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Data Analysis is the New Must-Have Career Skill

Writing on LinkedIn, author and early career expert Jeff Selingo says that nearly every new job is going to require data science skills. 

“Now, data science is the table-stakes skill for many jobs,” he said.

“The need for employees with data science skills has proliferated – and well beyond the tech industry,” he wrote. “Retailers, airlines, government agencies, entertainment companies, and sports teams, among many other sectors of the economy, need employees who can analyze data as part of their job.”

In total, he found that there are 1.2 million jobs across 81 occupations requiring skills in data analytics.

That doesn’t mean that everyone now has to become a data scientist – but it does mean that people who want to enter the workforce, advance their career, or plan a career change will have a significant advantage if they can work with data. They don’t need to be a scientist, but they do need to know the basic skills.

Calbright recently launched a new Data Analysis program designed to quickly and effectively give adult students the expertise they need to apply these skills to their career. Studying just a few hours a week, working adults can complete the competency-based, flexible program in under six months. It doesn’t cost anything, because Calbright is a free online community college. It’s also open to any adult in California with a high school diploma or equivalent. Every Californian is accepted.

It’s a virtual hands-on program, where students learn by doing. They’ll learn to “clean up” data and to organize spreadsheets; they’ll practice writing SQL queries for databases; they’ll learn to apply statistical methods to get useful information out of organized data, to determine which data is valid, present that information using visualization techniques, and build a portfolio of projects.

In just a few months, they’ll be ready for a next step in their career – and Calbright’s Career Services team will be there to help them find and prepare for new opportunities.

The right new skills mean better opportunities, and data analysis is in demand. 

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