Data and Analytics: How To Help Women to Get a Dream Career

Jenine Wing

November 15, 2020

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Data professionals are in high demand in the current job market. Technological innovations and increased internet access have boosted the need for analytics. According to IBM, the number of jobs in the US is expected to increase to over 2 million in 2020. It's the perfect time for women to make their mark on the booming industry. What is Data Analysis?

Before you can pursue a career in data analytics, you need to understand what it entails. An analyst extracts meaningful information from raw data by scrutinizing it using various analysis tools. The results are used to make crucial decisions by identifying different facts and patterns.

Some of the software skills required to become a data analyst include analyzing and interpreting data, keen problem-solving skills, a high level of mathematical ability, and a systematic and logical approach. You would also need to learn programming languages such as Python, Oracle, and SQL.

This type of service is vital for any business that's planning to expand exponentially. CEO Alex Lysak and the experts at Scanteam maintain that analysis allows for identifying possible opportunities and risks. He says that this process lays the path for a strategy revealing the best partners to go forward in combating the dangers and exploiting the opportunities.

Breaking the Data Science Barriers

It's no big secret that there are few women in the tech industry. According to research, 70% of data scientists are men. It's a bleak statistic for female students who have hopes of breaking into this field. However, with shortages of qualified candidates, now's the perfect time to join the industry and move into these roles.

There is no good reason why women won't excel in this challenging environment. The stereotype was created when people held the opinion that women aren't good with numbers. These false presumptions were the only reason why many didn't pursue these careers, and a gender gap formed. As it stands, only 26% of data specialists are female.

The Challenges for Female Data Analysts

Interviews with accomplished women within this field show that some of the misconceptions are still prevalent today. Many times their skills and knowledge are underestimated and thought of as inferior to their male colleagues.

An example given by one lady during an interview shows the point clearly. At important meetings with male counterparts that don't know her, she will most of the time be ignored, and none of the questions will be asked of her directly.

The assumption is that she doesn't have the same understanding as her male colleagues and won't have any valuable input. She needs first to make an effort to establish her capabilities for the attitudes to change. The initial reaction is that she can't possibly be a credible data consultant since she is female.

Another interview was more positive, but the analyst pointed out that she felt she needed to always prove herself and validate her place in the male-dominated workplace. One positive aspect of her career is that being a woman in a man's world opens up opportunities to stand out from the crowd.

How to Become a Data Analyst

You will first have to get the correct qualification to get started down the analytics career path. The basic is a bachelor's degree, which will teach you all the hardcore technical stuff you need to know. Other ways include training and development within a company. The steps to take would look as follows:

- Earn a bachelor's degree with a specialization in maths or computer science.

- Learn essential data analysis skills.

- Get certified for better opportunities.

- Find an entry-level data analyst job or an internship.

- Use the experience to help you earn a master's degree in analytics.

Even though studying will get your foot into the door, practicing the skills you've learned will make you a good analyst. Programming is one such skill that requires practice to master. Sign up to any online or printed publications that cover data analysis. It will keep you abreast of the latest techniques and make you aware of any available opportunities.

Data Analyst Career Outlook for Women

With the technological playing field changing rapidly, data scientists are in high demand. Women can take advantage of this and take the opportunity to land their data science dream job. The role of data analysts is becoming more complex. Experienced consultants use modeling and predictive techniques to obtain useful insights into the data.

They then need to try and explain all that information to a whole bunch of laymen. They need to be able to adapt from being a data analyst to data scientists. Women tend to adapt to changing circumstances easier than men, so this would be the perfect opportunity to ascend the ladder.

With support from other professional women within the industry, it will make navigating this male-dominated sector easier. Market research analyst positions can be expected to increase by 20% and management positions by 14%. This growth is much faster than the average job growth. The stats are according to the recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Best of all, data analysis fits into several major industries. Some of them include finance, healthcare, manufacturing, information, retail and professional service, giving women greater scope to break into numerous sectors.

Final Thoughts

In the past, women have been marginalized by being restricted from entering specific careers. Even though they had the skills, sometimes female students had no idea how to start a career in data analytics. With a better understanding of what data analysis is, more young ladies were determined to break down the barriers and get into this exciting field.

Even today, there is still a preconception that women aren't good with numbers. With the right education and training, it's possible for female analysts to succeed in this complex industry. Coupled with excellent problem-solving skills and strong mathematical ability, persistence and determination will help women achieve success.

Join WITI to discuss this topic further at our December Summit.

Opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of WITI.

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