Analytics has become an attractive career destination for MBA students. The field offers exciting and challenging work that leverages business as well as technical knowledge in a largely merit-based environment. The financial rewards are great and growth opportunities aplenty.
There was a time when businesses looking for analytic professionals would primarily focus on candidates with a master’s degree in quantitative fields such as Maths, Statistics, Economics and Computer Science. PhDs were in great demand too. A couple of things have happened in the last few years.
Firstly, the analytic tools have become more user-friendly. A lot of the latest tools are GUI-based. Instead of learning a coding language one now needs to just master the graphical user interface of the tool, which is a lot easier.
Secondly, experience has taught businesses that effective analytics exists only in the context of a business and a business problem. Those who have strong technical and quantitative skills but a poor understanding of the application of analytics in a business context, are likely be weak performers. Even experienced statisticians sometimes get caught up in the technique and accuracy of their predictive models and forget to pay sufficient attention to common sense and business logic.
So a combination of more user-friendly analytic tools and a need for higher business understanding to leverage the analytic insights better, has forced businesses to reverse their hiring philosophy. Instead of trying to find business-savvy mathematicians and statisticians, companies are now looking to hire data-savvy, business professionals.
Companies like Genpact, WNS, Infosys, Accenture, Target etc. are all hiring from business schools. B-schools like the IIMs, FMS, SP Jain and XIM have always been happy hunting grounds for analytic companies. Now even other institutes like MDI, SIOM, GIM, NIT and IMT are being targeted by these companies.
With starting salaries ranging from 5 lacs to 12 lacs even for non-IIM MBAs, analytics has become a coveted field in business schools around the country.
Here is an interview with Nakul Dogra, a graduate from Indian Institute of Forest management who has successfully moved into analytics.
Why did you decide to move into analytics?
After completing my B Tech. I joined Accenture as a software engineer. The work there revolved around coding and testing software products I felt cut-off from the business. I decided to do my MBA so I could move out of the technical side into business, my real passion. It was during my MBA that I came to know about analytics and how it was being used across industries as diverse as financial services to sports and entertainment to airlines to retailers. I followed a few blogs on analytics and realized people were doing very interesting stuff in this field. After doing a lot of research I figured this was the right career for me.
How did you start preparing for the career transition?
I knew that a lot of analytic companies like HSBC, TCS, Infosys etc. come to our college for recruitment. I decided to start equipping myself with the right skills while on campus itself. I found out about Jigsaw Academy’s Foundation course. I could attend the course online so it did not interfere with my MBA studies and I did not miss classes even while traveling (for a summer internship).
As part of this course, I worked on several case studies which are akin to the cases given by the market research/analytics companies at the time of interviews and this experience gave me the confidence during my interview with IMRB.
What about the SAS certification?
I have not really felt the need for SAS certification. Most companies have in-house training on advanced SAS skills and what they are really looking for is an understanding of the application of analytics. Having worked on several case studies as part of the Jigsaw course, I was able to impress the interviewers with my knowledge.
Did you get any placement support from Jigsaw?
Jigsaw Academy helped me showcase my analytic skills in my resume. They also helped me with interview preparation. While I had the option to interview with a couple of companies through them, I finally went with IMRB during campus placement. I must say that the course added a lot of value to my resume which was one of the differentiating points between me and others at the time of screening and interview.
Are you happy with your decision?
Ofcourse, who doesn’t get happy looking at a fat salary being credited to your account at the end of every month. I feel that doing the analytics course while completing my MBA helped me save crucial time and equipped me with the skills that interviewers were looking for.
Here are some other testimonials from our students.