10 Data Analytics Careers That Aren’t Data Scientists

Source – forbes.com

Many professionals use data and analytics skills to produce something of value, but only a few get media buzz.

Career topics are the most popular of the articles I write. Many people write me with questions about careers in analytics, nearly all of them from people whose idea of an analytics career is a job with a data scientist title.

There’s an industry joke that a data scientist is just a statistician who lives in California. The title has only become popular in recent years, beginning with a handful of positions in Silicon Valley and spreading like wildfire as word as the job was glamorized in the media and rumored to command stupendous salaries.

In practice, “data scientists” often do a lot of programming and not so much analysis. They may not have much subject matter expertise or work closely with those who do. Some people love it, but many will find greater satisfaction in other jobs where practitioners have a deeper knowledge of applications, spend more time interacting with other people and have more influence on the process.

If you’re considering a career in analytics, think broadly and learn about some of these less publicized professions. You may find a better fit for your personal interests than a plain vanilla analytics role.

To learn what any job is really like, get out and meet the people who do it – face to face. Attend a meeting of professional organizations for a job that interests you. There you can get the scoop from experienced professionals, find out how they really spend their time, what you might accomplish in the job, education requirements and more.

Here are 10 analytics jobs you may not have considered, with links to professional organizations where you can learn more.


Actuaries use data and analysis to manage risk. They’re the heart of the insurance industry, and also take important roles in the financial services industry and many large corporations and consultancies.

  • Be An Actuary
  • Casualty Actuarial Society
  • Society of Actuaries


Economists study the creation and transfer of wealth. They are influential in academia and government, but also in banking and other industries. Many economists have industry specialties such as healthcare, agriculture or law.

  • Agricultural & Applied Economics Association
  • American Economic Association
  • American Law and Economics Association
  • American Society of Health Economists
  • National Association for Business Economics
  • International Association for Feminist Economics
  • International Economic Association
  • National Economic Association


Epidemiologists research disease – when it occurs and where, what causes it and what prevents it. Epidemiology is central to evidence-based medicine.

  • American College of Epidemiology
  • American Statistical Association Statistics in Epidemiology Section

Forensic Accountant

Forensic accountants integrate skills in accounting, investigation and analytics in support of litigation or criminal investigation.

  • Forensic CPA Society
  • Association of Certified Fraud Examiners

Market Researcher

Market researchers investigate the likes, wants and behavior of consumers.

  • American Marketing Association
  • Insights Association


Meteorologists analyze weather data and patterns to forecast weather conditions.

  • American Meteorological Society
  • National Weather Association


You know what nurses do. At least, you know what some nurses do. But you may not know that nurses carry much of the responsibility for healthcare quality data collection, analysis and reporting in hospitals, nursing homes and other medical facilities.

  • American Health Quality Association
  • American Nurses Association
  • National Association for Healthcare Quality

Operations Research Analyst

Operations research analysts use mathematical methods such as optimization and simulation to maximize business process efficiency. They have prominent roles in the logistics and transportation, defense and insurance industries.

  • Military Operations Research Society

Quality Engineer

Quality engineers use statistical process control and other methods to improve business and production processes in manufacturing, healthcare and other industries.

  • American Society for Quality

Quantitative Analyst

Quantitative analysts are data analysis professionals who work in the finance industry and forecast changes in the valuation of stocks, bonds and other financial instruments. Known in the industry as “quants,” they are instrumental in making financial investments profitable and managing risk.

  • American Society for Quantitative Analysis
  • Global Association of Risk Professionals
  • International Association for Quantitative Finance
  • Society of Quantitative Analysts
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