Build the Perfect Data Analyst Resume (5 Example Templates Included)

You have done a lot to position yourself for a career in data analysis. But coursework, projects, and prior jobs will only secure a data analyst job if these experiences can be effectively communicated to recruiters.

You might feel lost as you prepare your resume. Do you know what firms look for in a data analyst? Do you know how to describe your education and job history in a way that makes recruiters excited to interview you? How can you tailor your resume for specific data analyst specializations? 

To help you prepare a resume that will catch a human resources (HR) recruiter’s eye, we have compiled this guide to build the perfect data analyst resume. We will not address general resume tips. You can always find these online. Instead, we have included ideas for using detailed work experiences to give your resume an edge over generic resumes. We have also listed some keywords that will help you stand out and earn an interview.

By following this guide, you can improve your resume by quickly and clearly communicating your experiences and coursework that qualify you for a data analyst position. We have even included five resume templates to get you started in your search for employment in:

  • SQL data analysis
  • Python data analysis
  • Data mining
  • Predictive analytics
  • Digital marketing analysis

What Should a Data Analyst Put on Their Resume?

HR recruiters are not necessarily experts in data analysis. To get past the general HR screening, your resume will need to hit on both your general skills and coursework as well as the specific relevant skills for a data analyst resume.

Universal Skills

Some of the information HR recruiters look for will be the same regardless of the position. These universal skills, educational experiences, academic achievements, and industry certifications will always be included when you apply for a data analysis position.

However, you should not spend too much time emphasizing the same qualifications that every applicant will have. Rather, think of this section as helping the HR recruiter check off certain boxes so you can pass to the next level of review. Keep in mind that when the candidate pool is crowded, recruiters can only spare a few seconds skimming a resume. Spending too much time on your universal skills will not help you stand out and may make it appear as if you have no specialized skills to offer.

If your resume does not stand out after a six-second scan, you may need to rework it.

One approach is to provide a specific case explaining how your universal skills were used. For example, every data analyst has studied statistics. But very few data analyst candidates could say that they “collected and analyzed 200,000 data points from a local delivery business to identify missed efficiencies.” Although data collection and analysis are universal skills that every data analyst puts on their resume, this example contains detail that is more likely to catch a recruiter’s eye. It highlights your ability to collect and filter real-world data, provide an analysis of what the data shows, and create concrete business recommendations based on that analysis. This description provides an HR recruiter with context rather than simply stating your ability to “analyze data.”

Remember that you will probably not receive a job offer based solely on your resume. The goal is to pique a recruiter’s interest so you receive a job interview. Providing a detailed application of your skills can provide a talking point for the interview.

You may be competing against hundreds of other applicants to earn an offer, so make sure your resume makes an impression, and you have talking points for the interview.

Examples of these universal resume builders that everyone should have on a resume, but tailored to a specific application, if possible, include:

  • Advanced mathematics
  • Study design
  • Calculating a sample size
  • Collecting data
  • Data cleaning
  • Modeling data
  • Analyzing data
  • Producing data visualizations
  • Reporting conclusions from the data

Job-Specific Skills

In addition to the universal skills that every data analyst will have, you will also want to tailor your resume to the type of analyst position and the level of seniority. These job-specific skills can help you land a job interview in a few ways:

  • Exhibit knowledge of the company and position: By researching the employer then tailoring your resume to the employer’s business, you will impress the recruiter and potentially move ahead of other job candidates with more generic resumes.
  • Highlight relevant experience: A deep understanding of the position will help you tailor your resume to highlight experience relevant to the job’s requirements.
  • Provide discussion points: A resume should not just point out that you are the type of person who would make a good employee, it should also give you material to discuss during an interview that you would fit in as a member of the team.

Data Analyst Resume Templates:

The best way to explain what you should include in a data analyst resume is with examples. Here we provide curated templates that provide the perfect base for a: 

As you gain seniority along your career path, recruiters’ expectations about the skills and relevant experience will change. For internships and entry-level positions, recruiters may look for technical mastery through grades and coursework. 

However, recruiters looking to fill more senior positions will look for experience managing people and resources. As you use these templates, be sure to include management experience if you are applying for a senior position.

Here are some examples of how to position your experience in your resume to improve your chances of earning an interview.

Senior Data Analyst Resume

A resume for a senior data analyst position will be more likely to earn an interview if it highlights the mastery of technical concepts and relevant management experience. Unless the employer is looking for a lateral hire, the recruiter will probably not expect you to list senior-level management experience. However, the employer will likely expect you to include some prior experience leading a team or managing a project when applying for a senior position.

Entry-Level Data Analyst Resume

At this level, it will be more important to highlight knowledge of technical concepts and skills that make you a good data analyst. Remember to frame your skills in a real-world context and express your passion for problem-solving with data. For example, stating that you did an “undergraduate traffic study” does not provide the eye-catching depth of “studied traffic patterns and police reports to propose changes to traffic light timing to reduce accidents.”

Data Analyst Internship Resume

Applicants for internships are not necessarily expected to have real-world experience. However, you should list coursework and projects relevant to the employer’s business.

Studies show that as many as 80% of positions are filled through networking, regardless of level. Our Quantic Career Network provides students and alumni with the benefits of networking during a job search.

Relevant Skills for a Data Analyst Resume

To be a strong candidate for a data analytics position, your resume will need to highlight certain skills that all data analysts should possess. Also, think through how you would discuss the application of these skills during an interview.

Some of these skills include:

  • Basic analytical skills: Basic analytical skills, like distilling large amounts of data, facts, and figures into pivot tables, are needed to produce something useful.
  • Statistics skills: Statistics skills are needed to make estimates based on data. Recruiters will expect you to know how to use basic tools like Excel to handle one-variable statistics. Moreover, including experience in making data-driven decisions using inferential statistics will show your ability to turn raw data into predictions about the future.
  • Strategic thinking: Strategic thinking uses data analysis to look at the big picture and develop a business strategy informed by the data.
  • Data collection skills: Data analysts need to be able to collect and cleanse data. Planning a cohort of an appropriate sample size that avoids bias can provide a data analysis that is robust and useful.
  • Team management skills: As a candidate for a senior role, you will need to highlight your ability to manage other data analysts and supporting team members. 

Building a Resume with Education Beyond Undergraduate School

To compete with other job candidates, a data analyst needs well-rounded coursework in handling, cleaning, analyzing, and reporting data. However, going further by earning technical certifications can boost a resume and should be highlighted.

For leadership positions in operations and management, such as a vice president or executive director, recruiters are increasingly including candidates who have both technical knowledge and business acumen. Candidates with an MBA will often have a competitive edge when applying for these positions.

Choosing an MBA or EMBA program will be based on many factors, including:

  • Career goals: Your program should teach you the skills and connect you with a network that can advance your career. 
  • Time: If you plan to work while enrolled, you might need to find a program that offers flexibility while still providing well-rounded coursework. 
  • Cost: The salary growth of MBA graduates is roughly 22-23%. Choosing a lower-cost program produces a greater ROI. 

Keywords that can Make a Data Analyst Resume Stand Out

Unfortunately, HR recruiters can only budget a minute or two (or less) to each candidate’s resume. Consequently, you must use keywords in your resume, so it makes it into the “interview” pile rather than the “file” pile.

Some of the keywords that a recruiter might scan for include:

KeywordsPurposeExamples
Technical termsShow you understand concepts that underlie data analysis.Warehouse
Analytics
Model
Mine
Visualization
Forecast
Business termsIllustrate your approach to using analytics to advise business units in making real-world decisions.Report
Operations
Strategy
Action
Plan
Present
Propose
Recommend
Management termsHighlight your experience and skills in managing resources and people.Direct
Head
Lead
Investigate
Team
Members
Budget
Delegate

Using Online Resources to Boost Your Data Analyst Resume

As with everything today, the Internet can be a valuable resource in building your resume and applying for jobs.

Creating a Resume

Reddit can provide a forum for discussing an issue with a specific group. Users can give you job-seeking advice and feedback on your resume. Just remember to observe cross-posting rules and remove any identifying information from your resume before you post it.

Another resource for creating a resume is LinkedIn. LinkedIn provides resume creation tools and templates to create a professional-looking resume when seeking data analyst jobs.

Distributing Your Resume

You can upload your resume in LinkedIn in four ways:

  • Resume storage: You can upload and store a resume in your LinkedIn profile for future job applications.
  • Job applications: You apply for the posted jobs on LinkedIn’s Jobs page and upload your resume after clicking on the “Easy Apply” button.
  • Networking: LinkedIn can store your resume for sharing across your LinkedIn network.

You can also use your resume to build your LinkedIn profile. Simply use your resume to fill in the profile fields so that your work history, education, and experience in your LinkedIn profile match your resume.

Building the Perfect Data Analyst Resume

Building a data analyst resume can be intimidating for both new and experienced analysts. You might have had a resume for past jobs but did not know how to tailor your resume for a data analysis position. Alternatively, you might have worked in data analysis but were at a loss at updating your resume to apply for senior-level positions.

