What 3-5 Years of Experience for and “Entry Level” Analytics Job Really Means

You may have noticed an increase in the amount of entry level analytics jobs asking for three to five years of experience. There are two things going on with these job qualifications, the first reason why you’re seeing three to five years of experience as a requirement for entry level roles right now is experience inflation and the second is that job descriptions are merely an employer’s wish list. 

A majority of the time the job description is not going to actually reflect the people that are out there looking for an entry level job. Those requirements describe an ideal candidate that probably doesn’t exist. That’s the wish list component and

then the experience inflation component is we are seeing an increasing number of these jobs require more and more experience. In fact, according to talent works, a job search site, 2018 research showed that 61% of entry level jobs require three plus years of experience, and talent works expects that experience requirement to increase by 2.8 percent every year.

At this point you may be wondering how that makes sense. How then, are people getting their “first” jobs in entry level roles? One of the contributors to this phenomenon is the increase in people with college/university degrees and the experience that they have acquired in those college years. College used to be seen as one of the few prerequisites for an entry-level

professional role. If you had a college degree you could count on meeting the requirements for a lot of entry level roles. Now however, we’re seeing people are completing internships during

college and working through college.Those roles count as experience and are tacking onto the college requirement. Often, people coming out of college will underestimate the relevance of their internships or part-time roles they fulfilled during college. This is a mistake,  the fact is that’s your experience, whether you interned for a year or six months you should place it in your resume under experience and talk about it in an interview as experience. 

This experience requirement speaks to the analytics industry as a whole in how the space is maturing. To put it into perspective approximately 15 to 30 years ago a college degree alone was what really could get you hired. Today we are saying to students ‘go get an internship’ and ‘go do course projects, volunteer’, do all these things so that you have a resume that will get you hired. Today’s students will complete even three to  four internships by the time they graduate to get experience. If you have not done this however don’t feel  disheartened

because this is really tough to achieve. If you can’t complete an internship there are other options to give you experience like volunteering, and course projects those are all

experiences that you can talk about in an interview. Another aspect that talentworks i interestingly studied is that if you apply and are within two years of experience of the job requirement people are still having success. If a role states that it requires three to five years and you have one to two years of experience you’re in that range so you should apply anyway. 

Touching back on the ‘wish list’ idea, if you have about half the requirements that are listed for a job you should go for it. Worst case scenario you will simply get weeded out the pool of applicants but best case scenario you maybe have some elements that they’re interested in. Perhaps you don’t have all of the hard skills that they’re looking for but they’re willing to train you on the job because they really like you as a person. At How to Get an Analytics Job we have seen this happen to several people who applied for entry level roles. It also helps to do some research as to where your personal skills and interests overlap with the demand in the marketplace. For example, there probably are not very many analysts experts who want to go work in waste disposal and you may be someone with knowledge in the waste disposal field that is learning analytics.

If you are starting your job search and feel unqualified for the roles you are seeing, do not get discouraged if you don’t have those three to five years of experience. We would love to hear about your success or struggles that you might be facing dealing with the three to five years of experience requirements. Feel free to comment below or connect with us on our other platforms to share your thoughts and experiences.