CK Logo

How to Become a Data Analyst

Explore the Top Courses and Bootcamps to Become a Data Analyst and Learn the Ins and Outs of the Job

The world around you is run by numbers. From the latest political poll to the national census, numbers paint a valuable picture of social realities. With data analytics, we learn how people think, act, and function. However, you may be wondering how to become a data analyst.

If data analytics piques your interest, this article is for you. Here, we'll explain how to become a data analyst, discussing educational paths, job outlook, salary expectations, necessary skills, and much more. Learn more about the steps for becoming a data analyst below. 

How to Become a Data Analyst in Eight Steps

Data analysis is a well-remunerated profession and, as such, it requires advanced education and training. Although the journey to becoming a data analyst is slightly different for everyone, here is a list of the most common steps people take:

  1. Plan your career path

  2. Get a bachelor’s degree

  3. Obtain an internship

  4. Take online classes

  5. Build your portfolio

  6. Work on your resume

  7. Apply for jobs

  8. Prepare for job interviews

Find your bootcamp matchReady to kickstart your journey to a high-paying tech career? Career Karma will match you with the best coding bootcamps to help you achieve your professional goals.

How to Be a Data Analyst: Step-by-Step Guide

Learning data analytics is by no means a simple process. The first step in your journey to becoming a data analyst will probably be to pursue an undergraduate degree, where you will gain theoretical knowledge and develop some key technical skills. If you want to know more, we have compiled a step-by-step guide on how to become a data analyst.

Step 1: Plan Your Career Path

The first step to becoming a data analyst is to plan out your career path. In this step, you should consider what learning experience you want to pursue, what kind of company you would like to work for, and what kind of data science job you would like to have.

Step 2: Get a Bachelor's Degree

As with many other professions, the journey to becoming a data analyst starts with an undergraduate degree program. You can pursue a degree in data analytics, data science, database management, or machine learning, among other programs. It will take you around four years to complete your degree.

Step 3: Obtain an Internship

Nowadays, internships are an important part of professional development, particularly for students and recent graduates. Through an internship, you can obtain critical practical experience and multiply your chances of landing your dream job. Internships can be a great opportunity to develop some of those abilities that are not covered in academic programs, such as soft skills.

Step 4: Take Online Classes

Your degree and internship may not have addressed every subject relevant to the field. Online courses or bootcamps aim to fill those gaps in your learning. Online learning platforms offer data analytics courses abound, with courses taking anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. By taking data analyst online classes, you can enhance your practical skills within the field. 

Step 5: Build Your Portfolio

The next step, if you want to become a data analyst, is to build a professional portfolio. Having a solid portfolio is a great way to showcase your analytical skills to potential employers. This will help you stay more competitive in various job market opportunities. 

Step 6: Work on Your Resume

Building a robust resume is an essential step in the process of becoming a data analyst. A data analyst's resume should communicate your educational background, professional experience, notable qualifications, and past achievements. Your data analyst resume should give the hiring manager a strong sense of your abilities. 

Step 7: Apply for Jobs

If you've followed the steps above, you should be ready to face the dreaded job hunt. The job outlook for data analysts is very positive, which means there are plenty of open positions available. Using job boards such as Indeed, LinkedIn, or Jobvite, you are sure to achieve your goal of landing a high-paying job in the sector.

Step 8: Prepare for Job Interviews

The final step in becoming a data analyst is to secure a job. A vital part of this is taking time to prepare for job interviews. You can do mock interviews and practice answering common data analyst interview questions. Make sure that you can effectively communicate your data analysis experience and skills. 

What Is Data Analytics?

Data analysis involves the processing, cleaning, and understanding of data to determine the solution to a problem. Data analysis is used by business and government leaders to gain actionable insights and make business decisions or other strategic decisions. 

Where leaders used to rely on intuition to make decisions, data analysis has made it possible to hold faith in the numbers. As a data set increases in size, so does the reliability of the analysis that someone has conducted. This is why companies gather data.