By using the tips in this guide, you can create a data analyst resume that will dwarf those of your competition. Your resume will catch a recruiter’s attention and earn you an interview if you take the time to:

  • Tailor your resume for the position.
  • List, but not overemphasize, your universal skills.
  • Write interesting descriptions of relevant experiences that stress practical, real-world applications.
  • Highlight management experience.

Putting Together Your Resume for Management Opportunities

If you are an experienced senior data analyst, you might feel that it is time to set yourself onto the path of becoming a COO or chief executive officer. Seeking an MBA can help you reach that career goal.

Alternatively, you might be fresh out of undergraduate school and have just as much interest in operations and management as you have in data analysis. For younger data analysts, an MBA can open doors that are not always open to entry-level data analysts.

You can learn more about the benefits of an MBA to your career as a data analyst on our site.

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Student Spotlight: Dr. Matt Young Helps Those Harmed by the Healthcare System

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” – Henry David Thoreau. 

The ethos of pursuing one’s dreams and helping others along the way has been a guiding force for MBA Student Dr. Matt Young, M.D., J.D., CMQ, Esq.

Dr. Young certainly is realizing his dreams. He has already achieved national recognition in the fields of patient safety and healthcare quality, has been named a National Quality Scholar by the American College of Medical Quality, serves as a peer reviewer for the Journal of Patient Safety, has published in multiple medical texts, and, in his spare time, is a classically trained concert pianist. 

His next adventure? He is now one of the trial lawyers at the nationally renowned law firm Ross Feller Casey LLP, where he represents patients, families, and their loved ones who have been catastrophically harmed by the healthcare system, a cause that is extremely close to his heart. 

After Dr. Young graduated from Harvard Medical School, he became the eighteenth doctor in a family of doctors spanning three generations and two continents. However, after he lost his own father to medical malpractice, Dr. Young went to Harvard Law School, where he received his JD degree, and became an attorney and patient safety advocate. During his medical and legal training, he would learn that medical errors are one of the leading causes — if not the leading cause — of death and disability in the United States. “My father died as a result of medical malpractice, which has been shown to be one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in our country. Now, I get to fight for so many families like my own who have suffered harm at the hands of our healthcare system,” he said.

Dr. Young describes Ross Feller Casey LLP as one of the best law firms in the country when it comes to representing plaintiffs in medical malpractice actions. “Their reputation, record-setting results, integrity, and team of talented lawyers and doctors make them an incredible powerhouse for plaintiffs. I look forward to helping catastrophically injured patients hold the healthcare system accountable. Ultimately, the pen is mightier than the scalpel.”

Dr. Young believes Quantic was definitely one of the nudges he needed to pursue this next chapter. “Plaintiffs’ work is in many ways an entrepreneurial endeavor. The Quantic MBA program gave me the courage and skills to make this daunting and dramatic career transition in the middle of a global pandemic. From a curricular perspective, it has great modules on key topics like entrepreneurship, marketing, and business strategy, the sunk cost fallacy, and calculating opportunity cost, which all factored into my decision to forsake my medical career and instead take care of patients in a very different but immensely important way.”

There was also an overflowing amount of Quantic peer support from his classmates. “I posted to our class’s Slack and asked my classmates for advice, and they gave me amazing advice and support about making this career change. I was getting real life and career advice from really accomplished people from three different continents and time zones all coming from diverse industries who had made multiple career changes themselves.” 

Overall, Dr. Young has been thrilled with the energetic and entrepreneurial spirit of the Quantic experience. “I thought the most valuable education I would ever get would come from spending 11 years at Harvard and getting those three degrees from their college, med school, and law school, at the cost of being saddled with a hefty amount of student loan debt; but never did I think that one of the most invaluable and transformative experiences would come in the form of a free online MBA. Without a doubt, my Quantic MBA experience has been just as valuable as the education I received at Harvard. Studying with Quantic has been an incredibly invaluable and rewarding experience and has helped me formulate a new vision for myself on how best to leverage my medical and legal training to help others.”

We are so excited to see how Dr. Young’s next chapter unfolds as he brings his powerful personal narrative and unparalleled professional training into the courtroom to fight for families harmed by the healthcare system. We are sure that as he goes confidently in the direction of his dreams, he will help countless patients and families find justice and peace.

How to Become a COO 🚀 Your Path to Chief Operating Officer

So, you’ve got your eye on the Chief Operating Officer position? Way to shoot for the stars! The COO is second-in-command in most companies. It’s a unique position that’s largely considered one of the most challenging positions in the boardroom. 

We know you’ve got it in you, and we’re excited for you to take this step. To help you get there, we’ve put together this handy guide on how to become a COO. We’ll take a close look at:

  • What it’s like to be one
  • How to determine where you are in your path to becoming one
  • The skills you should cultivate now in your career 

By the time you’re finished, you’ll know exactly what you need to do next to get the second-top job in the boardroom. Let’s go!

What is a COO?

The COO is responsible for the daily business operations of a company. You can think of the role as something similar to a high-powered general manager. You’ll directly report to the CEO and play an integral role in the leadership of the organization. 

If the CEO is the visionary leader, then the COO is the one who makes things happen. The CEO strategizes and sets goals for the organization — you’ll be the one to figure out how to make those plans a reality.

For example, if a CEO wants to expand the company by offering a new set of services, it will be your job to lead the discovery team to determine what departments, acquisitions, or investments the company will need to make.

As a result, you might see the COO sometimes called the operating director, managing director, or the “executive vice president of operations.” Whatever your title, you’ll be known as the one who gets things done.

The COO Works Closely with the CEO

As a COO, you’ll forge a close relationship with your counterpart, the CEO of your company. Most companies look for a COO that meets the specific needs of the CEO. That might mean: 

  • Leadership with technical experience. A good COO complements the skills and abilities of the CEO. You’ll find this especially true in startups, where the COO often has more practical experience. Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg, is one such example.
  • A successor. As second-in-command, you’ll have unique access and insights to the company. Many organizations reserve this position for successors as a result.
  • Someone to handle all internal affairs. It’s not uncommon for CEOs to prefer their COOs to handle the internal operations of a company while the CEO functions as the company’s public face. 

The Job Outlook for the CEO’s Right-Hand Person

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top executives field on a whole is growing at 6 percent per year – about the same rate as other management positions. However, it’s extremely difficult to measure the position’s growth for three main reasons:

  • It’s constantly changing. According to EY, the COO role is one of the most rapidly changing roles at the executive level. That’s why it can be difficult to pin down who and what the COO is.
  • Companies hire or promote from within. When this happens, it’s called an “MVP” COO, someone who is promoted to keep them with the company.
  • COOs are sometimes cofounders. This is especially true in the case of startups, where the COO was there from the start.

What this means for you: Be prepared to round out your education and experience as much as possible so that you can be flexible when the opportunity arises. The greater your ability to demonstrate leadership, business acumen, and industry insight, the stronger candidate you’ll become.

A Day in the Life of a COO

Officially, anything that involves the business or administrative functions of your company will fall under your responsibility. However, the COO’s role means different things to different people and organizations. Therefore, no two roles are ever quite the same. On any given day, expect to find yourself:

  • Managing people or departments. You’ll take an active role in department operations, but you’ll also manage people directly. That may mean coaching employees to help them develop professionally or strategically promoting talent to retain them.
  • Leading projects or initiatives. You’ll constantly look for ways to improve the company’s operations, making them more efficient, cost-effective, and performing better.
  • Communicating strategy and policy to employees. COOs increasingly spend a lot of time managing the company’s overall culture. You’ll create policies, incentives, and an environment that fosters the desired culture. 
  • Supporting your CEO. As the right-hand person, you may find yourself showing the ropes to a new CEO, providing insight or perspective on ideas, or even being a partner on initiatives where the CEO can’t take on everything alone.
  • Undertaking industry-specific responsibilities. If you’re in healthcare, you may find yourself responsible for identifying new ways to deliver critical services to a demographic of patients. Likewise, if you’re serving an insurance company, the CEO may tap you for advice on creating strategies that address major current events as they unfold.
  • Overseeing any business-related operations. In an interview of the COOs of Stripe, Infor, and Instagram, all three mentioned that they routinely oversee business functions as wide-ranging as marketing, advertising, and human resources, plus things like subscription revenues or services.
  • Working very long hours. Excited to check your email at 6:30 AM? That’s the reality for Vera Quinn, the COO of Cydcor. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that half of all COOs report working more than 40 hours per week — all the more reason to make sure you love what you do!

Who Does the COO Work With Each Day?

Since all internal operations will fall under your responsibility, expect to have a lot of contact with people. In a small company or a startup, you may form relationships with all employees. In a larger corporation, you may primarily work with department heads and other executives.

Salary Statistics: What You Can Expect to Earn

According to PayScale, the median salary for a COO in 2020 is $142,735. Aggregated data from Glassdoor indicates a similar average: $143,336 annually. 

