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Thinking of Pursuing a Master’s in Data Analytics? Learn these Top Skills!  

Updated: August 2, 2023 | Published: December 19, 2018

Updated: August 2, 2023

Published: December 19, 2018

How to Improve Data Analysis Skills Top Tricks! copy

Big Data analysis can be traced as far as the 19th century. Before then, companies used many spreadsheets to comprehend numbers and find trends. Some decades later, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are estimated to be generated daily. In 2023, an average human generated 1.7 megabytes of data per second. 90 percent of the world’s data has been generated in the past 2 years. 

This indicates that data analysis is never slowing down, and a master’s in data analytics is among the programs that will keep you relevant in the modern era of technology. At University of the People, we help transition to a career in data analysis by providing the skills needed to be a data analyst. These skills include: 

  • Structured Query Language (SQL) 
  • Microsoft Excel 
  • Data Visualization 
  • R or Python-Statistical Programming 
  • Machine Learning 
  • Critical Thinking 
  • Presentation Skills 

This article will explain the skills required to be a data analyst. We will also point out the career options and the stream best for data analytics. 

Skills for Data Analysts 

Structured Query Language (SQL) 

SQL is often considered an “upgraded” Excel because it divulges complex data. Structured Query Language (SQL) is a language in programming for processing and storing information in a relational database. A relational database assembles data into columns and rows across multiple charts and can be combined using a primary or foreign key. These distinctive identifiers display the dynamic relationship among the various databases. 

SQL is often considered the first step when learning to work with Big Data. Companies use data analytics to understand performance, provide insights and help make relevant changes for the future. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, people with SQL skills earn an average of $98,860 annually, not to mention over a million SQL jobs on LinkedIn. 

Microsoft Excel 

There is more to Excel than just a spreadsheet tool. This tool has been key in many businesses storing databases over the years. Excel is still used for creating graphs and charts to explicate trends in the business. Furnished skills in Microsoft Excel are versatile in the market, with the demand increasing. 82 percent of jobs require skills in Excel, and people with them have a prospective salary increment of 12 percent. 

Data Visualization 

The importance of data is often determined by how it is put across. A visual display of information plays a role in every part of life. Data is often visualized in charts, dashboards, and graphs. The visual presentation makes data more: 

  • Understandable 
  • Relatable 
  • Engaging  
  • Attractive 
  • Memorable 

Having this skill is key to impacting the data at hand. 

R or Python-Statistical Programming 

R or Python can perform all tasks that can be done in Excel 10 times faster. R and Python are programming languages that execute progressive analysis and predictive analytics. However, they have distinctive roles, and data analysts may choose according to their preferences. Python is used for developing and deploying different projects, while R is used for visual representation and data analysis. Most data analysts choose to use both languages together for better results. 

Machine Learning 

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are taking the world to a different dimension. According to SalesForce, 84% of marketers used A.I. in reporting in 2020, compared to 29% in 2018. That’s a whopping 186% inception in two years. Machine learning focuses on using algorithms and data to imitate and perform human behavior and trends. This is the skill to give extra concentration, as 82% of employers prefer knowledge in machine learning in their human resources. 

Critical Thinking 

In addition to the ability to dissolve a lot of data, as a data analyst, it is your role to point out its co-relation that could be clearer. Critical thinking helps data analysts to make judgments in their capacity apart from the data they are working with. Whereas this is an inborn skill, enrolling in a certificate program in data analytics at University of the People will harness the skill.  

Presentation Skills 

Great communication skills complement data visualization. Data outcomes may be complex, calling for the best communication skills to be affected. For a data analyst to thrive in handling data, these skills are essential to how they relate with colleagues who may have a good understanding of a programming language or none. 

Career Options for Master’s in Data Analytics 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of data analysts is expected to grow by 36%, which is much faster than the average of all occupations. Above 13,000 job openings are available annually, with most employers preferring applicants to hold a master’s degree or higher. According to the BLS, the average wage of a data analyst is $100,910 annually. That relates to $48.52 per hour working mostly from the comfort of an office. A master’s in data analytics can make secure a position as a: 

  • Data analyst 
  • Data scientist 
  • Analytics/business translator 
  • Chief data officer 
  • Big Data Architect 
  • Machine learning engineer 
  • Chief technology officer 
  • Logistics analyst 
  • Business systems/management analyst 

Developing the Skills for Data Analysts 

The first step to obtaining a master’s in data analytics is knowing the skills necessary for the field. An MBA degree in data analytics is a unique degree that gives a broad perspective on both business administration and data analysis. Currently, these kinds of combination master’s programs are very much in demand. Earning an MBA in data analytics requires a background in a related field, such as economics, statistics, math, or computer science will help you finesse the skills. Being equipped with programming skills rules out coding as a requirement to make a career in data science. 

 University of the People offers tuition-free online programs of your choice, including a certificate program in data analytics. This program is based on preparing data analysts to be ready to apply the real application of basic skills in the field. 


The Big Data field is growing daily, and earning a master’s in data analytics could be your boss’s move. Here is an elaborate list of all of the top master’s degree programs in data analytics in 2023. University of the People nurtures the skills above to make you one of the best data analysts in the market. We offer online programs to make it as flexible as you want it. We will take you through the journey, which is as rewarding as it is challenging.