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How to Become a Data Analyst: 7 Qualifications

Let's run through the key qualifications you need to succeed as a data analyst in Australia.

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Dr Andrew Lancaster
Dr Andrew Lancaster, Unicurve

In this guide to becoming a data analyst in Australia, I'll explain what you need to be ready to successfully apply for jobs as a junior data analyst or similar. This is practical advice you can use to start a career in data analytics.

I'm basing this advice on my experience running graduate recruitment rounds for the Australian Government. I conducted several recruitment rounds for the Industry Department, bringing in dozens of people, many of whom were recent graduates with technical degrees.

Is it Hard to Become a Data Analyst?

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Becoming a data analyst is not especially hard, at least not for a professional role, though it still presents challenges. I would say the most difficult part is the transition from university to work and, in particular, becoming a valuable commodity in the job market.

Although there are plenty of jobs for data analysts, there is also a significant supply of people available for these roles. Hence, there is job competition. Unless you have outstanding grades, you can't expect to just apply for good entry-level roles during your final year of university and secure them. You also need to demonstrate you offer something extra.

Employers in this field in Australia seem reluctant to go through the expense of training new hires in the data software and methods their organisation uses. To make a successful transition into the data analysis workforce, bridge this skills gap by developing your abilities independently of university coursework.

Related: How Hard Is Data Analytics to Learn and Do?

Data Analyst Salary in Australia

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Data analysts are highly paid in Australia, with salaries often well into six figures. Data from indeed.com.au shows the average salary for a data analyst is around $94,639 per year. For those advancing to higher roles, the average salary for a senior data analyst is $113,513 annually.

Figures from other job sites are broadly consistent. For instance, au.talent.com suggests an average salary of $107,352 annually, while Hays indicates that the average professional earns between $90k and $115k, depending on several variables such as location and experience level.

Salaries for related occupations are also impressive based on au.indeed.com data. For example, a business analyst earns an average of $105,548, a data engineer is compensated around $127,672, and a data scientist makes approximately $115,640 per year.

Related: 5 Reasons to Take a Data Analysis Course Online