With the digital economy becoming the economy, jobs in data offer a wide range of opportunities for those looking to take their careers to the next level. Whether building predictive models and machine learning as a data scientist, or delivering a modern data stack as an analytics engineer, the rapid technological advances - and the need for professionals to capitalize on them - over the last decade shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Now more than ever, businesses are relying on data-driven decisions – making it an essential skill set for thriving in any job market. If you’re interested in pursuing a career involving data, there’s no better time than now! In this article, we explore 8 top careers that involve working with data.
1. Data Analyst
Data analysts are responsible for interpreting data and analyzing results using statistical techniques. They identify patterns and trends in complex data sets to help businesses, government agencies, and other organizations make informed decisions. Data analysts must be proficient in statistics, business analytics, mathematics, computer science, and economics.
To successfully work as a data analyst, one should have strong problem-solving and analytical skills, be detail-oriented, and have a passion for working with numbers. Excellent communication and presentation skills are also essential as the role often involves interacting with other departments.
The job outlook for data analysts is positive, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS projects that the employment of data analysts is expected to grow by 23% from 2021 to 2031. The median annual wage for data analysts in March 2023 was $84,469, according to Built In. Data analyst salaries tend to vary based on experience, industry, and location. Those with advanced degrees or specialized skills can expect higher pay. Therefore, it is an attractive career path for those looking to leverage their skills and knowledge of data.
2. Data Scientist
Data scientists are responsible for developing and maintaining processes to identify insights from large amounts of data. Their work involves collecting, cleaning, analyzing, and interpreting data to gain insights that can be used to improve data-driven decision making in organizations. Data scientists must have strong analytical and problem-solving skills as well as an aptitude for mathematics and statistics. They must also understand computer science concepts such as databases and programming languages like Python, R, Java, etc.
Data scientists need to know machine learning algorithms and techniques such as supervised learning, unsupervised learning, neural networks, and natural language processing (NLP). They should be able to interpret complex datasets using statistical methods like hypothesis testing and regression analysis while understanding the implications of their findings.
The job outlook for data scientists is promising, with the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projecting that employment of data scientists is expected to grow 36% from 2021 to 2031. The median annual wage for data scientists in March 2023 was $124,893, according to Built In. Data scientist salaries vary based on experience, industry and location; those with advanced degrees or specialized skills can expect higher pay.
3. Database Administrator
Database administrators are responsible for designing, implementing, and managing organizational databases, including cloud data platforms like cloud data warehouses. They ensure that the database is secure and accessible to authorized users by monitoring and maintaining system performance. Database administrators must have a strong understanding of database languages such as SQL, PL/SQL, MySQL, and NoSQL. They should also be familiar with database management.
In addition to technical skills, database administrators should possess excellent problem-solving abilities and be able to work independently or in teams when needed. Strong communication skills are essential as they may need to collaborate with other departments to ensure the efficient use of the organization’s data resources.
The job outlook for database administrators is positive according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) which projects a 9% growth in employment from 2021 to 2031. The median annual wage for database administrators in March 2023 was $131,431, according to Built In. Salaries vary based on experience, industry and location; those with advanced degrees or specialized skills can expect higher pay.
4. Data and Analytics Engineer
Data and analytics engineers are responsible for building and maintaining data processing systems that collect, store, transfer and analyze large amounts of data. They must have strong programming skills in languages such as Java, Python, and Scala. Knowledge of technologies like Hadoop, Apache Spark, and AWS is also necessary to design and maintain data pipelines.
Data engineers should also possess excellent problem-solving skills to identify issues with existing databases or applications and devise innovative solutions for them. In addition, they need to be able to work independently or in teams when needed.
The job outlook for data engineers is good according to Zippia’s data science team which projects a 21% growth in employment from 2018 to 2028. The median annual wage for data engineers in March 2023 was $124,245, according to Built In. Salaries vary based on experience, industry and location; those with advanced degrees or specialized skills can expect higher pay.
5. Business Intelligence Analyst
Business intelligence analysts are responsible for using data to identify trends and patterns that can benefit an organization. They extract, clean, and analyze large datasets from multiple sources, often through ETL or ELT, to gain insights that help decision-makers make informed decisions. To do their job effectively, business intelligence analysts must have a deep understanding of database languages like SQL and NoSQL as well as data visualization tools such as ThoughtSpot. They should also possess good communication skills to explain complex findings in simple terms.
The job outlook for business intelligence analysts is positive according to the Zippia data science team, which projects 21% in job growth from 2018 to 2028. The median annual wage for this occupation in March 2023 was $87,751, according to Built In. Salaries vary based on experience, industry and location; those with advanced degrees or specialized skills can expect higher pay.
6. Machine Learning Engineer
A Machine Learning Engineer is responsible for designing and developing innovative machine-learning solutions to solve complex business problems. They use a range of techniques such as supervised learning, unsupervised learning, reinforcement learning, and deep learning to create algorithms that can process large amounts of data and make accurate predictions. To do their job effectively, machine learning engineers must have a solid understanding of mathematics, computer science, and programming languages such as Python and SQL. Additionally, they should be familiar with popular open-source tools like TensorFlow, Keras and Scikit-Learn.
The job outlook for machine learning engineers is good according to the the Future of Jobs Report 2020, which projects artificial intelligence will create 12 million new jobs by 2025. The median annual wage for this occupation in March 2023 was $153,212, according to Built In. As with other data-driven roles, salaries can vary significantly depending on experience, industry, and location. In addition, machine learning engineers who demonstrate expertise in areas like natural language processing (NLP), large language models, and artificial intelligence (AI) are particularly in demand.
7. Data Architect
Data Architects are responsible for designing, developing, and managing databases to ensure organizational data is stored securely and efficiently. They analyze the logical structure of an organization’s data, whether that’s a Snowflake or Star schema, create and maintain the physical database structure and design a system for data reliability. Additionally, they may be responsible for developing backup strategies to ensure that data is not lost in the event of an emergency or power outage.
Data Architects typically need a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or another related field as well as extensive experience with programming languages such as SQL and Java. They should also possess excellent problem-solving skills and know various database technologies. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of Data Architects is projected to grow 9 percent from 2021 to 2031, faster than average compared to other occupations. The median annual wage for this occupation in March 2023 was $145,215, according to Built In.
8. Data Visualization Specialist
The median annual wage for this occupation in March 2023 was $73,191, according to Glassdoor. With a growing need for businesses to gain insights from their data and make informed decisions, salaries are expected to remain competitive.
Become an in-demand professional
As data continues to revolutionize the way businesses and governments operate, career opportunities for professionals with data-driven skills will only increase. While there are many data-focused roles available now, the field is expected to see major growth over the next five years. The top 8 data careers for 2023 include Data Analyst, Data Scientist, Database Administrator, Data Engineer, Business Intelligence Analyst, Machine Learning Engineer, Data Architect, and Data Visualization Specialist. Each of these carries unique responsibilities and attractive earning potential across a variety of industries. The growing demand for these roles all share the same root cause: businesses want to get more value out of their data by making it part of decision making processes across their business. With ThoughtSpot, data professionals can deliver self service analytics at scale, giving them time to grow their own skills, elevate their career, and exponentially scale their impact across the business. By signing up for a ThoughtSpot free trial today, you can get started on your journey to becoming an in-demand professional within this ever-expanding field of opportunity.