If you are thinking of getting a data analytics degree then you might be wondering whether or not it would be worth it.
This post will show you whether or not it would be worth it for you to get a data analytics degree and some other things that you should consider.
So, is a data analytics degree worth it? The demand for people with data analysis skills is rising quickly due to the large amounts of data that companies are getting. This means, from an employment perspective, a data analytics degree would be worth it.
There are a number of positive aspects to getting a data analytics degree. However, there are also a number of alternatives that might interest you and there are some things that you should consider first.
Pay and future job prospects of data analytics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that jobs for computer and information research scientists, which includes data analysts, is expected to grow 11 percent from 2014 to 2024, which is faster than average.
An advantage that a data analytics bachelor’s degree has over most other degrees is that it will give you good job prospects without the need for a master’s degree.
With that being said, if you want to also get a master’s degree in data analytics then that will also open you up to many more job opportunities. I have written about whether or not a data analytics master’s degree would be worth it here.
Types of jobs a data analytics degree will qualify you for
Companies in many different fields have data that they need to be analyzed so it will be possible for you to find a job in almost every field as a data analyst.
In addition to this, there are many different ways to make use of data so there are many different data-based job roles which can include:
- Data science
- Big data engineer
- Data architect
- Machine learning engineer
- Data visualization developer
- Business intelligence analyst
- Data engineer
The exact jobs that you will qualify for will depend on the data analytics specialization that you choose and the types of internships and projects you do while getting the degree.
In addition, if you are able to get an internship while doing the data analytics degree then it would go a long way in improving your job prospects.
What you will be studying
You can expect to take classes such as data analytics, machine learning, big data, statistics, probability, statistical learning and deep learning when obtaining a data analytics degree.
Your freshman and sophomore years will be largely spent getting up to speed with the mathematical prerequisites. This is because many of the classes will require mathematics prerequisites such as single and multivariable calculus, linear algebra and discrete mathematics.
However, the exact courses that you will be taking will highly depend on the program and specialization that you choose.
You can take a look at the OSU data analytics website to see the classes that they require in their data analytics major to get an idea of the classes that you will be taking.
Alternative degrees to consider to a data analytics degree
If you are thinking of getting a data analytics degree then there are a number of other majors that you might want to consider as well such as:
You can click on their links to see whether or not those particular degrees would be worth it for you as well.
Data analytics is a difficult major to pursue
As mentioned above data analytics makes use of math, statistics and computer science each of those majors have a high dropout rate. This means that it will not be easy to get a data analytics degree.
How difficult the degree will be for you will depend on how good you are in math and stats. If you took a number of math and statistics classes, in high school, and you did well in them then you will likely do well in a data analytics major.
If you didn’t take many math or stats classes then you will still be able to do well in the major since it will be designed to take you from the very beginning. However, you will likely have to study a lot more than you are probably used to.
Whether or not it will be worth it for you will depend largely on your level of interest in data analytics. If you enjoy learning about data and how to gain insights from it then it will be much easier for you to continue with it when it becomes difficult.
How is data analytics different to business analytics?
Another degree that you might be considering is a business analytics degree. It is similar to a data analytics degree but there are a number of differences between them.
Data analytics is focused on using big data, statistical techniques and technology to find patterns and opportunities from data. Data analysts will improve the efficiency of how data is processed within an organization and identify new opportunities.
Business analytics uses similar statistical tools. However, it is much more focused on using the data to drive business decisions and to improve business processes.
A business degree will be less math-heavy but more focused on learning techniques to incorporate data with business objectives. As a result, you’ll find yourself taking more classes in business analytics, accounting and economics and only introductory courses from math, stats or computer science. You can look here to see an example of a business analytics bachelor’s degree.
Should I do data analytics or data science?
Another job that is similar to data analytics is data science. The two jobs are similar but they have some key differences.
Both job roles will be focused on gaining insights from data. However, a data scientist will be more focused on developing machine learning models designed to make predictions using the data.
Whereas, a data analyst will focus more on visualizing the data and using traditional statistical techniques to find patterns within the data.
The major that will be worth it for you will depend on whether you prefer working more on the machine learning side or if you prefer to work on processing, visualizing and obtaining the data.
I have written more about a data science degree here.
Consider the type of field that you would like to work in
As mentioned above, many different fields are able to gain insights from data so you’ll be able to find a job in many different fields as well.
Having domain knowledge of a particular field can help in data analysis. With that being the case, it would help to consider the field that you want to be a data analyst in and to take some electives from that field.
For example, if you want to work in finance then it would help to take some finance electives and to get an internship too.