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Should I Get a Master's in Business Analytics: 7 Things To Consider
It’s not a secret that business analytics is a fast growing field. According to the World Economic Forum, businesses have “a greater demand for analysts because they will need help making sense of all of the data generated by technological disruptions.”
Like many careers that are expanding, there’s an important point to consider: “With an urgent need for business analytics professionals, do I really need a master’s degree to do the work?”
The answer depends on your career objectives, so let’s look at 7 reasons to get your master’s in business analytics.
Reason 1: Qualify for Senior Leadership Roles in an Organization
“To enter the field, a bachelor's degree is fine,” Jiang Li, Ph.D., chair, M.S. in Business Analytics and lead faculty, M.S. in Data Analytics at Franklin University says. “However, improving your abilities for problem-solving, learning advanced analytics methods and developing analytic skills and tools is critical. To move up the career ladder, a graduate degree is very helpful.”
Some business analytics professionals are strong in business logic while others work well within the technical needs of the job. A master’s program provides both professionals with the opportunity to round-out their skill and knowledge sets. This ultimately makes the student a more “complete” employee who can use their newfound skills to straddle the needs of an organization, making them an ideal candidate to grow in their career.
Reason 2: Qualify for A Job/Career You’ve Always Wanted
“Having a master’s degree is attractive to a potential employer because they want someone with the skills and knowledge that come with a Master's in Business Analytics but often don’t want to train up people to prepare them for a role in business analytics,” Li says.
There’s another reason to consider obtaining your master’s - it’s what everyone else is doing. Of course you shouldn’t do anything just because everyone else is doing it, but in order to stay competitive, obtaining a master’s can be a good career decision.
Reason 3: You Want to Increase Your Earning Potential
A master’s degree is a great tool to help with career building but it’s even more valuable when it’s backed by real-world experience.
“With some career experience, students can easily connect the analytics methods/skills and their business problem-solving skills,” Dr. Li says.
While these are valued skills separately, the benefits of combining them can be seen in a student’s paychecks.
Reason 4: To Be Seen As a Strong Job Candidate
In addition to the knowledge behind it, a master’s shows companies that you have made an investment in your career.
“An employer wants to hire someone who will bring value to their organization,” Dr. Li says. “This can take many forms but having the skills and experience behind a master’s degree means that you’re coming in and can hit the ground running.”
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Reason 5: You Want to Chart Your Own Path As a Consultant.
One of the unlisted benefits to getting an M.S. in Business Analytics is the freedom it provides. With the additional knowledge and skills you will obtain you’ll have more confidence in forging your own career as a consultant.
“A master’s gives you the opportunity to gain a comprehensive knowledge of business analytics practices. Many students have learned a lot of the different components when they were in their undergrad classes but this is where everything gets pulled together,” Dr. Li says.
He continues, “Companies realize that business analytics professionals who have earned their master’s degrees are not a luxury to have, they are a necessity. That’s because it’s not enough for the company to have data that can be ‘eyeballed,’ they need people who can manage, read and understand the data fields.”
Reason 6: Gain Skills Not Immediately Required In Your Current Role
When you obtain your master’s you’re going to be learning new skills and developing an understanding of business frameworks.
“A graduate program will help students learn business analytics comprehensively, make them more competitive and better prepare them for business problem-solving,” Dr. Li says. “For example, in modern industry, many traditional roles have developed more exposure to large amounts of business data. After retrieving data from the data warehouse by SQL, the product or marketing analyst can quickly check the business performance, and the underwriting analyst can identify the new segment with high risk. Those insights gained through analyzing data have strong potential to improve the organization’s outcomes,” Dr. Li says.
Reason 7: Develop a Lifelong Professional Network
Dr. Li says that at Franklin, most of the instructors have industry experience that enables them to make classroom material less theoretical and more practical. Instructors also have unique access to industry experts who can be pulled in as invited speakers.
“There is a great opportunity for students to make connections with the speakers, professors and others in the industry,” he says. "This connection happens not just at the student-teacher level but in the day-to-day task of learning as well. Some students pick real-world problems (from their business field) as their project in the capstone course. This enables them to put their learning into practice and expand their network of trusted advisors and resources.
Master Your Career Today
The master’s program at Franklin is constructed for working adults with class times that are flexible and fast. Utilizing practical labs, students will have an opportunity to work with peers in studying real-world business problem-solving techniques. And Franklin's M.S. in Business Analytics can be earned in just 12 months!