The problems a data analyst solves depend on the industry in which they work. Governments use data analysis for a myriad of purposes, such as public health protection and predicting how the economy will change. Businesses, on the other hand, use data analysis to analyze user engagement or find out what features users enjoy most in a given app.

What Does a Data Analyst Do?

A data analyst interprets data by looking at trends and patterns. They turn the data into information that can be used to improve a business. To learn more about what a data analyst does, read through our list of key tasks below.

  • Interpreting data from small or large datasets

  • Identifying data patterns

  • Working with management to figure out ways to improve business operations

  • Obtaining data from sources where it is being collected

  • Developing databases and data reports

  • Implementing strategies to increase efficiency

How Long Does it Take to Become a Data Analyst?

It usually takes about four years to become a data analyst. Most people who secure a job in the industry have obtained, at least, a bachelor's degree. However, some may choose to pursue a master's degree before applying for jobs, which means they are looking at six years of study.

That being said, how long it takes to become a data analyst will depend on which educational path you choose. It is possible to learn data analytics by joining a bootcamp or taking part in a course. These courses are accessible even if you have no prior data science experience. If you follow this path, it can take anywhere from three to six months to build a strong foundation.

The truth is that there's no saying how long it takes to become a data analyst. However, if you have a strong aptitude for mathematics, statistics, and critical thinking, you'll find success in this field soon enough.

Is It Hard to Become a Data Analyst?

No, it is not hard to become a data analyst if you enjoy math and other technical topics. Though data analytics is a technical field, there are many learning resources available that make the profession more accessible. In addition, data analytics software aids professionals in their everyday tasks. 

Data Analyst Skills

Learning data analytics means familiarizing yourself with the various tools involved in the process. There are many different data analyst skills that you need to master in order to qualify for job opportunities. In fact, there are certain hard and soft skills required to become a data analyst. Below are the essential data analyst skills:

Essential Technical Skills for Data Analysts

Many data analyst skills revolve around technical knowledge. Skilled data analysts are adept in math and programming. Below are several of the technical skills needed to be a data analyst. You should have a solid understanding of these topics to work in the data science field. 

  • Math. Data analysis deals with numbers. You do not need to have an in-depth understanding of trigonometry or calculus. However, you will need a firm grasp of mathematics and its concepts.

  • Statistics. Having a deep knowledge of statistics is one of the most useful skills to have if you wish to pursue data analytics. Knowing how different pieces of data are collected is the backbone of the data analysis process. This means you should be comfortable with graphs, charts, regressions, sample sizes, and other data analysis concepts.

  • Programming. Programming literacy is a huge bonus in the world of data analytics. There are plenty of coding languages you may choose to learn, such as Python, C++, and Java.

Essential Soft Skills for Data Analysts

In addition to technical knowledge, certain soft skills are required to become a data analyst. These skills are essential to being successful in a data analyst role. Learn about several of the most important data analyst soft skills below.

  • Communication. The importance of this data analyst soft skill should not be underestimated. Communication, both written and verbal, is key to your success. You need superb listening skills to understand your assignments as well as the ability to clearly explain complex topics to a colleague. Good communication skills can mean the difference between a harmonious working environment and a toxic one.

  • Critical thinking. To analyze real-world data, you need critical thinking skills. This means having the ability to look at one aspect of a study and extrapolate the deeper meaning behind it. If you can do this well, it will enhance your overall data analytics skills.

  • Teamwork. Data analyst duties will require you to access data and communicate complex topics across departments. As such, many job listings will mention that they want a candidate who is comfortable with teamwork.

Required Education for Data Analysts

If you want to learn how to become a data analyst, one of the first things you need to know is what educational path to take. Thankfully, aspiring professionals have several options when it comes to getting a data analyst education.

The education requirements for data analyst roles can vary from company to company. However, you can get the skills you need from a data analytics bootcamp or an advanced degree program. Learn more about how to become a data analyst through either a bootcamp, college degree, or self-study process below. 

Data Analytics Coding Bootcamps

A data analyst bootcamp is a great way to get foundational knowledge in the field quickly. Coding bootcamps are intensive, short-term programs that teach students popular programming languages and specialized skills in a matter of months. A data analyst bootcamp is also typically a more affordable option than a university program. 

