Project management and data science are both promising career options. However, they cannot be distinguished along the same lines, as they are different fields. What you choose depends on your skills and interests. If you have good management skills, then project management is the right choice. Such professionals tend to work on a macro level, overseeing the tasks assigned to the team and getting things done by each team member according to their skills.
On the other hand, Data Science is a technical field and those who are interested in working with data should advance in this field. Such professionals usually work individually and get involved in various tasks such as data mining, data processing, data analysis and data visualization.
Career and salary prospects for both fields are good, and many industries hire qualified project managers and data scientists.
What is the role of a Project Manager?
A Project Manager is able to engage with relevant and changing stakeholders and is responsible for the successful completion of projects by initiating, planning, designing, controlling and defining project steps and tools, and monitoring teams, tasks and processes to ensure delivery on schedule. Project Managers are able to identify key risks that can directly impact the successful operation of an organization and are able to continuously monitor, measure, and mitigate these risks throughout the life of a project.
Project managers promote teamwork and accountability and provide opportunities for various team members to collaborate and plan how to achieve results. In addition to minimizing risks associated with a project or existing business processes, project managers typically have expertise in a particular area, possess strong critical thinking, time management, and communication skills, and understand the importance of being transparent with stakeholders to manage expectations while working toward desired outcomes.
Today, there are many different digital tools, techniques and frameworks that a project manager can use depending on client preference, budget, type or size of project, etc., but the core tasks of a project manager working in any industry sector always include:
- Liaising with stakeholders
- Planning activities and their sequence
- Time estimates
- Cost estimates / preparation of budgets
- Management of resources
- Risk analysis / problem solving
- Process optimization / testing
- Team management
- Change management
- Monitoring and reporting on project progress and performance
- Quality control
- Project deliverables
The Role of a Data Analyst
A data analyst collects and interprets data to turn it into meaningful information. As a data analyst, you are expected to analyze information and draw conclusions that provide opportunities to improve a business. Companies in almost every industry can benefit from the work of data analysts, from retail to healthcare.
Data analysts work with large amounts of information all the time. The following is a step-by-step description of the process of a data analytics project:
- A data analytics project begins with identifying the needs of the customer. Do they need a dashboard? Do they need a report? Or do they want you to analyze a product?
- The next step is to create an action plan. The data analyst determines where the information will come from, where it will flow, etc. Often, a data analyst’s job is to communicate this to the team.
- Data collection is the next step. It can come from APIs, flat files, database backups, or various other data sources.
- The collected data is then cleaned to make it more usable. Data is always messy, so cleaning and organizing the data is an important step.
- Finally, the data analyst creates reports and visualizations. These results are intended to solve the defined problem.
5 Reasons to Pursue a Career in Data Science and Project Management.
- Work in a variety of industries
Data analysts and project managers can work in a variety of industries. After all, every company that uses data to make decisions needs the help of an analyst. And every company that undertakes important projects needs a project manager.
You can choose from healthcare, education, manufacturing, construction, technology, and many other sectors – the possibilities are endless.
2. Impact your business with your data and project management skills.
Data Science is a rewarding career path where you will have a direct impact on your company and others with your skills. For example, you could compile and analyze the data that helps a company develop a new product. Or you might uncover data that helps a hospital understand how it can better serve its patients.
Project managers use their skills to help businesses and organizations grow, leading to a career that is both rewarding and meaningful. They help plan and manage internal projects to ensure they are completed on time.
For example, you may help a company complete a project that increases its budget or helps it serve its customers more efficiently.
3. Many opportunities to advance your career.
There are many career opportunities in the data and project management niche. For example, you can become a data analyst, data science technician, or even a healthcare data analyst. You can also become a project manager assistant or junior project manager.
There are also additional certifications you can earn to further advance your career. These include the Associate Certified Analytics Professional industry certification and the PMI Certified Associate in Project Management.
4. Receive a solid salary
Project managers and data analysts typically receive good salaries and benefits from their employers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, data and market research workers receive a median salary of $65,810 per year. And according to Salary.com, deputy project managers receive an average of $57,500 per year.
Peace of mind and job security
Jobs in data and project management are future-proof. There will always be a project to manage, and data is the future of business and technology. You can rest easy knowing that your career is secure for many years to come.
Project managers and data analysts contribute differently to the business. Project managers lead teams and ensure that projects achieve their intended goals within the specified timeframe. They focus on the successful completion of tasks assigned in their department. Data analysts, on the other hand, work with large amounts of data and convert information into insights. They effectively solve problems and help the organization improve.
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