Are you looking for practical, actionable tips on how to become a data analyst without a degree?
Data can be defined as a set of values or observations that can be used to draw conclusions. Data analysts are certainly in demand on the job market, as they can bring a lot of value to organizations by helping them make better decisions.
But what if you don’t have a degree in data analytics? Can you still become a data analyst?
The short answer is yes, with online learning platforms like LinkedIn Learning and Skillshare you can become a data analyst without a degree. However, it will likely take some time and effort to develop the skills necessary to be successful in the role. Here’s what you need to know about how to become a data analyst without a degree.
What is a Data Analyst?
First things first, what is a data analyst? Data analysts are responsible for collecting, cleaning, and organizing data so that it can be used to answer specific questions or solve specific problems. They use their findings to help organizations make better decisions.
Data analyst roles vary from organization to organization, but generally speaking, data analysts:
- Identify trends in data sets
- Develop hypotheses about how changes in data might impact the business
- Create charts, graphs, and other visual representations of data
- Conduct statistical analysis
- Write reports about their findings
To illustrate, imagine you’re hired as a data analyst by an advertising company. Some of your responsibilities might include analyzing customer data to identify spending patterns, understanding how changes in the economy might impact advertising budgets, and developing models to predict future customer behavior.
What Skills Do You Need to Become a Data Analyst Without a Degree?
Data analysts are skilled people. To be successful in the industry, certain skills need to come easily to you or need to be developed.
Here are the top skills needed to become a good data analyst:
- Technical skills: The first set of skills to possess are technical skills like mathematical knowledge, statistics, and coding. A data analyst needs to understand basic concepts like distributions, measures of central tendency, and correlation. Then, they should be able to use software programs to clean, organize, and analyze data. This might require learning SQL, Excel, and Tableau. In some cases, analysts will also need to know how to code in languages like Python to work with data on a more granular level. The most important technical skill for a data analyst is the ability to take data and turn it into insights that can be used to make decisions.
- Problem-solving. A major skill that data analysts use on a daily basis is problem-solving. A good data analyst knows how to take a complex problem and break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces. They also know how to think outside the box to come up with creative solutions. This skill is important because oftentimes, the data set that an analyst is working with will be incomplete or messy. In order to still be able to extract valuable insights from the data, analysts need to be creative in their problem-solving approach and have the ability to think critically.
- Communication. This is because data analysts often have to present their findings to non-technical people who might not be familiar with the concepts or the software programs being used. Therefore, it’s important for data analysts to be able to explain complex concepts in simple terms and to create visuals that can be easily understood by people who are not experts in the field.
- Collaboration. Data analysts also need to be good at collaborating with others. This is because data analysis is often a team effort and analysts need to be able to work well with others in order to get the job done. This might involve working with people from different departments within an organization, such as marketing, sales, and product development to name a few. An example is if you’re working on a project to develop a new marketing campaign, you’ll need to be able to work with the marketing team to get the data that you need and to ensure that your findings are incorporated into the final campaign.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Data Analyst Without a Degree
Applying to a 4-year college is not an easy feat. You have to write essays, and fill out applications just to name a few things. Then, you have to pay for tuition which can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars per year.
For many people, going to college is simply not an option. Luckily, many many people have careers in data analytics without a degree.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Enroll in Online Courses
An online course can help you learn data analytics and build specific skills that you can use in your career pursuits.
There are many benefits to taking online courses.
For one, they are usually much cheaper than traditional degree programs.
Additionally, they can be completed in a shorter amount of time, which means that you can get started in your career much sooner.
There are a variety of short courses that you can take to start your career in data analytics. These courses are offered by reputable online providers like LinkedIn Learning, Skillshare, and Coursera.
2. Get a Job in a Related Field
While taking courses is a great way to start your career in data analytics, it’s not the end of it. You should also get started in your career by getting a job in a related field.
There are many jobs that will give you the skills that you need to be successful in data analytics. For example, jobs in customer service or sales will teach you how to deal with people and how to collect data.
Jobs in marketing or market research will also give you exposure to data and how to analyze it. These are just a few examples of jobs that can help you transition into a career in data analytics.
3. Start Freelancing
Another great way to get started in your career is to start freelancing.
There are many benefits to freelancing. For one, it allows you to get started in your career without having to find a full-time job. Additionally, it gives you the flexibility to work on projects that interest you.
To start freelancing, you can sign up for a freelancing platform like Upwork, Fiverr, or 99designs. Once you create a profile, you can start bidding on projects that clients have posted.
4. Create a Portfolio
One great way to show potential employers that you’re serious about a career in data analytics is to make a portfolio.
It’s a great way to showcase your skills and demonstrate what you’re capable of. To create a portfolio, you can use a platform like GitHub or WordPress. You can also create a website using HTML and CSS.
Once you have created your portfolio, be sure to include projects that you have worked on, as well as a description of the skills that you used.
A Final Word on Becoming a Data Analyst without a Degree
Data analysts are important parts of any company. They help make decisions by analyzing data and finding trends.
With the ever-growing demand for data analysts, there has never been a better time to start a career in this field. While a degree is not required, taking online courses and building a portfolio are great ways to get started.
Additionally, networking is important if you want to be successful in this field.
By following these tips, you can start your career in data analytics without a degree
Do you have any questions on how to become a data analyst without a degree? Let us know in the comments below!