In today's digital world, businesses have access to a wealth of information because customers with smartphones leave a trail of digital information everywhere they go.
Rick Watson, a professor at the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business, points out that "you can see a posting on Facebook about what the person intends to do ... you can see the transaction and the events after the transaction."
Each interaction between a business and a customer creates a ripple of data that is a veritable gold mine to businesses — which puts analytics right at the top of the list of jobs in high demand. "The world actually has a shortage of people with analytics skills," says Watson. "The demand just continues to grow, even to the point where Walmart has a billboard in San Francisco advertising for data analytics people."
Big Business and Bigger Data
Josh Sullivan, the vice president of the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton's Strategic Innovation Group, says, "Data is the new oil. You have to refine that oil and get it into a format so that you can make decisions." Much like oil, big data is only valuable in the hands of those who know how to use it.
Using analytics to gain insights from crude data is the first step. Strategic use of those insights to beat the competition can move a business forward. Digital marketing, a relatively new and expanding field, is becoming the refinery for this information, and data analysts are the ones responsible for making sure management can understand that information.
This not only means that analytics professionals are in high demand, but that managers tasked with working with teams of data analysts must be up to date on the latest in analytics and dashboard visibility. In the current environment, a person with an MBA in business analytics will be appealing to many different missions in any company awash with digital data.
Mandy Mueller, a program manager at Exact Target in Phoenix, tells U.S. News & World Report that "data leads to relevancy." To compete in an increasingly data-heavy business environment, virtually every industry is becoming more and more dependent on their respective data analysts. This doesn't just mean a greater number of data analysts, but also a more adaptable team overall.
Margaret Loftus, a contributor at U.S. News & World Report, writes that "supply chains have gone global, creating demand for managers who can coordinate with all involved, from information systems to marketing, to directing the flow of goods."
This shift is ubiquitous across the marketplace. "Health care consultants with the expertise to guide decision-making are also hot," writes Loftus. "Medical and health services management positions will increase by 23 percent by 2022, says the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; median pay in 2012 was $88,500."
Career Versatility in a World of Data
Marc Ethier of Poets & Quants writes, "Sixty-nine percent of employers plan to place recent grad business school hires into data analytics roles in 2017, the Graduate Management Admission Council found, trailing only marketing, business development, and finance roles (each with 71%)."
This is indicative of data analytics as a growing branch of nearly every industry. An MBA in business analytics is arguably one of the more flexible degrees a graduate can have entering the marketplace. It will not only provide opportunities for career versatility, but more importantly, stability in an unpredictable market. Whatever may happen to a particular business or even a particular industry, data as a bedrock of business decision-making is here to stay.
According to GMAC Research Director Gregg Shoenfeld, the healthcare/pharmaceutical industry is hungriest for MBAs in data analytics. "Healthcare is one of those industries that actually have big data," he says, "and they need people who really understand and can crunch that data and come out with insights."
Salaries for MBA in Business Analytics Graduates
Starting salaries for MBA graduates tend to vary quite a bit and correlate heavily with years of experience. According to a PayScale survey, as of March 2019, MBAs with less than one year of experience earn a median salary of $52,974, while those with five to nine years of experience earn a median salary of $79,018. Data analysts make a median salary of $58,876, while senior data analysts make a median salary of $78,220.
Given the increasing importance of data consolidation in the world of business, an MBA focused on business analytics is a smart way to get a leg up in the marketplace.
Learn more about UNC Pembroke's online MBA with a Concentration in Business Analytics program.
FindMBA.com: Post-MBA Careers in Business Analytics: By the Numbers
U.S. News & World Report: Use an MBA to Dive Into a Data Analytics Career
Poets & Quants: MBA Job Outlook Better Than Ever In 2017
PayScale: Master of Business Administration (MBA), Business Data Analysis Degree Average Salary
PayScale: Senior Data Analyst SalaryBusinessBecause: Data Analytics Sparks "Bullish" MBA Jobs Market, Higher Salaries
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