Predictive analytics, machine learning and data analysis in general deals with quantitative techniques and statistical and mathematical modelling of data to help businesses build data driven solutions to a variety of business challenges. The skill sets required for roles in this area include a strong background in quantitative techniques, and an understanding of business rules and operations.
Many companies that are building or growing analytics teams are hiring people with a background in engineering for such roles. This is obviously because engineering graduates excel at quantitative techniques, and also will have some experience with programming, which is also a skill required in analytics when using tools like base SAS or R for complex data manipulation and modelling.
However, an engineering degree is not a must for building a successful career in analytics. In the past, many companies started out by hiring people with degrees in mathematics, statistics, or economics, and these academic degrees continue to be valued very highly by analytics hiring managers. Another source of analytics resources is people with MBAs, since analytics supports business decision-making, and an understanding of the business landscape, constraints, operations and strategy is essential for using and interpreting data models.
Read how Jigsawite Clarence Wong, a Commerce graduate from St. Xavier’s College Calcutta, successfully made a career in data analytics. https://analyticstraining.com/2014/is-analytics-only-for-people-with-tech-backgrounds/
So even if you are not an engineer, you can aim for a career in analytics. You will need to demonstrate an aptitude for numbers, which could be either via academic background in any mathematical science, or even pure sciences. If you have a business degree, that makes you an ideal candidate as well, since business programs cover quantitative techniques and business statistics as well as general business operations. If you have some exposure to programming, in any language – C++, Java, SQL, that will help you pick up programming in analytics tools like SAS and R. But even if you don’t have a programming background, there are many options available to learn these tools, and the programming skills for beginners in these tools are not difficult at all to learn.
So as long as you are not afraid of working with numbers, and have an interest in business decision making, you can aim for a career in this exciting field. There are many resources available online that will give you an idea of the kind of quantitative skills and programming skills you will need to build a successful career in analytics. There are also many options available from short term training courses to longer one to two year degree programs in India and globally to help you pick up these skills.
You don’t need that Engineering degree to become a data analyst. It’s a myth that needs to be debunked. All you need is to pick up the skills in demand and keep in tune with the latest innovations in the industry. There is unprecedented demand for analytics skills, so be savvy, get trained and become a part of an industry that is set to grow at a mind boggling rate.