Studying and gaining a business analytics degree is a great way to further your career and widen your options. You gain experience and knowledge which can help you in a range of industries. Here are the types of opportunities this qualification can lead to.
A range of careers to choose from
A business analytics degree is a versatile qualification because it opens so many doors to different careers, ranging across several industries. Although potential students may be concerned about the cost of further education, it’s definitely an investment in your future. If you choose a reputable university such as St. Bonadventure for your online masters in business analytics, you will ensure that you always have career choices. Even when some industries have to make cutbacks, you will have other options which are still related to your experience and qualifications.
As a qualified business analyst, you can work for a big company, or use your skills to work as a freelancer and help lots of businesses. This involves carrying out an analysis of how each business is performing and coming up with solutions to help them solve specific problems, such as reaching more clients, or providing what customers need. As these things can change quickly, it’s crucial for businesses to keep on top of the changes and adapt accordingly. You can gain job satisfaction and a substantial income by helping them with this.
Working in finance
If you already know before beginning the studies that you want to work in finance, you can tailor your degree to help you learn everything you need to know to become a financial analyst. While this still falls under the umbrella of business analyst, your role after graduating and finding work would revolve around the finances of the business you work for. This would include analyzing cash flow, outgoings, and profitability to ensure money is being spent efficiently and locating any areas where savings could be made without impacting profits or reducing the quality of products and savings their customers expect.
It’s a great career path, because if you’re successful, the money you free up for your company can cover your salary, providing a higher chance of job security, especially if cutting your role would result in the business losing money overall.
Marketing is another important aspect of all businesses, and you can use your degree here to improve the process. By determining what works and what doesn’t, you ensure the budget set aside for marketing is focused exactly where it needs to be.
For example, you could gather all the data to get a full picture of the audience demographics, or the psychographics of your customers and those who respond most to your company’s marketing and social media posts. You can then get a better idea of where these people are most likely to look when searching for the products you sell, and how your marketing can be adapted or improved to change responsive people into paying customers.
This is as much about understanding human behavior as it is about deciphering data. So, the marketing team might already aim their campaigns at the right people, but your findings could reveal that rephrasing the message has a more positive response and achieves more sales.
Whichever role you choose to work in, communication is a big part of effectively getting your results across to your employers and those in management positions. They may not understand all the jargon and technical terms, especially if the business is an industry where these terms are rarely mentioned. So, being able to communicate your findings to them, in a way that they understand, but also doesn’t sound like you’re talking down to them, is an essential skill to have.
It also demonstrates you can communicate with and be understood by people on all levels. This can lead to a mixed role where being a business analyst is only one part of your job, with the other part revolving around communicating with customers and the media. If you’re working for a small company, this ensures a full-time role, as they may not have the budget or requirement for a full-time analyst.
As technology constantly improves and changes, the demand for business analysts in cybersecurity is increasing. As many businesses are entrusted with the personal details of their clients or customers, this increases the level of responsibility placed on them to keep those details safe. For people to feel safe making transactions online, the checkout process must be secure, and so must the database where personal details such as names, addresses, credit cards, and passwords are stored.
As a business analyst working in cybersecurity, your role would involve checking for potential weaknesses in your online security, to help protect your business as well as its customers. It’s an important role and can save businesses lots of money, and their reputation if a breach isn’t spotted in time. Often, you will be trying to point out potential breaches before criminals notice and use them for their own gain. You can customize your business analytics degree if this industry appeals to you, and you will learn everything you need to know to prepare you.
Progression into a leadership role
Being a business analyst can earn you a lot of respect and recognition. This can open doors to leadership roles with a higher salary and more benefits as your experience and reputation grow. A degree from a university such as St. Bonaventure can help you begin your career as a business analyst, which as you can see, provides you with a lot of career options. Once you have secured a role, there are further opportunities to climb the career ladder. So, it’s up to you how far you want to go. If you pursue a promotion at your place of work, you may not need any further training. They already know you and your work so this, combined with your degree, could be enough. Alternatively, your workplace might support you in pursuing further learning during working hours or come to some other agreement.
Machine learning engineer
You can have a successful career as a machine learning engineer, without the need for coding knowledge, and with little or no data science experience providing you’re willing to expand on your learning. As a qualified business analyst, you will already understand data, be familiar with using mathematics, interpret how it applies to the business you’re working for and decide what changes should be implemented. You will already have a head start against anyone without experience or a business analytics degree. If you graduate and later decide to pursue a career as a machine learning engineer, the salary will also make any additional learning worthwhile. Although this depends on where you work, you could earn over $100,000 a year.
If you already have or you go on to gain the required technical skills, you could also work your way up to being a data architect. Again, the salary is over $100,000, and you have the option to work for public or private companies. Working for a private company can mean better pay, a greater range of benefits, and a better chance of promotion. So, it’s worth looking at the roles available as a data architect and seeing which one suits you best.
Some skills you will need, or must be prepared to learn, include design skills, and you should have a good eye for detail. As a qualified business analyst, you will already have the analytical skills required, so you should expect to focus on improving your technical skills.
