A college student’s guide to choosing a career in Digital Analytics

Take a look at the salary report the Digital Analytics Association just released and you will quickly see why the analytics field is currently very hot and will continue to be so for quite some time. As such, I thought it would be a good idea to write a quick “buyers guide” for college students interested in becoming a web/marketing analyst. Since the analytics field is evolving at a greater pace than education: you will quickly encounter a lot of skill gaps between what your education brings and what employers are looking for. The great upside of this ‘opportunity’ is that [with some additional work] you can really differentiate yourself from your competition and also command a much higher salary when you enter the marketplace. I will be breaking the post down into an overview of the skills needed, how to position yourself, and how to get actively engaged in the field before graduation.

It is worthy of a side-note that there are many flavors of analysts out there: web, marketing, forensic, financial, and many others. My focus here will be on the web (digital) and marketing positions as this is my background. If you’re looking for a role in financial or more quantitative fields, a lot of these points are still relevant but are not as crucial.

How to focus your Education

  1. An Undergraduate degree from a top 50 (US), regionally accredited University in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics) arena is ideal and most places will ‘toss-out’ your resume if you don’t have this prerequisite.
  2. If your major isn’t in Statistics or Economics – You should be taking advanced classes in the following areas: Statistics, Economics and Advanced Mathematics. I’m not ‘dissing’ on the Humanities here. I actually think they’re quite useful in providing a rounded curriculum and are one of the great hallmarks of the US (and Western) higher Educational systems. I’m only letting you know that recruiters will be screening for candidates with STEM majors. Once you get experience under your belt, your college major will become less of an issue.
  3. Take advantage of minors from other departments. Specifically a minor in Business, Marketing, Information Technology, Economics, Statistics, and/or Analytics. Work with your counselor to determine which ones are the best fit for you. A Web Analyst has a lot of diversity in his or her role. Here’s a quick breakdown of why each minor or field is important:
    1. [Information Technology and Statistics] to implement the tracking code for the analytics, for gathering data sets and crunching them (in tools like SQL Server, R, SSAS, SAS, Hadoop, Redshift…)
    2. [Marketing] for understanding the intricacies of multi-channel marketing and in quantifying channel performance
    3. [Business] to be able to co-create Lifetime customer values and to understand Return-on-Investment (ROI)
    4. [Economics and Statistics] Understanding supply demand curves, sample sizes, populations, means, modes, and all-things-greek
    5. [Digital Marketing] for light experience with an analytics platform (like Google Analytics) and with reporting tool-sets (like Tableau)

Bolstering your CV with Professional Certifications

A great way to set yourself apart from your competition and to demonstrate to prospective employers that you’re ready to hit the ground running is with certifications in common tool-sets. A lot of companies are making limited versions of their products available for free and are putting their training materials on YouTube or in their help sections to promote adoption and awareness. Furthermore, as a Student you may have access to software for free (e.g. SAS, Taboola) as part of those [pesky] mandatory fees. Why not use the software to get a leg up? Once you have completed the training and have a comfortable working knowledge you can arrange to take the certification exams for a small cost. Some certifications (notably Adobe and SAS) have significantly higher costs but may offer educational discounts for current students. That being said: you should do some research into prospective companies to see what tool-sets they use – and plan your training accordingly. You will be surprised how quickly this will move your resume to the front for the coveted summer intern position or at the career fair.

[table colalign=”left|left|center|left|right”]
Google Analytics,https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/3424288?hl=en,The benchmark for Web Analytics. Free training. Nominal cert fee.
Google AdWords,https://support.google.com/partners/answer/3154326?hl=en,Bellweather for SEM. Free training. nominal cert fee.
Adobe Marketing Cloud Suite,http://training.adobe.com/training.html,aka Omniture. A lot of companies still use this but training and certification are prohibitively expensive.
Tableau,http://www.tableau.com/learn/training,The benchmark for Data Visualization.
SQL Server concepts,https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/exam-98-364.aspx,A great certification resource for demonstrating your capabilities with SQL
Google BigQuery,https://cloud.google.com/training/exams/cpe304-bigquery-qualification-exam,Used for analyzing large volumes of data from disparate sources
R,http://tryr.codeschool.com/,Common statistical analysis package.
SAS,http://support.sas.com/learn/index.html ,Mainstream stat package. training is expensive but discounted for students.
Google DFA Certification,http://doubleclickadvertisers.blogspot.com/2013/01/get-your-dfa-fundamentals-certification.html,DoubleClick for Advertisers/Agencies
Google DFP,https://publisheruniversity.withgoogle.com/dfp/en/school_overview/dfp-intro.html,DoubleClick for Publishers

Develop your own website/blog

At UCONN, they call this the ‘toolbox.’ Essentially, its an additional forum to showcase your brand, your work, and your abilities. Creating your own website or blog is not only a great way to gain experience using Web based tools, but it also allows you to a venue to showcase your skills and passions. Maybe you like NFL football? Take the time to delve into some analytics studies on your topic. Make sure to include visualizations (graphs) and analysis. You can also include case studies or other noteworthy examples you have created at school. Check out the sites from authorities in the field for ideas. Make sure you promote your site on your LinkedIn profile, your resume, and as part of your email signature. Keep the dialogue flowing – set aside time to create at least one article a month. Lastly, MIND THE GRAMMAR! Trust me on this point: most mid and senior level managers are grammar snobs. So, re-read your posts and get a fresh eye when afforded.

