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Careers With a Degree in Data Analytics

Today, every industry and sector has access to more data and information than ever. But that data is meaningless without skilled professionals who can parse business needs and translate data into actionable insights.

Gaining highly sought-after skills and credentials for this work — such as a science and data analytics degree — can open doors to a wide variety of careers in data analytics.

In fact, some of the leading positions in growing demand — regardless of the industry — are jobs in this line of work, including data analysts and scientists, according to the 2020 Future of Jobs Report1 released by the World Economic Forum.

Read on to learn more about careers in data analytics, the benefits of earning a data analytics degree and more.

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Data Analytics Degrees Open Doors to Myriad Careers

For data analysts and other professionals in similar roles, complex technical and communication skill sets are not only important for the work they do; they’re invaluable to employers, too, as Fortune2 reports.

A McKinsey & Company study3 released in 2016 underscored the need for professionals who are trained and knowledgeable in data analytics — a need that continues today. “Skilled employees across the spectrum of data-analytics roles are in short supply,” according to McKinsey.

Addressing this shortage is critical, McKinsey says, as its study found that 15 percent of operating profit increases from big data analytics were linked to hiring data and analytics experts.

If professionals looking to enter data analytics are not already skilled in its processes, and if businesses and organizations do not provide training and education on the job, they may seek advanced education, Fortune says, such as a graduate data science, business or data analytics degree. Programs such as these will help aspiring data analysts and others gain and sharpen the statistical and computer skills they need while acclimating students to workstreams and multi-stakeholder roles featured in all organizations.

While many entry-level careers in data analytics require a bachelor’s degree alone, some employers and roles will require graduate studies in a field related to the position, such as a statistics, computer science or data analytics degree. Graduates from our M.S. in Business Data Science and Analytics program, for example, have landed employment opportunities in a broad range of industries, including automotive, consumer products, retail, financial services, healthcare, tech, manufacturing, and consulting.

Of our graduates who have gone on to pursue careers in data analytics, 40 percent enter the field as a data scientist, while 60 percent choose a more business-centric role — such as business analyst — upon graduation.


Careers in Data Analytics

From consulting to financial services, no matter the industry you’d like to break into or advance in, it is likely that careers in data analytics in any setting will involve data collection, analysis and interpretation techniques.

Many people who pursue a business or data analytics degree do so to pursue functional roles, such as a business or marketing analyst, according to Fortune.4 Keep in mind that many of these roles will indeed require similar skill sets. As Fortune reports, “whether an employee has a title of ‘business analyst’ or ‘data analyst,’ they’ll draw on similar analytical skills and tools to make sense of all that data.”

Here is a brief overview of some careers in data analytics, including information about median annual salaries, job outlooks and more, when available:

  • Business or management analyst

    Professionals in these roles determine how to make a business or organization more efficient.

    Job outlook: Employment for management analysts is projected to grow 11 percent through 2031, which is much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

    Median salary: $93,000 (BLS)

  • Business intelligence analyst

    These analysts may collect and examine business intelligence data, gain information about competitors in the industry, compile reports and more.

    Median salary: $81,460–$87,744 (Glassdoor)

  • Data scientist

    Data scientists use data analytics tools and techniques to analyze data and gather important information. While data scientists typically need at least a bachelor’s degree for this role, the BLS notes that some employers require or prefer candidates to hold a master’s or doctoral degree.

    Job outlook: Employment for data scientists is projected to grow 36 percent through 2031, which is much faster than the average for all occupations (BLS).

    Median salary: $100,910 (BLS)

  • Market research analyst

    Market research analyst: People in these roles may examine data and create reports about many facets of business to help companies and organizations better market their services or products.

    At the Eli Broad College of Business, you can choose to take additional courses from our award-winning S. in Marketing Research program, elevating your marketing insights acumen to the next level.

    Job outlook: Employment of market research analysts is projected to grow 19 percent through 2031, which is much faster than the average for all occupations (BLS).

    Median salary: $63,920 (BLS)


  • Other job titles in data analytics
    • Analytics consultant
    • Data analyst
    • Decision scientist
    • Solutions architect
“We’re in the early innings of a major transformative trend around business analytics. This trend will generate strong demand for graduates who can apply analytics to a variety of business challenges.”
— Deepak Advani, VP, Business Analytics Products, IBM

Calculate Your Future With a Data Analytics Degree from MSU

No matter which industry you’d like to join or advance in, a graduate data analytics degree from Michigan State University — specifically, our Master’s in Business Data Science and Analytics — can help you take that next step. With one leg firmly grounded in business, this business data analytics degree provides graduates with a comparative advantage to create value in any organization across all industries.

At MSU, our experiential data analytics degree program will help you develop the knowledge and skills to use analytics to interrogate, visualize and translate data — then convert your findings into actionable insights that solve real-world business challenges. Combined with the experiential touchpoints woven throughout the curriculum, our graduates confidently enter the workplace prepared for success.

You’ll take courses with leading MSU faculty covering many topics related to data analytics, such as Data Management and Visualization in Analytics, Data Mining, and Machine Learning and Optimization in Analytics. The depth and breadth of our curriculum will help you prepare to pursue various careers in data analytics at leading companies across many industries.

For example, our M.S. in Business Data Science and Analytics program graduates have received job offers from top-name companies, including Deloitte, Stryker Corporation, Meijer, Carhartt, Ford, Chewy, Microsoft, Facebook, McKinsey and General Motors.