Why Are Data Science and Analytics the Most In-Demand Skills?
Why Are Data Science and Analytics the Most In-Demand Skills?

Why Are Data Science and Analytics the Most In-Demand Skills?

Since this blog was initially published, the curriculum has been updated to be even more relevant to the modern marketer. As of Fall 2022, Emerson College is proud to offer our reimagined Master of Arts in Marketing, previously known as the Master’s of Digital Marketing and Data Analytics (DMDA).


Typically, when we consider the roles of data scientists and analysts, we picture individuals in highly technical fields performing mainly behind the scenes. More and more, however, many businesses are incorporating data scientists and business analysts into the center of their organizations.

These businesses are not necessarily “high tech” but can range from consumer sales to manufacturing to finance. Deloitte Consulting has investigated how this applies to the role of marketing. “Data science and analytics are driving big shifts in marketing,” the report says. Trends like digital advertising and micro-segmentation are some of the applications (source).

The Digital Marketing and Data Analytics online master’s program from Emerson College equips you with multidisciplinary skills that give you a competitive edge in the industry.

Current Demand for Data Science & Analytics Skills

Current Demand for Data Science & Analytics Skills

The availability of data has practically exploded—vast quantities of data are available quickly and inexpensively—and the current state of computing power has increased.

This combination of data availability and capacity to wrangle it has led more companies to see the profit inherent in mining it. Data-informed insights are critical to efficiencies, innovations, and increased returns on investments (ROIs). More companies are acknowledging this need by hiring their own in-house data scientists and business analysts who hold data analyst degrees.

The table below shows the percent of companies adopting consumer technology between 2018 and 2022 (source).

Consumer Technologies Percent of Companies Adopting
Big data analytics 85%
App- and web-enabled markets 88%
Machine learning 82%
Digital trade 82%
Effect on workforce-modify value chain 83%

TechTarget reported that demand for employees with data analyst degrees has increased by 29% from 2018 to 2019. Such jobs have increased by 344% since 2013 (source).

Given the growth in job postings, applicants with data analyst degrees are required now more than ever. There has been a high increase in jobs, but there is no such increase in qualified applicants. This is clearly seen in the marketing field, where data science is increasingly integral to business planning. In marketing, insights and results go together (source).

How Businesses Use Data Science and Analytics

How Businesses Use Data Science and Analytics

How businesses use their data drives the demand for workers with data analyst degrees.

Towards Data Science noted that 65% of polled businesses indicated that they could not analyze or categorize all the data they had stored (source). Of those businesses, 89% acknowledged awareness that analyzing data would enhance their competitive edge. The robust use of a company's available data could result in:

  • increased efficiencies in business processes and operational costs
  • reduction of waste
  • a better understanding of consumer wants and needs
  • enhanced quality of services and products

Organizations can improve the ROI on marketing initiatives, for example, through more effective targeting and analysis of campaigns. This is one reason for the importance of data analytics in marketing. These principles apply for large corporations, small businesses and even nonprofits.

The following table contains examples of big-data-related roles, the estimated number of job postings and average estimated salaries (source):

Role Estimated Number of Postings Estimated Average Salary
Data-Driven Decision Makers 922,428 $91,167
Business Analyst 143,926 $105,909
Analytics Manager 44,894 $160,125
The High-Demand Skills for Workers with Data Analyst Degrees

The High-Demand Skills for Workers with Data Analyst Degrees

The high-demand skills for workers with data analyst degrees have technology at the core. In marketing roles, this means applying data science to identify and convert customers.The technical skills include experience with:

  • Google Analytics
  • Hootsuite and Brandwatch
  • SAS Studio and Enterprise Miner
  • Microsoft Excel

Overall, data scientists and business analysts should have experience in data collection, storage, mining and analysis, and reporting. That said, do not underestimate the importance of soft skills in these roles. Successful data scientists or analysts combine their technical abilities with creative talents, the ability to communicate clearly and effectively, and leadership competencies.

Ultimately, someone with a data analyst degree is a problem solver with business understanding. This makes them highly productive team members.

Per PWC.com, this individual isn’t just solving technical problems—they are enhancing the value of the business (source). Therefore, it isn't just data scientists or analysts that companies need. They need individuals with a business background so they can apply business know-how to:

  • increase productivity
  • understand consumer needs and wants
  • increase ROIs
  • create and manage key performance indicators

Companies also need individuals who understand data privacy regulations (source). These individuals are responsible for the trustworthy storage of data, protecting against costly breaches, and responding to customer's data privacy concerns. With increased data availability comes increased regulations surrounding said data, and someone with a data analyst degree must be poised to implement them.

Salary ranges can vary for data scientists and analysts. Tech Target reported the top salary ranges (adjusted for cost of living) to be $108,596–$123,010 (source). Tech Republic reports the median salary to be $130,000 (source). All would undoubtedly increase if a person with a data analyst degree had the right combination of experience and focused education.

Emerson’s Digital Marketing and Data Analytics online master’s program curriculum is built around the tools and information you need to be successful in the field.

Acquiring Data Scientist or Business Analyst Skills

Acquiring Data Scientist or Business Analyst Skills

The need for individuals with business savvy and a data analyst degree is growing. There is a shortage of those with the needed skill sets. Supply is in no way keeping up with the demand as companies attempt to align their analytical needs and goals with their permanent workforce.

More than a third of job postings for data scientists or business analysts require applicants to have a master’s degree (source). A data analyst degree opens the doors to many businesses as obtaining the degree demonstrates the individual’s capabilities and motivation to succeed.

A master’s in data analytics is not out of reach for a busy professional looking to increase his or her skill set. Emerson College offers a fully online Master of Arts in Digital Marketing and Data Analytics program. This program is designed to provide you with not only the in-demand data science and business analyst skills, but also with the ability to connect the art and science of marketing.

The more central a role that data science and business analytics take in organizations, the more fundamental and critical your role will be. It's time to get a data analyst degree and improve your future