Kimberly Austin's Masterful Pivot

Kimberly Austin went from owning a small IT business to being a senior analyst for World Market, all before graduating.

May 30, 2024 | By GTPE Communications
Kimberly Austin headshot over a gold background with graphs and data sets

After running a small IT business for six years, Kimberly Austin wanted to move away from her previous IT support work and focus more on a career in data and analytics.

As she pondered what her next step should be, her husband, busy pursuing an Online Master of Science (OMS) in Cybersecurity at Georgia Tech, suggested that Tech’s Online Master of Science (OMS) in Analytics program might be the perfect path for her. “I knew I wanted to do something with numbers, " she related. "I mean, I made spreadsheets for recreation! The more I learned about the OMS Analytics program, the more enthralled I became.”

Pivoting From IT to Analytics

Austin had confidence that an analytics degree would provide the strong foundation she needed to pivot her career. "Even though I did not have a previous history in the field, I knew earning a degree in analytics from Georgia Tech would provide more than enough proof to potential employers of my capabilities. Growing up in Georgia, Georgia Tech has always been the pinnacle university for technical education. It felt like a dream to be accepted!”

Starting the program, Austin was immediately impressed with the amount of knowledge she garnered in each course and found the most valuable part of her OMS Analytics experience was the depth and breadth of the material covered. 

“The knowledge I gained from each class was more than I thought possible. Learning multiple programming languages, getting a strong foundational knowledge, plus receiving such a solid understanding of the underlying concepts of analytical tools have all helped me understand any type of data I've encountered in the workplace."

She also found the program's online format to be an ideal fit for her and her family. “Before this program, I thought I preferred in-person classes, but this experience changed my mind. The online classes allowed me so much more flexibility. I could complete most of the content when I had free time each week. Not having to commute to class was also easier for my family and myself."

Success While Studying

While Austin’s initial concerns regarding a career pivot had been allayed by her confidence in the strength of a Georgia Tech degree, she had not anticipated receiving job offers before she had completed her degree. Receiving invitations to interview for analyst positions approximately halfway through the program, Austin landed her current position as a senior analyst in marketing analytics for World Market six months before she graduated from the OMS Analytics program.

Elated that her career pivot and dream to be an analyst at a global company had come true, Austin immediately began applying what she had learned in her OMS Analytics courses to her new job. “I not only knew what to look for in reporting various metrics, but also how to incorporate the coding logic and best practices I'd been taught into my findings.”

For anyone feeling nervous about undertaking the challenge of Georgia Tech's OMS Analytics program, Austin encourages them to take the plunge. “Sometimes I felt I was in over my head, but I always managed to figure it out in the end. It was a lot of hard work, but every bit of it was worth the effort.”


Writer: Laurel-Ann Dooley

Editor: Teresa Daniel

Digital Producer: Kat Bell