Arkansas businesses and workers created a total economic value of more than $125 billion in 2018 alone, and the state’s gross domestic product has risen steadily every year for the better part of the past decade. Since the depths of the Great Recession, the Arkansas economy has expanded by nearly one-third.
More than 65,000 employer firms are open for business across the state, and about 1.3 million people are employed in industries as diverse as trade, transportation and utilities (19.7% of jobs), government (16.6% of jobs), and education and health services (15.1% of jobs).
Arkansas is the home state of the largest American company Walmart, as well as seven other firms listed on the Fortune 1,000, including No. 80 Tyson Foods. The startup scene also is strong in Arkansas with hundreds of thousands of dollars being invested in innovative companies across the state.
With such a diverse and rapidly expanding economy, it’s no wonder why so many business analytics professionals are interested in continuing their education in the state, such as through a Master of Business Analytics degree. What types of job opportunities exist here, where can degrees be found, and what are some examples of actual employers looking to hire business analytics professionals in Arkansas?
Business Analytics Salaries in Arkansas
What is business analytics? While the most obvious job title is, well, Business Analyst, the truth is the field is a rapidly growing area with one foot in traditional business and the other in cutting-edge data science. So the possible job titles are basically limitless, ranging from hands-on to managerial and everything in between.
Here’s a look at a few possible job titles within business analytics here in Arkansas:
- Market Research Analyst
- Data Scientist
- Management Consultant
- Financial Analyst
- Budget Analyst
- Insights Analyst
- Decision Engineer
- Marketing Engagement Analyst
- Quantitative Modeler
- Operations Research Analyst
- Business Intelligence Specialist
- Research Executive
What do jobs like these pay in Arkansas and across the U.S., and how does our state compare with others? To understand the state of business analytics employment, we’ll use five specific job titles as a representative sample and compare data published for each five by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
All five business analytics jobs are less well-paying in Arkansas than the U.S. as a whole, though the differences for some of them are small. It’s also worth noting that while Arkansas wages may lag behind, all five business analytics jobs pay far better than the typical job in Arkansas. The state’s median full-time wage for all occupations is just under $32,000.
Median annual wage, Arkansas vs. U.S.
|Market Research Analyst||$62,500||$63,120|
|Operations Research Analyst||$55,430||$83,390|
In some cases, the median wage in Arkansas is a good representation of the U.S. as a whole. For instance, Market Research Analysts in Arkansas earn slightly less than the overall U.S. median, ranking them in the top 20 among all states.
Median annual wage, Market Research Analyst, top 20
|District of Columbia||$71,380|
|District of Columbia||$71,380|
If business analytics salaries today in Arkansas don’t exactly light the world on fire, the future may be a different story. That’s because the rapid expansion in job openings will allow well-qualified professionals to have their pick of employers and negotiate for higher wages. All five jobs should see rapid growth, and the long-term growth rate for Market Research Analysts in Arkansas is No. 9 in the nation.
Market Research Analyst long-term job opening growth rate, top 10
All five business analytics jobs are expected to see healthy growth over the next couple of years and beyond with double-digit expansion projected for each of them through 2026.
Arkansas job opening growth rate, short- and long-term
|Market Research Analyst||6.0%||30.6%|
|Operations Research Analyst||7.9%||33.3%|
Note: Short-term 2016-2020; long-term 2016-2026
For those in Arkansas looking for a higher wage than the overall state median, it might pay to travel, as in each of the five jobs we studied, at least one city or metro area offers a higher wage than the overall state median.
Median annual wage, Arkansas vs. select cities
|Job Title||Arkansas||Fayetteville||Little Rock||Pine Bluff|
|Market Research Analyst||$62,500||$74,290||$53,970||—|
|Operations Research Analyst||$55,430||$61,490||$57,070||$44,620|
Arkansas Business Analytics Degree Programs
Arkansas business analytics students should have several options when it comes to earning degrees in their field.
Here’s a look at some of the colleges and universities in the state that offer degrees in the field or in related areas:
Business Analytics Degree Jobs in Arkansas
So far we’ve examined educational programs and federal data surrounding employment and wages here in Arkansas for business analytics professionals. But the truth is that exciting things are happening in Arkansas today, and dozens of employers are in need of people who can make sense of numbers.
Here are just a handful of the many actual examples of Arkansas employers looking to hire business analytics workers in December 2019:
- Procter & Gamble
- Ruiz Foods
- Slim Chickens
- SAS Retail Services
- Guardian Accounting & Financial Solutions
- Nestle USA
- Delta Dental
- First Orion
- Simmons Bank
- Mike’s Hard Lemonade
- Murphy USA
- Sam’s Club
- S. Food and Drug Administration
- American Heart Association
- University of Arkansas
People who can harness and use data to guide decision-making will be in high demand in organizations of all types, which is why earning an advanced degree in business analytics looks to be a good investment here in Arkansas and across the country.
Note: Information on recent job openings was gathered from Indeed.com and Glassdoor.com in late 2019.
U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economy at a Glance, Arkansas. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.ar.htm
PWC/CB Insights, MoneyTree Report, Q3 2019. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.pwc.com/us/en/moneytree-report/assets/moneytree-report-q3-2019.pdf
U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Query System, Custom Tables. (Undated). Accessed from https://data.bls.gov/oes/#/home
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Total Gross Domestic Product for Arkansas. (2019). Retrieved from https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/ARNGSP
U.S. Census Bureau, Quick Facts, Arkansas. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/AR/PST045218