Data Science

10 (Very Legit) Reasons to Get a Master’s Degree in Data Analytics

10 (Very Legit) Reasons to Get a Master’s Degree in Data Analytics
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Kayla Matthews profile
Kayla Matthews March 4, 2019

It's (relatively) easy to break into the field.

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The amount of data in this world is growing rapidly. The International Data Corp. (IDC) forecasts that there will be 175 zettabytes (ZB) of data in existence by 2025, up from 33 ZB in 2018. A single zettabyte is equal to one trillion gigabytes, which is 1.9 billion times the capacity of Apple’s maximum storage iphone XS. 175 zettabytes is an almost unimaginable volume.

The insights contained within this data have huge potential value to organizations and industry. As the volume of available data increases, data analysts will find increasing opportunities in the extraction, organization, and communication of the valuable insights hidden in these data sets.

A master’s degree in data analytics will prepare you to join the workforce as a data specialist. You will emerge knowing how to collect, organize, and analyze information using multiple techniques. You’ll also learn how to discover crucial patterns in datasets, find meaning in raw data, and explain your findings to managers and executives.

Interested in earning a master’s in data analytics?

Here are the top 10 reasons to get a master’s degree in data analytics.

1. The job market is excellent

The field of data analytics has an extremely promising job outlook. IBM projects that by the year 2020, the number of job postings for data and analytics professionals in the United States will will reach 2.7 million. This is an increase of 364,000 openings from 2015, or a growth rate of 15 percent over five years.

2. The salary is impressive

Another compelling reason to earn a master’s in data analytics is the salary. Glassdoor finds that data scientist jobs offer an average salary of $117,345, and roles in data engineering pay nearly the same.

__(Food for thought: Is a Master’s Degree in Data Analytics Right For You?)__

It’s possible to start working in this field with only a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s will increase your qualifications for higher-paying management and leadership roles.

3. You’ll be able to pursue a wide variety of jobs

Within the field of data analytics, there are many different types of jobs. You will be able to steer your data career towards your area of interest, which might be prescriptive analytics, predictive analytics, descriptive analytics or some combination of the three.

With a master’s degree, you will also be qualified for a variety of job titles. These include big data engineer, metrics and analytics specialist, big data analyst, big data analytics architect, big data solution architect, business intelligence and analytics consultant, big data analytics business consultant and analytics associate.

4. Today, employers in nearly every sector use big data.

With a master’s in data analytics, you will be able to find work in a wide range of endeavors: engineering, healthcare, education, government, science, and business all integrate data analytics into their planning and execution. This degree will help you make an impact in the sector that interests you most.

According to IBM, the sectors with the highest demand for data analytics professionals are:
· Finance and insurance
· Professional, scientific, and technical services
· Information
· Management of companies and enterprises
· Manufacturing
· Utilities

5. It’s relatively easy to break into the field

In many careers, companies want hires to have some level of work experience. This can make it difficult for recent graduates to land their first job. But because data analytics is a relatively new field, employees aren’t expected to have had as many years on the workforce. In fact, according to a Burtch Works study, 40 percent of data scientists have fewer than five years of experience in this profession. A degree in data analytics will demonstrate your qualifications, even if you’re just starting out.

6. The job search will be minimally stressful

Looking for a job can be quite a stressful experience. With a degree in data analytics, however, your job search will be relatively easy. Analytics is a growing field, so there are plenty of jobs available. With a master’s in data analytics on your resumé, the most difficult decision will be which of the many available opportunities to apply for.

7. You’ll have lots of opportunities to move up the ladder

A master’s degree in data analytics will position you to move up into management and leadership positions throughout your career. And these advancements can be lucrative. For example, Burtch Works finds that median base salaries in big data analytics are $140,000 for level one managers, $190,000 for level two managers, and $250,000 for level three managers. For some perspective, level three manager pay is higher than the median annual wage for internal medicine doctors, pediatricians, and psychiatrists.

8. You can work as a freelancer or consultant

Once you gain some experience in data analytics, you’ll be qualified to move into a freelancing or consulting role. Such positions offer flexibility and convenience. In addition to setting your own hours, you may also be able to work from home for a portion of your workweek.

If you have credentials and experience in data analytics, freelance and consulting work can be a high-paying and highly satisfying pursuit.

9. You will make a big impact

In a study conducted by Deloitte, 49 percent of executives surveyed said that the most important benefit of analytics within their business is improved decision-making capabilities. In addition, ninety-six percent of survey participants said analytics will become “more important” or “somewhat more important” over the next three years.

In another survey from the University of Oxford and the IBM Institute of Business Value, 63 percent of organizations said that their data analytics programs provide them with a competitive advantage. As a data analyst, you’ll have a chance to influence vital decisions within your organization and lead executives towards success.

10. You’ll get to work with numbers

If you love numbers, math, and programming, you’ll love data analytics. This field involves describing complex topics in concrete terms, so it’s perfect for those who possess both an analytical mind and a desire to influence people. If that sounds like you, a master’s degree in data analytics might be the right choice.


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Preparing for the future with a master’s in data analytics

With artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the Internet of things paving the way for tomorrow’s business, understanding how to effectively gather and use data-based insights is increasingly important. A master’s degree in data analytics will help you break into this exciting field and take your career to the next level.

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About the Editor

Tom Meltzer spent over 20 years writing and teaching for The Princeton Review, where he was lead author of the company's popular guide to colleges, before joining Noodle.

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