Finding Careers in Analytics: One Student's Story

"When I went into my current job, they sat me down and said 'look, we just want you to do what you've already done, what you've learned in school with Tableau, that's exactly what we want you to do here.'" Mike Thurston is one of many students who have kickstarted their careers with the Tableau skills they built in school.

Mike started using Tableau in one of his HR Analytics courses at Utah State University. Using Tableau in this course allowed him to build out a portfolio of examples of the types of analyses he had built in Tableau. Mike had been using a free copy of Tableau Desktop – which Tableau offers through the Tableau for Students program.

Before graduation, Mike found a posting from a local organization, Intermountain Healthcare, looking for a data analyst with Tableau and SQL experience. Following a seminar at school where someone from Intermountain was speaking, Mike introduced himself and indicated his interest in the role. Two interviews later, Intermountain was asking Mike to join them after graduating and work with their data using Tableau.

To students interested in working in the field of data analytics, Mike suggests building a Tableau portfolio. "You're able to say right away – this is how I can add value to the organization, this is where I can help you earn your money. Once an employer is able to see that, it's almost a no-brainer to say 'we'd love to have you.'"

Tableau is a great way for students to develop the analytical skills to be well-prepared for the future job market. McKinsey, the management consulting company, predicts a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with the skills to analyze big data by 2018 – in addition to 1.5 million analysts and managers who can understand how to use data.

Through Tableau's academic programs, instructors and students can use Tableau for free. Visit Tableau for Teaching and Tableau for Students for more information on how to jumpstart your career by using Tableau.

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