Are you looking to break into the analytics field but you’re not quite sure how to get your foot in the door? In this post we will break down three different paths of how you can learn analytics skills to begin your analytics career.
The three different paths are College/University, also known as the “traditional” education path, boot camps and self-taught. These paths exist in a spectrum. On the far right of the spectrum is your traditional education and on the far left is your 100% self-taught.
Your traditional education is by far the most expensive. According to educationdata.org, the average in-state student attending a public 4-year institution spends $25,615 for one academic year. With that expense comes a lot of advantages and benefits like networking and mentorship. You are also paying for the unique college experience. If you opt for the self-taught path you need to consider that when you’re learning on your own you’re usually at home or in a public library or coffee shop so you don’t get that community feel the way you would at a university. With a bachelor’s degree from a college or university there is no guarantee of a job at the end of it. It is easy to cruise through a four year degree program and have no real skill set for a job at the end of it. If you do choose the traditional education path make sure that you are actively engaged and taking advantage of all the benefits of the experience.
Next on the spectrum is the bootcamp path. Bootcamps stand in the middle of a traditional education and a self-taught education, it can be seen as a happy medium. One aspect to consider about bootcamps is that although costly they are still less expensive than a traditional education. With a bootcamp you’re not getting a full four or two-year experience and that can work better for some people. Boot camps are a great way to transition into the analytics space especially if you’re someone that is already in the workforce. For example, if you’re working as a marketing specialist you can take a bootcamp and very quickly pivot from a marketing specialist role into a marketing analyst role.
Finally, we have the self-taught path. This is an awesome path especially if you don’t have a lot of money to spare on learning a new skill set in analytics. This path is also great for people who are not available during the typical class hours that a university degree or bootcamp offers. The self-taught path also works for people that need a lot of flexibility and can’t be tied to deadlines and due dates on assignments. A downside of the self-taught path is that it’s hard to choose good content to learn from. There are thousands of free or low cost resources people on the self-taught path can choose from online.
Any of these paths can lead you to a successful career in analytics. There are success stories in the analytics field of people coming from all of the paths mentioned in this post. We would love to hear what path you have chosen to take in your analytics journey, feel free to comment below or connect with the How to Get an Analytics Job podcast on any of our platforms.