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5 Career Options for MBA Grads in Business Analytics

The value of professionals with business analytics skills is growing more than ever. Forbes found that over 95% of businesses have some need to manage large sums of data. Graduates of an advanced business degree in analytics have increasing confidence that they will be valuable assets to the workforce, as the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) noted in 2019 that “72% of technology companies looked to directly hire Master’s in Business Analytics talent.”

The impact of data-based business intelligence on operations and processes is “extremely powerful,” said professor, Jan Hammond. “It’s the way the world is going.” However, simply having a knack for data may not be enough to propel a career forward.

“A lot of people can crunch numbers, but I think they’ll be in very limited positions unless they can help interpret those analyses in the context of which the business is operating,” she said in an interview with the Harvard Business Analytics Program blog.

Business Analytics (BA) Is Fast-growing

Today, business analytics is at the center of corporate finance, economics, supply chain analysis, database management and consulting. High demand, coupled with short supply of BA professionals, means well-paying positions.

While noting the pandemic suppressed demand for them, corporate recruiters told the GMAC they expected year-to-year growth of about 30% across all economic sectors.

Median starting salaries at $85,000 are similar to other MBA categories. However, the upper end of the spectrum puts some salaries at $105,000, higher than those for other specialized degrees.

Overall, 52% of responding companies planned to hire these graduates in 2019, compared with 37% in 2018, with salaries commensurate to the roles.

Demand for Big Data Professionals “Presents Fantastic Opportunities”

Companies continue to make significant investments in processes, systems and professionals who can apply analytics to raw data, interpret the results and get high-value, actionable intelligence. Data-driven decision-making (DDDM) enables companies to make better decisions faster and encourages critical thinking about organizational goals and objectives.

In all sectors, the global business community is being shaped by a growing demand for more and better data. Data professionals with graduate degrees, therefore, are in increasing demand, an online technology business-school review newsletter illustrates.

One professional source for Poets & Quants notes, “Currently, the supply of qualified graduates to enter this field is not keeping up with the demand, which presents a fantastic opportunity for graduates with the right knowledge and skills.”

Taking Advantage of Emerging Career Paths

The Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Business Analytics online program at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) equips data professionals with the skills, knowledge and insights to fill diverse roles such as:

  1. Financial/Business Analyst: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts the industry will gain nearly 27,000 professionals in this role and see a job outlook increase of 5% between 2019 and 2029.
  2. Pricing Analyst: CNN Money rates this position No. 39 on its 100 Best Jobs in America list and predicts businesses will hire nearly 300,000 professionals in this role, showing a 10-year job growth of more than 40%.
  3. Market Research Analyst: The BLS projects 17.7% employment growth for market research analysts between 2019 and 2029. In that period, an estimated 130,300 jobs should open up, according to U.S. News & World Report.
  4. Operations Research Analysts: The source reports that the government predicts demand for professionals who use data to optimize company operations will increase by nearly 25% this decade.
  5. The Business Intelligence Analysts: com, a BLS career research service, predicts opportunities in this role will grow much faster than the average for all employment.

Whether you’re entering the job market or competing for advancement in a career in big data, take the first step now by pursuing an advanced business degree in data analytics.

Learn more about the University of Illinois Chicago’s online MBA with a concentration in Business Analytics program.

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