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Why Pursue a Career in Data Analytics?

One of the most exciting and evolving fields of the modern day is that of Data Analytics. The great potential for growth and the fact that currently demand is far greater than supply (as suggested by McKinsey), makes this a very secure and reliable career choice for those with the required skill sets. The Obama Administration has recognized the skill gap and the importance of training specialist experts in data interpretation and analysis and is now in the process of investing $200 million into big data research.

What is a Master’s in Data Analytics like?

A master of data analysis program is going to provide the skills and experience needed to make the most of the huge quantities of data that businesses and organization collect on a constant basis. Programs are typically designed to be completed within one year, although every institution and program is slightly different and they can last as long as 18 month to two years.

What is the Typical Curriculum of a Master’s in Data Analytics?

All data analysis masters will include subjects such as data mining, statistical models, risk analysis, machine learning, predictive analysis and business communication. The communication aspect should not be overlooked as a large part of data analytics involves communicating your findings coherently to the decision makers. This is also why a good understanding of business processes is crucial. Many programs such as the Masters of Science in analytics from the University of San Francisco include an internship for practical application and experience.

Course lengths vary from one to two years and its possible to specialize in data analytics as part of an MBA. It is also possible to find programs that focus on finance, insurance or marketing rather than business. As with all master degrees, only consider accredited universities and take the time to research the most reputable institutions.

What Pre-requisites Do I Need to Attend a Master’s in Data Analytics?

For all masters of data analysis programs, an undergraduate degree is pre-requisite and preferable majors include computer science, mathematics and business. There is however some flexibility here, particularly if the applicant has business or industry experience. Most programs will require evidence of sufficient understanding in the areas of statistics, linear algebra, programming, databases and analytical thinking. Competing a mandatory challenge exam, submitting credit-bearing coursework or relevant professional experience, are all ways to prove your existing skill set.

Who Should Consider a Master’s in Data Analytics?

Anyone with an IT, business or mathematical background is likely to make a good applicant for a data analytics masters. The job involves a combination of all three of these areas, along with good teamwork and communication skills. An inquisitive mind is important, as is the desire to seek out and identify problems before going on to solve them.

What Are the Career Opportunities in Data Analytics?

Data Analytics as a career choice has a lot of potential because it is an area of expertise that more and more businesses are going to come to require and possibly even to rely upon. Data analysis is a fairly broad term and someone in this job position may work in such areas as finance, management, computer systems and marketing, all of which have varying salaries. According to indeed.com, as of May 2014 the average salary of a data reporting analyst was $67,000, whilst a data warehouse analyst was $92,000.