Growth through Talent

Will more education get you a higher paid data analytics job?

 9th Jun 2019


It’s drilled into all of us during our time at school, that we must have a degree if we want any chance of having a successful career. But with most job seekers now having a bachelor’s degree, and competition for jobs at an all-time high – how can your education alone set you apart?

Let’s compare two candidates who are interviewing for the same job. Both are the same age; however, one has just completed a 3-year degree and the other has three years’ worth of industry experience. Who’s more qualified?

What’s more important to your future employer? Is it better to have more experience or education on your CV, and does it lead to higher employability? Here’s what we’ve found.

Do the Math

While a degree qualification is highly recommended, it’s not always a requirement for some jobs in the field of data analytics. You’ll also find that every organisation has a different approach, but many employers and recruiters alike will agree new graduates are a real asset because they can offer up-to-date knowledge of the industry that is grounded by theorical principles. Plus, there’s now evidence that confirms your earning potential can increase for those with a mathematics and economics degree, according to research conducted by the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

If you’ve recently graduated and have minimal experience, we recommend exploring internships and temporary work placement options – even if it’s only for a couple of months. This way, you can get your foot in the door, boost your confidence and properly explore a range of specialisms. Alternatively, you could volunteer with a non-profit or charitable organisation. This experience is valuable, even if it’s unpaid. Offering your expertise to an organisation, where you can show improvement to its operations or results within the time you are there, speaks volumes and is undoubtably beneficial to have your CV.

But what about postgraduate degrees? While PhD and master degrees aren’t essential across the data analytics industry, there’s still plenty of people who choose to attain one. However, don’t get one for the sake of it because you think it looks great on your CV. Of course, postgraduate qualifications are helpful if you’re looking to develop your theoretical analytical skills or are changing careers. But it could present you with a dilemma, and further delay your entry into the industry whilst others are gaining equally valuable practical experience.



When it comes to entry-level positions, there are plenty of companies that offer graduate schemes that help recent university leavers’ transition into the workplace. These programmes are often offered at larger brands and media companies. Marketing VF, is one of these companies, and offers many graduate positions within its Marketing Insights division.

You'll be at an advantage if you've gained experience in a graduate programme. Such schemes indicate that you have initiative, and a pro-active approach to your professional development. As a result, a candidate can further explore a career path to see if it’s right for them while refining the skills they developed during university.


Experience and soft skills matter

Then there’s the experience route. Candidates with degrees clearly highlight to an employer that they are committed to grasping the core theorical components required for the job. On the other hand, industry experience can help build up your commercial awareness and advance your practical skills.

Let’s not forget that knowledge is not only gained in the classroom – it’s earned through experience, too. One particular advantage with gaining experience on the job is that you have direct access to new connections across the industry, so you can grow your professional network.
Recently, a survey conducted by Universum found that 58% of leading employers place greater importance on work experience of junior candidates rather than their grades or the name of their university. To add to this, Winkball has confirmed that personality and confidence top the list of preferred attributes from employers across the UK. What this shows is that experience alone cannot secure you a job. Companies now expect their employees to be well equipped with soft skills. These include interpersonal, communication, teamwork and leaderships skills to name a few.

If you’re in a situation where you lack technological expertise, but have years’ worth of relevant industry experience, we recommend researching the web for part-time flexible courses that can fill in knowledge gaps. Technology is now so advanced that getting access to further education is no longer a barrier. And self-improvement is always a positive move, whether it’s upskilling yourself with a new programming language or learning a new analytics tool. For instance, many Google Analytics courses can be completed online and create minimal disruption to your busy work schedule.


Here’s the deal

So, does education get you a higher paid job in the field of data analytics? The answer is yes but to an extent. Nowadays, employers want to see evidence that you have the brains and the skill. Therefore, if you have a degree, you must have the experience to back up your education. At Pivotal London, we find that junior data analytics candidates, who are armed with a diverse range of skills are more marketable and have greater access to more higher paying jobs. In simple terms, these candidates have the capacity to understand the theory behind a process and can effectively articulate those ideas in a practical manner within a commercial environment.

Regardless of what path you’re on; with the right combination of education and relevant experience in data analytics, you can land that high paying job you want.

Feel like you’ve got the right education or experience to secure a job in data analytics? Let us help you find your perfect job. Get in touch with our specialist team here or browse all of our available jobs here.



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