Author Topic: Graduate Degree vs Certificate vs Keeping steady  (Read 1639 times)

actonyourown

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Graduate Degree vs Certificate vs Keeping steady
« on: August 01, 2019, 10:20:39 AM »
Here is my situation:
29 yo M
Decent job in LCOL city
Have a B.S. in Management Information Systems

My current job does not utilize my degree. I took the job after graduation and have moved up every 15-18 months. My employer is a fortune 500 company. I have written before about changes at my job with layoffs of upper management recently as well as changes at the organization. I am am looking for information and opinions on my course of action.

1. Pursue a certificate. I am looking at data analytics and there is a university with a 12 credit certificate. These credits can also be used for their 30 credit MBA. This is completely online which is convenient. My company would probably pay for this and I would guarantee them 1 more year of service.

2. Pursue my MBA at the same university. It is all online and I know my company would pay for it. However, it would take 3 years part-time plus my company requires 1 more year of service after graduation. Not the same job, you can move internally, but that's what it is.

3. I could stay pat and keep moving up if I can, however, I will hit a ceiling at some point (if not already there) and I'm looking to accelerate my FI

Does anyone have experience with data analytic jobs, education, etc? Is there any advantage of the certicate in the field? Thoughts on MBA vs a Masters in Data Analytics?

Falke401

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Re: Graduate Degree vs Certificate vs Keeping steady
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2019, 10:48:07 AM »
I have been a data analyst for about 10 years.  I would say it depends what you want to do an where you want to end up.  Neither are a bad route, but if you are looking specifically into data analytics, you might want to go the certificate route.  Most data analyst jobs look for a specific skill set like SQL or some other software package.  A SQL cert would likely go much further than an MBA in obtaining an analyst job.  I have an MBA and my experience is most employers don't care at all that I have it.  It is what you know/experience/certs.  An MBA might help in the future in getting a position leading data analysts. 

actonyourown

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Re: Graduate Degree vs Certificate vs Keeping steady
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2019, 08:00:50 AM »
I have been a data analyst for about 10 years.  I would say it depends what you want to do an where you want to end up.  Neither are a bad route, but if you are looking specifically into data analytics, you might want to go the certificate route.  Most data analyst jobs look for a specific skill set like SQL or some other software package.  A SQL cert would likely go much further than an MBA in obtaining an analyst job.  I have an MBA and my experience is most employers don't care at all that I have it.  It is what you know/experience/certs.  An MBA might help in the future in getting a position leading data analysts. 

Honestly, I'm not certain where I want to go.  I just know that my knowledge and skills are based on one employer in my area and no other companies here do this.  So it feels like a mini-monopoly on what they consider to be a "low skill" job.  I was searching jobs at large companies here and Data Analyst was by far the most common that interested me.  I really like analyzing data sets on some simple functions in excel and charting it plus I would like to enter my field, so I think this is something that would interest me.  I watched some YouTube videos and read information on R programming and that lead me to look for university programs.  The MBA is more of a long-term flexible option that I would have experience in two fields plus a solid education so I could bid better jobs in almost any field.

1. Pursue a certificate. I am looking at data analytics and there is a university with a 12 credit certificate. These credits can also be used for their 30 credit MBA. This is completely online which is convenient. My company would probably pay for this and I would guarantee them 1 more year of service.
If the company will pay for this and you plan on sticking with them for two years, this seems like a good "starting point" before investing the time in a full MBA. Make sure the company will pay for it and that you can convert the credits to the MBA track though.

Quote
Is there any advantage of the certicate in the field? Thoughts on MBA vs a Masters in Data Analytics?
Generally certificates are kind of a mixed bag. They can be good for showing some specialization in something, but companies will either not care about them, or ask why you didn't get a full Masters. Personally I would go for an MS as opposed to the MBA since the MBA is going to be a breadth of knowledge where as the MS will be a bit more of a deep dive. However, an MBA + Certificate might look really good to an employer since it shows some of both.

