Oklahoma’s economy has posted significant gains the past couple of years after seeing a huge decline in 2015-16 with gross domestic product rising to nearly $203 billion in 2018 alone. Not only does that represent a clear recovery from the most recent downturn, but the state’s economy has put the dark days of the Great Recession well in the past, as GDP has risen by nearly 40% since 2009.
Nearly 100,000 employer firms are in operation across the state, and about 1.7 million people throughout Oklahoma are employed in a wide range of industries. The trade, transportation and utilities and government sectors combine to account for about 2 in 5 jobs in the state, followed by education and health services, which adds another 14%.
Oklahoma is the home state of more than a dozen companies on the Fortune 1,000 list of biggest U.S. companies, and the state also boasts more than 50 major startup investment firms that help seed innovation across the state and the country.
That mix of old and new is ideal for people working in the business analytics field, as every company, nonprofit or government agency that hopes to remain viable in the future will increasingly need to turn to data to help guide decision-making. Individuals with advanced education in the field, such as through a Master of Business Analytics degree, should be able to find exciting work in any conceivable industry.
What does that look like here in Oklahoma? What can business analytics professionals expect to earn in our state, what educational opportunities exist here, and what are some real-world examples of employers who have recently sought to hire business analytics experts?
Business Analytics Salaries in Oklahoma
Before we can understand the state of business analytics employment in Oklahoma, it’s helpful to first dig into what exactly business analytics entails. It’s a big tent, to be sure, with virtually limitless job titles possible. These roles range from highly technical jobs that require hands-on experience with writing computer code and algorithms to more managerial jobs that are rooted in data science but require skills in dealing with people.
What are some possible business analytics job titles? Here’s a look at a few that exist here in Oklahoma:
- Market Research Analyst
- Budget Analyst
- Insights Analyst
- Data Scientist
- Management Consultant
- Financial Analyst
- Business Intelligence Specialist
- Quantitative Modeler
- Operations Research Analyst
- Research Executive
- Decision Engineer
- Marketing Engagement Analyst
Now that we have a better understanding of some of the job titles in business analytics, we can look at the state of employment in this field in Oklahoma. To do that, we’ll analyze data published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for five specific job titles within the field. It’s important to note that these are all analyst roles, and the higher your educational pursuits, the more likely you’ll be able to pursue jobs above that level.
For each of the five business analytics jobs we analyzed, the median annual wage in Oklahoma is lower than the overall U.S. median for those same jobs. However, these jobs are all much higher-paying than the typical job in Oklahoma: The median annual full-time wage for all occupations in Oklahoma is $34,569.
Median annual wage, Oklahoma vs. U.S.
|Market Research Analyst||$53,810||$63,120|
|Operations Research Analyst||$69,890||$83,390|
Oklahoma doesn’t quite lead the nation when it comes to typical salaries for business analytics jobs, but the state does compare favorably with the rest of the American South. In fact, outside of the District of Columbia, which generally skews data like this, Oklahoma has the third-highest concentration of Budget Analyst jobs of all Southern states.
Budget Analyst employment per 1,000 jobs, Southern states
|District of Columbia||2.604|
|District of Columbia||2.604|
The lag in salaries for business analytics professionals may begin to dissipate over the next several years. That’s because Oklahoma is expected to see positive growth in demand for all five business analytics roles we studied, and the state has one of the highest short-term growth projections for one of those roles, Budget Analyst.
Budget Analyst short-term job opening growth rate, top 20
All five jobs are expected to become much more common over the next couple of years and for the next several years beyond that with four of the five jobs seeing double-digit growth through 2026.
Oklahoma job opening growth rate, short- and long-term
|Market Research Analyst||4.7%||22.1%|
|Operations Research Analyst||5.7%||25.4%|
Note: Short-term 2016-2020; long-term 2016-2026
Typical salaries for all five business analytics roles vary considerably depending on the area of the state in question, and for four of the five jobs, at least one major Oklahoma city or metro area offers better wages than the state overall.
Median annual wage, Oklahoma vs. select cities
|Job Title||Oklahoma||Oklahoma City||Tulsa|
|Market Research Analyst||$48,470||$54,940||$55,310|
|Operations Research Analyst||$52,720||$60,550||$66,480|
Oklahoma Business Analytics Degree Programs
Oklahoma students have many options when it comes to educational programs. There are many well-regarded institutions of higher learning in Oklahoma that offer challenging and effective business education, including in business analytics.
Here’s a look at some of the colleges and universities in Oklahoma that offer degrees in the field:
Business Analytics Degree Jobs in Oklahoma
We’ve seen theoretical job titles and ones that we know exist in Oklahoma, but what kinds of employers are out there? To understand that, we’ll look at job openings that were actually posted in Oklahoma for business analytics professionals in late 2019.
Here are just a handful of the many examples of actual employers:
- MidFirst Bank
- Love’s Travel Stop & Country Stores
- Integris Health
- RELX Group
- LexisNexis SA
- American Express Global Business Travel
- American Airlines
- Hobby Lobby
- BOK Financial
- S. Air Force
- BancFirst Corp.
- High Sierra Energy
- Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
- Chesapeake Energy
A Master of Business Analytics degree could be the ideal way to future-proof a career. That’s because a good business analytics degree will provide the foundational business knowledge combined with cutting-edge methods and theories in data science. A qualified business analytics professional is set up well to contribute to the success of any organization.
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, Oklahoma. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.ok.htm
Crunchbase, Oklahoma Investors. (2019.) Retrieved from https://www.crunchbase.com/hub/oklahoma-investors#section-overview
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 Oklahoma. (2019). Retrieved from https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/OKNGSP
U.S. Census Bureau, Quick Facts, Oklahoma. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/OK/PST045218