Every week, we give you the opportunity to ask one of our chosen admissions experts anything you want to know about getting into business school. One question each week is chosen for our expert to answer.
This week, our question comes from Prabuddha Sarkar, an experienced project manager who will soon be taking the MBA plunge.
Their question is answered by Joel Frisch, head of Americas at Prodigy Finance.
Prodigy Finance is a fintech platform which helps finance international students on postgraduate courses, offering loans and refinancing. Their aim is to make quality education accessible, assessing prospective students on a variety of factors, not just current circumstance and credit history.
Applicant Question of the Week:
I have 10 years' experience in Project Management and want to take an MBA in data analytics. Which geographical area is most suitable for me in terms of career opportunities post-MBA - Canada, Europe, or the US?
First of all, you’re headed towards a bright future, as global organizations everywhere are investing heavily in analyzing the increasing amount of data that drives our world.
Understanding this data is what has enabled the data analytics industry to become a $200+ billion market by 2020 (IDC).
Today’s organizations are looking for a mix of individuals who command the skills to apply data to help businesses make better decisions. The MBA in Business Analytics programs offer students with business backgrounds the opportunity to gain a specialized appreciation for the application of data analytics while strengthening their fundamental building blocks across marketing, strategy, finance and accounting.
In choosing a program, there are a few key decision points that you should use as a guide: school ranking, employment opportunities, and the school’s network.
The US and UK host many of the top schools for business analytics as well as some of the most globally recognized MBA programs. Depending on your level of technical interest, you may want to consider schools that offer some of the most highly established data science programs, as you may have the chance to take additional electives. For example, in the US, schools like Carnegie Mellon, Stanford and Columbia have all built up strong reputations in this area. Finally, you may want to look into the type of curriculum that the program offers, as the most valuable ones offer project-based coursework from real companies that give you exposure to real data.
Understanding post-program placement is one of the most important factors in selecting a school as many students will stay in the country of study for employment. Currently, the US offers some of the world’s top job opportunities in data science, machine learning and AI-related fields.
Data science related jobs have been named the best job in America, and US tech companies are prepared to spend over a $1 billion by 2020 to fill the skills gap they’ve identified. This strong focus to increase the total number of open roles is expected to surpass other markets.
Likewise, the UK is looking to fill the demand shortage in the industry and has government support to develop innovations. The UK has seen demand triple over the last few years and may arguably be growing at a faster pace than the US, Canada and Australia. Additionally, Canada is looking to take a leading position in developing data expertise, with growth in the sector over 1,000% since 2013.
Also remember work authorization opportunities when looking abroad. Canada offers temporary work visas and/or permanent residency, while the UK and US require company sponsored work authorizations. (Do note that Masters in Business Analytics or data science programs in the US do qualify for the STEM extension and give students the chance to continue their training with a 36-month work extension that does not require employer sponsorship. This may be an option to compare against the specialized MBA programs).
Lastly, as you look to decipher the true value of your selected program and school, you need to understand the power of the network. Look at programs that offer a diverse student make-up as well as programs that have an active global alumni base. With many of the top data analytics employers located in the US, there is a strong built in network from recent graduates of US schools.
Many of these people will hone their skills after graduation and then return to their country while maintaining their strong school networks. Thus, a powerful global reach. Based on our findings, UK and Canadian programs also have alumni and employer networks, but they may be more limited to a country or regional reach.
Whether you choose to study in Canada, the UK or the US, you need to ensure that you understand how your program will become the launchpad for what is next. Talk to students, recent grads and career offices to see how students like you have placed in recent years.
Good luck on your journey, the future is bright!
Ask an Admissions Expert a Question!
Following Joel from Prodigy Finance, next week you'll have the opportunity to ask Ron Purewal your applicant question. Ron is a test prepper and curriculum designer, with specialist knowledge of the GMAT and GRE tests.
Ron offers personalized, one to one tutoring for the GMAT exam, helping students to pinpoint and improve specific areas of the exam they need most help with. He has received a perfect 800 score on the GMAT exam, both in 2007 and 2018.
This is an excellent opportunity for those preparing to sit the GMAT to get expert advice.