Companies across the globe are collecting, storing, and analyzing massive amounts of personal information and data like never before. From your online shopping record and Internet browsing history to the type of car you drive and your physical GPS location, you’re probably sharing more information than you think.  

All of that data tracking leads to added convenience, like personalized ads. It also means social media giants like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter might know what you had for lunch. If you share it, they’ll store it.

The reason for all this data collection is simple. Your data is extremely valuable to companies. It allows them to create laser-targeted advertising campaigns, make informed business decisions, and understand their customers better.

It’s the responsibility of data analysts to use this information to draw useful conclusions and help drive business decisions. Analysts have become increasingly valuable. If you’re interested in a data analytics career, you can expect a lucrative compensation package, job security, and excellent job prospects.

Read on to find out if data analytics degrees are worth it, what a data analyst does, and why a bootcamp could be a better way to land your ideal job in big data.

Launch Your Data Analytics Career

An online data analytics course aimed at helping you launch a career. One-on-one mentorship, professional guidance, and a robust community network are on hand to help you succeed in Data Analytics.

Are Data Analytics Degrees Worth It?

The short answer to this: a degree will certainly help you learn data analytics, but it’s not necessarily required to land a great job. If you’re happy to commit 4 years of your life, invest a significant amount of money into your education, and leave your options open to a range of different career paths, then a degree could be for you.

But if you’re focused specifically on becoming a data analyst, don’t want to learn unnecessary skills, and want a fast-paced and affordable learning program, enroll in a data analytics bootcamp instead. You’ll learn specific skills needed to kickstart your career, including:

The bootcamp program also gives you the opportunity to build a professional portfolio of work. You can share this with prospective employers to demonstrate your ability and boost your chances of success.

Types of Data Analytics Degrees

Data Analytics Bachelor’s Degree

If you're considering getting a bachelor’s degree, plan to commit 4 years and around $40,000. Data analytics is a broad subject and there’s no specific bachelor’s degree required to become a data analyst.

Usually, a degree in computer science, statistics or mathematics is preferable. These degrees teach you statistical tools, knowledge of probability, linear algebra, multivariable calculus, and familiarity with languages like Python, R, and SQL.

Students from other backgrounds like physics, astrophysics, and even social science can also consider a career in data analytics. However, these are less relevant programs and may require additional, more focused studies to learn the necessary skills.

Data Analytics Master’s Degree

Master’s degrees can take 2 years to complete and are great if you want to continue your education after a bachelor’s degree. They give you the chance to specialize in a particular field. You’ll learn from experts that have the highest academic and professional qualifications.

The focus will be on data operations in this program. You can apply for an MS in data analytics and gain hands-on experience with various tools and techniques that are used by data analysts. By the end of your program, you’ll be able to transform raw or unorganized data into a more meaningful structure.

You can study the following specializations with a data analytics master’s degree:

Keep in mind that along with theoretical knowledge, you’ll need some practical experience too. Pay attention to the curriculum and look for programs that teach the most current skills, using tools that are currently used by the industry. Choose a degree that strikes the perfect balance between theoretical and practical learning.

Pursuing a master’s degree may be unsuitable for some candidates. If you’re a busy professional with work commitments, studying for a master’s can be overwhelming. You can inquire about part-time programs to spread the workload out. However, this does mean it’ll take longer to graduate.

A master’s degree is beneficial for those who want a career in business intelligence, data mining, or statistics. MIT, University of Texas at Austin, University of Chicago, and Columbia University are some of the best options for pursuing a master’s degree in this field.

Skills You Should Learn with a Data Analytics Degree

A data analytics degree requires a significant investment of both time and money. It’s therefore essential you make sure the degree curriculum is actually relevant.

One way to do this is by learning as much as possible about the data analytics role before applying. What will your day-to-day work be like? What skills will you need? Answering these questions will help you make an informed decision when choosing a data analytics degree.

Here are some of the skills any data analytics degree should focus on:

Alternatives to a Degree in Data Analytics

A degree isn't the only way to increase your salary as a Data Analyst.

Data Analytics Certification Courses

Certification in data analytics gives you the opportunity to validate your knowledge and skills in the space. Online data analytics courses are much shorter than degrees and a lot less expensive. They can help you demonstrate your passion for data, and can encourage prospective employers to hire you.

There are generally no entry requirements for certification programs. Below are some of the most recognizable certificate courses in data analytics:

Data analytics certificates can help your resume stand out and send a clear message to recruiters. They show you’re keeping up to date with the latest data analytics tools and techniques, that you’re motivated, and that you have a genuine interest in data analytics.

With certification courses, the focus is on validating existing knowledge rather than learning new data analysis skills from scratch. They are usually issued by big software manufacturers or like Microsoft, Google, and Adobe for a particular tool or data technology. Certifications are therefore more suited to existing professionals that want to emphasize their skills.

Data Analytics Bootcamps

Data analytics bootcamps are specialized training programs for people who want to start a career in data analysis. They’re put together by experienced data professionals who understand exactly what’s required for a job in the field.

They’re more affordable, more focused, and faster than degree programs. This makes data analytics bootcamps perfect for students with no prior experience, looking to get hired in a relatively short space of time.

A data analytics bootcamp can equip you with the skills and knowledge to compete in today’s cut-throat job market. Some programs provide additional assistance in resume building, job search training, and career coaching.

Before selecting a bootcamp, look at the curriculum. It should include essential tools like Hadoop, Spark, and Tableau. There are full-time and part-time options to choose from. You can choose a bootcamp based on your schedule, personal requirements, and convenience.

Next Steps

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the different learning paths available to you. Data analytics is a highly rewarding and satisfying job and we wish you every success for your future career. If you’d like to discuss your options in more detail, schedule a call with us. We’ll be happy to help.

For further reading, take a look at our data analytics blog. We cover a range of different data analytics topics you might find useful.


Will a data analytics degree get me a job?

Yes, you're likely to get a job after completing a degree in data analytics. There's increasingly high demand for educated and qualified data analysts in a wide range of industries.

Should I get a degree or enroll in a data analysis bootcamp?

For most people looking to get hired as a data analyst, a bootcamp is more efficient than a degree. It takes less time, costs less, and the curriculum is more focused on the current job market.

How much does a degree cost?

The average bachelor's degree will cost around $35,720 per year on average. You can find more affordable options by attending school online, enrolling in a state school, or applying for grants and scholarships.

Launch Your Data Analytics Career

An online data analytics course aimed at helping you launch a career. One-on-one mentorship, professional guidance, and a robust community network are on hand to help you succeed in Data Analytics.

Share this article