Is Online Education the Way Forward? An Essentials Guide to Becoming a Data Analyst

It has never been so easy to study in 2021 when thousands of pages of information are available right at your very fingertips. From websites to scholarly journals, there is no longer a need to spend hours at the library, routing through mounts of books to find the information you require. Thanks to search engines such as Google and Bing, it has never been so effortless to find what you are looking for when all it takes is a single click of a button. 

For anyone interested in becoming a data analyst, you should utilize online education to its full potential. Whether you decide to take a course or teach yourself vital skills employers are looking for, it is not always essential for you to physically attend college to gain an education. 

If you are interested in getting an online education and are particularly keen on becoming a data analyst, then read on to find out more.

What is Online Education?

Having an online education is the same as a standard education, such as going to college; however, it is achieved online using technology. A traditional view of online education is that it enables you to study for a degree in the comfort of your own home, whereby materials are provided to you without the need to spend time in a library or in a lecture theatre. Usually, online education is desirable to those who require the convenience of studying in their own time, within their own environment; whether you have a child at home to look after or work part-time, online learning is a great option for those who need a little more freedom. 

Having said that, online education does mean you have to study for a degree, as the internet offers many other opportunities for home learning, that can be particularly beneficial to anyone who is interested in becoming a data analyst. 

Types of Online Education

There are many different ways you can gain an education at home that will benefit a potential data analyst, although it is important to note that a bachelor’s degree is usually required for entry-level jobs.

Open University

This is the traditional route for those who want to qualify for entry-level data analyst jobs. Open colleges are institutions that enable you to secure a bachelor’s degree without the need to physically attend classes and lectures. You can use a computer or a laptop to watch tutorials and use learning materials. If you have already secured your bachelor’s degree, and are looking to further your education with an online master’s degree, click here


  • Teacher feedback
  • Work whilst you learn
  • Flexible schedule 


  • Less social interaction with peers 
  • Employability skills such as teamwork aren’t developed
  • Can still be expensive


Suppose you are not interested in the traditional college route just yet. In that case, courses are an effective way to qualify and gain further knowledge in a specific area, whether that is data science or data mining. There are lots of options available to you from a simple Google search. 


  • Convenient learning time
  • Fits your schedule 
  • Work at your own pace
  • Cheaper than college
  • Work remotely – no need to commute 
  • An environment that suits you


  • Less learning support
  • Technology reliant
  • No or little social interaction
  • Need self-motivation


Having an online education does not just have to be directly taught to you. The internet is designed to store and share information, so why not utilize it to your own advantage? Employers, particularly in the world of digital marketing, look for candidates who share a creative flair, which can be easily showcased in how you gather information outside of your qualifications. Whether you actively read and write for data science blogs, or you simply watch YouTube videos regarding Data Analysts by reputable sources, you are often sub-consciously teaching yourself new ideas without realizing, which is a great skill to have. 



  • Some valuable material won’t be accessible to you
  • You are not getting feedback from a teacher
  • You can make mistakes unknowingly
  • More challenging to self-motivate

How is Online Education the Way Forward for a Data Analyst?

Life is stressful enough without having the pressure of attending set classes and meeting tight deadlines, which is just one of the reasons why online education is the way forward. 

When you want to become a data analyst, you will more likely gain more of the fundamental skills employers are looking for if you learn online rather than through the outdated method of education through face-to-face institutions. When you consider the fundamental element of what a modern-day data analyst does, they use and collect valuable information from various datasets in order to analyze it. Similarly, when you learn online, you gather valuable information from various sources and analyze it by deciding what is relevant and what is not, rather than being carried through difficult analysis by a teacher who wants to make sure you understand, rather than truly challenging your interpretation. 

Through online education, future data analysts can build their fundamental skills such as:

  1. Networking
  2. General technological ability
  3. Enhance and practice technological communication skills 
  4. The ability to work alone on projects
  5. Self-confidence

The more time you spend online practicing your employability skills, the more creditable you will be as a candidate when applying for jobs.

What Skills Can I Get Online That Will Help Me Become a Data Analyst?

When you apply for a job, it is important you understand what is required of you. To become a data analyst and stand a good chance of employment, you will need:

  • Advanced data skills – you can achieve this by taking a degree in analytics or computer science.
  • High mathematical ability – consider studying mathematics if it is a key area you enjoy, as this will boost your employability.
  • Advanced analysis skills – particularly when interpreting data of any kind.
  • To be tech-savvy – the more time you spend on the internet, the more you will understand how it works.
  • Experience using analytic software – from work experience or in-depth courses.
  • To be confident in your findings – practice makes perfect.

More specifically, you can qualify as a data analyst through online education, such as a degree in mathematics, computer science, or analytics.

Is Online Education an Easy Way to Become a Data Analyst?

As the famous saying goes, nothing worth having in life comes easy, although it can be argued that online education takes away the pressure of traditional forms of education due to its flexibility. 

Online learning is an easy way to become a data analyst in the sense that you have plenty of resources to use online, which have been designed to assist individuals in their qualification.

Having said that, whether you take an open college degree or you physically attend a campus when studying for your bachelor’s degree, it is evident that you still need to work just as hard. It is particularly important to work hard if you are studying at home, as you lack the one-to-one classroom feedback which helps to enrich learning.

Important Things to Consider When Choosing Online Education

Before you make any significant decision in your life, it is important that you take the time to consider relevant factors which may be of influence. Becoming a data analyst is a specialized role, which requires time and dedication.

Your schedule

Consider which days and times in the week you are going to be able to dedicate to your online learning. Despite the flexibility of having an online education, it is still crucial you get into a routine so that you stay on track and find a work-life balance that suits you.


Are you working full-time hours and barely find the time in the day to just sit down, collect your thoughts and have a nice cup of coffee? If the answer is yes, you may need to consider reducing your work hours if you will be successful in your online studies. Open universities advise that you spend around 16-18 hours a week on your studies, which is why it is important you consider your responsibilities before you take on added pressure.


As much as online education is about self-learning and individual work, it is also about building positive connections and professional relationships. Particularly if you are interested in becoming a data analyst, networking is a vital skill you will need to practice before putting yourself out there and applying for jobs.

Your expectations

Before you decide your exact route of online education, you need to figure out what you expect to take away from your studies. If you value social interaction more than flexibility, the route of online education may not be for you, and it may be worth considering attending a traditional institute of education. 

Becoming a data analyst is a brilliant career choice, and online education could be the best way to future-proof your skills.