The best job for business students

A third-year student wrote to me: “I am studying Business Administration at a U.S. university. Some of my friends who graduated last year could not find a job here and have to return home so I would like to switch to another field that has a better future. However, I do not want to waste my business knowledge and skills that I have learned, I am not sure what to do with my career and which field to select. Could you give me some advice?

Answer: I always advise students to develop a career plan BEFORE selecting a field to study so they do not waste time in college. If they want to have a job in the U.S, they need to identify the field of study that has a high demand, NOT just select anything that they like. Since you already spent two or three years studying Business Administration, switching to another field will take at least another two to three more years and delay your graduation.

My advice is to take several computing courses focusing on programming (Python, Java) and a few data analysis courses (Machine Learning, Big Data Analytic) since this is one of the best fields that have very high demand. Currently, financial and trading companies are looking for business graduates with computing skills to help them solve business problems. The major issue is many large hedge fund, financial and stock trading companies have a lot of data located in different functional areas which makes it very difficult to collect, query, and analyze to identify and predict trends. These redundant and unorganized data provide a major challenge for their management. In the past few years, it has become clear that all data must be managed as a corporate strategic asset for further analytic and predicting. With the use of fast computer systems and Artificial intelligence and machine learning software, all of these companies now reorganizing and labeling these data for future usage and they need people who understand both business and computing to do that.

Today data analyst has become one of the high demand jobs in this industry. As a data analyst, you work to gain insight into the vast amounts of data in the company. Almost every industry, from business, government, healthcare, manufacturing, and technology are needing data analyst. And, since the application areas for data science are very broad, having this skill you can work in a field that pays a very high salary. According to the Harvard Business Review, it is the best job of the 21st century. Harvard school even gives advice to American parents: “Tell your children to be data scientists, NOT doctors.” According to the U.S. government, there will be at least over one million data analyst jobs available in 2025 and there will not be enough people to meet that need.

In my opinion, the choice to study data analysis is the best choice for business students. All future jobs are changing fast because there are so much data are available and more being generated every few seconds. In other words, data is the future of all of the jobs in this 21st century. If you study data analysis, your job prospects as a graduate are excellent no matter where you work. (Note: I have written many articles about what skills are needed in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in previous blogs that you can read them)


  • Blogs of Prof. John Vu, Carnegie Mellon University

You may like

Don't forget to follow us on Facebook!