News & Stories
student and mentor talking while reviewing a laptop with graphs in the background
September 6, 2023

4 Reasons Data Analytics Graduates are More Competitive in Today's Job Market

What makes someone more likely to become an Olympic athlete? Should a city put a red light at a certain corner? Who buys the most Dr Pepper? If you are intrigued by the answers to these questions, you may want to consider studying data analytics in college. With the right data set, data analysts can propose solutions for an organization’s specific problems or uncover hidden information to learn more about the world. Or, as one analyst put it, “Being a data analyst is fun because my work always ends an argument.”


Students studying data analytics are learning more about a subset of data science focused on examining and bringing meaning to large data sets. Students in this field learn how to notice trends and patterns in numbers that solve specific business problems. After gathering information from the data, analysts draw conclusions to help organizations make strategic decisions. Doing this work also requires analysts to learn how to clearly communicate the information and stories behind the data through strategic graphics and presentations.

Right now, data analytics is a valuable skill set that is in high demand. Knowing and understanding data about an organization can affect its decisions. Data impacts decisions by 1) helping organizations have clearer audience insight and 2) helping them find inefficiencies within the organization.

Understanding consumer data can help an organization have a more detailed understanding of who their ideal customer is and then more effectively target that audience. For example, a shoe company might track which shoe sizes are most frequently purchased to better understand what age child is most likely to wear a certain style of shoe. Once the company has that information, it may make more marketing or style choices better catered to their customer.

Similarly, using data to find inefficiencies can also lead to better use of time, skills and resources. For example, imagine Santa’s elves each make several different toys. Then, a data analyst notices that when one elf makes the same toy repeatedly, they get faster. By encouraging separate groups of elves to focus on a single type of toy, Santa’s elves soon become more efficient toymakers and are likely to make fewer errors. Although it's silly, this imaginary scenario explains how and why data can have a significant impact on an organization.

Describing what she loves about introducing students to data analytics, Assistant Professor of Data Analytics Thema Monroe-White of Berry College says, “First, I love demystifying analytics. Data is sometimes presented as very mathematically intense, so if students are not computationally adept, they might not think they are ready for analytics. But that’s not the case. In fact, I am a social scientist who learned these skills on the job and through continuing education. Anyone can become a data analyst.”

“Second, I love analytics because it is a constantly evolving field,” Dr. Monroe-White continues. “Even I must keep learning. You can’t stay stagnant. I must study every year to make sure I’m bringing the best information into the classroom alongside the students. The industry is moving so quickly.”


Students can major, double major or minor in data analytics. For example, at Berry College professor Monroe-White explains that the data analytics major is a lean major, requiring only 38 credit hours. It is designed for students to double major and pair this expertise with other disciplines. Whichever path a student chooses, the study of data analytics gives students a competitive edge in the job market for several reasons.

  1. Ability to identify key information – Many industries are working toward making stronger, evidence-based decisions. For example, if a marketing team wants to know whether an email campaign is successful, they may track how many times consumers open an email or how many times consumers click links embedded in an email. These statistics can help the team make data-driven decisions on how to revise email campaign practices — whether their goal is to get prospects to download a free resource, sign up for a free trial or purchase a service or product. Professionals who can identify these numeric trends are valuable to organizations.
  2. Equipped with business intelligence – It is also important that professionals know what to do with the patterns they find. This skill set is often referred to as business intelligence. One of the most important aspects of data analytics is the ability to communicate findings in a quick, easy-to-understand way through images and visuals. This skill is valuable in the working world because few people have the data literacy skills to compute the data and share it in an understandable or convincing manner with a specific audience. Data storytelling is not always what students imagine when they first learn about studying data, but it is a key component of the field.
  3. Expertise beyond the industry – When data analytics is a double major or a minor in conjunction with other studies, having these extra skills can set a professional apart from other job candidates. For example, imagine you are interested in an educational administration job. It is likely other candidates also know a lot about education principles and theories, but the ability to analyze data on your specific school could give you the upper hand.
  4. Flexibility – Those who graduate with experience in data analytics can often find jobs in different industries, but they can also find distinct roles within a single industry. For example, a company might need a data analyst in both the marketing research arena and the operation research team. These two positions would analyze very different data but work for the same company.


Nearly all industries are using some form of data today. Many professionals even argue colleges should require data literacy in the core curriculum as it applies to so many fields. For example, Berry alum Jess Ramos ’19 joined Freddie Mac as a senior risk analyst on the credit innovation and analytics team, helping people buy homes.

Ramos explains, “Data science and analytics are important for any business to gain insights into revenue, customers, operations and more. Without analytics, a company truly has no idea what is going on and where to go next. Data scientists can take the insights further and use statistical modeling to determine statistically significant relationships between variables and drive business decisions. Both domains (analytics and data science) are vital to understanding a company, its success and its future!”

Ramos went on to join Crunchbase as a senior data analyst. Crunchbase provides intelligent prospecting software powered by live company data, enabling salespeople, CEOs and venture capitalists to find and close deals.

The story of Lynneatte Quenin ’22 is another example of a young professional in an industry that uses data analytics, but this example is likely more surprising. When she began college, Quenin started as a psychology major and expected to work toward a career in counseling. Now, however, she is pursuing a master’s in data science, which she will follow with a Ph.D. in social psychology. Quenin’s research at Berry College taught her that data analysis was another way to further study human behavior, and she then channeled her love for psychology in a new direction.

Want to know how data analytics applies to other industries? Here are a few more examples of industries that have data analysts and who rely on data to make decisions:

  • Finance – Financial institutions like banks and investment firms use data analysts to better understand financial data. These professionals provide them with essential information about risk, investments, future trends, etc., to carefully make informed decisions about investments, risk management and financial planning.
  • Health care – Numerous health-care organizations use data to better understand patient data, optimize care plans and improve patient outcomes. From patient surveys to detailed medical data on certain procedures to community health information, there are many ways medical professionals benefit from having data analysts on their team.
  • Marketing – In the marketing industry, professionals use data to follow customer behavior patterns, measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, and rethink and build successful marketing strategies. From data about specific products to data on social media, data analytics enables marketing departments to better understand who their customers are and what they want.
  • Education – All education institutions, from pre-k to higher education, use data to understand their student performance, name areas for improvement and develop strategies for student success. Depending on the level of education, this data could focus on a singular institution, or the analysis could also hold statewide or even nationwide implications.
  • Government – Government agencies need a lot of data to make smart, informed, evidence-based decisions for large groups of people. Government officials and policymakers often use data analysts to study data on public health, crime rates and economic trends to inform policy decisions. The level of government – local, state or national – also determines the data sets an analyst might be required to use in this work.
  • Transportation – Transportation companies, in conjunction with cities, often use data to analyze traffic patterns, optimize routes and improve infrastructure in certain communities. Measuring how many cars take a certain route or traffic patterns at certain times of day might be two examples of data used by a transportation analyst.

If you are interested in learning more about how to incorporate data analytics into your future, begin doing more research on what programs are available at the colleges you might attend. Reach out to your admissions counselors to see if there are times you can talk with professors or visit a class. They can help direct you and connect you to professors and alumni at your college choices that can give you knowledge from personal experience.

 Back to Top

Footer Menu