Kentucky businesses and workers produced a total economic output valued at more than $200 billion in 2018 alone. This represents a historic high for Kentucky, and the commonwealth’s economy has rebounded well from the Great Recession, adding nearly 35% of value since 2009.
Nearly 100,000 employer firms are in operation across Kentucky, and about 1.9 million people are employed in a diverse range of industries. Trade, transportation and utilities account for more than 1 in 5 jobs in Kentucky, followed by government, which contributes 16% of jobs, and education and health services, which adds another 15%.
Kentucky drew $10 million in startup investment during the third quarter of 2019 alone, and the commonwealth is the home state of seven Fortune 1,000 companies, including No. 56 Humana. Kentucky’s economy is diverse and growing with one foot in established fields and one foot in the future. That’s what helps make the commonwealth an attractive spot for business analytics professionals.
After all, any organization that needs to use data in order to make decisions related to any facet of their business needs professionals who can help them harness that data. So what is the state of business analytics employment in Kentucky, and what does the future hold?
Business Analytics Salaries in Kentucky
Business analytics is quite a broad field, and jobs can usually be found in every conceivable industry. Some of these jobs will be hands-on and technical, such as Quantitative Modeler. Others may be a bit more esoteric and creative, such as Management Consultant. But all share the same building blocks, which is a focus on using data related to the organization to drive decision-making.
What are some possible business analytics job titles? Here’s a look at a few that exist here in Kentucky:
- Research Executive
- Decision Engineer
- Marketing Engagement Analyst
- Quantitative Modeler
- Operations Research Analyst
- Market Research Analyst
- Data Scientist
- Management Consultant
- Financial Analyst
- Budget Analyst
- Insights Analyst
- Business Intelligence Specialist
To understand the employment landscape for business analytics professionals in Kentucky, we’ll use five specific job titles as examples, comparing data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on wages and employment for the five roles in Kentucky and around the country.
Kentucky has a lower median wage for all five business analytics jobs that we studied than the overall U.S. wage for those same jobs. That may seem discouraging, but it’s important to note that the median annual full-time wage in Kentucky is just under $35,000, so all five of these business analytics roles offer wages considerably higher than what the average Kentucky worker earns.
Median annual wage, Kentucky vs. U.S.
|Market Research Analyst||$53,640||$63,120|
|Operations Research Analyst||$63,890||$83,390|
Salaries provide only one facet of understanding the job outlook for business analytics professionals. Another important area is the availability of these jobs, and the federal data in this area shows that outside of the District of Columbia, which skews much of the data, Kentucky has the fourth-highest concentration of Budget Analyst job openings among Southern states.
Budget Analyst employment per 1,000 jobs, Southern states
|District of Columbia||2.604|
It may be the case that salary data for most business analytics roles in Kentucky isn’t exactly exciting when compared to other states, but there’s good reason to believe that will change. That’s because Kentucky is expected to see demand for these jobs grow, which could help qualified candidates start out at higher wages. For instance, Kentucky is expected to see job openings for Market Research Analysts grow by nearly 6% through 2020, one of the highest short-term growth rates in the country for that job.
Market Research Analyst short-term job opening growth rate, top 20
|District of Columbia||6.9%|
With the exception of short-term growth for Budget Analyst job openings, which was not available, Kentucky is expected to see positive growth both through 2020 and over the next several years after that for all five jobs we studied.
Kentucky job opening growth rate, short- and long-term
|Market Research Analyst||5.9%||21.4%|
|Operations Research Analyst||6.3%||28.4%|
Note: Short-term 2016-2020; long-term 2016-2026
Kentucky as a whole does tend to lag behind the U.S. in wages for business analytics professionals, but that’s often not the case for all major cities in the commonwealth, and salaries are very different depending on the city in question. In fact, for all five job titles we examined, at least one city in Kentucky offers a higher wage than the state overall with Operations Research Analysts in Elizabethtown setting the pace at a near-six-figure wage.
Median annual wage, Kentucky vs. select cities
|Market Research Analyst||$53,640||$49,730||$56,930||$54,910|
|Operations Research Analyst||$63,890||$96,320||$50,970||$73,640|
Kentucky Business Analytics Degree Programs
Kentucky is home to several well-regarded colleges and universities with excellent business programs, and that quality extends to training in business analytics. Students should find a variety of programs that will suit their goals and passions.
Here’s a look at some of the colleges and universities in Kentucky that offer degrees in business analytics or related areas:
Business Analytics Degree Jobs in Kentucky
Federal data moves pretty slowly and only tells us part of the picture. What we don’t see is what’s happening in the business analytics space in Kentucky right now. For that, we’ll take a look at real examples of recent job openings that were posted in late 2019.
Here are just a handful of the many actual employers that were hiring for business analytics professionals:
- Strategic Resources Inc.
- PNC Financial Services Group
- Owensboro Health
- Bellarmine University
- University of Louisville
- LG&E and KU Energy
- U of L Physicians
- Commonwealth of Kentucky
- Ale 8 One Bottling
- Atos Syntel
- Dana Corp.
- Amazon Services
- Lockheed Martin
- Kroger Logistics
- Windows Direct USA
Both in Kentucky and across the United States, the future looks bright for people with advanced training in business analytics, such as a Master of Business Analytics degree. High-level business analytics education provides the data-forward business training that will let a professional future-proof their careers and ensure they can contribute for decades to come.
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, Kentucky. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.ky.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 Kentucky. (2019). Retrieved from https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/KYNGSP
U.S. Census Bureau, Quick Facts, Kentucky. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/KY/PST045218