Note: This is the third installment in our back-to-school series.

Fall marks the start of a new school year in many parts of the world. It’s also the busiest time of year for Tableau’s Academic Programs. Students all over the world are downloading Tableau to gain valuable analytics skills to help secure a job after graduation.

According to Fast Company, “Both demand and salaries have been rising for people who can work with and analyze data.” Easy access to the tools to gain these skills is only half the battle. Unfortunately, you can’t just download viz-whiz skills like you can download a free copy of Tableau, but we’re here to help you expand your skill set.

As you return to the classroom, here are some free resources to help you become a Tableau power user, succeed in school, and land your dream job.

1. Download Tableau Desktop for free

This is the crucial first step. Tableau Desktop Professional is free for currently-enrolled students around the world. If you haven’t done so already, check out our Tableau for Students program. Fill out the form on that page to verify your student status and we’ll send a key via email.

2. Leverage free training resources

Now that you’ve got Tableau, it’s time to learn to use it. Create a user account on tableau.com for easy access to training resources. Check out our library of on-demand trainings to learn Tableau at your own pace. These bite-sized videos will take you from beginner to Tableau power user in no time.

3. Connect with us on Facebook

Don’t miss out on product updates, upcoming recruiting events, and career opportunities. “Like” the Tableau on Campus Facebook page to stay up to date on all things relevant to students.

4. Start analyzing

It may be too early in the term for you to have collected data, but you can still ask questions and create beautiful visualizations. Use these free sample data sets to practice your Tableau skills.

5. Build your portfolio

Don’t just add Tableau to your resume. Create a free Tableau Public profile and share your work with the world. From Tableau Desktop, go to the Server menu > Tableau Public > Save to Tableau Public. You can then embed your viz on a website, share with your social network, or include in a professional portfolio.

6. Recreate a viz

Don’t be afraid to learn by copying others. Visit the Tableau Public Gallery, find an interesting viz, and download the packaged workbook. See if you can recreate a viz or an entire dashboard. Reverse-engineering a great viz is one of the best ways to up your data-viz game.

7. Follow Zen Masters on Twitter

Tableau Zen Masters have a deep understanding of Tableau and a willingness to help others be better Tableau users. They’re good people to know. Check out the current Zen Masters and follow them on Twitter for a daily dose of thought leadership.

Hey, students! We want to see the great things you’re creating with Tableau. This school year, you have two opportunities to win a Tableau swag bag just by submitting a Tableau viz you created for an assignment. Check out the Student Viz Assignment Contest page for official rules and details on how to enter. Happy vizzing!

What do you wish you knew when you were just starting your data journey? Share your tips and advice with us in the comments below, or via Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #datalessons.

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