Q

Is it risky to take a business intelligence consulting job at a startup?

One reader asks our career expert if it is wise to a business intelligence consulting job at a startup. Read Matt Mueller's advice on how to use this experience to build a BI career.

I have an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and am a recent MBA in marketing. I am interested in knowing more about how to build a career in the business intelligence (BI)/data warehousing (DW) market. Though I should admit I am not a great fan of software coding, I feel BI is a growing niche and I think I could make a good career out of it.

I was recently approached to join a start-up firm who are into DW/BI consulting. I am circumspect about the whole

thing since this would be a major career switch for me. I would appreciate your advice.

I agree that BI is a great field to be a part of, and even though the economy is slow, our recovery will create even more opportunities for BI professionals. Use this time to really build your skills in the BI space. If your "gut" tells you this start-up is going to be successful, it could be a great introduction into BI since it appears BI is its focus. BI is not all about programming -- there are many other roles that interface with the business. Also remember you have an MBA and prior work experience -- that will be helpful if you find out that you don't enjoy the BI space.
This was first published in March 2009

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