Job Market Explodes For Quantitative Students

Monday, May 19, 2014 Job Market Explodes For Quantitative Students     With the…

Georgia (May 19, 2014)

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Job Market Explodes For Quantitative Students


With the market for quantitative candidates continuing to gain momentum, Burtch Works spoke with Jennifer Priestley, Professor of Statistics and Data Science at Kennesaw State University - and friend of Burtch Works - about the job market for quantitative students, the  beginnings of her MS in Applied Statistics program, and her thoughts on SAS vs. R.
Burtch Works: Tell me about the makeup of your class, do you find that many of your students are coming straight from undergrad or mid-career and retraining?
Jennifer Priestley: I would say 40% of our students come in direct from undergrad; the other 60% are coming in with work experience, and are doing a mid-career change. What’s fascinating to me is that we’re getting increasing numbers of MBA’s. For a long time, an MBA would suffice, and it almost didn’t matter where it came from, but those days are over. Maybe from the top five programs they still matter, but for the most part an MBA is a way to round out qualifications. It would be naïve to think that an undergrad degree in business and an MBA will get you somewhere.
BW: I’ve heard similar things from other programs about the influx of MBA students. Do you get many international students in your program?
JP: Some, but not as many as I’ve heard in other programs. Many of the students are first generation college students, so upon taking their first course here they will be the most educated in their family. Our students are motivated, driven, and hungry for success. We have a 0% unemployment rate, and when these undergraduate students are placed into white collar, professional jobs making $50,000 a year, they’ll be making more money than their parents. That’s what inspires me to do this, because you’ve fundamentally changed their path and lineage. They may start their education at X County Comprehensive High School, where only 3% of students even go to college at all, and by the time they graduate our program they’re working as a business analyst at Equifax. That’s a huge step.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit