Building a career is not what it used to be. Expectations of remaining on a single career path with one company are so 20th century. Evolving markets, emerging technologies, and fresh opportunities lead professionals into new careers at an ever-increasing rate. Considering a career change to data analytics highlights several dominant emerging trends.

Let’s consider these trends and how savvy professionals can incorporate them into their plans to chart their future course in a new economy.

A Shattered Model

“The average person will change careers 5 to 7 times during their working years,” writes Aleksandar Dimovsk in GoRemotely. The once-traditional 30-year, lifelong career model, is “being shattered,” says the Deloitte article Catch the wave: The 21st-century career.

This trend has only accelerated in the past few years, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While shifting career paths bring uncertainty, they also point to new opportunities and new ways of acquiring skills for advancing or changing careers. From a shattered model, a new model arises.

Data Analysts in Top Demand

According to the World Economic Forum, the top skills in a post-industrial economy include data analytics, artificial intelligence, Big Data, and machine learning. The breadth and depth of these disciplines now reach into nearly every aspect of society. “Ninety-seven million new roles may emerge that are more adapted to the new division of labor between humans, machines, and algorithms,” writes WEF author Kate Whiting.

Of the top three 21st-century jobs listed in WEF’s research, data analysts and data scientists ranked number one, AI and machine learning specialists number two, and Big Data specialists at number three.

In an economy that demands career flexibility and a skills market needing data analysis expertise, the next trend supporting a career change to data analytics is how those skills are acquired.

Stackable Learning

Whether referred to as stackable credentials or micro-credentials, the idea is the same and two-fold.

First, the flexibility and focus of stackable credentials provide the skills required to reinvent yourself in a rapidly evolving economy.

Second, micro-credentials are an affordable and much less time-consuming option than full degree programs. Certificate programs are often completed in only a few months, providing an opportunity to “test drive” a particular discipline before investing more time and money in further education. The credits earned with these certificate programs can apply to full degree programs, thus the term “stackable.”

The new reality of a chameleon career path faced by today’s professionals dovetails perfectly with the demand for innovative, focused, skills-based programs.

The appeal of stackable credentials merges with the demand for data analytics professionals in the Online Graduate Certificate in Data Analytics program at Boston College.

Making a Career Change to Data Analytics

Nearly every industry needs data analysts to thrive and survive in a competitive, hyper-connected global economy. Among the top industries hiring data analysts are:

  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing
  • Professional, scientific, and technical services
  • Government agencies
  • Financial services
  • Insurance
  • Transportation
  • Social services

The online certificate in data analytics prepares graduates with the analytical skills and technical proficiency required for a cross-sector career in data analytics.

Students learn from a faculty of doctorate-level professionals in economics and statistics who bring academic rigor and real-world experience to the curriculum. Instructors hail from academia, organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, and large consultancy firms.

The flexible online format is ideal for working professionals. The 12-credit, four-course curriculum cover the following topics:

  • Data Analysis
  • Econometrics
  • Big Data Econometrics
  • Predictive Analytics/Forecasting

Graduates emerge able to analyze data, understand and develop analytic reports, and apply insight to data for sound decision-making. Competencies acquired in the program include complex modeling, big data techniques, and predictive modeling/forecasting.

A bachelor’s degree is required to enroll in the program.

Credits earned in the online certificate program are, of course, stackable. Earning the certificate allows graduates to transfer their credits into the Master of Science in Applied Economics degree program at Boston College.

The new career path is a changing one. Data analytics is among the most in-demand skill sets in today’s (and tomorrow’s) job market. The online Graduate Certificate in Data Analytics is the path to embracing the trends of a 21st-century economy.