Data Specialist Career Path

Are you thinking of becoming a Data Specialist or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Data Specialist, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Data Specialist job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.

How To Become a Data Specialist

If you enjoy working with computers and clients, the role of data specialists may be the right choice for you. Follow these steps to start working in this career field:
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1

Explore your personal attributes.

Data specialists need practical IT skills and years of coding expertise. Top professionals maintain duties like:

  • Working closely with people, such as your company's clients and other team members.
  • Extensive research into data integrity and validity.
  • Teaching end-users how to use the database systems you develop.
  • Operating in a fast-paced, results-oriented, and ever-evolving environment.
  • Using your eye for detail to identify problems and develop solutions.
  • Methodically crunching vast amounts of data into tables and charts.

2

Continue your education.

Not every recruiter requires a data specialist to have a degree. Qualifications vary widely by the employer, and a high school diploma may satisfy the requirements of some entry-level positions. However, one of the best ways to improve your skills in any field is to continue your education, from taking a class at your local community college to joining a forum group with like-minded professionals.

If you want to advance in this competitive arena, consider earning an associate degree or bachelor's degree that will emphasize your statistical and analytical skills. There are several math and technology programs to choose from, such as:

  • Information technology.
  • Computer science.
  • Management information systems.

3

Earn practical experience.

From health care organizations to strategic marketing firms, many companies advertise job postings for data specialists with various practical skills. Gain experience in responsibilities like database recovery, administration, and network fundamentals.

To be effective in this position, look for opportunities to stockpile projects that make your portfolio shine. Take a look at recruiter requirements for high-paying jobs and determine where your skills need work. Research free online tools to improve in those areas. Don't limit yourself and learn to use a variety of common database platforms, like:

  • Oracle.
  • Microsoft SQL Server.
  • Sybase.
  • Filemaker Pro.
  • Informix.

4

Pursue industry certifications.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and IT occupations, like data specialists, are set to grow in the next decade. The number of job openings continues to rise as industries seek to use statistics to make more informed business decisions. Obtaining your professional certification will give you a leg up over other applicants and may open up more opportunities in the job market, such as:

  • CompTIA A+.
  • CompTIA Security+.
  • CIW Database Design Specialist.
  • Microsoft Certified IT Professional.
  • Microsoft Excel.

5

Stay current.

Technology is a fast-moving industry, and a data specialist needs to work hard to stay competitive in the job market. If you're ambitious:

  • Read the IT headlining articles daily.
  • Network with peers online and through local events.
  • Research data specialist job requirements and fill in training or experience gaps.

We don't have enough career path data for Data Specialist jobs. Below are job titles that share similar skill sets.

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Data Specialist Career Path

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Related careers in the Administrative Industry

Interested in other Administrative careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Data Specialist skills. Discover some of the most common Data Specialist career transitions, along with skills overlap.

Data Manager
0% skills overlap
18% transitioned to Data Manager