Of course, all of that depends on your company size, industry, and education level. According to research by LinkedIn, companies with more than 200 employees tend to pay over $135,000 per year. Likewise, the Energy and Finance sectors yield the highest compensation, averaging at $190,000 and $175,000 respectively.

If you’re not in one of those two industries, however, fear not. LinkedIn notes that COOs with MBAs make on average $185,000 annually in 2020.

The Winding Career Path to Become a COO

If you spend any time reading the thoughtful responses on Quora, you’ll quickly discover that there’s no one path to becoming a COO. Some people start at the bottom of the corporate ladder and work their way up, while others walk into the position after decades of experience in an industry. Here’s our best insight:

It Takes About 10 to 15 Years to Become a COO

Interviews around the web with current and former COOs indicate that it takes around 10 to 15 years of experience in a specific industry (but not always at the same job). 

COOs appear to share a passion for their industry. That’s crucial because you’ll need to have very deep knowledge of your industry to adequately guide a company. Consider Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook who knew from the start she wanted to get involved in a tech company.

So, if you’re planning out your path to the COO role, pay special attention to what industries you’re interested in and go from there.

The Path from Project Manager to COO

If you’re a project manager, you’re in a great position to step into a COO role down the line. You’ll already have many of the skills that you’ll use every day as a COO. If this is you, you’ll want to round out your skills with some solid business admin skills. A free, online MBA can give you exactly what you need to fill this knowledge gab.

You’ll Need a Bachelor’s Degree

Speaking of courses, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a four-year degree is essential to any top-level executive. The COO is about as close to the top as you can get! Since you’ll be overseeing business operations, we strongly recommend you consider a bachelor’s degree in business. 

If you’ve already got a degree and it’s not in business, you’re certainly not out of luck. Some COOs do have degrees that have nothing to do with business, such as technical degrees. However, if this is your case, you’ll want to look into developing your business knowledge as you prepare. Consider supplementing your next steps in education with free courses in strategy or leadership.

What Can Further Education Do for You?

Advanced degrees are common in the board room, especially MBAs. As a COO, the position of CEO will lie within reach – and some 40 percent of the top CEOs have MBAs. 

Having an MBA not only improves your chances of commanding a higher salary, but it also puts into your hands the skills you need to competently lead the operations of a company. We very strongly recommend that you consider one, especially if your bachelor’s degree isn’t already in business. 

However, there are two specific reasons why an MBA is particularly necessary for a future COO: 

1. Your Professional Connections Matter

Your ability to rise to the C-level broadly hinges on who you know. That’s especially true with positions like the COO, where you’ll be chosen based on how well your personality and specific skills complement the CEO’s. 

If you’re looking into upgrading your business skills (such as getting an MBA), pay attention to what sort of networking opportunities exist alongside your education. A developed career network will prove tremendously valuable. 

2. It Can Set You Apart from the Competition

An executive MBA can also set you apart from the competition. It still gives you the business knowledge you’ll need for the role, but it focuses more on the leadership skills that you’ll also need. That’s a smart move if you’re specifically pursuing the role of COO, which is a very leadership-oriented position. 

(Here’s more about the MBA versus the EMBA).

The Other Skills & Qualifications You’ll Need

Of course, an MBA does more than just give you the professional connections and business skills you’ll need. It’ll also help you develop an array of hard and soft skills that will amplify your effectiveness in the role. You’ll need:

  • Leadership skills. From leading cross-department teams to working on small, special initiatives, you’ll be a leader at all times. Make sure you develop the fundamentals of leadership so you’re ready.
  • People management skills. Understanding the ins and outs of organizational behavior will help you manage people, encouraging them to become their best.
  • Project management skills. You’ll have projects, and lots of them. Make sure you’re ready to manage all of it with your stellar project management abilities.
  • Strategy skills. You’ll need to understand the components of business strategy to execute those created by the board or the CEO. Learning Blue Ocean Strategy is a fantastic way to cultivate that understanding.

What Makes a Great Chief Operating Officer?

There are plenty of ways to become a COO. This challenging, high-powered position requires a combination of business acumen, leadership skills, and dedication to your industry. It’s a tough road, but no matter where you are in your career, you can take steps toward the boardroom today.

We’ve laid out the degrees, business expertise, and soft skills that you’ll need to develop. In many cases, earning an online MBA can accelerate your trajectory without disrupting your current career. A competitive, rigorous program with a robust career network can help you put the top jobs of the business world within reach.

Student Spotlight: Chief Scientist Helps Broaden Biotechnology Field

Bit Bio, the U.K.-based startup, only needed three weeks to raise $41.5 million in a Series A funding round that will be used to support the company’s goal to transition biology into engineering. 

This synthetic biology team was founded by stem cell biologist and neurosurgeon, Mark Kotter, in 2016 to commercialize biotechnology that can reduce the cost and increase the production capacity for differentiated human cells. These cells can be used in targeted therapies and as a method to accelerate pharmaceutical drug discovery. Bit Bio’s goal is to be able to reproduce every human cell type, boosting basic research and enabling a new generation of cell therapies.

How can this type of cell therapy specifically help? By generating every cell type in the human body, this biotechnology will help unlock solutions for tackling cancer, autoimmune diseases and neurodegenerative disorders. Bit Bio’s approach will also help reduce expenses, aid drug discovery, and decrease the reliance on animal studies. 

Quantic alum, Grant Belgard, is the Head of Bioinformatics at Bit Bio. The company’s website explains the centrality of computation: “Bit Bio represents the two fields: coding and biology that determine the identity of every human cell. Ultimately, bits are the building blocks of code, just as cells are the building blocks of life. This is reflective of what Bit Bio does: precise reprogramming of human stem cells.” 

Belgard is also the Chief Scientist and CEO of The Bioinformatics CRO. The company was developed as the subject of his Capstone project in Quantic’s Executive MBA program. The flexibility of the curriculum enabled Belgard to learn, while simultaneously building his new company and pursuing his professional goals.

Now, Belgard’s goal for The Bioinformatics CRO is to streamline biomedical research worldwide. This represents a new breed of contract research organization that offers quality customized bioinformatics services to global biotechnology companies.

Biotechnology companies, like Bit Bio and The Bioinformatics CRO, will help merge biology and engineering and can help bring about long-awaited precision for stem cell research and help improve the lives of millions.

The Quantic community is thrilled for Grant and his colleagues. We can’t wait to see what he does next and how this combination of data science and biology will help code cells for the well-being of humanity.

How to Become a CTO: Responsibilities, Qualifications, and Career Tips

Ready to become a CTO? In most cases, that’s the pinnacle of a tech professional’s career and there are a lot of challenges to get there. From identifying what degrees or certifications you need to figuring out what position you should hold next, you’re going to overcome a lot as you aspire to that executive status.

You can do it. We believe in you. We even put together this guide with the answers to every question you might have.

We’re going to break down the steps of how to become a CTO, take a look at the skills you must possess, and show you how choosing certain education paths over others will deliver the biggest advantages in your career. 

Read on to indulge that inner strategist and get planning the next big step in your career. 

What is a CTO?

A chief technology officer (CTO) is an executive-level position that oversees all of the technology that an organization uses. His or her primary responsibility is to make sure that the hardware and software an organization uses are secure, helpful, and supports business effectively. 

Sometimes known as a Chief Technical Officer, or Chief Technologist, it’s among the highest-ranking IT positions in business. A CTO keeps pace with technological advances, then uses their executive powers to make decisions and investments that further the objectives of the company to stay competitive in the 21st century. 

For example, organizations bring a CTO on board during or immediately following digital transformation. This process sees the wholesale digitization or update of business processes and may change the way a company is organized. It requires the oversight of a professional who can plan and execute such a process, in addition to identifying whether a technological solution is appropriate, cost-effective, and helps the organization meet its goals in the long run.

The CTO vs. the CIO

CTOs typically work with CIOs (Chief Information Officer), but the roles aren’t the same. A CIO typically has a much more hands-on role in the IT department. For example, they may work directly with IT staff to innovate and develop solutions that keep things running on a daily basis. 

In contrast, the CTO is much more business minded. They will make decisions regarding the overarching technological infrastructure. (The CTO is considered one of the three heads of engineering leadership in a corporation.)

In the example of digital transformation, a CTO may develop the overall plan for upgrading a company’s technology in a way that will help the company adapt to the future. A CIO may handle the details on the ground-level, overseeing the implementation of specific technology. 

The Career Outlook for CTOs: Necessary and In-Demand

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and information system management occupations are growing by about 12 percent annually (that’s twice the average growth rate for all occupations). This category includes CTOs, who are becoming increasingly desirable in corporate leadership. 

Technology is increasingly taking a front and center role in business, making technological disruption both a threat and opportunity for any organization – and they’re taking note. According to The 2020 State of IT report by Spiceworks, 44 percent of companies have increased their budget for technology in 2020, compared to just 38 percent in 2019. That trajectory is expected to continue through 2025. 

