When the Editor in Chief of All Analytics wanted an expert on recruiting in the business analytics field, she knew exactly who to call: Jacque Paige, a Marketing Analytics Recruiter with Smith Hanley Associates. In a radio interview, Beth Schultz and Jacque discussed the value of getting an MBA if you are in the analytics field—and what Jacque said may surprise you.

It’s sad but true: in today’s business analytics job market, the MBA no longer carries as much prestige or value to employers.

Why not? Since the recession of 2009, employers are looking for hands-on experience, not necessarily one year’s worth of statistics courses. “A general MBA where you’ve had a statistics year isn’t quite enough statistics analytics for the marketplace that we’re operating in,” Jacque explained. “Yes, you have to understand the strategic implications of the projects you do, but the MBA isn’t valued as part of that process. What’s more valued is what projects you’ve worked on and what results you brought to the bottom line.”

With budgets cut and business analytics teams shrunk, every member needs to contribute. “…Even up to the VP level, everyone wants hands-on skills. No longer are there positions for people who are just managing… Companies don’t want that,” Jacque said.

And your IT skills have to be diverse, too, if you want to advance. Jacque said, “The expectation used to be that you have strong SAS, and that was really all you needed. But now because of all the data and all the social media information coming out, expertise in social media software; or any skill you have with SQL or Hadoop; or dealing with merging data, cleaning data, or legacy files is really a big plus.”

What if you still want to earn an advanced degree? You may be better off pursuing a Master’s in statistics, which should put your resume at the top of a recruiter or employer’s pile.

And people skills are still important to recruiters. As Jacque explained it, “The other thing that everybody looks for…is how well can people communicate their technical skills. Are they able to make it very clear to a non-technical audience?”

If you were thinking of pursing an MBA, or have a different go-to plan for growing your career in business analytics, why not give Jacque Paige and the recruiting team at Smith Hanley Associates a call? We’d be happy to share our expertise and opinions with you and give you a comprehensive view of the market and what you can expect.  Contact us today!

Read the complete article Jacque lent her expertise to here!


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