How to Become a Data Analyst in Less Than a Year

Two colleagues making a presentation of their findings.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “data analyst”? 

If you immediately thought of a computer-obsessed individual sitting at a desk poring over numbers and spreadsheets, that’s understandable. However, trust us when we say there’s more going on than just computers and numbers. 

What Do Data Analysts Do?

Data analysts are professionals that gather, sort, and analyze information and trends in data. These professionals have become highly sought after due to the strategic advantages their information can provide. For example, data analytics has become increasingly paramount in sports and athletics. Professionals in this field utilize data on player performance, causes of injuries, training stats, and even data on fan behavior to improve their team or individual’s chances in their respective sport!

As we mentioned earlier, while data analysis does involve working with computers, it’s so much more than that. Think of it like data storytelling. By itself, the data doesn’t dictate what to do with it. It merely exists, and data professionals must determine how valuable it is and how to communicate their findings into actionable decisions. 

If you’re interested in learning how you can gain the skills necessary to make confident decisions leveraged by data, the first step is to receive proper training from qualified experts. At the Data Science & Analytics Bootcamp offered by the College of Professional and Continuing Education at California State University, Long Beach, we offer a variety of classes that cover core data analytics skills, cutting-edge tech and software, and more.

Let’s break down the path toward becoming a data analyst.

The First Steps to Breaking Into Data

Data analytics is a massive field, and it’s constantly growing but don’t be intimidated; breaking into the field is just a matter of knowing where to start. A great place to begin would be our free, online Data Science & Analytics Beginner Course!  

In this course, you’ll learn the basics of the field, fundamental concepts, and our bootcamp structure. Another great resource is our blog, How To Become a Data Professional in 10 Months, which explains how data is currently being used today and how you can break into the industry in less than a year.  

Consider these your introduction into the world of data analytics!

The Bootcamp Experience

The Classroom

Empty classroom with desks and chairs.

The Data Science & Analytics Bootcamp is a fully online, hands-on program led by industry professionals. Our program is ideal for those with busy schedules due to our classes taking place in the evening and on weekends so you can maintain your current commitments.

Our bootcamp utilizes project-based learning, meaning you’ll complete three different experiential projects throughout the program that you can then use as a portfolio to showcase your skills to potential employers. These experiences and other simulation-based exercises are ideal for those who benefit from a “learn by doing” approach.  

Career Services and Student Support

Switching to a new career can be daunting but with our program, you don’t have to worry about falling behind. We pair you with a Student Success Manager who is there to help you stay on top of your coursework and support you throughout the bootcamp. 

Our dedicated career services team provides one-on-one career coaching to help you map out your professional goals and support you as you work to achieve them. We also provide interview prep that includes resume development and LinkedIn profile optimization. On their own, these services can cost hundreds of dollars, but with our bootcamp, they are all included within the program. 

A large part of breaking into a new career is not only what you know, but who you know as well. That’s why we provide professional networking opportunities with a global team of hiring partners, program alumni, and other top businesses. Additionally, our career services team provides job placement assistance to provide potential career and internship opportunities.* 

We are committed to the success of our learners; that’s why our career services continue for up to 6 months after course completion. 

*Job and internship placement are not guaranteed.

Classes for Data Analysts

First Steps

This bootcamp features a 30-hour Introductory Course aimed to ease you into the bootcamp and provide an accurate representation of the skills you’ll learn. It will also introduce you to core data science and analytics topics such as:

  • Computing basics
  • The data life cycle
  • Scripting

Additionally, your hands-on experience begins with an intro to data projects as you’ll be instructed on pulling project materials from a GitHub repository and going through them in a Google Colaboratory notebook.

Take our bootcamp for a test drive and see if it’s right for you!

The Extended Program

After you complete the Introductory Course, you can begin the 370-hour Extended Program. Here, you’ll participate in classes and learn skills on compiling and presenting your data through data visualization and advanced machine learning techniques in simulation-based exercises. We will also introduce you to some of the most popular programming languages used today to sort and organize data.

Below we’ll dive deeper into classes and topics covered throughout the bootcamp.

Programming Basics

Person programming on their laptop.

Having a fundamental understanding of the tech used in the industry will help you organize your findings as well as communicate them to your colleagues. These are a few of the courses that will provide you with hands-on instruction on the tech used in data analytics.

  • SQL and Databases 
    • In these classes, aspiring data analysts will learn how to utilize SQL, the standard programming language used to retrieve and modify data in connected database systems. You’ll be instructed on querying data, how to filter and sort these queries, as well as exporting data from one format to another.
  • Advanced SQL Programming
    • After forming an initial understanding of SQL, the next step is to build upon that foundation. You’ll learn more in-depth programming skills such as triggers, cursors, and query optimization.
  • Python Programming
    • This course will cover Python, one of the most popular programming languages currently used by data analysts to process complex data. You’ll learn programming basics such as expressions, data types, functions, and more.

Technical Industry Skills

We previously stated that being a data analyst is not just for the computer obsessed! Data analysts excel at creative problem solving, communication, and research, and have an excellent eye for detail. In the courses listed below you’ll learn how data analysts utilize these soft skills and translate them into the necessary technical skills used in the industry.

  • Statistics and Probability
    • This course provides instruction on advanced modeling techniques, utilizing descriptive statistics and conditional probability to help you examine your work from an analytical perspective and creatively solve problems. 
  • Visual Communications
    • In this class, you’ll have the opportunity to learn and refine communication skills as you are instructed on how to present your data cleanly and effectively to potential future colleagues and stakeholders. 
  • Business Intelligence
    • You’ll build on the concepts you learned in Visual Communications by creating analyses and illustrating your skill in industry tools. You’ll refine the best practices you learned in previous courses so that you can use any of your graphs, charts, and findings in business intelligence scenarios.

Milestone Projects

Throughout the program, you’ll complete three projects that you can use as a portfolio to demonstrate your proficiency in the various skills used by data analysts in their day-to-day operations. These projects will also assist you in visualizing the real-world applications of the skills taught in our classes.

  • Milestone Project 1: Building and Presenting Data Stories
    • In this project, you will clean and manipulate a dataset allowing you to demonstrate your capabilities in statistics, Excel, SQL, and data storytelling. 
  • Milestone Project 2: Data Integration, Preparation, Reporting, and Presentation
    • Your second project will allow you to present your skills in building data pipelines and wrangling data into usable, actionable formats that you will then present to your peers in the class.
  •  Milestone Project 3: Delivering Insights and Presentations
    • Your final project will focus on your ability to organize data visualizations to center around a key goal and how to present this information in a way that will capture your audience’s attention. This project will illustrate all of the skills you’ve learned throughout the program in data analysis, storytelling, and presentation.

These courses and projects are just a few examples of the topics covered in the Data Science & Analytics Bootcamp. Additionally, to ensure you are receiving the most up-to-date lessons possible, we are constantly updating our curriculum with the latest industry trends.  

Secure a Brighter Future as a Data Analyst

A new future as a data analyst is within your reach with the Data Science & Analytics Bootcamp! In just 10 months you could break into one of the top 20 fastest growing occupations in the U.S., offering the potential for both greater job security and heightened financial growth.

A new adventure is right around the corner and with our dedicated career services team offering support for up to 6 months after program completion, you don’t have to go it alone.

Have any questions? Contact our admissions team at 562-359-4787 or by filling out the form below.


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