3 Ways Data Science Can Boost Your MBA
There’s no doubt that getting an MBA or graduate business degree will expand your career options. Whether you pursue economics or high-tech, you can also significantly increase your marketability by combining your graduate education and business experience with advanced data analysis skills.
Why study data science?
Data-savvy business professionals who can navigate the technology-driven landscape are in increasingly high-demand by today’s most sought-after employers. We found that 72% of the 209 business schools we surveyed offer either data science or big data tracks.
“What companies are saying is that many of their current employees, who graduated a decade ago or more, don’t necessarily have these [data analysis] skills, and they’re looking to a new generation of business school graduates who do,” says Brian Carlidge, Kaplan executive director of pre-business and pre-graduate programs.
How can a specialization in data science make your MBA or graduate degree even more attractive?
1. Problem solving skills
You’ll learn theoretical approaches to business problems, and you’ll spend significant time working through case studies, in addition to gaining practical experiences through internships or on the job. But a rigorous data science background will allow you to apply a data-based framework to problem solving.
Using data analysis, you’ll learn how to distill the business challenge into its elements, as well as how to seek the quantifiable information to support your suggestions. After all, data science is about hypotheses and solutions, not theory.
2. Data management
We’ve come to an inflection point in the business world where there is a glut of “data” everywhere. Nearly every company will have troves of information, and your data science skills will be invaluable when you need to sift through mountains of this information to get to what you need to solve a business challenge.
Not only that, but you’ll gain an understanding of how to look for the right information, and how to organize it once you have it.
3. Data visualization and communication
Think about how you like to consume information. It’s likely not on a spreadsheet, right? In a business environment, presenting your findings to your colleagues or clients in a way that supports your challenge definition and recommendations is important. Data science skills will invariably lead you down the path of various methods of presenting and visualizing data, think charts, tables, apps, and infographics that allow anyone to easily understand what you’re trying to convey without needing to pore over rows and rows of numbers.
Data scientists learn to communicate clearly across their business units because they need to be as adept at speaking to an engineer as they are at speaking to the marketing department. This idea is supported by a recent report from McKinsey, where analysts say that while the talent market is still tight, most CEOs said their companies already employ data scientists. What they need is more business experts who are also proficient in analytics—translators who can spot opportunities, frame a problem, shape a solution, and champion change.
Employees who both understand a company’s business goals and understand the data to help them reach those goals will be highly desirable to recruit and hire in the technology-driven workforce.
To learn more about adding data science to your skillset, check out Metis, our fully accredited data science training business offering part-time data science courses in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle and Live Online, for and by industry professionals—or register for our free upcoming Demystifying Data Science Conference.