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The Top 4 Undergraduate Majors for a Career in Business Intelligence.

Labor Day is over and students are back in college. The smart ones know that a career in data analysis will ensure their education will be put to use for the foreseeable future. But the question remains, what is the best major for a career in business intelligence?

This question was recently posed on Reddit, with several users giving valuable advice and interesting answers:

One consultant said, “I recently graduated with a business information systems degree. I have found it extremely helpful because it gives you a general sense of how a business works and what a lot of things mean. But it also gave me enough tech knowledge to be competent.”

Another consultant concurred, “I’m also a consultant who majored inManagement Information Systems with a minor in Information Sciences & Tech (to get a sprinkling of extra tech classes). If I could go back I would have hopped on the Supply Chain program as well. There aren’t enough people in it (a lot of students don’t know [what] it is) but there’s a huge demand.”

Another Redditor said, “I graduated this past May with a B.A. in intelligence studies. I second that getting as much experience in tech as you can will be most beneficial in your career search. Most companies I’ve looked at care more about knowing SQL and Oracle than if you took any business classes.”

On the other hand, there is a case for learning business and letting the technical skills follow. One Redditor shares his counterpoint, “People I know who have been successful in this field have had more business acumen than technical skills, the technical skills can be learned, and you don’t need to be the master of them. So I think it is wise to take abusiness focused second major… Given that, having SQL/Oracle or any database skills is a huge résumé point. I don’t think you need to major in computer science, but doing some self taught work or independent courses would be great. Just so I know if hired, you would be able to write a query by yourself right out of the gate.”

So, the best majors are:

  • Business Information Systems

  • Management Information Systems

  • B.A. in Intelligence Studies

  • Business/Finance Degree, with self-taught SQL or Oracle.

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