries are competitive, and the perks are plentiful — what more could you ask for?

So if you love data and crunching numbers, grab your chance now! You can find multiple courses on data analytics made by professionals at BitDegree, so make sure you check those out! If you're not too much into the field, take a peek at our article on other top digital skills to learn in 2021 and find your answers there. Either way, we wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors!

Author avatar

Written By

Miglė Stasiulionytė