Join and contribute to Analytics Organizations

As a student, you may be eligible for discounted memberships to prominent Associations. One of the standouts for Analytics is the Digital Analytics Association (http://www.digitalanalyticsassociation.org/). It’s not only a great resource, but they often have free training events you can attend as well as more formalized ones (at a small cost). Lastly, its a great resource if you have questions and can’t find answers elsewhere. Once you have your profile on LinkedIn setup, start looking for [and joining] analytics groups. But, don’t just be a dormant member – immerse yourself in the dialogue stream and try to contribute. Demonstrating your ability as a Subject-Matter-Expert (SME) is sure-fire way to distance yourself from the herd. Lastly, take a look at this analysis KD Nuggets published on the top 30 LinkedIn groups for Analytics!


Article by David

Your host and an experienced analyst dedicated to evangelizing the quantifiable, data-driven measurement of business with an emphasis on the customer relationship.


  1. I’m impressed, I must say. Actually hardly ever do I encounter a blog that’s each educative and entertaining, and let me let you know, you’ve got hit the nail on the head. Your concept is excellent; the problem is something that not enough persons are speaking intelligently about. I’m very completely satisfied that I stumbled across this in my search for one thing relating to this.

  2. Thanks for any other wonderful article. The place else could anybody get that kind of information in such a perfect method of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the search for such information.

  3. I have recently started a web site, the info you offer on this website has helped me tremendously. Thanks for all of your time & work. “A physicist is an atom’s way of knowing about atoms.” by George Wald.

  4. Hi there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Wow! This could be one particular of the most helpful blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Magnificent. I am also an expert in this topic so I can understand your effort.

  6. Pretty component of content. I simply stumbled upon yourweb site and in accession capital to claim thatI acquire in fact loved account your blogposts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing on your feeds or even I fulfillment you get admission to persistently quickly.

  7. I’d like to send this to http://karc.us/88895/saabaru-sedan.html buy priligy in pakistan Eric Grimson, MIT’s chancellor and a former faculty colleague of Dr. Bose in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, said in the institute’s statement that Dr. Bose “was a legend” at the school. “He was an incredible teacher, an inspiring mentor, a deep and insightful researcher.”

  8. Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to assert that I get in fact enjoyed account your blog
    posts. Any way I will be subscribing to your feeds and
    even I achievement you access consistently quickly.

  9. I have read several excellent stuff here. Certainly value bookmarking for revisiting.
    I surprise how much attempt you place to create the sort of
    wonderful informative website.

  10. A person necessarily lend a hand to make severely posts I’d state.
    That is the very first time I frequented your website page and so far?
    I amazed with the analysis you made to create this actual put up incredible.

    Great job!

  11. Definitely imagine that which you stated.
    Your favorite justification appeared to be on the web the simplest
    thing to keep in mind of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while folks consider issues that they plainly
    don’t recognise about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the highest and
    defined out the entire thing without having side-effects
    , other people could take a signal. Will probably be again to get more.
    Thank you

  12. I truly wanted to make a quick message to appreciate you for all of the great techniques you are showing on this site. My prolonged internet search has at the end of the day been rewarded with excellent points to write about with my friends. I ‘d say that most of us visitors are undeniably fortunate to dwell in a superb site with so many special individuals with very beneficial principles. I feel rather blessed to have encountered the webpages and look forward to plenty of more thrilling minutes reading here. Thank you once again for all the details.

  13. I just want to say I’m newbie to blogs and seriously enjoyed your web-site. Probably I’m want to bookmark your blog . You certainly come with beneficial well written articles. Thanks for sharing your website.

  14. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this weblog and I am inspired! Extremely useful info specially the remaining phase 🙂 I maintain such info much. I used to be seeking this particular info for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

  15. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything this way before. So nice to find somebody by incorporating original thoughts on this subject. realy appreciation for starting this up. this fabulous website is something that is required on the net, somebody if we do originality. beneficial work for bringing something new towards the world wide web!

  16. apkznmkdvgp,A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment. I do think that you ought to publish more on this topic, it may not be a taboo fupfteciyp,subject but generally folks don’t talk about such subjects. To the next! All the best!!

  17. biwccbhj,We have a team of experts who could get you the correct settings for Bellsouth net email login through which, you can easily configure your email account with MS Outlook.

  18. yicrpu New Yeezy,Are you searching for top class Escort service in Noida and want to enjoy with them, hire sexy girls from top Greater Noida escort service and enjoy full night.

  19. Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the pictures on this blog loading?

    I’m trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if
    it’s the blog. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  20. Link exchange is nothing else except it is simply
    placing the other person’s web site link on your page at appropriate place and
    other person will also do same in support of you.

  21. At the time of Trump’s remarks, other White House officials have issued an appeal that the Fed should cut the benchmark interest rate by up to 50 basis points. After the most recent monetary policy meeting in March, the Fed decided to keep the benchmark interest rate unchanged and temporarily postpone any further interest rate hikes.

  22. You can certainly see your enthusiasm in the article
    you write. The arena hopes for even more passionate writers like you who are
    not afraid to mention how they believe. Always
    follow your heart.

  23. I genuinely enjoy looking through on this web site, it holds excellent blog posts. “The living is a species of the dead and not a very attractive one.” by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche.

  24. the Swedish company filed an antitrust lawsuit in Europe, claiming that Apple abused its control over the App Store and made an offer to promote Apple’s services. Apple denied the allegation.

  25. I saw a young and handsome young boy walking slowly from the entrance of the temple. The young man looks like a gentleman, but the temperament is supernatural, the angular face is full of perseverance and unyielding, a pair of eyes, deep as if you can absorb infinite light, straight The backbone, like a peerless gun, seems to be able to pierce the sky and stand on the ground. Everyone sees the heart and can’t help but say: “The power of the king is completely different!!! It is like changing a person. But this is what a country should have.”

  26. Actually my blog name is not pertinent to my blog specific niche. in this time i want to transform my blog to a site with blog owner. yet i do not know if i will do it, after that how much will affect my blog web traffic?.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *