Business Analyst: Job Outlook and Salary

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Business person standing overlooking a cityscape with graphic images of data charts against the horizon.

Businesses increasingly rely on data to back their decisions in many areas — from product development to customer service to marketing and far beyond. Thanks to technological innovations like cloud computing and machine learning, the ability to gather valuable, actionable data from a diverse range of sources is expanding, and with that comes the potential for even greater precision in decision-making.

This highly technical, detail-oriented, data-driven atmosphere offers a lot of benefits to individuals who can master data analytics for business purposes and take advantage of the promising business analyst job outlook and highly competitive salary opportunities in the field. Individuals who prepare for these jobs by pursuing an advanced degree such as a Master of Business Analytics degree will be poised to enter a dynamic field whose work can be instrumental in shaping the future of business.

Business Analytics Career Outlook

The business analytics career outlook is strong, and future jobs in the field will extend across multiple industries. Those with the necessary knowledge and skills can excel in the business analytics field and have the chance to pursue a career path that best suits their interests.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that analytical job roles are growing rapidly. There are different growth expectations for various jobs in the field between 2020 and 2030:

  • Management analysts: 14%
  • Operations research analysts: 25%
  • Market research analysts: 22%
  • Financial analysts: 6%

The projected job growth for management analysts, operations research analysts, and market research analysts is considered faster or much faster than the average projected growth for employment as a whole in the United States, while the projected growth for financial analysts matches the average.

One reason business analysts are in such high demand is that almost every industry needs and is actively seeking them. Organizations in every labor, service, and product sector want to make better decisions to drive higher revenues and profits. To do that, they need qualified professionals who can work with data sets that continue to grow in volume, importance, and complexity.

Shortages in the data analysis skill sets mean there are often more jobs than there are professionals to fill them — a gulf experts believe will only widen in the future. This gulf represents a tremendous opportunity for individuals who possess the skills considered essential for success in the business analytics field. These skills include strong analytical, technical, math, and communication competencies, and they also include keeping up to date with the latest data analysis trends.

Business Analytics Salary

In addition to the strong business analyst job outlook and advantageous career stability in the field, students who earn a degree in business analytics may be able to take advantage of highly competitive salaries. Following are a variety of business analytics positions and their median annual salaries:

  • Business analyst, information technology: $69,984 (PayScale, September 2021)
  • Director of business analytics: $118,372 (PayScale, September 2021)
  • Management analyst: $87,660 (BLS, May 2020)
  • Operations research analyst: $86,200 (BLS, May 2020)
  • Market research analyst: $65,810 (BLS, May 2020)

Business analytics salaries often depend on factors such as experience level, tenure, the type and level of the position, and the industry. The job’s location can also influence the precise salary amount, as those who live in cities with a higher cost of living can commonly earn a higher salary than those who live in areas with a lower cost of living.

How to Attain a Business Analytics Position

Whether you’re seeking an entry-level position or looking to combine your leadership experience with a business analytics degree, the steps to finding work in this field are similar.

Begin with a degree program that teaches the skills you need. That often includes statistical analysis, SQL reporting, cybersecurity, and database administration.

Seek certification to round out your resume, especially if you’re looking to work in a specific industry or in IT. Potential certifications include:

  • IIBA certification of competency in business analysis (CCBA)
  • IIBA entry certificate in business analysis (ECBA)
  • IQBBA certified foundation level business analyst (CFLBA)
  • PMI professional in business analysis (PBA)

Ensure your resume includes the right keywords for the industry, and customize it when you apply to each job. Draw keywords from specific job postings to include in your resume and cover letter. This will increase your chances of making it through automated applicant tracking systems and into the interview process.

Leverage networks — including past professional acquaintances, school resources, online job boards, or LinkedIn and similar platforms — to discover business analytics opportunities and express your interest.

Don’t give up. While a degree doesn’t guarantee you a job, the field of business analytics is constantly growing, and there simply aren’t enough people to fill all those positions. If you’re qualified and persistent, your chances of landing a position are good.

Benefits of a Master’s in Business Analytics

You can take advantage of the promising business analyst job outlook by pursuing an advanced degree that can teach you the skills you need to stand out to potential employers. Such programs prepare you to:

  • Maintain, manage, and work with big data
  • Analyze data to draw business-critical conclusions
  • Identify business, market, competitive, and other trends
  • Solve organizational problems with the help of data
  • Provide data in user-friendly formats to stakeholders across enterprises so they can make better decisions or embrace continuous improvement

Start Your Business Analytics Career Journey

The business analytics field offers robust career opportunities, and it’s primed to expand even further. For those who are prepared to embrace the challenges of this dynamic field, the opportunity to help shape the way business works in the years to come awaits.

The journey toward a satisfying career in business analytics can begin with earning a degree from Ohio University’s Online Master of Business Analytics program. Our program can help you build the knowledge and skills you need to emerge as a trusted leader in business analytics. Learn how we can help you pursue this satisfying and important career.

Recommended Readings

Business Analytics vs. Data Science: Comparing Popular Tools and Languages

The Future of Business Analytics: Trends in Data and Business Intelligence

Understanding the Future of Business: What Is Business Analytics?

Sources:

CIO, “What Is a Business Analyst? A Key Role for Business-IT Efficiency”

International Institute of Business Analysis, Certification of Capability in Business Analysis

International Institute of Business Analysis, Entry Certificate in Business Analysis

International Qualification Board for Business Analysis, Foundation Level

PayScale, Average Business Analyst, IT Salary

PayScale, Average Business Analytics Director Salary

Project Management Institute, PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Financial Analysts

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Management Analysts

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Market Research Analysts

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Operations Research Analysts