A data analyst provides descriptive statistics, visualizing data and communication data points around a specific question. A data analyst also must be skilled with machine learning, using algorithms to learn and forecast future trends with data. Data science is the umbrella of all things data. A data scientist cleans, prepares and analyzes large sets of data (big data) from multiple sources and applies predictive and sentiment analysis to extract critical information to solve for an issue, predict an outcome, or provide insights into critical business decisions.

It is estimated that by 2020 the number of jobs for all U.S. data professionals will increase by over 500%, with a potential of over 2 million positions open!

Are You Career Ready: As a Minnesota State student you have access to a number of incredible resources. One of these is Career Wise Education, a Minnesota State program that allows you to explore careers, plan your education and find a job!
From this site you can assess your current skills, investigate career pathways, explore educational options and job markets, and so much more. It is a one-stop shop that will help you determine your career path and goals!

Currently, Minnesota has an 18% growth rate in open positions in the data field. Although many of these positions require a Bachelor’s degree, there are still a large number of companies looking to hire entry-level analysts as a way to engage eager students in the data needs of the organization! That gives you a huge opportunity to not only get a job but start a career!

The job outlook for Data or Computer Systems Analysts is expected to grow at a rate of 33% or higher between now and 2026.  Data analytics is one of the top five fastest-growing fields with high demand, high growth, and high salaries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor STatistics (BLS), the average salary for a data analyst is nearly $55,000 at the AA and/or BS Level and over $80,000 at the master’s degree level.

Candidates with knowledge and abilities in mathematical and/or statistical understanding and programming languages will excel in these roles.

Gaining industry certifications can be as important as earning your degree, especially when it comes to demonstrating your competency in the analytical or scientific software areas. Having certifications in R, Python, SAS, Oracle Application Server, Access management software, Apache database software, or others are critical. 

Tools & Technology for Computer Systems Analysts

Required Certifications:

As you grow in your field you will want to take advantage of the numerous opportunities you have for networking with other like-minded individuals. Professional conferences, workshops, and organizations are a great way to continue your learning, see the latest advancements in your field, and be part of future discussions and opportunities.

The Data Science Association is a non-profit professional organization of data scientists. Its mission is to serve other members, improve the data science profession by eliminating bias and enhancing diversity, and advance ethical data science throughout the world.


MinneAnalytics is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the data science and analytics community in Minnesota, the Upper Midwest, and beyond by providing accessible, authentic and engaging events. We facilitate the sharing of knowledge and ideas among analytics professionals across business, technology, and decision science through our industry-specific conferences and educational events.