Big data is getting bigger and bigger by the day, and companies in every industry need the help of professionals who can not only analyze this data, but interpret and package it in ways that make it useful to them. However, employers are struggling to find enough qualified business intelligence and data science professionals to meet their needs.
All this means that if you’re looking for a master’s program that will lead to a lucrative career and many job opportunities, a Master of Science in Business Intelligence could be right for you. Employers prefer MS in BI holders who also have an undergraduate background in computer science, and three to five years of professional experience. An online master’s program is the perfect solution — you’ll be able to get the professional experience you need, while earning your MS in BI at the same time.
MS in BI Holders Are in High Demand
The McKinsey Global Institute reports that the United States is experiencing a shortage of qualified business analysts. By 2018, companies across the U.S. will need about 190,000 more business intelligence professionals than will be available. The high demand for BI professionals means that graduates can expect to command starting salaries of more than $90,000.Companies in all kinds of industries need business analysts and data scientists, and many graduates of MS in BI programs get multiple good job offers even before graduation. BI professionals are most needed in the health care industry. A recent survey from PlottingSuccess.com found that about 18 percent of job postings for BI professionals come from employers in the health care industry. You’ll find the most business intelligence and analyst positions in California, Texas, Illinois, Florida, and New York.
What Employers Want in an MS in BI Graduate
About 50 percent of employers want an MS in BI graduate with a background in computer science. However, if you did your undergraduate studies in another field, don’t let that stop you from pursuing a career in BI. Many people come to graduate programs in business intelligence with a background in fields like music, human resources, or even political science. Whatever your field of undergraduate study, you can apply what you learned to the field of business intelligence if you’ve got a good head for numbers. Twenty-two percent of employers don’t require a specific educational background at all, although many say they prefer candidates with an MS in BI.
Employers also generally want a BI professional with some industry-specific work experience in his or her background. Positions in the health care industry are most likely to seek candidates with experience. Seventy-five percent of job postings seeking BI professionals for positions in the health care industry required some previous experience working in health care. In the technology and software industry, which accounted for 17 percent of the BI jobs sampled, employers were more concerned with technical skill and less focused on prior experience. So, if you’ve got a background in computer science or another IT-related field, but little professional experience, the tech industry may be the way to go.
How much professional experience do employers look for in new BI hires? Fifty percent want candidates with three to five years of experience, and 11 percent want candidates with one or two years of experience, making an online MS in BI degree a good choice for young professionals who are new to the workforce and want to advance their careers while still accumulating professional experience. Twenty-one percent of employers said they looked for candidates with more than six years of experience, while five percent wanted candidates with more than eight years of experience. If you’re an older professional looking for a worthwhile career change, you’re in good company — 40 percent of students in BI programs are there because they decided to change career tracks.
Business intelligence is a booming business, with employers struggling to find qualified professionals to fill open positions. No matter what your undergraduate field of study, you can make a lucrative career for yourself in business intelligence with an MS in BI, especially since demand for BI professionals is expected to only go up. Plentiful job opportunities and high salaries mean an MS in BI is one master’s degree that will pay off in short order.