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There is virtually no field in the modern employment landscape that does not rely on data. The Oakland Athletics made data so famous it became a Brad Pitt movie!

But when I ask you what you want to be when you grow up, are you likely to say “Data Analyst?” Probably not. Why is that?

Could it be a holdover sentiment from another era, when data really wasn’t very exciting? Say “data” to some people and it may conjure in their minds images of anonymous automatons squinting through bifocals at reams of seemingly unintelligible numbers as they sit hunched over drab desks in drab offices producing drab reports for drab enterprises that do drab things.

Or maybe it’s the idea that data only ever sits in the backseat? Data provides the numbers, but someone else goes out and gets the glory? Data cast as the perennial Cyrano de Bergerac?

Maybe data just seems too hard?

Whatever the reasons why Data Analyst may not be tip of tongue when it comes to career choices, it may be time to revise any prevailing assumptions about the field, because data has never been hotter as a career. Why? Because EVERYONE needs to know how to collect it, analyze it, contextualize it, report on it, and act on it.

Here are just a few examples:

Human Resources (HR). Don’t believe me? Go Google “data-driven recruiting” or “performance review” or “talent management” and then come tell me data doesn’t matter!

Marketing? Yikes! Don’t get me started on all the analytics tools out there for marketing! Substitute “marketing” for “recruiting” in the “data-driven” phrase above and hit Google again and see what happens…

How about healthcare? Here’s a great article on called How Data Analysts Can Improve Healthcare’s Bottom Line. Read that, and it should be clear why Linkedin currently shows over 3000 job openings for “Data Analyst!”

The point is, Udacity is here to see you be in demand, and we know with certainty that Data Analysts, Data Scientists, and all-around Data Wranglers are in demand! That’s why we built our Data Analyst Nanodegree program in the first place. Because we want to equip you with those exact skills you need to take your place in this dynamic and growing space.

Will graduating from the Data Analyst Nanodegree program result in Brad Pitt acting in a movie about you? Probably not. But will it ensure that you’re prepared for an amazing career in a scorching hot industry? Absolutely.


Udacity is an organization committed to seeing every student we teach emerge from our courses informed, inspired, and in demand.  For anyone starting a career or changing one, upskilling or reskilling to pursue advancement, or simply seeking personal betterment, we offer unrivalled learning opportunities and an innovative online approach. Our model is outcome-based, and expressly tailored to support your individual journey. We offer two signature paths: certification through our Nanodegree programs, and a rich library of free courses.

Christopher Watkins
Christopher Watkins
Christopher Watkins is Senior Writer and Chief Words Officer at Udacity. He types on a MacBook or iPad by day, and either an Underwood, Remington, or Royal by night. He carries a Moleskine everywhere.