It is the age of big data. The phenomenal growth of information technology, computing power, and storage puts unprecedented amounts of data at the fingertips of businesses, governments, and organizations large and small. It stands to reason, therefore, that the job outlook for Data Analysts is bright.

Embrace the Data

As reported last year in Forbes, a recent Accenture study shows that “79 percent of enterprise execs say companies who don’t embrace big data will lose market strength and may face extinction.” Access to data is one thing; knowing what to do with it is another. That’s where your skills as a data analyst come in.

Job Outlook for Data Analysts

Big data creates strong demand. Skilled data analysts are among the most sought-after professionals in the world. Any organization relying on data needs data analysts to make use of it. The range of possible career paths for data analysts is varied. It’s not possible to list all the career options, but let’s take a look at a sampling of what you can do with the right experience and education.

Financial Analyst

This is a broad category. The role of financial analyst includes business analysts, management analysts, and various types of investment analysts. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates job growth of 11 percent through 2026. Compensation varies across industries and regions. Many of the highest-paying jobs are on the coasts, especially the Northeast, where a financial analyst working in New York can expect a median salary of $100,990.

Machine Learning Analyst

This is an exciting and expanding field. Data analysts specializing in machine learning can easily command salaries of $127,000 and up, depending on their experience, education, and specific industry.

Web Analytics

As companies go online, analyzing web data from users and customers becomes vital for business success. Web data analysts develop data management procedures, oversee web projects, analyze website and server data, and help assure site security.

The average salary is $85,200, but the job outlook for data analysts is best in Washington, D.C, Maryland, and Virginia, where median salaries reach as high as $115,000.

Market Research Analyst

Market research is key to any business operation. The BLS projects job growth for market research analysts at 23 percent through 2026, with 138,300 positions added in the decade starting in 2016.

As of May 2018, the median salary was $63,120, a little lower than some other jobs listed here. However, with the projected job growth, working as a market research analyst offers great opportunities for careers in senior positions within an organization. Higher-end jobs come with salaries up to $121,000.

It’s All About the Data

Let’s face it, we live in a data-driven world. Whether it be investments and financial data, corporate strategy, web and social media analysis, market research, risk analysis, and so much more, there is a strong and growing demand for data analysts.

With demand comes competition. The job outlook for data analysts is among the best in the economy. The right experience and education are key to finding the best, most interesting, and lucrative careers.