Despite this, most companies do not consider themselves prepared for the major technological shifts already occurring in the world. A survey by McKinsey found that as much as 79 percent of North American companies consider themselves “not ahead of the curve” when it comes to such shifts. 

All of that puts CTOs in demand – big time. According to McKinsey, every company needs one if it wants to adapt, innovate, and thrive.

What Does It Earn? CTO Salary Statistics

CTOs are valued in their company, and it shows. 

According to PayScale, the average salary for a CTO in 2020 was $159,419. Salaries compiled by Glassdoor generally concur but note that some executives earn as much as $240,000 per year. 

CTO Responsibilities & Roles

According to Gartner, four different “types” of CTOs exist. They are:

  • The Digital Business Leader: The person who emphasizes digital business strategies over manual ones.
  • The Business Enabler: The person who ensures the technology operates as intended.
  • The IT Innovator: The forward-looking person who leads the company in staying competitive by using technology. 
  • The Chief Operating Officer of IT: The person who helps keep it all running (often working with a CIO). 

Those “types” overlap with each other and even with the role of the CIO. That often leads to job descriptions full of vague descriptions of key duties – it’s not uncommon to see the CTO role tasked with responsibilities such as “driving innovation” or “identifying disruptive technologies.” 

Those descriptions aren’t super helpful for those of us unraveling how to become a CTO. However, understanding what these job descriptions hint at can help us build a plan of action to eventually land the position.

Ultimately, it’s the CTO’s duty to align technology with organizational goals. A solid executive bridges the business and technology worlds to help a company move forward. Depending on the company, a CTO may find themselves accomplishing that by: 

  • Leading technology teams for a variety of goals.
  • Managing technological research and development.
  • Planning and implementing infrastructure.
  • Working with the CIO to enact a digital transformation.
  • Allocating resources and overseeing funding for technology investments.
  • Guiding strategic business decisions from a technological standpoint.
  • Monitoring technology management and conducting reviews or audits.
  • Overseeing technology compliance requirements.
  • Engaging in thought leadership. 
  • Brainstorming customer-focused technology solutions. 

The Most Critical Skills for a CTO

The range of responsibilities and roles a CTO may fulfill demands an array of hard and soft skills. You’ll need to demonstrate technical expertise while proving you are versed in business skills and leadership. Here’s a closer look at each.

Technical Skills for a CTO

A CTO needs a strong grasp of a range of technologies. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that most CTOs possess around 15 years of experience in the IT field before even being considered for the job. Likewise, many CTOs start out as engineers in their chosen field, working their way up the ranks. 

Either way, expect to require competencies in topics that may include:

  • Cybersecurity and information security management
  • Network architecture
  • Big data engineering and architecture
  • The Internet of Things
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • Industry-specific disruptive technologies

CTO Business & Management Skills

On the day-to-day scale, a CTO may find themselves engrossed with activities related to business management. That’s because they’re tasked with making decisions that will fundamentally impact the company’s future. To ensure those decisions are sound, CTOs need a firm foundation in the following: 

  • Finance, statistics, and marketing. Like all executive-level professionals, a CTO will read reports and business documents, make financial decisions regarding resource allocation, and use metrics to track the success of an initiative. These are core business skills that directly affect the success of a company.
  • Strategic and visionary thinking. CTOs are concerned with top-level business strategy. They help drive the company into uncontested market spaces where they possess the greatest advantage.
  • Data-driven decision-making. A CTO should know how to apply insights from data and statistics to plan and execute decisions. 
  • Team management and leadership. Working with teams represents a core responsibility for any CTO. A solid grasp on organizational behavior and team management facilitates success.
  • Communication and diplomacy. While much of the CTO’s duties will focus on customer-centric technology initiatives, skills such as negotiation are also critical.  A CTO can expect to manage vendors, meet the needs of external key stakeholders, and occasionally work with clients or customers directly.

Who Will the CTO Manage? Positions Under Their Supervision

Although the CTO executes plans and initiatives at a top-level, they’re also sometimes the head of a department or active participants on task forces. Expect to manage:

  • Software architects
  • Senior developers
  • DevOps engineers
  • System administrators
  • Security specialists

Talent management is often one of the biggest challenges for CTOs. For example, the connection between a CTO and software development might not always be obvious. Unless the CTO demonstrates strong technical leadership, engineers or developers may create challenges during project management, especially if they’re accustomed to operating a certain way. 

The Steps to Become a CTO: An Executive Career Path

Becoming a CTO is no small feat, but with the right education and experience, it’s attainable. Generally, anyone who wishes to become a CTO will need to: 

1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

A four-year degree in a computer science-related field will lay the technical foundation for becoming a CTO and give you that critical entry into a preferred industry or field. 

2. Gain Relevant Work and Industry Experience

All CTOs boast strong technical skills as well as deep industry insight. For most, that develops over a decade or longer – very often at the same company or within the same industry. For those just starting out:

  • Take on projects at your job that allow you to expand your skills and leave you with demonstrated expertise on your resume.
  • Consider leadership opportunities on special teams and projects as they arise.
  • Embrace continued education through certifications, regular training, and courses applicable to not only your technical specialty, but also business.

(Also consider joining a career network to start developing the connections you’ll need.)

3. Pursue a Master’s Education

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, C-level executives increasingly have master’s degrees. A 2019 study from MIT found that over 50 percent of respondents had a master’s degree or higher. Business-related degrees are among the most popular, followed by public administration, law degrees, and occasionally, liberal arts.

4. Take Steps to Prepare for an Executive Position

Consider things like social media presence, civic involvement, digital brand, and other features that can reflect well or poorly.

Education Requirements for a CTO

Quantic CTO, Ori Ratner received a timely heads-up about a business education for technical specialists: “Early on, one of my mentors suggested that developing a sense of ‘business acumen’ would be just as important as growing my technical skillset.”

Imagine being a software engineer for a startup, and you walk into a meeting with an angel investor to give a presentation on an app your team is developing. When the conversation turns towards financials and business growth, you’re lost. What happens if there are follow-up questions within this new context? 

The higher you move up the ranks of a company, the more likely you’ll face situations that require skills and knowledge outside of your technical expertise. From managing horizontal teams to deciphering marketing lingo, get ready to evolve your skillset if you intend to take it to the next level. 

Here’s a closer look at what education a professional requires to be considered for the CTO role.

What Degrees and Certifications Do CTOs Have?

According to Indeed, CTOs typically hold numerous degrees and certifications. These include:

  • A bachelor’s degree in a technology field. 
  • Industry-specific software certifications such as Certified ScrumMaster or Google Developers Certification.
  • Project management certifications such as CompTIA Project+ or PMI Agile.
  • An advanced degree.

When the position of CTO gained prominence in the early 2000s, it was estimated by InfoWorld Magazine that around 12 percent of them held advanced degrees. By 2019, research from MIT suggested this trend has reversed, with most CTOs holding master’s degrees or higher. Among the most common master’s degrees for CTOs, however, include:

  • Computer Science
  • Information Technology
  • Information Technology Management

Shane Emmons | CTO @ TeamSnap

Why an MBA is a Smart Move for the Future CTO

Like our CTO said, developing business acumen sooner rather than later can give you a major leg up in your career.

An advanced degree in business can provide a competitive edge when pursuing the CTO position. Besides strong technical skills and deep industry knowledge, a CTO must demonstrate the ability to bridge the technical and business worlds. An MBA does exactly that.

We’ve also found that many professionals initially overlook the value of an MBA. Many potential CTOs start with a technical background with the intent of becoming an engineer or other specialist. It may not have occurred to them to seek out business, finance, or marketing education. However, without these holistic business credentials, it can be difficult – if not impossible – to move into the upper echelons of a company’s management. Notable CTOs with an MBA

What to Consider when Choosing an MBA Program

There’s a lot to weigh when making the decision to return to school. While pursuing an MBA is certainly a commitment, doing it without quitting work is paramount for any professional in a technology field. Some questions individuals might consider include:

  • Is the program flexible enough to continue working full time? Unlike other fields, STEM professionals don’t have the luxury of putting a career on hold to pursue an MBA.
  • Is the program broad enough to cover several skills? Many technology specialists return to school because they’re lacking the business skills they need to advance professionally.
  • Are online options available? Online courses can eliminate burdens on a schedule and improve access to education.
  • Is an executive MBA appropriate? An EMBA lets professionals develop their leadership skills beyond what an MBA will offer.
  • Is the program in touch with current technology? Programs that reflect a technology-driven future will best prepare their participants.

How to Become a CTO with an Online MBA

Finding the time to get the knowledge and credentials to move forward can be tricky, but that’s where an online MBA shines. An online MBA can:

  • Deliver the information in a way that works for you. Whether business administration from a technical background without the vocabulary or tackling your greatest achievement, a good program will meet you where you are. 
  • Promote holistic business and leadership skills. Enjoy a well-rounded education that promotes long-term professional growth by exposing you to topics you might not have considered. 
  • Inspire networks and connections. Take advantage of the digital space to create a network to draw upon and connect with other professionals. 

