A Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree boosts a job seeker’s chances of success and prosperity in the following 11 careers. These jobs utilize an MBA as a second step, after a bachelor’s degree, in a continuous and lifelong process of education, self-improvement, and learning for upward mobility.
1. Data Analyst
The data analyst position has an annual cash compensation inclusive of bonuses and profit sharing that ranges between $37,000 and $79,000. The job has to do with the import, transformation, validation, or modeling of data with the objective of helping businesses with decision making. It requires knowledge and utilization of specific statistical tools such as SPSS, Microsoft Excel, and SAS. These professionals design business reports and implement them in Microsoft Access, Crystal Reports, or SQL Server Reporting Services. They write SQL commands with Data Manipulation Language in the process of improving data quality. The enterprise demand for data analysts who can navigate, understand, and parse large amounts of data is reaching frenzy level.
2. Policy Analyst
The policy analyst position has an annual cash compensation inclusive of bonuses and profit sharing that ranges between $38,000 and $83,000. These professionals work for government agencies, nonprofit organizations, media companies, and policy research firms in which they conduct research and analysis of policies being proposed, evaluate the impact of existing policies, and disclose their findings to members of the public and government officials. They are essential in the effort to raise public awareness of a variety of issues and to influence social or political events. Public policy analysts have excellent chances to rise to high level management positions or be part of the staff that run the U.S. Senate and House.
3. Performance Improvement Analyst
The performance improvement analyst position has an annual cash compensation inclusive of bonuses and profit sharing that ranges between $40,000 and $82,000. This professional is responsible for the identification, prioritization, and implementation of process improvements across departments as well as within themselves. Performance improvement is measured by one or more parameters that include customer satisfaction, cost reduction, and streamlined processes. Skills that correlate with high pay and job satisfaction include data analysis, process management, project management, and performance analysis. Performance improvement analysts that responded to Payscale’s salary survey gave a rating of 4 out of 5 with regards to job satisfaction.
4. Financial Analyst
The financial analyst position has an annual cash compensation inclusive of bonuses and profit sharing that ranges between $41,000 and $77,000. This work in the corporate setting is defined as taking responsibility for financial planning, financial analysis, forecasting of revenues and expenditures, determination of capital budgets, and setting investment direction and policies in collaboration with executive-level team members and chief financial officers. This occupation appeared at number 65 in US News’ list of 100 best jobs in 2015. It is number 16 in the “Best Business Jobs” category. There are excellent prospects for financial analysts to advance to supervisory positions or to become fund managers. The job’s positive attributes are high upward mobility and below average flexibility. However, one negative attribute is that it has a rating of high for stress level.
5. Business Analyst
The business analyst position has an annual cash compensation inclusive of bonuses and profit sharing that ranges between $41,000 and $83,000. These professionals take responsibility for understanding the change needs of an enterprise, assessing the impact of those changes, analyzing business requirements, and providing support for the communication and delivery of those requirements. The skills that correlate with high compensation include requirements analysis, business intelligence, project management, SQL, process improvement, and data modeling. 1,134 business analysts that responded to the salary survey gave a rating of 4 out of 5 for job satisfaction.
6. Technical Analyst
The technical analyst position has an annual cash compensation inclusive of bonuses and profit sharing that ranges between $41,000 and $91,000. The responsibilities of this professional encompass the monitoring of stock market fluctuations and provision of critical investment information to clients. Technical analysts collect information about patterns of the stock market including trade rates, stock price, and interest rates, and then apply this information to statistical formulas. Employment prospects are good in brokerage houses, financial institutions, and investment agencies. The knowledge and skills that correlate with a high salary include: Microsoft SQL Server, project management, SQL, and Linux. In terms of job satisfaction, 195 technical analysts gave a rating of 4 out of 5.
7. Software Analyst
The software analyst position has an annual cash compensation inclusive of bonuses and profit sharing that ranges between $42,000 and $90,000. This professional prepares the Software Requirements Specification document following the evaluation of the software application domain. Software analysts are part of an enterprise’s software development team and act as a bridge of communication between software developers and software users. The positive attributes of this particular career are 25% employment growth forecast in the decade 2012-2022, high earnings, the opportunity to work in various industries, and possible advancement to lead analyst or team manager. The negative attributes include the requirement for continuing education to keep pace with advancements in the field and work hours that exceed 40 per week.
8. Management Analyst
The management analyst position has an annual cash compensation inclusive of bonuses and profit sharing that ranges between $42,000 and $94,000. These professionals assist management in operating with greater effectiveness and efficiency. Job duties include conducting organizational studies, establishing work simplification procedures, undertaking measurement studies, and preparing manuals that document procedures and operations. The occupation is number 68 in the 100 Best Jobs list and number 17 in the Best Business Jobs category of U.S. News. A positive aspect is the below-average rating for flexibility but a negative aspect is the high stress level. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that 133,000 jobs will be available in the period 2012-2022.
9. Statistical Analyst
The statistical analyst position has annual cash compensation inclusive of bonuses and profit sharing that ranges between $43,000 and $90,000. There are two different areas of focus: statistical genetic analysis and statistical data analysis. A statistical genetic analyst identifies patterns in medical records that relate to disorders and diseases. Employment prospects are high in centers of genetic research. On the other hand, statistical data analysts take responsibility for conducting statistical research analysis. Job duties include the development of research protocols, utilizing specialized computer programs to analyze data, a compilation of data, management of databases, and presentation of research results in graphic and numerical formats.
10. Research Analyst for Operations
The research analyst for operations position has an annual cash compensation inclusive of bonuses and profit sharing that ranges between $44,000 and $110,000. These professionals utilize mathematical modeling, statistical analysis, data mining, and optimization methods to collect, analyze, and interpret information with the objective of assisting management with problem solving, formulation of policy, and decision making. They develop solutions that enable organizations and business enterprises to operate in cost-effective and efficient ways. The job’s positive aspect includes an above average rating for upward mobility. Negative aspects include average ratings for flexibility and stress level. The occupation appeared at number 20 in the U.S. News 2015 ranking of 100 outstanding jobs.
11. Information Security Analyst
The information security analyst position has an annual cash compensation inclusive of bonus and profit sharing that ranges between $47,000 and $105,000. The work involves protection of an enterprise’s information systems and computer networks from a variety of cyber attacks such as socially engineered Trojans, unpatched software, phishing, network-traveling worms, and advanced persistent threats. Carnegie Mellon University assistant professor David Brumley explains that information security analysts focus on three areas, namely defense planning (the installation of protective programs and systems), vulnerability assessment (the determination of enterprise weaknesses), and risk assessment (identification of potential problems). This job is at number 8 in U.S. News’ ranking of 100 outstanding occupations in 2015. The job’s positive aspect was an above-average rating for upward mobility. The negative aspect pointed out an above-average stress level.