Opening new career doors with the Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics
6 Min Read
La Trobe University’s Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics has proven to be highly effective for individuals seeking to upskill or reskill in the dynamic field of business analytics. Elise Cafe, a motivated and driven financial services industry professional, is currently enrolled in the program and just halfway through her studies has already leveraged her progress to secure a new role as a business analyst (BA).
Using a graduate certificate to further your career
Having previously worked on many systems upgrades and company efficiency enhancement projects as a subject matter expert alongside BAs, Elise was drawn to the problem solving and critical thinking elements of business analytics.
‘You think outside the box and think laterally to see if perhaps there’s a better way of doing what you’re doing,’ Elise said. ‘I think a BA does a lot of that – kind of puts all the pieces together and then comes up with the best solution.’
For Elise, being a BA goes beyond implementing technical fixes; it involves understanding the contextual intricacies of the entire business and leveraging that knowledge to drive optimal outcomes.
‘Long term, I’d like to be a bridge between the two sides of the problem, so that everyone gets the least possible amount of frustration out of the solution that we come to. There’s no perfect solution, I absolutely understand that – I’m not going in with rose-coloured glasses, just mildly tinted ones – but reaching the least frustrating solution is my goal or my aspiration for the role,’ Elise said.
Why choose a Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics?
Deciding that business analytics might be for her was a gradual process for Elise, who first started to research pathways she could take to segue into the BA career path three or four years ago. Elise wanted specifically to bridge her technical knowledge gap, but at that time, there weren’t many courses available at the tertiary level; she found that the available options were limited to smaller group training courses.
It was during the long nights after the arrival of her new baby nine months ago that Elise revisited the idea of upskilling, while she was on maternity leave from her role as a distribution operations manager in financial services.
‘I was doing a lot of doom-scrolling or googling; there’s just so much time spent on your phone in the middle of the night. I knew I wanted to study business analytics, so I was just constantly googling certificates and diplomas and master’s programs. So, I knew I wanted to do the certificate that way,’ Elise said.
Why La Trobe University online?
When considering which institution to pursue her studies, Elise researched various certificate programs, landing on La Trobe’s Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics due to its positive ratings on job portals like Seek. It was crucial for Elise to choose a program that offered practical and relevant knowledge applicable to the daily work of a BA.
‘[La Trobe] had good ratings around what you learned in the certificate actually being relevant for the technical aspects of the job in play. It’s not just a load of theory that you might someday touch on briefly; it’s actually relevant to what you’re going to do on a day-to-day basis, which, when you’re changing fields or moving fields a little bit, is definitely appealing, so you don’t go in completely new,’ Elise said.
‘I looked at the experience of the students and how easy it was to apply because I was doing it on my phone. [The application process] was super straightforward, all the systems have been really easy to navigate and use and mobile friendly, so that’s been wonderful.’
Bridging knowledge gaps
In terms of bridging her technical gap, Elise said that the two subjects she has completed, Data Wrangling and Visual Analytics, were highly technical in nature and ‘really bridged that gap immediately’, which gave her confidence in the application and interview process for her new role as a BA . Further, she said the course has equipped her with a contextual understanding of BA norms and industry-accepted behaviour above and beyond anything she could learn on the job.
‘You get that really good contextual understanding of the role of a BA or the industry accepted behaviour rather than just what you manage, and what you’ve learned through your experience,’ she said.
As for the study experience, Elise has found the design and delivery of La Trobe’s Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics to be flexible and accessible enough for her to fit it around her myriad other responsibilities related to both her job and her role as a new parent.
‘La Trobe is fantastic. Like I said, I spend a lot of time on my phone when I’m trying to resettle a baby at 2 o’clock in the morning, and instead of scrolling Instagram, I can and do read my course notes, read the assigned readings, I can look at the assessments that I’ve got coming up. The mobile integration and all that type of stuff is fantastic; it’s really user friendly and means that I can just do it when I can get to it.
‘That’s the other thing; I can take it with me, which is really good. So, we were away on the weekend, but I could just do everything remotely,’ Elise said.
Stand out when searching for business analytics jobs
Because tertiary-level qualifications like La Trobe’s Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics are relatively new to the market, Elise said that having such a qualification can help BA hopefuls succeed in the job application process, as it sets candidates apart and showcases their commitment to learning and adaptability.
‘From an employment perspective, looking at that on someone’s resume, I think it puts them in really good standing because you’ve shown that you’re proactive and committed,’ she said.
While Elise said she hadn’t had the chance to engage in the networking opportunities offered by the Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics’ associated mentoring program, she acknowledged the value of connecting with professionals in the field, particularly the opportunity to seek guidance and mentorship from someone with no skin in the game who can bring a fresh and objective perspective without bias.
As for continuing her studies, Elise is currently working on finishing her Graduate Certificate and eventually hopes to pursue a Master of Business Analytics at La Trobe.
‘I am such an advocate for education and just continuing to learn things, because even if you didn’t pursue becoming a business analyst, the context that you get for any other role is still fantastic. And the way that you can relate it to your current job or future jobs is still wonderful.’
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