3 Great Analyst Jobs for MBA Grads
Any area of concentration is good when you are thinking about an MBA, as the basic core of your MBA program will always include finance, human resources, marketing, and accounting – all essential for any successful business. Many programs introduce students to campus career services immediately, so at Manhattan Admissions, our applicants are told to make this a priority in their first year.
One of the traits that make a person pursue an MBA in the first place is the desire to identify and solve problems, which brings us to the job of Analyst. There are three great ‘analyst’ jobs for MBA graduates that you may want to consider.
- Financial Analyst
A Financial Analyst is one who will review a portfolio and the tendencies that make a particular stock either jump or fall. Usually self-motivated and detail-oriented, financial analysts’ primary tasks are: researching market trends; trying to forecast the future; and evaluating why specific processes or solutions aren’t working. Salary range is $90,000-$110,000. This is a coveted career path as it often leads to other career opportunities.
However, the financial services industry is very competitive and many have found it difficult to enter. There are some preparations you can make that will better position you for this career. If you’re still an undergraduate who is thinking about becoming a financial analyst, you might want to take courses in business, economics, accounting and math. Computer science, biology, and physics are other majors that are seen as favorable. Interestingly enough, many junior analysts hired by firms have these backgrounds, while MBA graduates are often hired as senior analysts right out of business school.
A financial analyst studies macroeconomics as well as microeconomics. Macroeconomics is focused on the movement and trends in the economy as a whole, such as national income and changes in unemployment. Through microeconomics, the focus is on factors that affect the decisions made by firms and individuals. These factors studied from macro and micro will often influence each other, for instance, the current level of unemployment will, of course, affect the pool of workers from which a company can hire. They also often recommend a course of action, such as to buy or sell a company’s stock based upon its overall current and predicted strength, which means an analyst must be aware of current trends in his or her field of specialization. And as Hollywood portrayals of this field suggest, financial analysts work long hours.
The financial analyst position can be broken down into two separate areas. In the investment industry, most analysts work either for buy-side firms, where they research stocks for an in-house fund. The other side of this coin is to work for the sell-side firms that write research reports for buy-side firms. Buy-side firms are investment houses that manage their own funds. In these companies, analysts research companies as they look for stocks to add to an investment fund. At a sell-side firm, analysts evaluate and compare the quality of securities in a given industry. Based on their findings, analysts then create reports with certain recommendations. These recommendations carry weight in the investment industry.
- Management Analyst
A Management Analyst will come into a business, examine its structure, interview employees and give their advice to top management basically on how to improve efficiency and make more of a profit. Areas that they might focus on could be ways to downsize over-staffed departments; pinpoint new avenues of future profit; or streamline management procedures. Salary range is $100,000-$120,000.
Companies that acquire new divisions or branches may rely heavily on the services of a management analyst to help the transition take place smoothly. This might involve eliminating some jobs and changing the description of others. Typically, industries where management analysts are found are in health care, telecommunications, information systems, and human resources. The best qualifications for this type of analyst are being intellectually curious; being capable of thinking through the process at different angles; and being able to give advice to clients in a constructive manner. The advice is usually presented in a written report or an oral presentation. Best-paying jobs for this kind of analyst are in Santa Cruz, California; Naples, Florida; and Bowling Green, Kentucky.
- Marketing Analyst
If a more outgoing environment appeals to you, you might consider becoming a Marketing Analyst. In this role, you’ll utilize innovative Customer Relationship Management methods and work with sales, creative and PR to influence marketing and advertising. You’ll study to help your employer or client make informed decisions about their market. This could range from what markets to launch a product in, to the price you might charge for something.
You collect customer information. i.e. gender, income, age, buying behaviors, etc. and market data, i.e. competitor’s prices, distribution channels, and industry sales. You need to be highly numerical and able to make sense of large sets of numbers. Coursework should include economics, marketing, mathematics, research and statistics. Having a quick wit, attention to detail, and the ability to interpret and communicate information effectively is key here.
With regard to research, the Internet and social media have radically changed the way we collect research. Consequently, there is a more immediate response to information requests not to mention getting greater access to a wider pool of data. From this data, you generate reports that analyze customers, competition and the industry using charts, graphs and explanatory text. The reports offer insights to the client about product potential and marketing strategies. This job also requires time management, critical thinking and problem solving skills to complete marketing research in a timely, precise manner.
We hope this post has given you enough information to investigate further the type of analyst positions were MBA graduates thrive. Now you have to decide which one is right for you. Of course, there are other ‘analyst’ positions related to this category such as Strategic Analyst, Intelligence Analyst, Tactical Analyst and Crime Analyst. But that’s for another post. Good luck!
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