My company will pay for classes and especially an MBA from this university (several former and current co-workers have received theirs).  I really think the option of receiving the certification and then working for an MBA appeals the  most to me (you can do them concurrently, but the timeline means you get them the same time instead of the cert first).  If I am invested after receiving the cert, why not continue?  Especially if I can do the cert off-cycle (thinking spring 2019).  I requested information from the university so I can discuss it before I take the dive.

Thanks for the responses!

Beach_Stache

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Re: Graduate Degree vs Certificate vs Keeping steady
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2019, 06:10:36 AM »
I have been a data analyst for about 10 years.  I would say it depends what you want to do an where you want to end up.  Neither are a bad route, but if you are looking specifically into data analytics, you might want to go the certificate route.  Most data analyst jobs look for a specific skill set like SQL or some other software package.  A SQL cert would likely go much further than an MBA in obtaining an analyst job.  I have an MBA and my experience is most employers don't care at all that I have it.  It is what you know/experience/certs.  An MBA might help in the future in getting a position leading data analysts.

@Falke401, I am a "Data Analyst" as well for the gov't, something I didn't have traditional training at, but learned at my first job how to query the database and write some pretty cool/complex SQL queries in an Oracle database.  I have been doing it for about 10 or so years as well and really enjoy it and the problem solving, but I feel like I have stalled out a bit as well, doing the same type of thing.  I call myself a "data analyst" but I know I haven't officially taking any coursework so my term may be laughed at by someone who has been to proper schooling.  In my office they've put a lot of resources behind "Data Scientists" now but I really laugh at them as they are basically statisticians who don't know SQL, Python, R, have trouble maneuvering around the data, take 10 times as long to produce anything and their results are questionable at best.  Anyways, I feel like maybe I'm not taken seriously since I don't have a Masters or PHD and don't have ORSA or Data Scientist behind my name.  I'm honestly not too interested in stats, but it may be a necessary evil.  Do you have any advice as a data analyst on what to focus on next, what to get into?  When I search for jobs I see a lot of PL/SQL which I don't do the PL stuff much or packages, mainly just querying the database.  I have been thinking about getting into Python b/c it seems like you can do a lot with it but I'm certainly looking for guidance.  I'd love any suggestions or advice!

Beach_Stache

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Re: Graduate Degree vs Certificate vs Keeping steady
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2019, 06:12:03 AM »
Here is my situation:
29 yo M
Decent job in LCOL city
Have a B.S. in Management Information Systems

My current job does not utilize my degree. I took the job after graduation and have moved up every 15-18 months. My employer is a fortune 500 company. I have written before about changes at my job with layoffs of upper management recently as well as changes at the organization. I am am looking for information and opinions on my course of action.

1. Pursue a certificate. I am looking at data analytics and there is a university with a 12 credit certificate. These credits can also be used for their 30 credit MBA. This is completely online which is convenient. My company would probably pay for this and I would guarantee them 1 more year of service.

2. Pursue my MBA at the same university. It is all online and I know my company would pay for it. However, it would take 3 years part-time plus my company requires 1 more year of service after graduation. Not the same job, you can move internally, but that's what it is.

3. I could stay pat and keep moving up if I can, however, I will hit a ceiling at some point (if not already there) and I'm looking to accelerate my FI

Does anyone have experience with data analytic jobs, education, etc? Is there any advantage of the certicate in the field? Thoughts on MBA vs a Masters in Data Analytics?

What certificate program are you looking at?  I've looked at some of these and do data analysis for work and have thought about a Certificate or MBA, but I have a side hustle and am nervous about doing after hours course work for a few years.

use2betrix

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Re: Graduate Degree vs Certificate vs Keeping steady
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2019, 06:26:31 PM »
My brother has his MIS degree and has continuously moved up in work related to his degree.

What is your income? What do you feel is your cap? I would say he probably made 6 figures within 5 or 6 years of graduating college. Now, at around 33, hes probably making at least $150k and keeps moving up in his career.