5 Tips to land your dream entry-level position in business or data analytics

Laura Mouws - October 19, 2022

Are you (almost) graduated and still full of doubts considering your first job post-uni? Unsure how to put your analytical and problem-solving skills to practice and what specific role is the right fit for you? Believe us, you are not the only one!

Research shows that 41% of young professionals experience feelings of stress and anxiety about job and career prospects. As you probably already know (and feel?), your first job has a massive impact on the rest of your career. But how do you make sure you make the right choice? These tips will help you conquer the anxiety of choosing your first job in business or data analytics.

Why is your first job so important?

Whether it’s an internship, traineeship or junior position, your first job is far-reaching. Besides having a big impact on your career trajectory, it’s also the place where you’ll develop important professional hard and soft skills for your future career.

While your first job doesn’t define your entire career, it is a great opportunity to develop yourself both personally as well as professionally, while building your portfolio and gaining experience in the analytical field.

What makes it so difficult?

Crazy as it may seem, even in a tight labor market, a lot of companies ask an unreasonable  number of requirements while hiring for entry level positions in analytics. 3+ Years of industry experience, knowledge of at least three different programming languages, dashboards and tools and a very specific set of soft skills, to name a few. Due to this hiring method and the pace in which these digital jobs are changing, a lot of starters feel underqualified for junior positions such as data analyst, BI consultant or data engineer. Especially in the Business, IT & analytics field, starters experience a gap between the skillset they developed during their education and the requirements for entry-level positions. But to be honest, this is not just an industry or even European problem. Research shows that half of new graduates in de U.S. avoid applying to junior positions, because they feel underqualified.

However, this skill gap isn’t the only obstacle in your quest for the perfect career start. Besides choosing the right job, it might be even more important to choose the right employer. But how can you be sure, if you haven’t had the opportunity to discover your professional preferences regarding culture, team and work environment? What can you do to make the right decision?

Tips to find your dream starter role

Well, the good news is: there’s a lot of employers that do consider your needs as a starter in the analytical field of work. So, how do you find them?

#1 Stay true to yourself.

When deciding on your first job, there’s a lot of pressure from friends, family, fellow students or even your (former) professor. And while it’s great to hear their opinion on what you should or shouldn’t do, be sure to listen to yourself and trust your gut feeling.

#2 Choose talent development over status.

Especially with certain high demand study backgrounds such as Data Science or Business & IT, it can be tempting to choose a big name to add to your CV. Which can be great. Just make sure to dive a little deeper and consider how you can grow and develop yourself with this employer. Talent development over status every day of the week.

#3 Look beyond the job subscription.

It’s great if you’re happy with your day-to-day tasks. But don’t forget to research company culture and values. How serious do they take your happiness and wellbeing at work? How do they ensure a safe learning environment? What are your career growth opportunities?

#4 Postpone your decision.

Wait, what? Yes, there’s several opportunities where you get the chance to explore before settling down. For example, through working in consultancy or doing projects at an agency specialized in data or analytics. Try working for different clients while discovering your personal preferences and favorite roles.

#5 Consider a data or analytics traineeship.

Choosing a traineeship over a junior position is a great way to ensure the possibility to develop yourself personally as well as professionally, while discovering different roles and companies in the field. It might just be the exact right balance between being challenged and having a support system to rely on as a starter in this field.

Hopefully, these tips will help you in your search for the perfect start of your career. Curious to find out how we launch careers in analytics at Fresh Forces? Read more in our vacancy or have a chat with our talent manager Laura via WhatsApp.

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