Business Analytics or Marketing: Which Is Right for Me?

Business Analytics or Marketing: Which Is Right for Me? blog header - two businesspeople at a meeting
Business Analytics or Marketing: Which Is Right for Me? blog header - two businesspeople at a meeting

Business Analytics or Marketing: Which Is Right for Me?

Business students and early-career professionals alike may wonder if they should work in business analytics or marketing. Both fields feature competitive job markets and opportunities for growth over the next decade. 

For many, the choice to pursue business analytics or marketing is easy, however. Due to the overwhelming stream of business information in today’s economy, the choice is often business analytics.

In-Demand Business and Management Skills

Candidates for advanced business degrees want to build skill sets that appeal to employers. When deciding whether to pursue a business analytics or marketing career, it’s important for people to know how their skill sets will benefit either profession.

Marketing skills, especially the ability to communicate with diverse audiences, are important in the workplace. However, based on industry surveys, technical skills that fall under the business analytics umbrella are more essential to employers. 

To determine the most in-demand skills, LinkedIn looked at the skills commonly held by job seekers who had been employed by companies in major cities (source). From this research, a list of the 25 most valued skills was formed. 

Analytical reasoning, UX design, and data science were all part of this list. Although LinkedIn’s study favored business analytics tools, marketing skills like video production and social media were also on the list. 

young people in business meeting

What Companies Want

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) surveyed 172 companies in 2018 to determine desired skills from new graduates (source). The leading skills are listed below along with the percentage of respondents looking for them: 

  1. Written communication skills: 82%
  2. Problem-solving skills: 80.9%
  3. Teamwork: 78.7%
  4. Initiative: 74.2%
  5. Analytical skills: 71.9%
  6. Strong work ethic: 70.8%
  7. Verbal communication skills: 67.4%
  8. Leadership: 67.4%
  9. Detail-oriented: 59.6%
  10. Technical skills: 59.6%

To be successful, business analytics or marketing professionals should demonstrate most of these skills on their resumes. The X factors for professionals seeking new careers are analytical and technical skills that keep companies ahead of the competition. 

When choosing between business analytics or marketing as a career, professionals should keep in mind that skilled analysts are in higher demand.

business person studies business skills on a laptop

Technical Skills

An MSc in Business and Management from a globally recognized school like Aston University demonstrates abilities in high-demand skills. Graduates can combine their degrees with certifications in technical skills that are rare among business professionals. 

Aston University’s curriculum allows MSc BAM candidates to meet the requirements for the SAS Joint Certificate in Analytics. Aspiring business analysts can also work toward programming certifications offered outside of their graduate programs. 

For example, the Microsoft SQL Server Certification verifies an analyst’s ability to leverage SQL features for cloud computing and database development (source). 

Smiling businessman examines documents

Opportunities for Salary Growth

Selecting a career based on employer demands is only one reason to invest time, energy, and money on an advanced degree. The bottom line is that prospective MSc BAM candidates want strong salary outlooks to justify their choices. 

When choosing between a business analytics or marketing career, another important factor is salary. Salaries for entry-level and senior professionals are more favorable to analytics professionals than to marketers.

Marketing professionals earn solid salaries compared to other occupations. According to PayScale, marketing associates earned an average salary of $46,021 in 2019 (source). Associates in the top 90% of salaries earned an average of $66,000. PayScale also found that marketing directors earned $86,586 on average with a top 90% average of $149,000 (source). 

No matter the career path, business analysts exceed their marketing counterparts in average salary. A business analyst with an IT background earned an average salary of $68,401, according to PayScale (source). Top earners in this line of work made an average of $96,000. Business analytics directors averaged $125,480 in 2019 with the most successful directors earning $159,000 (source). The business analytics field provides a great return on investment for years of hard work and education.

Smiling businesswoman at desk

Job prospects

Another factor when choosing between a business analytics or marketing career is the state of the job market for each.

A look at BLS estimates for job growth from 2018 to 2028 shows growth in marketing and business analytics. Advertising and marketing management positions are expected to grow 8% during this period (source). At the highest level of marketing, professionals can expect modest growth compared to the 5% estimate for all occupations. 

Business analysts who reach management positions can expect 14% more jobs in 2028 than in 2018 (source). Industry demand for experts who can find efficiencies, new markets, and savings will only grow as the global market becomes more complex. This higher demand may make the choice between business analytics or marketing easier for many professionals.

Smiling business student works on a laptop with headphones

The Business Analytics Master’s

Aston University’s Master’s in Business Analytics offers concentrations in accounting, finance, and healthcare management that tailor coursework to high-demand fields. 

The university’s ties to the Boston business community create networking opportunities for students around the world. MSc BAM holders around the world surpass their marketing colleagues in terms of filling employer demand for technical skills, as well as salary and job prospects. 

For people who have decided to pursue a career in business analytics, Aston University’s online MSc BAM is a highly ranked graduate program. It gives students the tools and connections necessary to succeed in current and future jobs. 

Professionals who work through the program develop skills that translate well across industries and business functions. The online format also makes it possible for working professionals to earn their education from the comforts of home. 

With essential skills in hand, MSc BAM graduates are ready to compete for corporate jobs throughout the world. Get all the details you need about Aston’s online MSc BAM program.