10 Data Analytics Careers That Aren’t Data Scientists

I decode analytics for business people. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Many professionals use data and analytics skills to produce something of value, but only a few get media buzz.

Career topics are the most popular of the articles I write. Many people write me with questions about careers in analytics, nearly all of them from people whose idea of an analytics career is a job with a data scientist title.

There’s an industry joke that a data scientist is just a statistician who lives in California. The title has only become popular in recent years, beginning with a handful of positions in Silicon Valley and spreading like wildfire as word as the job was glamorized in the media and rumored to command stupendous salaries.

In practice, “data scientists” often do a lot of programming and not so much analysis. They may not have much subject matter expertise or work closely with those who do. Some people love it, but many will find greater satisfaction in other jobs where practitioners have a deeper knowledge of applications, spend more time interacting with other people and have more influence on the process.

If you’re considering a career in analytics, think broadly and learn about some of these less publicized professions. You may find a better fit for your personal interests than a plain vanilla analytics role.

To learn what any job is really like, get out and meet the people who do it – face to face. Attend a meeting of professional organizations for a job that interests you. There you can get the scoop from experienced professionals, find out how they really spend their time, what you might accomplish in the job, education requirements and more.


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