Data and statistics seem to be making their way onto every avenue in the workforce, and there are hundreds of programming languages, tools and methods for practicing the craft. But which skills are in highest demand in the job market?
Trilogy Education, a New York-based startup that partners with universities to offer continuing education classes in technology, did research to identify the most in-demand skills for data analysis jobs. Trilogy works with 24 universities, such as Berkeley, Northwestern, and UNC Chapel Hill, to teach classes on web development, data analytics and online user experience. For the research, Trilogy used a database created by job analytics firm Burning Glass. It looked across more than 25.6 million positions, evaluating the number of times specific skills appeared in descriptions for jobs across the country.
1. Data Analysis
No, seriously, data analysis is the most in-demand skill. Granted, it’s a strange one to appear on a list of the same name, but Trilogy defines it as the critical-thinking ability to interpret numbers. “It’s the ability to tell a story that gives insight into a problem,” says Dan Sommer, Trilogy’s founder and CEO. In other words, in addition to knowing how to use specific programming languages and tools, employers need you to discern when patterns in data are meaningful, so that you can draw accurate and actionable conclusions.
SQL, the second-most in-demand skill, is a programming language used to retrieve information from a database. It was first developed in the 1970s and is ubiquitous. If you want to be a business analyst, data analyst, data engineer, data scientist, web developer, software engineer or database administrator, it’s important to know SQL, Sommer says.
3. Data Management
Data management relates to how you structure databases, which can have complex rules around who can access different pieces of information. And there are different approaches to storing data as efficiently as possible. A common job requiring data management skills is database administrator.
4. Business Intelligence
Business intelligence is the practice of gathering data to inform business decisions. For example, a company using direct mail and Facebook ads to market its products can use business intelligence software to help understand how well each marketing tactic is working. Business analyst, business intelligence developer and customer insight analyst are a few jobs requiring business intelligence skills.
5. Data Warehousing
“Data warehousing is the process of combining large amounts of data (usually from disparate sources) into one place to enable analytics,” Sommer explains. Companies today often have large amounts of information coming from different places, and a data warehouse lets it all sit in one happy location. A common data warehousing job is data engineer.
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