Business Careers: How to Get into Business Analytics | Top Universities

Business Careers: How to Get into Business Analytics

By Stephanie L

Updated April 2, 2021 Updated April 2, 2021

Sponsored by Baruch College - Zicklin School of Business

In 2019, the Business School Hiring Report by GMAC reported that data analytics graduates were set to be the most in-demand recruits for employers in the technology, energy and utilities, and consulting industries.

Even amid the current COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for business analysts is set to rise dramatically as organizations innovate their business strategies – with algorithmic, analytical and coding skills becoming increasingly prominent across the business landscape.

With the median annual salary of a business analyst standing at US$60,313, going all the way up to US$123,000 for senior business analyst roles, there are numerous paths you can take to become a business analyst. If you’re wondering how you can get your foot in the business analytics career door, here are six things you should consider.

Hold a relevant undergraduate degree 

First things first, a strong business background or knowledge of information technology is a good starting point.

Ideally, you’ll study a quantitative-related degree such as computer science or business management where you learn the fundamentals of business and information technology, while sharpening your knowledge of statistics and analytical and data science techniques. However, if you don’t have that background, you can still break into the business analytics field.

Pursue a master’s degree in business analytics

As data expands and more of it begins to get stored on cloud-based software, the use of faster – and more importantly smarter – decision-making is going to be crucial to success, especially during these trying times.

While upskilling has been a prominent issue for employers and workers across the business spectrum – a report by the World Economic Forum in 2018 reported that by 2022, 54 percent of the world’s working population will be forced to reskill or upskill, most notably in digital and technological advancements. Now might be the opportune time to upskill and gain increasingly sought-after, transferable skills.

master’s in business analytics is a great way to help get you started and fill these critical gaps. The interdisciplinary curriculum of the Master’s in Business Analytics at the Zicklin School of Business helps guide students on a zig-zag journey between business strategies and IT practices, innovation and management. 

Supplement your learning and training with additional courses and certifications

You might want to supplement your education with a recognized certification from a professional body such as the International Institute of Business Analysis UK (IIBA) or The Chartered Institute for IT (BCS). These can help strengthen your position in the competitive job market where employers are actively seeking candidates with strong analytical skills and business expertise.

Gain real world experience by undertaking industry specific training such as an internship

Business analytics is a multifaceted area of business, which demands those who are comfortable working as mediators, connectors and facilitators between business and IT – which is why internships and other forms of work experience are great opportunities for getting an insight into digital transformation trends and industry practices.

From healthcare to education, insurance to telecommunications, the size of the company will influence whether you’re expected to work across the entirety of the business or dedicate your effort to one specific department.

Pay attention to the latest software and programming languages

Where business analysts bridge the gap between business and IT, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a good grasp of software tools and programming languages, such as JavaScript, SQL, R, Python, among others.

Students studying the Master’s in Business Analytics at the Zicklin School of Business have the opportunity to get practical experience with such tools.

Learn to master the art of agility, resilience, leadership, communication and teamwork

While today’s business landscape might be dependent on digital technologies, that doesn’t mean you should go without knowing how to communicate well, lead a team effectively, be a team-player, as well having the ability to think fast and creatively while under pressure.

Business analysts are confident in fostering and challenging change when it comes to improving a business’s operations and strategies, as well as forecasting such feasibilities of proposed improvements.

Don’t shy away from industry events and conferences – these are where your networking skills are crucial

While expanding your knowledge of the industry and relevant sectors, workshops, conferences, forums, among other events can lead to exciting opportunities as you meet industry experts and professionals.

Master’s in Business Analytics students at the Zicklin School of Business have access to the Graduate Career Management Center to help with their career and professional development, giving them the tools, resources and connections to land their target job and help manage their career going forwards.

This article was originally published in May 2020 . It was last updated in April 2021

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Written by

As the Head of Sponsored Content for and (until September 2021), Stephanie created and published a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. She attended the University of Portsmouth where she earned a BA in English Language and an MA in Communication and Applied Linguistics.

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