Summary: Which Degree is Best for Your Career Growth?

As more and more companies embrace sophisticated technology, the position of CTO is growing in prominence. We’ve taken a closer look at what it takes to become one, and what sort of education potential executives can expect to pursue.  

The long road to becoming a CTO requires planning – it doesn’t happen overnight. However, with the right combination of skills and credentials, it lies within your reach.

How to Become a CFO: Responsibilities, Qualifications, and Career Tips

Ready to take that leap into one of the hottest roles in the boardroom? No matter your industry, opportunities abound for aspiring chief financial officers. This fast-paced, forward-thinking, and well-paid position will challenge and thrill you every single day.

We’ve got the ultimate guide on how to become a CFO right here.

Like all executive positions, becoming a CFO requires a commitment to the long-haul and careful planning along the way. We’ll help you figure out where you stand and what you need to do to accelerate your path forward while avoiding common pitfalls by making smart choices about your education and career experience. 

By the time you’re through, you’ll have the foundations for your strategy to secure that coveted executive position. Let’s get started!

CFOs Are in Demand: A Sunny, Competitive Career

If you’re envisioning your future as a CFO, make it a bright one.  

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, financial managers at every level have experienced a 16 percent growth rate in their job outlook since 2018, with that rate projected to stay steady through 2028. That’s four times the national average of similar careers, such as sales managers (5 percent) or even other executive roles (6 percent).

What does a highly skilled executive like the CFO earn? According to Indeed, the average salary is $138,374 per year (plus benefits). However, it’s possible to earn closer to $200,000 per year if you’re located in an area like New York City, where demand for CFOs is particularly high.

What Is a CFO? Responsibilities and Role

A CFO is the senior financial manager responsible for overseeing and managing the financial actions of a company. Like a treasurer or financial controller, CFOs often manage an organization’s finance or accounting departments.

However, unlike a controller, the CFO makes decisions that have an impact on the overall direction of the company. For example, a controller may review financial statements to audit them for accuracy and adherence to regulatory compliance. In contrast, the CFO reviews those same financial statements to analyze them before making recommendations to improve the company’s financial performance.

Nonetheless, you’ll sometimes see a CFO referred to as a top-level financial controller, where their primary responsibility lies in overseeing all cash flow and financial planning in an organization. 

The Duties of a CFO

As a CFO, you’ll wear many different hats throughout the day. Expect to:

  • Lead, direct, and manage the organization’s finance or accounting teams.
  • Advise the CEO or other executive members on the financial implications of business plans or current events.
  • Review formal finance, H.R., or IT-related financial procedures to enforce policies or internal controls.
  • Manage or oversee independent auditors.
  • Plan, execute and oversee upgrades to financial systems, processes, or technologies.
  • Relate with investors or shareholders to gain a deeper understanding of their needs and expectations.
  • Provide data-driven analyses and recommendations related to the financial goals of a company.

Who Does a CFO Manage?

Traditionally, the CFO heads the finance or accounting department. Here, you may manage a range of professionals, including:

  • Accountants
  • Controllers
  • Tax professionals
  • Analysts
  • Human resources
  • Investor relations specialists

However, any financial hierarchy within a company will fall under your leadership. In general, if any planning or analysis requires the input of an expert on the financial impacts, you can expect to be tapped for your advice.

The Skills & Qualifications of a CFO

Get ready to showcase your flexibility, adaptability, and willingness to be proactive in supporting sustainable growth. The CFO is one of the fastest evolving positions at the executive level thanks to rapidly advancing technology and shifting expectations about the way we do business.

But technology isn’t the only arena in which you’ll need to demonstrate competence. You’ll need a range of hard and soft skills to navigate your position effectively. You can break those skills down into four distinct categories:

1. Leadership and management skills. Almost everything you do as a CFO involves some form of leadership. Whether it’s managing a team to implement new financial infrastructure or getting other executives on board with a plan, understanding leadership fundamentals is crucial to success. 

2. Accounting skills. CFOs are expected to demonstrate technical expertise in accounting and financial topics. Additionally, you’ll need to have a solid grasp on abstract subjects that have concrete impacts in the business world, such as the time value of money.

3. Data skills. According to Deloitte, businesses increasingly expect CFOs to handle business and financial analytics, using it to make highly data-driven decisions. At least 18 percent of CEOs who responded to their survey believed those responsibilities belonged solely to CFOs.

4. Strategy skills. The CFO is responsible for laying the financial foundation to help a company reach its goals. Expect others to turn to you when it comes time to find that uncontested market space that makes competitive and financial sense. 

Deloitte identifies four key skill sets that CFOs must possess. They are:

  • Steward: Protects vital assets, closes the books correctly, ensures compliance.
  • Operator: Emphasizes efficiency and effectiveness in the organization’s finances. 
  • Strategist: Develops long-term plans to improve the company’s financial performance.
  • Catalyst: Drives business improvement initiatives to keep the company competitive.]

The Most Common Degrees for CFOs

You’ll need a bachelor’s degree to become a CFO. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the most common are finance, public accounting, economics, public administration, and business administration.

A master’s degree – usually in one of those same fields – also comes highly preferred due to the level of management you’ll demonstrate every day. Common master’s degrees include:

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Science in Accounting
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Accounting for Financial Analysts
  • Master of Accounting for Financial Managers

Getting an MBA Is a Very Smart Move

Strongly consider getting an MBA along the way. According to Russell Reynolds Associates, 62 percent of all CFOs hold advanced degrees, with the vast majority opting for an MBA. (Plus, executives possessing one can expect a pay bump by as much as 16 percent, according to research by Wayne State University in Detroit.)

However, an MBA is valuable because it increases the breadth of your business knowledge. Imagine trying to understand why a product is underperforming but having no grasp on whether it’s the product itself or the result of a failed marketing campaign.

Or, imagine leading a company restructuring to reduce overhead and improve cost-effectiveness, but proposing a recommendation that inadvertently cuts the company’s most valuable talent.

Both scenarios could break the company and end your career super-fast.

As a financial executive, your decisions and recommendations directly impact the course and wellbeing of the company. An MBA will help you expand your perspective to contextualize your decisions within the organization better.

Today, many different types of MBAs exist. Traditional MBAs can provide more hands-on guidance, while an online MBA is great for self-motivated people who want to work while they go to school. We’ve covered the advantages of each to help you determine which path is right for you. 

Here’s a list of just a few of the elite-level CFOs who have earned an MBA:

Consider an EMBA

MBAs are expected in the boardroom now. So, taking your education a step further can set you apart. An Executive MBA (EMBA) is specifically designed for mid-career professionals and entrepreneurs who want to keep working full-time while developing more advanced skills.

An EMBA curriculum is slightly different from a traditional MBA in that it emphasizes leadership and strategy skills in the context of a corporation. At the same time, you’ll still learn everything that you would in an MBA curriculum; an EMBA is explicitly geared towards professionals seeking an executive position. 

Do You Need to Become a CPA?

Technically no, but many CFOs started out as CPAs. The position requires a solid understanding of accounting, so it will give you an advantage. However, according to organizational consulting firm Korn Ferry, the percentage of CFOs who are also CPAs has fallen over the past decade. In 2014, some 46 percent of CFOs were certified public accountants. In 2019, that number had dropped to 36 percent.

A CFA Can Become a CFO

A chartered financial analyst shares some of the technical expertise of a CPA, but a CPA typically has a much stronger grasp on accounting, taxes, audits, and other skills a CFO needs. That said, if you’re a CFA, you’ll stand the best chance at becoming a CFO by pairing your current degrees and certifications with an MBA. To take this route, look for an MBA program with a strong emphasis on accounting fundamentals to gain the technical skills you’ll need.

The CFO Career Path

If serving as a CFO is on your professional bucket list, be prepared for the long-haul. According to one interview with a CFO, potential prospects typically have around 10 years of related background and experience before seeking the position. If you’re laying out your career planning early in your professional development, you can take steps to accelerate your trajectory – such as picking out a business school with a proven track record in helping students achieve their career goals faster.

How to Become a CFO

Attaining the top position in the financial role takes careful preparation. Whether you’re just starting or are looking to advance your career, here are a few tips to help you out.

1. Choose Your Degrees Wisely

You’ll need a bachelor’s degree. Most likely, you’ll also need an advanced degree to carry you forward. Pay special attention to degrees and programs that give you a solid grasp in accounting plus other financial skills. 

Your competition probably has an MBA, but remember that not all MBAs are created equal. Check out the differences between an online MBA and an advanced EMBA right here. 

2. Gain Broad Financial Experience

Actively choose jobs that broaden your financial experience. In addition to accounting, consider positions that demonstrate budgeting, analysis, risk management, investing, and more. The more well-rounded you are, the stronger candidate you become.

