Data analytics is one of the fastest growing fields, with data scientist roles expected to increase by 28% from 2020-2030 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
For those seeking an entry point into this exciting career path, a data analytics certificate can provide a strong foundation and open the door to in-demand jobs across many industries.
In this post, we’ll explore the types of jobs available to certificate holders, typical responsibilities, and career growth possibilities.
What jobs can you get with a data analytics certificate?
One of the most common roles for certificate holders is data analyst. Data analysts play a crucial support function across business units by collecting, organizing, and analyzing data to help identify patterns and insights. Typical data analyst duties include:
- Cleansing, structuring, and transforming raw data into a usable format
- Performing exploratory data analysis to understand trends, relationships, and anomalies
- Developing scripts and queries to automate regular reporting needs
- Building dashboards, reports, and visualizations to communicate findings
- Partnering closely with other departments to understand their goals and needs
- Recommending process optimizations based on data-driven insights
Data analyst roles are highly accessible right out of a certificate program and provide experience that can pave the way to more advanced positions down the line. Analysts work in fields like marketing, finance, healthcare, and more. Starting salaries generally range from $50,000 to $70,000 depending on location and level of experience.
Business Intelligence Analyst
Business intelligence (BI) analysts leverage data analytics tools and methodologies specifically to provide strategic guidance and address business questions. Core BI analyst responsibilities revolve around:
- Designing dashboards, scorecards, and reports accessible to non-technical stakeholders
- Understanding key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics that matter most to leadership
- Developing predictive models that forecast business outcomes under different scenarios
- Communicating data-driven insights through compelling storytelling
- Making recommendations to improve processes, reduce costs, and generate value
BI analysts play a pivotal consultative role helping organizational leaders make informed decisions. The technical foundation from a data analytics certificate combined with business acumen serves this function well. Mid-career salaries average around $80,000 nationally.
Data engineers are responsible for building, maintaining, and enhancing the infrastructure that governs how data flows and is stored/accessed across an organization. Core data engineering tasks include:
- Architecting data models, databases, and warehouses to house massive datasets
- Developing ETL (extract, transform, load) pipelines to integrate disparate sources of data
- Optimizing data pipelines for reliability, performance, and scalability
- Troubleshooting errors and anomalies that arise in complex systems
- Implementing automation, monitoring, and documentation standards
Strong Python/SQL skills acquired through a certificate lend well to a data engineering career. Roles demand both technical mastery and business sense, with average salaries topping $100,000 as engineers advance. While more programming heavy, certificates provide a solid entry point.
As the pacesetters in the data field, data scientists lead cutting-edge analytical initiatives across companies to generate maximum value from information assets. Their responsibilities encompass:
- Defining strategic data science priorities and projects to address
- Building complex predictive and machine learning models
- Conducting statistical analysis and experimental research
- Communicating technical findings clearly for non-technical audiences
- Collaborating closely with product/engineering teams
While data science demands a deeper technical skillset than entry-level analytics roles, certificates help gain exposure to concepts like machine learning, visualization, and programming that data scientists thrive on. With experience, scientists can earn over $130,000 on average with the right expertise and credentials.
Growing Your Career
No matter the starting role, analytics professionals continually look to expand their skills and career horizons. There are several effective paths certificate holders can follow:
Gain Industry Experience
Valuable experience comes from applying skills on real problems directly tied to an industry. Roles like marketing analyst or healthcare data engineer allow growing knowledge of specific domains while advancing technical abilities. 2-3 years provides a solid foundation to take on more responsibility.
Pursue Additional Certifications
Complementing the initial certificate with programs focused on advanced tools like Tableau, Microsoft Power BI, TensorFlow, or Hadoop expands ones technical qualifications for more specialized work. Industry certifications also signal mastery to potential employers.
Earn a Graduate Degree
An MS in Analytics/Data Science/Business Intelligence takes skills to the next level and opens higher level career opportunities. Non-thesis programs allow working professionals to advance education while maintaining employment. Areas like artificial intelligence and machine learning become more accessible.
Many find internal mobility within a company as a smooth career step. Data-driven organizations seek those with strong analytical foundations to fill varied needs across departments. Employees gain in-depth organizational knowledge ideally positioned for promotions.
Become an Industry Consultant
Experienced analysts can leverage domain expertise and widespread technical skills by branching out independently or through a consulting firm. Titles such as Solutions Architect provide strategic guidance for a variety of clients through specialized projects. Independence and higher earning potential make consulting attractive.
The job prospects for certificate holders in data analytics remain highly promising as the field permeates every industry. Ranging from entry-level roles to management level opportunities, the career pathways are diverse and continually evolving along with new technologies.
By gaining practical skills, industry knowledge, and additional qualifications over time, certificates serve as an excellent launchpad into this exciting, in-demand profession with room for lifelong learning. With dedication and passion, analytics professionals are well-positioned to achieve success in their careers and make valuable contributions.