At this point I'm wondering if I should go back to school for a masters degree of some kind. I had been thinking of an MS in Business Analytics, or potentially an MBA. However, I'm interested in hearing what those of you within the industry (and particularly those of you who got in part way through your careers) have to say. Some questions I have:
- How important is it to know someone in the industry in order to get in? Unfortunately, I don't have any direct connections, and I don't currently live in a city that has a major corporate presence from an airline.
- How much does experience outside the industry (technical troubleshooting, computer programming, etc.) matter? Pretty much every analytical airline job I see posted wants prior airline experience. I have solid problem solving skills and a lot of airline industry knowledge I've picked up over the years, but not the type of airline experience that can really go on a resume. I'm also at a point in my career where ideally I'd like to jump in a little above entry-level, but I'm wondering how realistic that is.
- Is there any way to get feedback through the application process regarding what to improve? In the applications I've submitted to major airlines thus far, my experience is that you never so much as hear if anyone has looked at your resume, let alone whether you were close to getting a call or not. I understand some of these applications get dozens (or more) of applicants, but it's pretty frustrating to not have a way to contact a hiring manager or someone else in HR to learn what's going to improve your chances going forward.
- Regarding a masters degree, are there strong arguments for or against an MBA, MSBA, an advanced engineering/operations research degree, etc.?
I really appreciate any insight you have to offer!