You can do this in a variety of jobs, or you can work your way through one company. If the former, it’s wise to stay in the same industry to deepen that experience as well. Many people also pursue a CPA license for this purpose.

3. Take on Roles that Expand Your Skillset

You’ll need to know more than just finances. Look for opportunities to widen your customer service experience, business and operational expertise, technological literacy, and leadership skills.

4. Join a career network.

Career networks can put you in touch with the right people when you’re ready to become a CFO. Join one sooner than later to begin forming connections. Consider the presence of network opportunities when you pursue your MBA or advanced degree. Some programs have career networks which you can leverage while you study.

5. Pursue Board-Readiness Training

Done everything above? Think about sharpening yourself with a board-readiness program. Deloitte recommends that professionals seeking an executive position attend board-specific training to develop a deeper understanding of what’s expected of you in the C-suite.

Summary: How to Become a Great CFO

The Chief Financial Officer is a staple in the board room, playing a vital role in keeping the company compliant and profitable. Yet, the route to achieving that coveted role can seem confusing, leading many people to feel as though it remains just out of reach. 

With the right preparation and strategy, you can absolutely become a CFO. We’ve outlined what it takes to become one, the skills you will need, and provided some pointers in the steps you can take right now no matter where you are in your career. 

Happy advancing!

becoming a CFO. Read the case study now

Online MBA vs Traditional; Pros, Cons, Employer Outlook

An MBA will change your career—and your life—for the better. 

You can leverage it to achieve promotions, a wealth of new job opportunities, a paradigm-shifting career change, or an increase in salary. For others, an MBA is a springboard for their entrepreneurial efforts.

But choosing the right one is key.

There are a lot of options. Sifting through them is overwhelming. Especially as exciting new options emerge.

The most exciting new option is a fully Online MBA. 

While an online MBA often sounds attractive to students in our increasingly flexible, digital-first, and remote-friendly workplace, many business professionals wonder if it’s a smart choice. 

Will potential employers take my online degree seriously?

Do traditional MBA’s actually offer more networking opportunities?

We’ll clear up some common myths and misconceptions in this article. 

To help you decide between a brick-and-mortar business school and an online MBA, we’ll go through some of the main differences between the two. From cost comparisons and admissions requirements to employers’ opinions of each one. 

We will also introduce you to Quantic’s innovative free online MBA program and online Executive MBA program. More specifically, how they overcome any concerns you may currently have.

Online MBA vs Traditional (On Campus) MBA – What’s the difference?

When it comes to an MBA program, many potential graduate business students think of a traditional, on-campus MBA at a brick-and-mortar school. There are over 1,000 MBA programs in the United States. Some are full-time, while others are part-time, often offering classes on nights and weekends.

But, just like the world of business itself, MBA programs are changing rapidly. There are now over 330 online MBAs offered in the U.S. Many of these programs are affiliated with long-standing, top-tier business schools, while others are completely digital degrees that approach online learning in a variety of ways — some more effective than others. 

There is a clear trend towards online learning. Applications for campus based MBA’s over the last two years fell. While demand is growing for online programs. 

No one knows if this trend will continue. But we do know that we live in an unstable world. One that has already become more digitized after CoVid-19. There are now more remote workers than ever before. MBA’s may continue to follow suit.

Despite their differences there is one big similarity.

All accredited programs are rigorous and intellectually demanding. Period.

Both tend to have similar educational requirements and similar coursework. 

Quantic’s free online MBA program, for example, includes courses in accounting, finance, leadership, marketing, supply chain and operations, data analysis and decision-making, strategy and innovation, economics, and entrepreneurship. 

Meanwhile, Quantic’s online executive MBA (EMBA) program adds additional coursework in operations management, corporate strategy and other areas of study that help working, mid-career professionals level up their leadership skills. These curriculum paths are comparable to those you’ll see at any top-tier business program, whether online or on-campus. 

Ok – now that’s out of the way, let’s dive into some pros and cons…

Online MBA Pros and Cons

As a business professional, you already know the best way to make a tough decision is through a cost-benefit analysis. So let’s examine the pros and cons of getting an online MBA vs. those of an on-campus master’s in business administration degree. 

Online MBA Pros

The biggest reason that many students choose an online MBA is flexibility. Unlike traditional MBA programs, whether full- or part-time, most online graduate business degrees allow you to work on your own time, from anywhere. While some classes may be synchronous, most online MBAs are incredibly flexible. 

This learning environment is ideal for working professionals who don’t want to quit their already lucrative jobs or satisfying careers to bolster their education. It’s also perfect for students with other family responsibilities and obligations, such as spouses and kids.

If you’re an especially ambitious, self-motivated person, you’ll also appreciate the efficiency of an online MBA program. 

Most traditional full-time MBA programs take around two years to complete, while part-time MBA programs take around four years. By contrast, online MBA programs tend to be shorter, ranging from a year to 18 months in many cases. Quantic’s MBA is just 10 months and the EMBA takes 12 months to complete. 

Online MBA programs also tend to be more technology-driven, which in turn can help you develop your own technical acumen and understanding of the digital marketplace. 

For example, Quantic’s interactive software offers interactive feedback every eight seconds and allows you to work at your own pace in a mobile-first online environment. This fluid-yet-structured approach to learning customizes your educational experience as you go along. 

Online MBA Disadvantages

One disadvantage of an online MBA program is a lack of in-person community and connection. Students often benefit from in-person conversations with peers and instructors, whether in terms of academic collaboration or socializing. 

Another common objection to an online MBA is a smaller pool of networking contacts. Most brick-and-mortar graduate business programs offer happy hour networking events, Q&As, and career fairs throughout the year. Many potential online business students worry they might miss out on these crucial opportunities to launch their careers and expand their professional circles.

Quantic’s online MBA addresses this common problem proactively in three ways.

  1. Online network and collaboration 

Students connect with peers around the world via our interactive network. Ambitious, driven people from 80 countries and counting…

You and your cohorts will move along your curriculum sequence together, actively collaborating on group projects, case studies, and assignments as you go.

  1. Offline Events

“Extracurriculars” and social events are also available in Quantic’s MBA. Virtual and in-person meetups, both online and around the world, will allow you to rub shoulders with your classmates, instructors, and established alumni students. 

The Executive MBA also offers multiple weekend-long conferences held in cities around the world. These conferences provide opportunities for students to meet face-to-face with peers during workshops, case studies, and meetings with local business leaders. Recent conferences were held in Washington, DC, Dublin, and Singapore. 

Here’s what one looks like…

  1. Career Network

You get access to a built-in Career Network. Top-tier employers use it to recruit our students and alumni. It serves as a career hub for graduates. MBA grads’ profiles stay active, so employers can browse alumni profiles whether they’re already employed or not. 

Here are a few of the companies our grads work at…

Traditional On-Campus MBA Pros

Traditional on-campus MBA programs often appeal to students who need or want a little more structure and hands-on guidance. Students just out of an undergraduate business program, for example, might prefer the additional in-person attention offered by a brick-and-mortar school, as well as the familiar daily routine of face-to-face classes. 

Brick-and-mortar business schools also have the opportunity to offer more bells and whistles when it comes to activities, facilities, and clubs. If you love the idea of getting together with your cohorts every week for dinner, for example, or catching up with your colleagues at the on-campus gym, the community of an on-campus environment might be more your style when selecting an MBA program. 

Traditional On-Campus MBA Disadvantages

Of course, the most significant disadvantage of on-campus MBA programs is the lack of flexibility. 

If you have a family at home, existing business obligations, or a burgeoning career, it can be difficult to justify starting a full-time MBA program. Even part-time MBA programs can be draining, as you’ll have to work your schedule around theirs (not the other way around) and possibly take on a frustrating commute.

On-campus MBA programs often also lack the cultural and demographic diversity of online programs. On-campus MBA students tend to be younger on average, for example, and there aren’t as many international students at any given on-campus program. 

Working alongside and learning from diverse colleagues can help you build your cultural competency, leadership, and collaboration skills. It can also position you to take on an increasingly global marketplace with more confidence and finesse.

Online MBA vs Traditional MBA Comparison (table)

Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty details of how an on-campus MBA program differs from an online MBA with a point-by-point comparison of typical student demographics, average tuition cost, average salary growth after graduation, and more. 

Online
MBA
Other Top Programs

Traditional
MBA
Other Top Programs
Quantic 
Programs
Sources
Avg Age on Entry332730 US NEWS
Avg Years Work Experience844 US NEWS
Avg Cost$23,918 average cost at a regionally accredited university
— $36,166 average cost at AACSB online business schools
— $11,972 average cost at nationally accredited online business schools
vary between programs, but roughly the same as onlineMBA: Free
EMBA: $9,600
GETEDUCATED.COM
Princeton
Review
Avg Time to Complete1-2 years1-3 years1 yearPRINCETON REVIEW
Avg Salary Growth22%23%US NEWS
% Requiring GMAT/GRE Score54.6%94%US NEWS

Cost

Online and traditional MBA programs vary widely, but usually they are broadly comparable. A nationally accredited online business school usually costs around $11,972 per year, while AACSB online business schools cost around $36,166 in annual tuition. 