Data Analytics College Degrees

Another option for getting a data analyst education is to earn a data analyst degree. While this may be the most expensive method of becoming a data analyst, it is also the most widely accepted among employers. Aspiring professionals can get a Bachelor’s Degree in Data Science. In addition, they can go on to earn a master’s degree in the field. 

Self-Study to Become a Data Analyst

The last option for a data analyst education is to teach yourself data analytics. There are many online resources that will allow you to gain a foundational understanding of important data science topics. This learning plan requires a lot of dedication and discipline. However, teaching yourself data analytics can be a great option to get an entry-level data analyst job. 

Data Analyst Job and Career Outlook

The data analyst job outlook shows that professionals can have a promising future in their careers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects market research analyst positions to grow by 13 percent from 2022 to 2032, which the Bureau categorizes as “much faster than average.” This optimistic projection results from the growing demand for efficient systems and predictive analytics in our tech and business-driven world.

The services of data analysts are increasingly sought by business and government leaders to make decisions. As a data set increases in size, so does the reliability of the analysis that someone has conducted. This is why companies gather data. Taking all this into consideration, the employability of these professionals seems guaranteed, at least for the next decade. With this, there should be many data analyst jobs available. 

How Much Do Data Analysts Earn?

The average data analyst salary is $66,082, according to PayScale. This figure does not include bonuses or commissions, which can significantly increase the income of these professionals. In fact, PayScale estimates that the total pay for a data analyst (including bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay, and other forms of income) ranges from $48,000 to $91,000.

Naturally, experience impacts these professionals' income. According to Glassdoor, a senior data analyst's salary starts at $121,024 a year. In addition to your experience, the location where you work can also affect the data analyst salary that you earn. 

Where Can I Work as a Data Analyst?

A big aspect of learning how to become a data analyst is discovering where you can find job opportunities. Thankfully, data analysts can work in a wide variety of industries. From banking to retail to healthcare, many different industries today put out job postings for data analysts. However, most data analyst positions are only available at large companies. 

Data Analyst Internships

Getting a data analyst internship is one way to get relevant work experience when becoming a data analyst. These positions are a rich part of your learning journey and offer you a way to build skills, learn what it is like to work as a data analyst, and, oftentimes, earn some money.

If you want to apply for a data analyst internship, you can search for opportunities with large firms in nearly any industry. In particular, the banking and tech industries often have opportunities available.

A Day in the Life of a Data Analyst

A day in the life of a data analyst typically involves statistics, programming, and problem-solving. Although the day-to-day tasks vary depending on where they work and what tools they use, for many data analysts the day typically begins with data gathering and cleaning. 

Data analysts scour through vast datasets, ensuring accuracy and completeness. This meticulous process lays the foundation for meaningful analysis. Once the data is ready, the analyst dives into statistical analysis, employing tools like Python, R, or Excel to unearth patterns and trends.

As the day progresses, the data analyst collaborates with cross-functional teams, discussing findings and aligning strategies. For this, they need effective communication skills to convey complex data insights and they may also also use visualization tools like charts and graphs that make the data comprehensible.

A day in the life of a data analyst is also marked by problem-solving. Analysts tackle real-world issues, devising predictive models, and A/B testing hypotheses. Adaptability is key as the data landscape constantly evolves. 

What Courses Should You Take to Become a Data Analyst?

There are many options for pursuing an education in data analysis. Some of the best courses for data analytics can be found online, making them highly accessible. Below are some of the best courses for data analytics to enroll in right now. You’ll find both paid and free data analytics courses featured in this list.

Data Analysis Fundamentals: A Hands-on Workshop


American Management Association







This workshop lasts two days and covers a variety of data analysis topics. Modules include the topics of gathering data, creating a data table, analyzing data, and extracting insights from data. The course is offered by the American Management Association (AMA) and costs $2,595 for those who are not members and $2,345 for AMA members.

