Salary Outlook + Things You Can Do with a Masters in Data Analytics

Workers who are aiming for a career with a good salary and plenty of interesting work are increasingly looking towards data analytics.

More companies each year are using big data to drive their business decisions about everything from which products to sell or not sell to what the best price is. With the interest in ‘big data’ growing so much, professionals who earn their master’s degree in data analytics can often choose from several job offers in a variety of fields with excellent compensation.

Whether you work as a data analyst or a similar profession, you will be sitting at the fascinating intersection of statistics, business intelligence, computer science and data science. All of the jobs that require data analytics skills will require you to have these competencies in spades:

  • Machine learning
  • Data visualization
  • Programming
  • Statistics

With these skills and your advanced degree in data analytics, some of the most interesting and profitable things you can do in this career field are:

#1 Data Scientist

According to a recent Forbes article, the job of data scientist is one of the most difficult to fill. The field is new, demand is high, but not even the Bureau of Labor Statistics is tracking it as a specific profession yet.

Still, thousands of companies, including startups analyzing credit card data, to huge corporations that need to study worldwide purchasing trends to determine which new cars to produce, are bringing in employees constantly who can study huge sets of data and make intelligent decisions with them.

What a data scientist basically does is to make usable discoveries while combing through huge datasets. They need to bring structure to the data and make an analysis possible. Data scientists must be skilled in the following areas:

  • Extract, transform and load data from various data sources and databases
  • Use exploratory data analysis to determine meaningful relationships, trends and patterns in large datasets
  • Classify data and predict future trends with applied statistics and machine learning
  • Communicate your data analysis and findings through innovate data visualizations

According to, the average salary in this new field is $113,400 per year.

#2 Database Administrator

A database administrator utilizes special software to organize and store data. This may include financial data, sales information and customer shipping files. Database administrators need to ensure that data is available for customers and users, and is secure from hackers.

Common job duties in this profession include:

  • Ensure that the data of the organization is secure
  • Backup and restore data on a regular basis to avoid losses
  • Identify the needs of users so that new and more effective databases can be created
  • Ensure that the database is functioning in an efficient manner
  • Make and test any modifications to the structure of the database when needed

There are a variety of database administrators, depending upon the company and industry. The most common are:

  • Systems DBA: Responsible for the technical and physical parts of the database. Common roles include installing database upgrades and adding patches to fix any system bugs. It is common to have a background in database systems architecture.
  • Applications DBA: Supports databases that have been designed for a specific application or several applications, such as software used in customer service.

Employment for database administrators will increase by 11% by 2024, which is faster than average. Growth is being caused by the greatly enhanced data needs for companies in all industries.

The median salary is $84,900.

#3 Financial Analyst

A financial analyst provides specialized guidance to individuals and businesses that are making investment decisions. They are responsible for the assessment of performance for stocks, bonds, and many other investments. Financial analysts typically do the following:

  • Provide recommendations for investments and groups of investments; these are called portfolios
  • Evaluate historical and current financial data
  • Study business and economic trends to determine the best investments to choose
  • Examine the financial statements of a company to determine the value
  • Assess how strong the management team of a company is

Financial analysts can be either buy side or sell side analysts. On the buy side, these analysts create investment strategies for companies with large amounts of money to invest. On the sell side, these analysts sell stocks and bonds most often to private individuals.

The job outlook for financial analysts is bright, with a 12% increase in demand anticipated by 2024. It is believed that a wider range of financial products are coming available, and there is a greater need for more in depth knowledge of specific geographic regions of the world for investment opportunities. The median salary is $81,700.

#4 Operations Research Analyst

Operations research analysts utilize advanced analytical and mathematical techniques to assist many types of organizations to solve complex business problems and to improve their decision making. Some of their duties include:

  • Identifying and solving business problems in logistics, healthcare, accounting, sales and marketing
  • Collecting and organizing data from many sources, such as databases, sales records and customer or employee feedback
  • Gathering data from employees who are involved in every aspect of a complex business problem, or from others who possess specialized knowledge so that the problem can be solved
  • Examine large amounts of data to determine what is relevant to solving the problem, and determining the best ways to analyze it
  • Utilize statistical analysis and simulations to analyze datasets and develop solutions to solve business challenges

The operations research analyst with a strong background in data analysis must be involved in every aspect of the company or organization. They assist managers and senior executives to decide the best ways to allocate resources, which products to develop, production schedules to produce the products, manage the supply chain effectively, and establish prices.

These data experts must be highly skilled in the use of sophisticated computer software, including databases, modeling packages and statistical programs to perform solid analysis of business problems.

Employment for operations research analysts is soaring, with 30% increase in demand expected by 2024. The median salary is $79,200 per year.

#5 Market Research Analyst

A market research analyst is a student of market conditions, as he or she examines what the potential sales could be for a product or service. They assist organizations to better understand the types of products that people want, who will purchase them, and the price they are willing to pay.

Some of the common duties of these data professionals are:

  • Monitor and forecast sales and marketing trends
  • Measure the effectiveness of sales and marketing programs
  • Devise and perform evaluations of data collecting methods; some of the most common ways to collect data are opinion polls, surveys and questionnaires
  • Perform advanced data analysis with statistical software
  • Convert complex datasets into tables of data that are understandable for the layman

Market research analysts perform critical analysis of sales and marketing data to assist a company to more effectively market various products and services. They do so by being experts with statistical techniques and software. They have to understand what a dataset means for the client so that future trends can be mapped out.

This is a quickly growing field, with jobs growing by a healthy 19% by 2024; the median salary is $62,500.

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