Due to Quantic’s “flipped” tuition model, free online MBA students don’t pay to be recruited by potential employers. Instead, employers pay to recruit them. Meanwhile, Quantic’s executive MBA cost comes in at just $9,600, with employee reimbursement and scholarship options available. 

Completion Time

Traditional MBA programs, as we described earlier, take around two years to complete. Accelerated programs may take 18 months or even a year, while some programs take up to three years. Part-time programs may take four or more years to complete.

Many online programs take slightly less time to complete than on-campus programs, making them a more efficient choice in many cases if you want to get the ball rolling on your business career faster. Quantic’s free online MBA and EMBA programs take 10 and 12 months to complete, respectively. 

Average Salary Growth 

Average salary growth for both traditional and online MBA students varies widely. Still, it’s clear that the available data suggests that online MBA students tend to see a substantial return on their investment. 

Online MBA students report an average of 22% salary increase after graduation (for Quantic it’s 23%).

These salary bumps usually come through a promotion or raise at an existing company, a lateral move to a higher-paying job at the same level, or by taking on a higher position in a new industry. 

Admissions Requirements

One of the main concerns some employers might have about students with an online MBA is that online MBA programs tend to be less selective than traditional ones. 

You might wonder, for example, “Do I need a GMAT for my MBA?” The answer varies by program. Only 54.6% of online graduate business programs require GMAT/GRE scores from applicants. Meanwhile, a whopping 94% of conventional MBA programs require GMAT/GRE scores from their prospective students. 

The requirements for test scores and undergraduate GPAs are also sometimes a little more lax when it comes to online business schools. This contrast can worry some employers, who might think that the lack of selectivity of a school suggests less dedication and rigor in an applicant. 

But Quantic’s free online MBA and its Executive MBA are highly selective, admitting only a small percentage of applicants each year. And around 80% of Quantic’s free online MBA students graduated from top-30 undergraduate institutions (including Harvard, Duke, Stanford, UPenn, to name a few ..).  

In turn, the program’s selectivity translates into higher completion rates, more engaged (and more impressive) colleagues and network contacts, and higher perceived value by employers. 

What do Employers Think of an Online MBA?

Many prospective MBA students think an online MBA sounds like the ideal fit for them in terms of their schedule and learning style. But some worry that employers won’t take an online MBA program seriously. 

Luckily, the available data doesn’t suggest that to be the case. In fact, some employers consider an online MBA to be an asset in that it showcases a student’s independent, autonomous approach to learning and their mastery of technology. 

Kathryn Lee, human resources director for North America at Fiat Chrysler, told Seb Murray at the Financial Times in 2018 that most employers now considered online MBA students to be just as competitive as traditional students. 

“Online MBA students are equally as competitive as those attending classes on campus” 

Lee added that online students’ drive to succeed and excellent time management skills illustrated their ambitious nature and commitment. “They display qualities that are important in people we hire — a strong work ethic, project management and critical thinking skills,” she said of online MBA grads in the same interview. 

According to Jordan Friedman at U.S. News and World Report, many employers think far more about an online business school’s coursework, reputation, and opportunities for student-faculty interaction than about the format in which classes are delivered. That’s why it’s so crucial to ensure the MBA program you choose has ample opportunities for networking, collaboration, and interactive learning.

Many employers who have recruited MBA grads through Quantic’s Career Network see an online MBA from a reputable school as proof an applicant is creative, adaptive, and flexible. 

Greg Buechler, a talent acquisition specialist, shared his thoughts about the value of Quantic’s MBA for employers.

“Quantic has allowed us to hire executive talent from around the world in the shortest time I have ever experienced in my 30 years of recruiting,” he said. “I am almost unwilling to share this gem of a tool!” 

Overall, the higher salaries enjoyed by online MBA grads and the growing demand for online business schools indicates that there’s no shortage of employers who view online business degrees favorably. According to Jonathan Moules at the Financial Times, online business school growth is far outpacing that of traditional MBA programs. As the workplace becomes increasingly digital, higher education in business administration is following suit. 

Summary – Which Degree for Your Career Growth?

Both traditional and online MBA programs can expand your career opportunities substantially. In addition to providing you with the critical thinking skills and key knowledge you’ll need to move up in your existing business career or launch a new one, an MBA program can bolster your confidence as a leader and widen your network of contacts. 

Traditional MBA programs are sometimes preferable for students who require more structure and guidance. Some traditional graduate business programs offer more on-campus facilities and activities. However, they are not as flexible as most online MBA programs, and they tend to attract younger students with less work experience on average.

Meanwhile, online MBA programs like the ones offered at Quantic are best for self-motivated, independent thinkers who work well at their own pace. They can also benefit students who want to complete a graduate business degree faster, who have family or work obligations they can’t interrupt, or who thrive in a flexible, technology-driven learning environment. 
Interested in learning more about how Quantic’s online MBA program can be a game-changer in your business career? Read on to learn how Quantic’s disruptive approach to learning and global scope helped one student become a Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient.

An App A Day Keeps Boredom at Bay

The coronavirus has a lot of us sitting around the house these days, scrolling through our phones or tablets. Skimming Instagram and Twitter have become common ways to pass the time, and while you may not think more screen time is the answer to the quarantine blues, some apps are proving to have benefits for the mind, body, and improving daily life. Quantic students have developed apps that help make dinner possible, ease anxiety, and get you back on track with your fitness goals during this crisis. 

Kyoo

In direct response to the global COVID-19 crisis, Quantic MBA Alum, Albert Brown, and his team launched Kyoo Curbside. Kyoo has helped hundreds of businesses rapidly set up online ordering with no-contact, curbside pickup orders. Because of its popularity, it was fast-tracked by Square to become an official ordering partner and it is now the only free product listed. Merchants can set up their store in a snap. Items import automatically from their Square menu and they can accept orders right away. Customers can place orders on mobile, web, kiosk, or simply by text message. They receive instant text message updates to keep them moving through the queue and provide clear instructions to get their order fulfilled. 

Hero Trainer

Staying home? Stay active! Quantic MBA Alum, Yash Jain, developed Hero Trainer to help us reach our fitness goals. The mobile app allows users to earn rewards in their favorite video games for exercising. A little walk around the house, or on the treadmill can earn people premium paid reward codes. The app tracks your steps on a walk or run. You earn points for each step and exchange those for reward codes to your favorite games.

Mooditude

We could all use a little mood boost to help cope with quarantine. EMBA Learner, Kamran Qamar, developed a clinically designed self-help app for depression and anxiety. Mooditude helps you identify and change your thinking using transformative Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). For lasting cure, you can build mood-lifting habits using goals and routines. When you feel stuck, go deep and find solutions to your specific problem within the dozens of psychiatrist developed programs. 

It’s exciting and uplifting to see our students take action and find ways to stay productive, engaged, and mindful while life — in some respects — stands still. Here’s to those who #ChangeTheCourse. 

Blankets: Not Just for Snuggling

When we think of blankets, we often think of cozy nights and hot chocolate. But what if they had the power to change the course of healthcare technology, especially during the coronavirus pandemic? Executive MBA student, Olivia Lin, had this exact same thought. She wanted to combine her strong tech background and desire to create textiles with a purpose. Olivia and fellow EMBA student, Edward Shim, soon launched their start-up, Studio 1 Labs, specializing in cutting-edge textile technology. 

Their first product? A “smart” bed sheet that can be used in hospitals to monitor patients’ vitals. This has been crucial during the COVID-19 crisis because it continuously monitors for respiratory distress. The bed sheet detects respiratory patterns and transmits the data to a computer terminal for healthcare workers. With advanced data accuracy and analytics, this technology can also predict the onset of health decline and emergencies like apnea, heart attack and stroke.

Olivia is originally from Taipei, Taiwan and grew up in Canada. She studied psychology at the University of Toronto, and earned a Master’s and later a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from the University of Waterloo. While studying psychology, Olivia was drawn to subject matter known as Human Factors, a field focused on the application of psychology in society.

When asked how and why she made the transition from psychology to starting a textile tech company, Olivia laughed — the transition even surprised her. She had a friend who worked in textile technology and saw how she combined fabric, art, and modern technology to create clothing with a purpose. This sparked Olivia’s interest and curiosity and she asked for her friend’s help in learning how to sew fabrics infused with tech. 

While completing her Ph.D., Olivia met Edward, and her hobby soon turned into a business idea as the two began researching the commercialization of fabric sensor technology. They had identified a growing trend in healthcare of using everyday objects as tools for monitoring vitals and felt that textiles might just be the perfect canvas for such a device. This kind of application had particular relevance to Edward, who, when serving in the military, sustained an injury which left him experiencing respiratory issues. He was well aware of the processes in place for patients to have their breathing monitored and knew there had to be a better way. Both he and Olivia saw a need for improvement in this space and after enlisting the help of a few more colleagues, Studio 1 Labs was born.

