Career Pathway: Data Analytics

Pathway Overview

Why Data Analytics and Visualization?

  • Booming field
  • High demand
  • Desirable payscale

Big Data is exploding and this field is a rocket on the rise, creating a whole new specialization in the technology fields using analytic methods and data science. Industries and companies of all sizes need employees who can turn data into significance and action with the increase of AI and machine learning. Even better, the field is in high demand and low supply. That means, you can take the time to find the right fit for you with plenty of room for growth. If you like to collect, clean, visualize, analyze, or problem solve data, this is for you!

Note: Analyst, engineer, scientist are used interchangeably. The title may change the level of the position, for example, “lead” data analyst often makes the role mid-level vs. entry level.



*Note: Many employers for data fields encourage a degree in computer science or a related field. There are no “required” certifications; any requirements for a role will be listed accordingly on job postings.

This list is composed of possible related certifications that some employers may seek in candidates or as an added bonus.

CertificationDefinition/PurposeAssociated Roles
CAPCertified Analytics ProfessionalAny Data role.
CCACloudera Certified Associate Data AnalystCore analyst skills for SQL Developer/technical roles. Must pass the CCA Data Analyst Exam.
DASCAData Science Council of American certificationsData Science roles.
EMCDSAEMC Proven Professional Data Scientist AssociateData Science roles working with Big Data.
MCSEMicrosoft Certified Solutions ExpertAny in the Data landscape. Must pass 1 of 12 exams to then earn the MCSE.
OracleOracle Business Intelligence CertificationMid-level roles working with Business Intelligence solutions.
SASCertified Data ScientistData Scientists or work with Big Data.
MongoDBPopular database for applicationsDevelopers who work with MongoDB.

In-Demand Skills

*Ultimately, your ability to land a specific role will come down to your experience and background as well as your proficiency in these in-demand skills.

*List encompasses the data landscape as a whole.

Transferable Skills and Qualities

  • Attention to Detail
  • Business-Driven in Solutions
  • Collaboration
  • Critical Thinker
  • Data-Driven
  • Meets Deadlines
  • Organized
  • Presentation Skills
  • Problem Solver
  • Project Management
  • Quality Assurance
  • Self-Motivated
  • Strong Oral/ Written Communication

Field Specific Skills

  • Advanced Microsoft Excel
  • Big Data Analytics
  • Business Intelligence Software
  • Databases: SQL/No SQL
  • Data Mining
  • Fundamental Statistics
  • Front-End Web Data Visualization + Geomapping
  • Machine Learning
  • Python Programming

Job Descriptions

*Note: This is a basic guide to kick-start exploration, not a complete list of all paths. 

See specific job descriptions for more details.


Junior Data Analyst

Collect, organize, and interpret information using data analysis tools to make it useful to a company or organization. They check the quality of the data being collected and guide employers or clients towards important decisions based on facts and trends. Simply put, they make meaning out of large amounts of collected data and create solutions to address business challenges. Lastly, they may also work with a research team to present their findings or recommendations. Tags: Data Analytics Manager, Data Specialist. 

Relevant Certifications: CAP, CCA, Microsoft Certified Expert (various apps), None required. 

Future Roles: Sr. Data Analyst, Consultant, BI Developer, Data Visualization, Data Engineer.

Data Engineer 

Create the solid foundation for analysts and scientists to build upon. By constructing data pipelines, they utilize tools and techniques to work with large and complex data at scale. Their focus is to build and optimize by continuously monitoring and testing performance. Tags: Database Engineer, Database Administrator, Machine Learning Engineer.

Relevant Certifications: CAP, CCA, MCSE, Oracle MongoDB; None required.

Previous Roles: Software Developer, Data Analyst.

Future Roles: Big Data Engineer, Senior title, Business Intelligence Analyst, Data Scientist.


Business Intelligence (BI) Developer 

Role combines data analysis with problem-solving techniques. Establish a data management framework and understand current procedures while developing data mapping and models to then recommend best practices. Responsible includes reports, data visualization, migration and validation. Project management skills required to guide a team towards quality standards and data consistency. Tags: BI, Business Systems Analyst II, Data Visualization or Ops Analyst.

