Hi GC! Been having some career-direction struggles that may be slightly off-kilter for this site and I thought I would open it up here as I've seen some interesting discussions on similar topics.
I graduated college in May of 2013 with a bachelors in Accounting & IS – with previous experience as a Data Analytics intern at a startup for about a year.
Upon graduation, I started with one of the Big 4 in Advisory – Risk Assurance (so about 18 months ago now). During recruiting I was sold the pitch that my background in analytics would allow me to do Data Analytics work in my current position (CAATs basically) or that Advisory would offer me the experiences to work on a wide-variety of engagements beyond IT-audit (including analytics work), so I went for it. I figured getting the Big 4 name was a huge career booster, and, based on discussions before I was hired, assumed getting into analytics work would be easy. In the process turning down a lot of final-round interviews for analytics positions I would now kill for.
Frankly, 18 months later, I'm yet to work on a project other than FAIT Risk Assurance. I've expressed my desire to work in analytics with my counselor/partner since BEFORE I was hired, I've reached out and fostered relationships with people in that service line, and done virtually everythinig I can think to do to try and get myself pointed in that direction. I even joined the "analytics team" within my department (which is bs, all we do is send emails to India so they can do the JE CAATs for us, we don't do any locally in my city). In my first year, I put my head down and grinded and got an exceeds-expectations rating (ya know the whole "pay your dues" thing) figuring that it would open up doors for me, but so far I've gotten absolutely nothing.
I am starting to get incredibly disillusioned at work, and now can barely focus on anything other than my next career move. The way I see it my options are:
(1) Stay, become senior, get stuck doing ITGCs forever (trying to avoid this at all costs).
(2) Stay, become senior, someone maybe eventually gives me the chance I've been looking for in analytics (I'm starting to seriously doubt this will ever materialize).
(3) Look for analytics jobs (I've done this to some extent, even had a few interviews, but becoming increasingly difficult as my Risk Assurance experience continues to grow and my Data Analytics experience doesn't)
(4) Go back to grad school and get an M.S. in Analytics (expensive, but starting to become my top option I think, I've already started studying for the GRE)
Just figured I'd open a "what would you do" to the general populace here. As I said above, I've signed up to take the GRE and am considering going back to school, but if possible it would be nice to avoid another 40k of school debt on top of the ~100k I already have. The "new job" option sounds nice, but data science is a surprisingly difficult field to break into (especially without an undergrad CS degree). Appreciate any thoughts/opinions you all may have!