From Management & Psychology to an MS in Business Analytics: Is it easier to find a job with a specialized degree?
Before his master’s, Leonardo completed his Bachelor’s in Management and Psychology at the University of Tampa. He then worked in the nonprofit industry.
Shortly after, COVID-19 hit, and like many others, Leonardo faced a tough job market. As an international student, it was especially difficult. Therefore, Leonardo decided to study a more specialized field in order to make himself more marketable. “What I thought was specializing myself and getting technical in this period is a really good opportunity,” he explains. “So when the market goes back to being good again, I have a great opportunity to be able to find jobs.” (01:10)
As more and more employers seek skilled data analysts, Leonardo chose his master’s degree wisely, with the MS in Business Analytics (MSBA) at the Gabelli School of Business, Fordham University. With his new prized degree in hand, Leonardo landed a job as a Data Analyst at Annalect, the data and analytics division of Omnicom Media Group.
The benefits of an MS in Business Analytics
What exactly does studying business analytics entail?
With courses like “Data Mining for Business,” “Database Management,” and “Artificial Intelligence,” the subject might sound intimidating.
Leonardo is here to reassure you. “The first thing that’s important to say is don’t be scared,” he says. “A lot of students that enter the program [are] freaking out – ‘Oh I don’t know coding, I’ve never run one SQL query.’ You don’t have to.” (01:55)
In fact, one of the reasons Leonardo chose the business analytics program at Fordham is because you didn’t need to know anything about coding before you joined. “This program…turns you into somebody who’s never seen a coding language…to somebody [who] can conduct unsupervised machine learning,” Leonardo tells us. “I think you become a very well-rounded person in the world of data, where you can use the rawest of information and really learn how to develop that into useful insights. It’s a very complete program that really prepares you for the job market.” (02:13)
Graduates of the MS in Business Analytics program at Fordham University have been hired at top international firms, such as Bloomberg, Amazon, Deloitte, Facebook, and Tesla. Typical jobs of MSBA degree holders include Data Architect, Data Scientist, DevOps Engineer, Predictive Modeler, and Web Analyst.
Making close, long-lasting connections at Fordham
Even though he completed some of his studies remotely, Leonardo says the community at Fordham University remains incredibly valuable.
“I got two job offers for the summer for internships, and both were through connections,” he explains. “The Fordham community is very welcoming in the sense that everybody’s willing to make conversation with you. They’re interested in you.” (04:16)
The school’s smaller class sizes also contribute to a sense of close-connectedness that you might not get at other schools. “You connect with your professors, you make close connections with students. That’s something that was really important to me,” Leonardo says. “I was entering a new field and I was ultimately scared to just hop in. I wasn’t sure [if] I was going to fall behind or succeed. Having that community was something that really emphasized how I would be able to succeed.” (05:04)
Lessons from Leonardo: Be a motivated self-starter and the opportunities will come
When asked how his MS in Business Analytics has changed him, Leonardo answers, “I think it really taught me how to be a self-starter. I really think that this idea of open-endedness and dedicating yourself translated to my job.” (08:04)
For Leonardo, studying at Fordham taught him to make the most out of every opportunity. Whether it’s starting your own projects on the side or brainstorming new ideas, it’s up to you to create your own opportunities.
On that note, Leonardo advises prospective master’s students, “You need to pace yourself. You need to understand your own limitations and your own learning curve. But also, use that stress in your favor. Dedicate yourself to go above and beyond. Don’t freak out but also don’t just lay back and wait for things to happen.” (09:37)
If you’re looking to study a more specialized field, it’s important to understand that there will be a steep learning curve – but it also comes with great benefits. With a specialized degree like an MS in Business Analytics, not only will you find a whole new world of job opportunities, but you’ll also strengthen your own marketability in the labor market. It’s up to you to put in the work and make it happen.