Data Science For Business Leaders


Data Science Dojo







Data Science Dojo offers this online five-day course to help business leaders learn how to use data science to reach their targets. At the end of the course, students receive a certificate of completion. The lessons are taught live by instructors and last three hours each day.

Data Analytics


Coding Temple







Coding Temple is a coding bootcamp that offers data analytics courses online for students around the US. This program can be taken full-time, with live instruction, or part-time, which is self-paced. This school is among several coding bootcamps that offer a job guarantee. Students also have access to a dedicated student relations manager.

Data Analytics Bootcamp









Considered one of the best coding bootcamps for data analytics, Metis offers online courses that teach students how to become data analysts. It has a 24-week bootcamp offered in partnership with Florida International University. The bootcamp includes job placement support, career coaching, and more.

Learning Python for Data Analysis and Visualization









Fluency in a programming language is an impressive skill on any resume, and this course on learning Python is specifically designed for data analysts. Students of this course will learn the fundamentals of data visualization and computer science through hours of video instruction.

By the end of the course, you will have a solid intermediate knowledge of Python. Additionally, you’ll have a more impressive resume and a knack for creating data sets and data visualizations.

Online Data Analytics Resources

As you learn data analytics, there will be times when you have questions or want to delve into a topic further. Luckily, there are online data analytics resources out there to help you. From forums to websites dedicated to the subject, these are the best online data analytics resources available.

Data Science Masters

Data Science Masters is a resource that helps you understand data science as a concept. There are several data analytics resources on the site, such as tutorials, books, and even study groups. You can learn anything from data design to math and computing.

Learn Data Science

If you want to learn data science, then this website is for you. Those interested in data analytics can find a wealth of data analytics resources to help with learning. The site covers topics such as linear regression, data explorations, and random forests.


This is an interactive website that offers data analysis of various types. You can find data on health, sports, political issues, and culture. The site was launched by American statistician Nate Silver. You can also enjoy insights into the data through the site's podcast.

Simply Statistics

If you need advice or to see the works of professors in data science, then this is a great resource. Not only does the site provide advice to aspiring data scientists, but it also shows you how some entered the field.

Data Science Weekly

Data Science Weekly is a database of data analytics resources, news updates, and more. If you cannot find the resources needed on the above pages, you may be able to here. You can also sign up for data science newsletters, which have articles, news, and even feature jobs.

Should You Become a Data Analyst?

Yes, you should become a data analyst. As we have shown you, data analytics is a growing field with an excellent job outlook and high salaries.

Data analytics is crucial to our modern economy. Today, data analytics is used by, among other groups, the insurance industry to predict claims and the financial industry to predict the direction of the stock market. Even technology companies use it to analyze user engagement.

What's more, government bodies rely on data to solve societal problems. This is because data can help organizations make more informed, data-driven decisions. When you have data to back up a decision, it is easier to feel confident that you are pursuing the right path.

On an average day, data analysts apply their knowledge of mathematics, statistical dataset analysis methods, and programming to solve business problems. If you're someone who has a knack for numbers and problem-solving, and a dislike for uncertainty, then data analytics might be for you.


Is data analytics a good career?
Yes, data analytics is a good career. In fact, becoming a data analyst can be a great career move. The profession has a job outlook of 13 percent, and job seekers can find opportunities in a variety of industries. In addition, the average salary of a data analyst is over $66,000 per year.
What makes a good data analyst?
A good data analyst should have a sense of curiosity, strong communication skills, and, of course, an analytical mindset. In addition, being detail-oriented and skilled in logical thinking are important job skills for a data analyst. If you want to learn how to become a data analyst, these are all essential skills that you should develop.
Can you become a data analyst with no experience?
Yes, you can become a data analyst with no professional experience. However, you will need at least basic knowledge of certain technical topics to begin working. This includes math, statistics, and various data analytics tools.
Has data analytics changed post-pandemic?
The only thing about data analytics that has changed post-pandemic is that it is more in demand. With more remote employees and virtual services being offered, companies need to rely more on data to interpret their overall health and performance.
Get matched to top bootcamps