In the modern business world, business analytics are, quite literally, everywhere. More than ever, companies across industries are turning to analytics to solve real problems for businesses, communities, and society. These companies need data professionals who can extract insights from data in order to create real value for their organizations.
At the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, our graduates are doing just that.
Students graduate from the top-ranked Master of Business Analytics (MSBA) program with both the data science skills and the business acumen to be leaders in this increasingly data-driven world. Since 2015, an average of 98.5% of Carlson School MSBA graduates received job offers within six months of completing the program. In 2022, 100% of the students were employed within six months.
These graduates go on to work for some of the most innovative and recognizable companies in the world, including Amazon, Capital One, JP Morgan, McKinsey, Target, and many others. The Carlson School’s Class of 2022 entered the workforce with an average base salary of $100,421 and an average signing bonus of $18,604.
After one year in the program, graduates are prepared to make an immediate impact because of the rigorous curriculum that combines business knowledge, technical skills, and data analysis expertise.
To help them land these top careers, students are able to utilize the Carlson Business Career Center (CBCC). The CBCC provides students with one-on-one coaching and prep, as well as industry connections, to help students present themselves strongly to employers and find a position that is a good match for their goals.
Thanks to the program and the Carlson School’s connections, Varun Gupta, ’22 MSBA, now works as a business intelligence engineer at Amazon. There, he analyzes Amazon Prime Video data and helps the tech giant make important decisions about their platform.
“It’s pretty close to a dream job for me,” says Gupta, who has always had an affinity for entertainment. “It’s one thing to know the skills technically. But to be able to use them in a field you already love, it’s an unimaginable feeling. I’m seeing the impact of what I’m doing immediately. These insights that I’m giving are actually being used to build new strategies, optimize release dates, and create content.”
Gupta says he was prepared in his career from the start because of the skills he developed in the program. For instance, in one of his classes where SQL was taught, the problems he had to solve in the classroom ended up being more challenging than what he sees on a day-to-day basis.
“The program made me way more confident in myself and my abilities,” he says. “In the [classroom], we got very deep into the technical side of how to solve problems and understand the decision-making process. Having all of that background has really helped me at Amazon.”
To ensure students practice applying theory to real-world problems, all three semesters of the MSBA program include experiential learning. One of the key experiential learning opportunities is the Carlson Analytics Lab (CAL).
In CAL, students build skills that help them transition into successful careers. The lab operates as a professional consulting firm, sourcing real projects from real client companies.
Because the data sets are real, they are complex, interesting, and often messy. These projects challenge students to be effective analytics professionals who can think critically, apply analytics techniques, manage projects from beginning to end, and communicate results to business stakeholders.
Students have tackled important issues such as housing equity, food insecurity, and sustainability as part of CAL projects.
For Gupta, the experiential learning projects allowed him to take his data skills to the next level. As part of his project, Gupta built a dashboard for the client. He used that experience and understanding in his interview with Amazon to help land his job.
“I came in with a strong skillset from the Carlson School and it’s helped me immensely,” he says. “It gave me the confidence and the understanding to communicate what I know and how I can benefit them.”
The Carlson School MSBA program challenges every student to grow professionally and pushes them to reach for more in their data-driven career. Accelerate your analytics career at the Carlson School.
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