Use this guide to learn what you need to start your career as an analyst. Find examples of entry-level analyst jobs, see what different fields in analysis are paying, and set a pathway for your education and skills to land your first job.
Analytics is an essential part of the success and efficiency of a company, and analysts are the people who make relevant data valuable to their workplace. Analysts possess skills in data collection, business knowledge, communication, and technical abilities to present and implement their recommendations.
This guide provides a helpful overview of the skills, education, and experience you will need to land your first job as an entry-level analyst.
An analyst is responsible for researching and evaluating information to seek methods to improve processes and efficiency. Analysts collaborate with different departments to present their data and solutions in a way that is easy to understand.
As an analyst, you will play a crucial role in increasing your organization's efficiency. The projects within this role typically entail research, data analysis, presenting findings, and implementing strategies for improved company performance. Tasks involved with this process can include:
Communicating across departments to gather data on business functions
Organizing and analyzing collected data from various data sources
Generating proposals and plans for changes to operations
Presenting proposals to various levels of management
Producing reports from data obtained
Assisting business managers with enacting changes
Assessing the effectiveness of the implemented plan
To become an analyst, you'll need a combination of education, experience, and technical skills. Many companies list a bachelor’s degree as a requirement, listing finance, business, and accounting as the preferred fields of study. These majors provide a solid foundation for the types of assignments you will work on as an analyst.
While earning your undergraduate degree, completing an internship can provide helpful experience toward your career path. Internships offer professional exposure to the tasks and duties of an analyst and allow you to develop skills in a business setting.
Expanding your proficiency with technology is highly advised for the analytical profession. The role of an analyst is continuously more involved with the use of technical programs for obtaining, organizing, and presenting data.
If you are already in the workforce and interested in gaining experience as an analyst, seek opportunities within your company to volunteer for projects that will provide relevant analytical training. These projects can give you exposure to the role, make you a more significant asset to your company, and add a favorable component to your consideration as a candidate when a position opens up within the organization.
As you gain experience, keep a portfolio of the work you create to boost your strength as an applicant when applying for a position. Proof of the work you're capable of doing can give a prospective employer additional confidence that you are the right candidate for the job.
A key to landing an entry-level job as an analyst is having the right combination of education and skills to perform the job. Business, accounting, marketing, and finance degrees provide frameworks in relevant fields and are often listed as the preferred degrees for analytical job postings. Add skills in computer programming to your resume to help you become a versatile candidate with the aptitude to excel at your position.
Additional certifications for technical skills can significantly enhance your likelihood of obtaining a job in analytics. Many companies require candidates with specific technical proficiencies like SQL, Python, and MS products.
Build credentials needed for an analytical career with the IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate on Coursera, which offers training in Microsoft Excel, Python Programming, SQL, and DataViz.
Unlock your potential in data analytics. Build job-ready skills for an in-demand career as a data analyst. No degree or prior experience required.
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Average time: 4 month(s)
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Skills you'll build:
Microsoft Excel, Python Programming, Data Analysis, Data Visualization (DataViz), SQL, Data Science, Spreadsheet, Pivot Table, IBM Cognos Analytics, Dashboard, Pandas, Numpy, Jupyter notebooks, Cloud Databases, Relational Database Management System (RDBMS), Predictive Modelling, Model Selection, Dashboards and Charts, dash, Matplotlib, SQL and RDBMS
Networking is one of the best ways to land a job in your dream career successfully. According to CNBC, estimations conclude that nearly 80 percent of jobs are filled through networking . Connections made through people you already know, college mentors, classmates, or coworkers during internships can be valuable in getting your resume in front of the right people.
An internship is a great way to gain work experience in an analyst role before starting your career in the field. Many companies offer internships for college students—during the school year and summer—that provide valuable real-life work experience. This exposure to the job can equip you with additional information to help you determine what career path you would enjoy most as an analyst.
As an analyst, you can work in various capacities and fields of concentration across a broad range of businesses. Below are examples of different types of entry-level analytical roles.
Average salary: $67,299 
A marketing analyst is an entry-level job that requires skills in data analysis, web analytics, and marketing platforms. As a support member of a digital marketing team, a junior analyst is responsible for gathering data connected to market conditions, designing strategic marketing plans, and implementing digital and email marketing campaigns.
A background in marketing, communication, business, or data analytics is recommended. Analysts should have strong research skills and experience with Excel, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), and Google Analytics.
Average salary: $89,092 
This role requires advanced technical and cloud-network abilities. A cybersecurity analyst will be responsible for the monitoring and analysis of network traffic and security. A successful analyst will write threat and incident reports, create security strategies, and identify security gaps within a system. As a team's junior member, they will work under the supervision of a senior analyst until significant skills and experience are established. A bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer engineering, information systems, or related fields is required.