“There was a lot of exploration and experimentation and finally we found an application that really works,” said Olivia.

Studio 1 Labs’ fabric sensor bed sheets are a glimpse at the future of health technology. These sensors monitor a patient’s respiration pattern, location, movement, and prolonged pressure. The patient does little more than lie in bed and his or her vitals are measured and reported. This is especially important for elderly patients, who are less able to adjust their lives for doctors to gather the data they need to make an informed diagnosis and treatment plan.

Beyond product development, Olivia had also recognized the need to increase her knowledge of business and strategy. This is when she decided to pursue an Executive MBA. With Studio 1 Labs having locations in both Canada and Taiwan, Olivia was constantly traveling and Quantic’s mobile-first design enabled her to learn no matter where she was. 

“Being an entrepreneur, I felt like I had gaps in my knowledge and I couldn’t keep pace in conversations with executives and potential partners to the degree I needed to. I wanted more of the knowledge that would enable me to carry on and lead these conversations.” said Olivia.

Olivia’s impressive efforts in creating this business have not gone unrecognized. She was featured by Girls in Tech Taiwan 40 Under 40 and Studio 1 Labs won the Markham Board of Trade Aspire Startup Award in 2018. Outside of being the Executive Director of Studio 1 Labs, Olivia was a mentor for the City of Waterloo’s initiative, Girls in STEAM, a program that promoted tech and other STEAM careers to local girls to spark their interest at a young age. Olivia now lives in Taiwan, as she continues her rewarding (and challenging) entrepreneurial journey and helps to continue to #ChangeTheCourse of healthcare technology. 

Survey: Quantic Students Respond about Effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Employment Outlook

How the Covid-19 pandemic is impacting the employment market for our community.

What we did

Quantic School of Business and Technology conducted a survey with students and alumni to better understand how the Covid-19 pandemic is impacting our community in regards to the employment market. Our goals were twofold: to better understand how and to what extent the pandemic is affecting our community, and to identify any strategies that could be of use. Here are our findings. Note: percentages reported below have been rounded to the nearest whole number. 

Who responded

Our community is particularly aware of and involved in the employment market — one of the main reasons people undertake an MBA program is to move up in their career or enter a new field. And because of the level of seniority and achievement of our students and alumni, many are involved on the hiring side as well. We sent this survey out to 5,000 Quantic students and alumni, and heard back from 1,743 of them.

25% (443) were exclusively seeking employment
25% (433) were exclusively hiring 
10% (177)  were involved in both activities
39% (685) were involved in neither

We got broad industry representation with respondents from agriculture and the arts to travel, transportation and telecom.  

What we learned

Sentiment

Overall, there was a drastic shift in how people feel about the state of the employment market. 

The numbers have flipped: Prior to the pandemic, over 60% were optimistic about the market; after, that number has dropped to less than 10%.  Prior to the pandemic, less than 10% were pessimistic; that number has soared to over 60%.

While that is a dramatic change, there are nuances as well: 

  • 18% of respondents didn’t change their overall opinion of the market (between 15 – 22 percent for each segment). 
  • A very small percentage, 3.3%, revised their opinions favorably, going from pessimistic to optimistic or neutral, or from neutral to optimistic. 
  • Those that were not actively involved in either hiring or seeking had the highest percentage of negatively revised opinions at 85% going from optimistic to neutral or pessimistic, or neutral to pessimistic. 

When asked to comment on this there was a wide range of responses – here are a few insights. Note: quotes below lightly edited for spelling, grammar, and clarity:

Analytic Observations

  • I believe Covid-19 will affect the job market globally. Home working could help cross country hiring and balance/reduce the global unemployment rate. Exceptional times require exceptional measures.
  • I believe we will have to adapt to the new normal and that presents the opportunity for us to re-think our mid to long term strategy and innovate accordingly.
  • I felt the job market before the pandemic was already heavily over-extended. In my opinion, it was artificial and unnatural for a bull market to rage on for ten years with no significant correction. For over a year, I was convinced a recession was going to happen but did not know what would be the catalyst for it.

Emerging Economies

  •  In West Africa, there’s a high probability of decreased funding in the immediate future to areas of public health and social intervention.
  • Personally, I feel this pandemic has come at a time when Kenya is already economically on its knees. This virus has killed our hopes of recovering from our former status, and we are expecting very many deaths due to starvation and suicide.
  • While I anticipate that developed countries will be fine in a few months, I feel developing countries (South Africa, Nigeria and India especially) will be suffering the effects of this pandemic for years to come. 

Work/Life

  • It seems like parents are having an extra hard time with children at home and still trying to work. Schools here are having us home school so it takes a lot of time and energy. Productivity is down and stress is very high. It makes work and school difficult.

Industry Specific Insights

  • Our industry (management consulting / leadership training) has been hit hard. Especially at smaller consulting firms, we’re seeing a lot of lost revenue and layoffs as corporations are pulling from training budgets to shore up core operations in this downturn. 
  • Our information technology field is much better than other markets and even possibilities to glow providing the solution during/after the Covid-19 problem. 
  • Staying in healthcare I feel optimistic. Potentially switching careers I feel less optimistic. Overall, at peace. 
  • The spread of the virus will change business dynamics, especially in the segments of the traditional heavy industry as steel for instance. The virus will also weigh on the overall economy much more than the 2008 crisis. 
  • My law firm provides services to Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, and high-net-worth individuals. We expect a downturn over the coming weeks (perhaps months) in demand for our services. This will therefore impact the need for professionally qualified staff. 
  • Within the food industry, it’s going to be a very steep uphill battle to get things back to the way they were.  

Strategy

  • We are a startup. We now aim to be self-sustainable rather than grow quickly because of the VC climate.
  • There is clearly a lot of unknown and I fully expect companies will either wait out or reevaluate their business model and roles needed to support it.
  • We realigned expectations and targets. The hiring policy reflects this, resulting in significantly reduced hiring for Q2 and Q3. We review strategy quarterly and depending on the situation in the coming months, further changes can happen, positive or negative.

Noticeable change in activity

The events are also altering how people interact. For seekers, 74% have noticed a change in hiring processes, including interview delays or cancellations, lack of announcements, or virtual interviews. Of the 428* people in that group, 24% of those who were seeking employment have decided to pause their search. 

On the hiring side, 53% have seen slowed activity, either putting hiring on hold, canceling interviews, or instituting a hiring freeze. 

Hiring Observations

  • With so much current uncertainty we are not making any major changes. We are taking a wait-and-see approach and minimizing expenses.
  • Our company (1500+) has instituted a hiring freeze, as have many others. Smaller firms in the industry are furloughing staff.
  • I am a hiring manager and have been told by my company that junior/associate level positions are on hold (I have one open position that has been temporarily frozen) until the “shelter in place” order is lifted and we can return to the office. Higher-level positions may still be filled, but all interviews will be over video calls.
  • Overall, I am very apprehensive to hire because I do not know the long term effects. 

What can you do?

This data doesn’t exist in a vacuum. While the volatility is obvious and there’s been a clear change in sentiment, here are some ways we can apply what we’ve learned to benefit ourselves and the Quantic community. 

Know you’re not alone.

One of the most important findings is that this is happening to everyone — even those who aren’t actively looking or hiring have felt the impact. 60%, of our community is directly impacted, and the other 40% are also noticing significant changes in the market. 

Many of the comments express similar thoughts around the changes that are taking place, including delays in interviews, hiring freezes, and slowdown in overall market activity. Even if you are negatively affected by what’s happening, it’s not just you. 

Leverage the network

If and when you become aware of opportunities, share them widely. You never know who’s looking or who you might be able to help. If you hear of something you think might be a perfect fit for someone in particular, let them know about it, even if you’re not aware they’re on the market. You never know if they are looking for an opportunity. In addition to your regular channels, you can share opportunities and reach out directly to Quantic classmates and alumni in the online student portal.

Prepare for opportunity. 

There is still some activity happening: 15% of those who are involved in hiring indicated that they have not changed anything in regards to hiring or are still hiring as usual, and in a follow-up survey, 14% of respondents have increased the rate of hiring or are backfilling positions due to quarantine during this time. If you do want or need to make a change, do what you can to optimize yourself as a candidate. 

  • Research the market. Analyze job announcements in your field and identify the core competencies that are in high demand. Review your history for ways that you’ve demonstrated those skills in your career.
  • Update your resume. Make sure your Quantic career profile, resume, and LinkedIn profile are up to date, and draft a cover letter that you can customize as needed. 
  • Professional Development. If you have an experience or skill gap, now might be the time to fill it through education, or volunteering for a project at work to learn a particular technique (Remote project execution – check!)
  • Proactively contact your references. It’s always easier to reach out ahead of time, stay in touch and catch up without pressure so that there’s no rush when the time comes. 

If you have any questions about this survey, or ideas for Quantic that you’d like to share, please get in touch


* Percentage based on round one of survey respondents