Becoming a data scientist may not provide as high a salary as you would expect from being a data architect or a machine learning engineer. However, it’s still a good salary, and you can choose where you work from a variety of industries. These include education, government, healthcare, and finance.
Your role will be a mix of using AI and machine learning software combined with information from different sources and your existing knowledge, to uncover what this means for the business. For example, if you are working for a healthcare company, you could uncover that more of certain medical devices is being manufactured than are actually needed. You would use the information you’ve gained from all the various sources to either suggest reducing production, what devices might be needed instead, or how to market the excess devices better if the data reveals that marketing is the problem.
If you love taking on a challenge and finding a resolution, this could be the perfect role for you. It also means that your workdays will be varied and that you will often feel like you’re doing something worthwhile. The business you work for will be grateful for your input and help in saving money, increasing sales and much more.
The chance to start your own business
If you graduate with a business analytics degree, you could start your own business. Although no qualifications are needed to start a business, your degree will definitely help. It’s important to understand all the aspects of running a business, including cutting costs, maximizing marketing campaigns, using technology to improve a business and much more. You will be familiar with using data to do all this and more. This will give you an advantage over someone who has a similar idea for a business but doesn’t know how to implement it in a way that is likely to be successful.
You will be able to create a realistic business plan, structure pricing so you make a profit but don’t out-price yourself, make accurate predictions about near-future trends based on data, and your expertise could also encourage investors to put money into your business. They want to make a profit, so if they know you have the skills and knowledge to build a successful business, they’ll be more likely to invest.
Other benefits of your degree
Your degree can open many doors. Beyond the different careers and roles you can access, it also means that you will benefit from the advantages it provides, compared to some other less certain careers.
Although there is no guarantee of staying in the same job for any length of time, working as a business analyst (in whichever role you choose) can mean you will always have opportunities. So, even if your current role comes to an end, you should be able to find another. With so many people worrying about the job market, businesses will always need analysts in cybersecurity, finance, marketing and work with technology. It’s a profitable role that often pays for itself and saves or makes money for businesses. That’s why there will always be a demand for someone with your skills and education.
As the roles we mentioned earlier all help business owners, this helps the business and its employees too. Your input can make their roles easier, by showing them how to make the business run more efficiently. By helping to improve how their finances are handled, with the marketing strategies and other aspects, you could help to keep many people employed. So, it’s not just business owners, CEOs, and managers who will benefit from your skills. This definitely makes your job feel satisfying, and when you need to switch companies, these achievements are great topics to talk about in your application.
Easier to switch industries
Many of the above roles span various industries. So, you could have the same or a similar role in a financial company as you could in an educational institution. Although the priorities will differ, the premise is often the same. This makes it easier to switch industries, without needing to gain additional qualifications. Your business analytics degree and experience should be enough. At the most, you may need to spend time learning about the differences in the industries, but another degree won’t be necessary.
So many transferable skills
Although a lot of careers have transferable skills, your degree could gain you experience that will provide you with skills which are in demand in other careers. So, if you ever need to change careers or combine roles, you can apply these to other roles too.
The communication skills you gain are important to many employees. Even if the job involves working alone, there are always occasions where communication is needed. Miscommunication can cause problems and be costly. That’s why employers prefer candidates who can demonstrate that they can convey critical information clearly, understand what they have been told, as well as be able to think for themselves and communicate their ideas.
Your research skills can also be used in other jobs. Many work projects require research, whether this is looking at the current trends, what competitors are doing or what could be improved. Even if you choose to pursue a career unrelated to business analysis, it’s still a useful skill to have, and many of the tasks can overlap.
The ability to think critically
As a business analyst, you will rely on your critical thinking skills to carry out your job. This can be applied to jobs such as accountant or criminologist. These roles may seem completely different from business analyst, however, an accountant needs to think critically, and if your degree or experience focuses on the financial analysis of a business, there will be other overlapping skills, making this a more logical sidestep than you might think. The same can be said of a career as a criminologist. It’s not an obvious path for business analyst, but analysis and critical thinking are important transferable skills that could be beneficial.
If you choose to be a business analyst in one of the more technical roles available, this can open up other technical careers to you. Employers value people with a lot of knowledge in this area who can keep up with the fast pace of technology changes and improvements.
Alternatively, you might make money in your spare time by writing articles or ebooks in a way that is easy for people of all education levels to understand.
This may be one of the best transferable skills to have. You will already be familiar with solving problems for businesses, but many organizations have other smaller and more frequent problems to overcome. So, whichever role you want to work in, they will appreciate having someone who can think fast and find solutions to problems with little supervision. This can set you apart from candidates who struggle with decision-making or are unable to see problems until it’s too late.
As you can see, your degree in business analytics could open many doors for you, ranging from multiple career choices in the industry to less obvious roles which still rely on the skills your qualification gives you. It can even prepare you to work for yourself. So, it’s well worth the time and money you will invest in your studies.
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