Average salary: $71,611 
A principal task of a data analyst is to collect, analyze, and organize data into reports. Entry-level data analysts may be part of a team of data analysts at a big company, where senior-level analysts would be responsible for sharing the data with other business teams. Preferred education for this role includes a bachelor’s degree in an analytical field such as mathematics, statistics, finance, computer science, or engineering.
Average salary: $68,561 
An entry-level research analyst focuses on the qualitative and quantitative analysis of investment markets and strategies. Analysts must effectively communicate their findings to a broader team of investors, financial officers, and business leaders. An excellent academic record and knowledge of finance are highly recommended.
Average salary: $56,812 
A customer support analyst is skilled in data management, research, scalable processes, and client and product advocacy. Areas of focus in this role include the customer experience, company profit margins, and sales. A customer support analyst should have strong technical skills, proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, statistics software training, and customer service experience.
Average salary: $80,805 
A business analyst is a job role that identifies business areas that need improvement. They work closely with other departments throughout the business to increase efficiency, strengthen business processes, and then help implement changes. An entry-level business analyst might be responsible for taking care of the more technical aspects of such a role, like using SQL and Excel to analyze large data sets and creating financial models.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the 2021 median income of jobs with the minimum educational requirement of a bachelor’s degree in the analytics field as follows:
Budget analyst: $79,940 
Computer systems analyst: $99,270 
Financial analyst: $95,570 
Information security analyst: $102,600 
Management analyst: $93,000 
Operations research analyst: $82,360 
The outlook for job growth from 2021 to 2031 in the areas of the analytical field, such as computer systems and finance, is faster than the national average [9, 10]. Certain specialties like operations research and information security have strong growth rates of up to 35 percent [11, 13].
If you’re interested in further development of your skills and career advancement, you can broaden the scope of your abilities and elevate your expertise with an online course or Professional Certificate. Advance toward your next promotion by strengthening your management abilities with courses like The Manager’s Toolkit and Foundations of Project Management.
Start now on the path to getting a job as an analyst with one of the many courses and certificates available on Coursera. Sharpen your technical talents and complete a Professional Certificate, such as the Google Data Analytics Professional Certificate, designed to help you prepare for an entry-level job within six months.
This is your path to a career in data analytics. In this program, you’ll learn in-demand skills that will have you job-ready in less than 6 months. No degree or experience required.
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Average time: 6 month(s)
Learn at your own pace
Skills you'll build:
Spreadsheet, Data Cleansing, Data Analysis, Data Visualization (DataViz), SQL, Questioning, Decision-Making, Problem Solving, Metadata, Data Collection, Data Ethics, Sample Size Determination, Data Integrity, Data Calculations, Data Aggregation, Tableau Software, Presentation, R Programming, R Markdown, Rstudio, Job portfolio, case study
CNBC. "How to get a job often comes down to one elite personal asset, and many people still don’t realize it, https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/27/how-to-get-a-job-often-comes-down-to-one-elite-personal-asset.html.” Accessed November 21, 2022.
Glassdoor. “Junior Marketing Analyst Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/junior-marketing-analyst-salary-SRCH_KO0,24.htm.” Accessed November 21, 2022.
Glassdoor. “Junior Cybersecurity Analyst Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/junior-cybersecurity-analyst-salary-SRCH_KO0,28.htm.” Accessed November 21, 2022.
Glassdoor. “Data Analyst Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/data-analyst-salary-SRCH_KO0,12.htm.” Accessed November 21, 2022.
Glassdoor. “Junior Research Analyst Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/junior-research-analyst-salary-SRCH_KO0,23.htm.” Accessed November 21, 2022.
Glassdoor. “Customer Support Analyst Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/customer-support-analyst-salary-SRCH_KO0,24.htm.” Accessed November 21, 2022.
Glassdoor. "Business Analyst Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.co.in/Salaries/us-business-analyst-salary-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN1_KO3,19.htm." Accessed November 21, 2022.
US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Budget Analyst, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/budget-analysts.htm.” Accessed November 21, 2022.
US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Computer Systems Analyst, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm.” Accessed November 21, 2022.
US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Financial Analyst, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm.” Accessed November 21, 2022.
US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Information Security Analyst, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm.” Accessed November 21, 2022.
US Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Management Analyst, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/management-analysts.htm.” Accessed November 21, 2022.
US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Operations Research Analyst, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/math/operations-research-analysts.htm.” Accessed November 21, 2022.
This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.