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Data professionals in high demand: Here are the best roles to consider!

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  • As more companies attempt to make sense of their recently digitized business models and tap into digital revenue opportunities, the demand for data-related skills continues to grow. 
  • The Internet of Things is currently only generating a minutia of the data volumes it can generate, indicating no immediate drop in the demand for data professionals. 
  • As corporations and small businesses start focusing on the potential of data analytics, a plethora of opportunities is opening up to individuals with data science and related IT skills.

If you’re looking for a career with potential and plenty of opportunities for growth, data and analytics are definitely some of the best options at the moment. The World Economic Forum’s The Future of Jobs Report 2020 rates data analysts, AI and ML specialists, and Big Data specialists as the top three jobs most likely to see a sustainable increase in demand over the next couple of years.

But data and analytics cover a broad spectrum of roles. So, what exactly are your options as a data professional?  Adzuna, an online job aggregator, identified five of the best career avenues that individuals with data skills might want to pursue!

Top career opportunities for data professionals

#1 Data Scientist

Average salary: R690,000 per year

Positions available: 487

Data scientists create the framework that data analysts use to examine and analyse data. They implement statistical models and algorithms, run data tests and experiments, develop data products, and optimise frameworks to analyse data better in order to reach the most accurate business conclusion. To land a role as a data scientist, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in math, science, engineering, or related fields, but most companies prefer hiring talent with advanced degrees.

#2 Machine Learning Engineer

Average salary: R510,000 per year

Positions available: 110

ML engineers are responsible for creating algorithms, models, systems, and frameworks that facilitate machine learning. They also transform models built by data scientists into code that can be used in production. If you are fluent in programming languages such as Java and Python and have a bachelor’s or advanced degree in math, statistics, computer science, or related fields, this might be an ideal career for you.

#3 Data Analyst

Average salary:  R530,000 per year

Positions available: 369

Data analysts are data professionals responsible for gathering and organising large sets of data. After collecting this data, they analyse it and use their findings to draw business conclusions such as cost-cutting solutions. These individuals are also in charge of managing everything related to data, including reporting and incoming data accuracy. To get your foot in this door, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in an analytics field such as computer science, finance, statistics, or math.

#4 Data Architect

Average salary: R740,000 per year

Positions available: 150

In the same way architects design physical structures, data architects are responsible for creating the structures companies need to collect, organise, analyse, and use data. Data architects translate business objectives into a data management framework after they have designed the framework and then define how data flows through it. They also work hand-in-hand with other engineers to implement the framework across the company. In general, you need a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering or computer science if you want to pursue a career in data architecture. Still, employers are more likely to hire talent with advanced degrees.

#5 Marketing Analyst

Average salary: R620,000 per year

Positions available: 86

Marketing analysts assist companies in better understanding their market and customers in general. These professionals use data sets related to a business’s target audience and develop strategies to help organisations connect with their new customers on a deeper level. Marketing analysts also present their analysis findings to other departments across the business, which means they need to translate their data into reports, charts, and other useful materials that different teams within the company can use. A bachelor’s degree is typically required to get into marketing analysis, but your background can be from various majors, including marketing, economics, business, statistics, math, and even psychology.

Final Thoughts

There are opportunities galore for skilled data professionals, but the most significant task is finding a career path under this umbrella that suits your skills, experience, and career goals. With the five opportunities mentioned in this post, we’ve just touched the tip of the job iceberg when it comes to data and analytics roles. Over to you…start browsing Adzuna’s listings today to find and apply for your dream data job!

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