Hot Jobs for MBAs: Becoming a Pricing Analyst
MBA graduates looking to apply their skills to a fast-growing and high-paying career may be interested in pursuing a role in Pricing Analysis. Named among the 100 best jobs in America by CNN, working as a Pricing Analyst is a perfect way for an MBA graduate to make use of their strong education combining skills in marketing, finance, and analytics.
With a predicted 10-year job growth of 41.2 percent and roughly 280,000 total jobs available, business students who think they might be interested this fast-growing career can start preparing while still in school through specialized study in marketing or finance. Armed with the special skills in data analysis in addition to the strong business background of an MBA, students looking to enter the field after graduation will have a competitive advantage as they begin their career.
We’ve rounded up the most important things to know about a career in Pricing Analysis to help you decide if it’s the right role for you.
What is a Pricing Analyst?
A company’s pricing analyst is responsible for figuring out the appropriate price for a business to place on a product or service. Using a variety of data and different metrics, the Pricing Analyst will determine the perfect price that will both appeal to consumers and produce an appropriate profit for the company.
Pricing Analysts must be able to track marketplace trends and implement a strategy that will benefit both the company and consumer. Someone in this role must be able to effectively communicate to a number of other departments such as supply chain, sales, marketing, finance, and be able to work with these groups in making pricing recommendations and decisions based on their analysis.
Pricing Analysts may be needed at wide variety of companies and organizations, ranging from construction companies, colleges and universities, banks and financial institutions, pharmaceutical companies, and more.
What Skills Does a Pricing Analyst Need?
Those who succeed in the role of Pricing Analyst typically have strong skills in mathematics, analytical thinking and problem solving. It is also important that Pricing Analysts are able to effectively communicate, as they are often required to explain their research and analysis to others in order to make important decisions.
Other skills employers may seek in a Pricing Analyst may be:
- An interest and skill working with numbers and data.
- Being a detail oriented and proactive worker.
- Have the ability to work with minimal supervision.
- Experience in back-office and billing systems and database management programs,
Pricing Analyst Salary
Pricing Analyst salaries, according to PayScale, may vary according to a number of factors, such as education, terms of the job, and type of employer. On average, Pricing Analysts can earn anywhere from $52,000-61,000 depending on their level of experience. In cities like New York and Boston, that number is slightly higher.
A recent study from Deloitte found even more impressive figures: 62 percent of respondents in a survey of pricing professionals reported salaries of greater than $100,000 and 83 percent of respondents said they were also eligible for an annual bonus.
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MBAs For Pricing Analysts
While most MBA programs do not offer a direct concentration in pricing analysis, a number of programs still provide specialized pricing education through other departments, like finance and business analytics. Below are just a few examples of pricing-related courses available at some of the top MBA programs in the country:
Scheller College of Business – Georgia Institute of Technology
The Scheller College of Business offers a course in pricing strategy as part of their Business Analytics MBA concentration. The course, marketing Analytics and Pricing Strategy, helps students gain skills in making effective pricing decisions through the understanding of important economic and analytical concepts associated with customer behavior and competition.
The Wharton School – University of Pennsylvania
FNCE717, or Financial Derivatives, at the Wharton School focuses students on making strategic corporate decisions, particularly when it comes to pricing. Students will learn several different approaches to pricing and how to apply such skills for investment and risk-management.
Rutgers School of Business, Newark and New Brunswick
The MBA program at Rutgers’ Newark and New Brunswick location offers a class in Supply Chain Pricing Strategy. The course recognizes the importance of pricing in driving profits and the extreme negative impact poor pricing decisions can have. Students will learn how to approach pricing from both a strategic and tactical level and be able to apply it to a number of fields and industries.
Do You Actually Need an MBA for the Job?
While an MBA is not necessarily a requirement of all Pricing Analyst jobs, it is by far the most common degree held by those in this role. According to the aforementioned Deloitte survey, 43 percent of respondents held MBA degrees, while just 26 percent—the next highest percentage—held undergraduate degrees in business. Earning an MBA and demonstrating specialized coursework in pricing will give those in the field a competitive edge and open the door to higher level management positions in the field.