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Business intelligence careers in management information systems

I'm a business graduate and I want to eventually have a career in business intelligence (BI). I am planning to pursue an MBA. Could you please let me know which specialization you suggest I choose that would help me build a strong foundation for a BI career? I am planning to end up in either finance or information systems.

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Going into the business intelligence (BI) field is an excellent career choice. If there is a specialization in management information systems (MIS), I would go in that direction. Leaders in BI need to have a strong technology foundation but also need to have excellent business skills. If there is not a specialization in MIS, go with a finance concentration and make sure you take elective classes in information systems.

After you complete your MBA and if you have the ability to travel, I would suggest looking for a position with a major consulting firm. Look for a firm that has a strong BI practice. Gartner has a Magic Quadrant for BI consulting firms. Consulting will get you exposure to multiple technologies and industries. Otherwise, focus on companies that have complex and/or large data.

Good luck in your business intelligence career endeavors.

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This was first published in July 2008

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