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Considering a Post-MBA Masters in Big Data and Business Analytics: How Might it Impact my Career?

analytics big data consulting masters MBA Post-MBA tech
New answer on Nov 01, 2023
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Oct 30, 2023

Hi everyone,

I've been a long-time lurker of this forum, and I'm grateful for the valuable insights shared here. I'm nearing the end of my MBA a Top-10 U.S. program, with graduation set for December. I'm contemplating the idea of continuing my education with a Master's in Business Analytics and Big Data post-MBA. While I am from a U.S. program, I am currently studying abroad at a European institution for my final semester. I came here in hopes of securing an offer in Europe to be near my partner who lives here. Unfortunately, this didn't pan out. I would remain in Europe for this Masters. I'd greatly appreciate your thoughts on whether this decision might impact my job opportunities.

Given the tight job market, pursuing this additional degree might offer me several advantages:

  1. Patience for Job Market Improvement: It might allow me to wait for an improved job market in Europe and the U.S. (graduation would be March or September 2025)
  2. Technical Upskilling: Pursuing this additional degree could make me more attractive for strategy and operations roles in the tech industry and tech focused consulting teams (think BCG Tech Adv).
  3. Recruiting: It could also open doors for another round of recruiting in tech and consulting, particularly in the European context, if I can establish connections with recruiters and potential industry professionals.
  4. Cost: Masters programs in Europe are significantly cheaper. I'm also hopeful that with my background I may be able to get some scholarships.

Fear:

  1. Profile: Could this position me as someone who has spent too much time in school and can't cut it in the real world?
  2. Regression (no pun intended): My cohort would likely be with students who have minimal or no work experience. In reaching out to one program I was told I am, "overqualified" and should consider Executive Programs. I don't mind if my classmates are younger, but could this impact me wrt recruiting?

My Background: I have four years of experience in strategy and operations at a Tier-2 consulting firm (think: PwC, BAH, EY). My recent internship was at a Tier-2 strategy firm (think: Strategy&, Parthenon, Monitor). I was working in a niche group focused on PE CDD, which confirmed my interest in strategy work, rather than private equity.

I appreciate any insights or feedback you can provide.

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Raj
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replied on Oct 30, 2023
FREE 15MIN CONSULTATION | #1 Strategy& / OW coach | >70 5* reviews |90% offers ⇨ prep-success.super.site | MENA, DE, UK

Hello,

Thank you for reaching out and sharing your situation. As a seasoned strategy consultant, I can provide you with some insights and thoughts on your decision to pursue a Master's in Business Analytics and Big Data post-MBA and how it might impact your job opportunities.

Firstly, it's important to note that pursuing an additional degree can have both advantages and potential considerations. Let's address each of the points you mentioned:

Patience for Job Market Improvement: Pursuing a Master's degree would indeed allow you to wait for an improved job market in both Europe and the U.S. This can be advantageous, especially considering the current tight job market. It gives you more time to explore opportunities and wait for the right fit.

Technical Upskilling: A Master's in Business Analytics and Big Data can provide you with valuable technical skills that are highly sought after in the tech industry and tech-focused consulting teams. This can make you more attractive for strategy and operations roles in these sectors.

Recruiting Opportunities: Pursuing this additional degree can open doors for another round of recruiting, particularly in the European context. Establishing connections with recruiters and industry professionals during your Master's program can enhance your chances of securing job opportunities in tech and consulting.

Cost: Masters programs in Europe are indeed more cost-effective compared to the U.S. This can be a significant advantage, especially if you can secure scholarships or financial support.

Now, let's address your concerns:

Profile and Perception: Pursuing an additional degree does not necessarily position you as someone who has spent too much time in school. It can demonstrate your commitment to continuous learning and your desire to acquire specialized skills. However, it's important to showcase your practical experience and highlight how your combined background of an MBA and a Master's in Business Analytics and Big Data can bring unique value to employers.

Regression: While it's true that your cohort in the Master's program may have minimal or no work experience, this should not significantly impact your recruiting prospects. Your previous work experience and MBA education will still be highly valued by employers. Emphasize the transferable skills and knowledge you have gained throughout your career and MBA program.

In summary, pursuing a Master's in Business Analytics and Big Data post-MBA can offer you several advantages, including technical upskilling, increased job market opportunities, and cost-effectiveness. It's important to leverage your previous experience and education to position yourself as a well-rounded candidate. Showcase the unique value you can bring to employers through your combined skill set.

I hope these insights help you make an informed decision. Best of luck with your future endeavors, and feel free to ask any further questions you may have.

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Moritz
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replied on Oct 30, 2023
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Hi there,

I myself have 4x degrees (3x geology + 1x MBA) and it's OK to spend time in school. That being said, the MBA should typically be the last one IF you're on the path of becoming a great generalist, which the MBA is all about.

  • CONTEXT: Most people doing MBAs, especially when self-funded, are specialized to some degree and want to add to their skill set a comprehensive set of management tools and expand their network to break out of their previous path (exception being MBB consultants on a sponsored MBA, for example). From then onwards, any further learning is mostly on the job. 
  • ISSUE: If you're going to add another masters post-MBA, you would have gone from specialized → generalist → specialized. It just doesn't line up very well and I would certainly ask myself as a recruiter what your career objective is. At that point, either the MBA or the post-MBA degree would have been a ‘mistake’.
  • BOTTOM-LINE: I would probably advise for a different path that actually builds on your MBA, if that's at all feasible with the opportunities in the job market.

Hope this helps a bit. Best of luck!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Cristian
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replied on Oct 30, 2023
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Haha, I love the ‘lurker' self-description. 

Glad to hear that you're enjoying the forum and that people actually read these posts. Sometimes I get the feeling that it's mostly coaches :) 

In short, you need to have clarity over where you want to be in 10-20 years and figure out which avenue does the best job at bringing you there (not factoring in for serendipity). 

But I actually wrote a guide on how to figure out whether to pursue an MBA or Masters that includes a thinking framework. Happy to share it with you here:

Best,
Cristian

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Practicing for interviews? Check out my latest case based on a first-round MBB interview >>> SoyTechnologies  

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Francesco
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replied on Nov 01, 2023
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Hi there,

Q: I'm nearing the end of my MBA a Top-10 U.S. program, with graduation set for December. I'm contemplating the idea of continuing my education with a Master's in Business Analytics and Big Data post-MBA. 

I would decide considering the “opportunity cost”. What would be the possible alternatives if you don’t do the Master? Considering two extremes:

  1. If it is a desirable offer in Europe, it would not make much sense.
  2. If it is being unemployed for one year, it could make sense.

If you want please feel free to PM me to share the alternatives.

Best,

Francesco

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Ian
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replied on Oct 31, 2023
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

So, to simplify things a bit, you don't have a job offer, correct? Or at least one that works for you?

In which, case this is a bit of a false choice (unless you could keep recruiting).

I don't see a problem with a data analytics degree, but just think about exactly where you want to be. A big data degree will put you into BCG GAMMA and McKinsey Black…NOT Generalist. 

Of course, it also puts you much more as a data analyst, data consultant, etc.

So, just think about what you want and if it fits with your career goals!

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