Published: March 2, 2021

Career paths in business analytics

Career Paths in Business Analytics

In the rapidly growing field of big data, there is a high demand for skilled professionals who can leverage analytics to translate unstructured data into valuable business insights. According to Forbes, worldwide big data market revenues for software and services were $42 billion in 2018 and are projected to grow to $103 billion by 2027. The more data businesses amass, the more important it becomes for organizations to be able to harness this information and use it strategically to improve their operations. Studies have shown that companies who actively embrace jobs in big data have a distinct edge in the marketplace, which further demonstrates the potential that business analytics specialists have in today’s professional landscape.

According to McKinsey & Company, talented analysts are in high demand as a result of the rising amount of data that companies produce and acquire. For those who are interested in how data intersects with and impacts business, obtaining a master’s in business analytics provides specialized training that translates to a multitude of professional roles dealing with big data and other similar analytics responsibilities.

Below are a few careers in which the Leeds Master’s in Business Analytics (MSBA) degree can give you an edge. 

Management Analyst

The role of management analyst utilizes problem-solving skills and analytical expertise, with the ultimate goal of improving efficiency and solving operational problems for an organization. Management analysts use data and information to propose ways to reduce costs, increase revenue and generate more profit. In most companies, this position is required to travel frequently to carry out on-site observations and meet with clients. 

As organizations continue to seek ways to improve efficiency and control costs, professionals in this occupation will see themselves in high demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of management analysts is projected to grow 11% by 2029 and the current median pay for experts in this role is upwards of $85K.  

Operations Research Analyst

Operations research analysts use advanced mathematical and analytic methods to help organizations solve complex issues. This role requires identifying and investigating solutions to problems in order to assist the company with making smarter business decisions. Professionals in this occupation are more likely to be hired if they have a master’s degree, as graduate programs help individuals in this field build the specialized data visualization skills necessary for solving complex operational data issues.   

As technology continues to advance and companies seek efficiency and cost savings, professionals in this occupation will see themselves in high demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of operations research analysts is projected to grow 25% by 2029 and the current median pay for experts in this role is upwards of $84K. 

Alumni Success 

MSBA Graduate

Cassidy Stearns (MSBA’20)

Associate Analytics Consultant at DAS42

Having majored in Chinese and Russian Studies, Stearns quickly applied her aptitude for foreign languages to programming when earning her master’s in business analytics. A leader in her cohort, she was named an Outstanding MS in Business Analytics Award winner.

"I came into the graduate program at Leeds without any coding experience but am leaving as a proficient programmer in three distinct languages, two of which I will use every day in my career.”

MSBA Graduate

Austin Kaliher (MSBA’19)

Financial Analyst, Lockheed Martin Space Systems

From day one of his master’s program in business analytics, Austin worked with Leeds’ career services to articulate his value, polish his resume and fine-tune his interviewing skills. Armed with confidence, he landed a coveted opportunity at Lockheed, one that he “could not pass up.” Today, he exercises his analytical knowledge and skills to perform confidential financial analyses for the company.

Marketing Analyst

Marketing analytics is a sector of business analytics that is growing rapidly. A marketing analyst spends their day studying and interpreting data on market conditions, competitors’ activities and consumer behavior in order to help organizations make decisions regarding their products, prices and customers. A master’s degree helps professionals in this field learn the descriptive, predictive and prescriptive techniques that can be leveraged for measuring the results of marketing efforts and providing data-driven solutions for future decisions.

The Leeds Master’s in Business Analytics degree also provides a strong background in recognizing and revealing market trends and relationships, as well as how to provide business leaders with market feedback that assists prioritization and drives better business decisions. The average salary for marketing analysts varies by region and typically falls between $55–$75K.

Data Scientist and Other Big Data Jobs

According to the analytics company SAS, a data scientist combines the skills of a mathematician, computer scientist and trend-spotter in order to analyze data for actionable insights. Data scientists possess the technical skills needed to solve complex problems, and their curious nature drives them to explore within data. Professionals in this role not only extract meaning from and interpret data, but they also help to uncover hidden business insights that exist within it. 

To succeed as a data scientist, individuals need a knowledge of math or statistics and should be inquisitive, creative critical thinkers. Other desirable characteristics include a strong working knowledge of a variety of coding languages, as well as skills in data visualization, machine learning, and pattern recognition—which are all learned and practiced within a business analytics graduate degree program. Because experts in this role have knowledge of both the business and IT worlds, they’re in high demand and are well paid—with a typical starting salary of $120K. 

Other titles under the big data umbrella are data analyst, database administrator, data architect, and big data engineer, all of which require data visualization and analytical skills and an understanding of how these can be used to optimize business operations.

Other Careers of Interest

There are many other career options open to graduates with a master’s in business analytics, including mathematician and statistician, logistician, and market research analyst. Mathematicians and statisticians use their data skills to help solve real-world problems across a multitude of fields. Logisticians analyze and coordinate a company’s supply chain. And market research analysts gather valuable information about a market in order to drive more informed decisions for a company.  

As you can see, a plethora of opportunities exists across industries that graduates with a master’s in business analytics can pursue. The Leeds Master’s in Business Analytics program offers specialized tracks in Marketing and Advertising Analytics, Decision Science, and Security Analytics that allow you to acquire a vast toolkit for excelling in a data-driven career. Leeds also offers an online MSBA program and certificate programs for working professionals.

Request information on Leeds’ Master’s in Business Analytics here.