5 Top Business Careers in Austin
Find a job that will grow with the city’s booming economy.
If there were two words that define top-tier business roles in the tech-savvy city of Austin, they would be: data analysis. “There is a huge need for employees who have strong analytical skills,” says David Altounian, director of the MBA program at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. “That’s not just thinking smart,” he says. “That’s understanding how to do things like calculate customer acquisition costs, measure customer sentiment and effectively utilize financial ratios.”
Below are some of the hottest jobs that companies are hiring for in Austin today — along with the critical skills that applicants need to snare the positions.
We’re not talking Mad Men. Think spreadsheets and A/B testing, search engine marketing and Google Analytics. “Understanding colors and pricing isn’t enough anymore,” says Altounian. “You need to be able to look at data and find deeper meaning in it. Where are your leads and sales coming from? What are the most efficient ways to engage users and acquire a customer?”
It’s easier than ever to collect mountains of data about a company’s customers, employees and projects. But the real value doesn’t come from collecting the data, says Russell Rains, associate professor of Digital Media Management at St. Edward’s. “Companies need people who can interpret the data and turn it into strategy,” he says. “That requires a certain level of business acumen.”
Getting a company’s products from overseas factories to customers’ hands in ways that are both speedy and cost-effective is no simple task. “How do you minimize your cost and make sure your products aren’t sitting in transit or in a warehouse?” says Altounian. “Being able to work with supply chain systems and analyze deliveries and orders is a very valuable skill to employers.”
If there is anything that can compete with Austin’s infinite appetite for tech, it may be healthcare. It’s a growing need nationally, and Austin is no exception, says Tony Alvarado, executive-in-residence at The Bill Munday School of Business at St. Edward’s. “Healthcare and biomedical education are some of the most important growth areas in Austin,” he says. Alvarado sees countless opportunities for business-minded experts to harness data and improve processes to help hospitals and healthcare centers create more seamless patient experiences, better care and lower costs.
Today’s companies, says Alvarado, aren’t aiming to do what they’ve always done — and that means some of tomorrow’s best careers haven’t been created. Those with the right skills and an entrepreneurial mindset can craft their own job description. “When you’ve got the right technical skills and soft skills, you can actually create a new job and redefine what’s out there,” he says.
The MBA program at St. Edward’s University helps its students develop in-demand skills that business leaders need, including data analysis, decision-making and strategy development.
Erin Peterson is a freelance writer.