Relevant Certifications: CAP, CCA, MCSE, Oracle certs, none required.

Previous Roles: Data Analyst/Engineer, Consultant.

Future Roles: Data Science, Project Manager, Senior Business Analyst/Developer.

Data Scientist

Data Scientists use their PHDs for exploratory analysis to design and conduct research studies to provide critical analysis and interpretation of complex data. Next, they create the visualization to deliver and communicate the results to address business-focused challenges and solutions. They have expertise in statistics and building learning machine models to forecast and problem solve. 

Relevant Certifications: CAP/CCA/DASCA/EMCDSA/SAS/MCSE/Oracle; None required. Previous Roles: Data Analyst/Engineer.

Future Roles: Senior or Director of Data Science.

Big Data Engineer

Design analytic solutions by analyzing and processing large data sets including documenting, testing, automation and optimization. They are innovative in their approaches to solutions and strong collaborators as they work with teams and business partners to generate high data quality and availability. Tags: Big Data Engineer, Big Data Architect, Big Data Consultant.

Relevant Certifications: CAP/CCA/DASCA/EMCDSA/SAS/MCSE/Oracle; None required.

Previous Roles: Data Analyst/Engineer.

Future Roles: Senior/Director or specific to an application or system.

Infrastructure Architect

A passion for both design and architecture are a must as you will be responsible for the overall delivery and roadmap for infrastructure solutions integration with technical, analytical and interpersonal strengths. Strong collaboration and presentation skills during planning, documenting, testing, and coordinating the overall implementation including best practices. Tags: Cloud Architect, Infrastructure Engineer, Infrastructure Delivery Manager, Infrastructure Developer.

Relevant Certifications: Specific software/app certifications per role.

Previous Roles: Consultant, Developer, Engineer.

Future Roles: Director/Senior Architect, Project Manager.

Machine Learning Engineer

Focus is to research, develop, design and test frameworks and data pipelines. Primary responsibility is to analyze requirements and implement models while working with data teams to build the infrastructure for deployment. Essentially building the right architecture and solutions while adopting best practices. Tags: Machine Learning Data Scientist, Test Engineer, Engineering Manager, Staff Engineer.

Relevant Certifications: Specific software/app/Oracle/MCSE/AWS per role.

Previous Roles: Data Scientist, Project Manager.

Future Roles: Data Engineer, VP of Machine Learning, Machine Learning Scientist, Architect.

Senior Level:

Director of Data Science

Leads a team of data analysts, engineers and scientists to ensure proper execution and functions within the department to enhance data management, best practices, and development of new methodologies. By designing the pipelines for the department, their team creates value from large data assets using database processing, statistics and advanced machine learning techniques. Directors communicate and present to senior executives and stakeholders recommended improvements for effective and quality outcomes. Tags: Senior Director, Sr. Manager Global Data.  

Relevant Certifications: High-level degree and/or DASCA/EMCDSA/SAS/MCSE/Oracle by role.

Previous Roles: Lead Data Scientist, Data Program Manager, Business Intelligence Director.

Future Roles: Vice President or Senior title, Machine Learning.

Principal Architect

As experts in the foundations within the Data Pathway, Principal Architects oversee the end- to- end management. They understand business and stakeholder requirements, are driven by solution strategy and design, carry out pipeline procedures, and lead the process of architectural governance and oversight. Tags: “Principal” Software Architect, Enterprise Architect, Cloud Architect, Data Architect, Solutions Architect.

Relevant Certifications: Specific software/app certifications per posting/role, various leadership certifications per role.

Previous Roles: Consultant, Developer, Engineer, Lead Architect.

Future Roles: Director/Senior Architect, Senior Project Manager.

Why Industry Professionals Teach Our Boot Camps

To understand how 2U, Inc. and our university partners work hand-in-hand to combine the best of academia and industry in support of student success, one needs to look no further than the industry professionals we collaboratively hire to teach our boot camps.

Related Industries: All Industries

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