A career in Master Data Management (MDM) will give you the opportunity to work across multiple industries, in evolving companies, for top global brands, using cutting edge MDM tools and related technologies. Not only is this an exciting opportunity, but it is also a career choice that offers long-term stability. MDM has been growing in popularity since its formal inception about twenty years ago. And the demand for MDM professionals as solution consultants, project managers, solution architects, among others, is increasing.

A successful MDM implementation allows an organization to optimize its business processes and strategies, as it provides an enterprise-wide foundation of clean and consistent master data.

Gartner states, “MDM is inevitable, regardless of when and how you approach it. It’s quickly becoming a strategic necessity for digital business.”

There are many paths that can lead you to a career in MDM with a full spectrum of growth opportunities. Most paths are nontraditional and forged with a certification, a graduate degree, a segue from a related industry, an entry-level position, or a related combination. The most traditional path starts with undergraduate studies.

Nontraditional Graduates and Professionals

If you already have a career in computer software or information technology and services, you have a greater chance of segueing to a mid-level or senior-level role in MDM. If you have already started your career in another type of industry, you may need to start with an entry-level position and complete a certification or graduate program to get the role that you want.

In any event, you should evaluate your current job tasks and your skills before considering specific roles. Once that’s in order, you can research MDM opportunities and determine which roles align best with your current job tasks and skills. It’s also advantageous to apply to local positions, with large companies and to educate yourself accordingly.

Working in the office will allow you to immerse yourself in MDM because you can easily ask your colleagues questions, shadow meetings, and attend related events. Large companies or companies with a large MDM team often hire in bulk. So, applying for their entry or associate-level positions will increase your odds of getting your foot in the door somewhere.

Educating yourself through an entry-level role, a certification program or a graduate program is essential. I highly recommend an entry-level role, as a business analyst or solution consultant, that will enable you to learn about and get experience in data modeling. If you’re located in the Atlanta area, Georgia Tech offers a 24-week UX/UI boot camp. Any certification or graduate program focused on information systems, coupled with an entry-level, related role is an excellent way to begin your journey in MDM.

Traditional Undergraduates

Most undergrads are not committed to a specific career, but since you are reading this, let’s assume that you have chosen to pursue a career in MDM. Let’s also assume that you are interested in the ideal major that you should select based on the type of entry-level role that you want within MDM.

If you are interested in becoming a developer, or eventually an architect, you should major in computer science or software engineering. For any consultant, analyst, specialist, administrator, or project manager position- you may major in something more business-oriented but still technical. Management information systems, business management, industrial and systems engineering, information technology management, or computer science are all great choices for those positions.

Targeting a specific major is a reasonable way to get the career that you want, but you should also complete at least a couple of internships related to your desired role. Try looking into your college’s or university’s internship program for assistance. You can find MDM opportunities with consultancies, software producers, and companies that need internal support with their master data.

If you’re interested in working with multiple MDM tools, on high-profile projects, with a team of highly trained consultants, check out our jobs page here.