“Big Data” Defines Next Generation Jobs

Jun 21, 2012
Tags: Career, Integrated Reasoning, MBA, Official GMAT

If you are reading this blog post YOU are part of the data explosion that is transforming the nature of global commerce and training yourself to handle multiple sources of information to make decisions. 

Every time you use Facebook, Twitter, Google, the Web, YouTube, a tablet device, a mobile phone, GPS, email, or any digital social media platform to communicate, make purchases, or conduct business, you are maneuvering the virtual tsunami of data bytes washing across the globe. [It’s estimated there are more than 2.5 quintillion data bytes a day of “big data” moving among us.][i], [ii] 

With so much information, there’s increasing demand in both private industry and public policy arenas for MBA and master’s graduates with the analytical and decision-making skills needed to process what’s critical and evaluate these multiple information streams.

Wanted: Millions of Good Decision Makers 

For companies to realize the potential benefits of big data they need managers who have the ability to sift through information, solve business problems, and strategize. But companies are facing a shortage of such management talent. According to a McKinsey & Co. study conducted last year, the United States alone will face a shortage in 2018 of 140,000 to 190,000 people with the deep analytical skills needed for processing big data as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how to make decisions based on their analysis.[iii] 

Graduate business schools and management programs have always been a key source of such talent and many have responded to the rapidly changing business environment by including more academic offerings based on data analytics, aka business intelligence, to ensure their graduating students can help meet the looming talent gap. 

Test Your Big Data Skills 

Your success in the workplace of tomorrow hinges mightily on your performance in the classroom today. The skills measured on the recently introduced Integrated Reasoning (IR) section of the GMAT exam represent the requisite analytical training and knowledge you will need to grow and succeed in a data-rich world. The IR section of the GMAT exam was developed over several years with your future in mind, based on feedback from 740 b-school faculty worldwide who identified skills important to the academic success of today’s incoming students. We know these skills that are now being tested in the GMAT exam with Integrated Reasoning are critical to your future success: Management programs want students who can bring these skills to the classroom, and employers worldwide agree that the skills match their talent needs. The vast majority of the 636 global corporate recruiters we surveyed in February told us the four specific IR skills that the GMAT exam now measures are “very important” skills for their new business hires to have. (See details in the graphic below.)

  Integrated Reasoning Skills Employers Value

Discover, Innovate, and Create With Data 

There’s no denying we live in an information-based economy. To succeed in it, you need to be adept not only at managing massive amounts of information, but also at determining what is relevant, knowing how to incorporate it into strategic decision-making and problem-solving, and building off of it to develop new products, improve service and productivity, and possibly create new jobs and businesses. This is true no matter where you chart your career path, be it in banking, consulting, IT, manufacturing, health care, government policy, or marketing. 

You are the “next generation” of business leaders. So, use the GMAT exam as your ticket to the future. Challenge yourself to put your best self forward and show schools and future employers you have what it takes to succeed in the classroom and on the job. Visit the Integrated Reasoning section of mba.com to learn more.


[i] http://www-01.ibm.com/software/data/bigdata/
[ii] World Economic Forum. (January 2012). Big Data, Big Impact: New Possibilities for International Development, Geneva, Switzerland: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_TC_MFS_BigDataBigImpact_Briefing_2012.pdf. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
[iii]Manyika, J., Chui, M., Brown, B., Bughin, J., Dobbs R., Roxburgh, C., & Hung Byers, A. (May 2011). Big Data: The Next Frontier for Innovation, Competition, and Productivity. McKinsey Global Institute (MGI). Retrieved June 13, 2012 at: http://www.mckinsey.com/Insights/MGI/Research/Technology_and_Innovation/Big_data_The_next_frontier_for_innovation
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