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If you’re looking to break into the technology industry, but don’t have a ton of technical experience, a data-related job may be a good fit for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, demand for data roles is huge. During the past 12 months, there were over 193,000 job postings by U.S. employers for data analysts, data mining specialists, data engineers and data scientists. More than half of these positions are in the 0 to 2 years or 3 to 5 years of experience range.

That’s why CompTIA is launching CompTIA Data+. CompTIA Data+ (DA0-001) is an early-career data analytics certification for professionals tasked with developing and promoting data-driven business decision making. There’s been quite a buzz around CompTIA Data+, and  we’ve been getting a lot of questions about the exam. Continue reading as we answering some of your biggest questions.

Why Are Data and Analytics Skills Important?

Data-related jobs are projected to be among the fastest-growing occupations through the balance of this decade, with some positions, such as data scientists, expected to grow up to five times faster than other occupations.

But the need for core data skills extends beyond data-specific job roles. Employers listed over 1 million job postings over the past 12 months seeking candidates with skills in data analysis, data mining or data visualization.

CompTIA Data+ can help you develop and refine these skills and prove you have the hands-on experience employers are looking for.

What’s on the New CompTIA Data+ Exam?

CompTIA Data+ is an early-career data analytics certification for professionals tasked with developing and promoting data-driven business decision-making. That means that you can make yourself more employable by learning how to better analyze and interpret data, communicate insights and demonstrate competency. CompTIA Data+ validates certified professionals have the skills required to facilitate data-driven business decisions, including:

  • Mining data
  • Manipulating data
  • Visualizing and reporting data
  • Applying basic statistical methods
  • Analyzing complex datasets while adhering to governance and quality standards throughout the entire data life cycle

What Types of Questions are on the CompTIA Data+ Exam?

You can expect performance-based and multiple-choice questions across five domains:

  • Data Concepts and Environments (15%)
  • Data Mining (25%)
  • Data Analysis (23%)
  • Visualization (23%)
  • Data Governance, Quality and Controls (14%)

These domains relate back to job roles that are tasked with developing and promoting data-driven business decision-making.

For example, your organization collects all sorts of data, but is it easy to parse through that data, analyze the data and make sense of it? This is where data visualization comes into play. Telling the story of your data and getting stakeholders to understand is a valuable skill that employers want. To get a greater perspective, read our recent article on Why Data Visualization is Crucial for Successful Financial Planning.

 

What Job Roles are Aligned to CompTIA Data+?

As the importance of data analytics grows, more job roles are required to set context and better communicate vital business intelligence. Collecting, analyzing and reporting on data can drive priorities and lead business decision-making. The following data and analytics primary job roles align with CompTIA Data+:

  • Data analyst
  • Clinical analyst
  • Reporting analyst
  • Marketing analyst
  • Business data analyst
  • Operations analyst
  • Business intelligence analyst

CompTIA Data+ is an ideal certification for not only data-specific careers, but also other career paths that benefit from analytics processes and data analytics knowledge. Jobs like marketing specialists, financial analysts, human resource analysts or clinical health care analysts can optimize performance and make well-informed decisions when they use and evaluate data correctly.

Why Would I Choose CompTIA Data+ Over Other Data Analytics Certifications?

CompTIA Data+ is the only data analyst certification that covers baseline data analytics skills, assesses hands-on abilities and is vendor neutral and tool agnostic.

Vendor-neutral certifications provide analyst skills needed to perform various job roles regardless of the specific programs and tools being used. Compare this to vendor-specific certifications, which equip you to work with just one platform (such as SAS, Tableau or Microsoft). There are also certifications that dive deeper, such as big data and business analytics that can be pursued after receiving CompTIA Data+.

The amount of time you’ll need to prepare for CompTIA Data+ depends on your existing knowledge on the topics and your hands-on data analytics experience. We recommend that you have 18–24 months of experience in a report/business analyst job role, exposure to databases and analytical tools, a basic understanding of statistics and data visualization experience. We also suggest that you dedicate between 30 and 40 hours of studying before sitting for the exam.

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