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Become a Data Steward: Step-by-Step Career Guide

Research the requirements to become a data steward. Learn about the job description, and go over the step-by-step process to start a career in data stewardship. View article »

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  • 0:00 Data Steward Career Info
  • 0:46 Get Bachelor's Degree
  • 1:16 Gain Work Experience
  • 1:46 Get Certified

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Data Steward Career Info

Data stewards manage the quality and security of an organization's information. They act as liaisons between users and information technology (IT) departments to ensure successful management of company data. This occupation is typically an office job with a regular schedule.

Degree Level Bachelor's degree
Degree Fields Business administration, finance or a technical field
Experience Requirements vary by employer; typically 2+ years of IT experience and/or industry-specific experience
Key Skills Excellent written and oral communication, ability to work within a team, strong analytical and problem-solving skills; Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite, data analysis, and SQL
Salary $63,457 (median salary for data stewards as of 2016)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, PayScale.com

Step 1: Get Bachelor's Degree

Students may prepare careers in this field by completing a bachelor's degree program in a field such as business administration, finance, computer science, or management information systems. Business administration programs typically include courses in statistics, management information systems, decision making, communication, and international business. Management information systems students may study database management, information security, project management, and data systems design.

Step 2: Gain Work Experience

After graduation, aspiring data stewards may find work in the IT department of a company to develop their skills and become familiar with the data management process for certain firms and industries. Employers may also look for industry-specific work experience. For example, businesses often seek data stewards who have had data management experience in areas such as sales, marketing and banking. This may provide an understanding of how data is generated, managed, and reported in that industry.

Step 3: Get Certified

While not required for most positions, employers may prefer candidates with certification. Data Management (DAMA) International offers two Certified Data Management Professional credentials for stewards who meet education and experience requirements and successfully complete three exams. Data stewards must pursue continuing education courses in data management to maintain certification. Data stewards who also stay current on the latest technology and are willing to work in non-traditional IT fields will be able to advance their careers.


To recap, aspiring data stewards should first earn a bachelor's degree in business administration or management information systems before going on to gain actual hands-on experience in the field and work their way up in the industry.

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