You want to stay competitive in your field. With a master's in analytics, you can set yourself apart. And we'll be here to guide you from enrollment through graduation.
If you have a passion for numbers and the desire to play a leading role in organizational decision-making, then a career in business analytics might be ideal for you. A master’s in analytics degree can help prepare you for new opportunities and career advancement.
We’re here to guide you on your journey to completing your business education and receiving a degree in the lucrative field of business analytics. You can take your first step by exploring the information below.
What is a master's in analytics?
A master’s in analytics typically refers to a degree in business analytics. Business analytics programs are focused on using data to leverage insights for an organization. A business analytics degree program can help you learn how to use both STEM and leadership skills to gain a competitive advantage. The purpose of business analytics is to make decisions based on facts instead of instincts. It relies heavily on quantitative analyses to evaluate data to spot current trends.
A Master of Business Analytics is different from a Master of Business Administration (MBA). While some MBA programs may offer analytics as a specialization, a Master of Business Analytics is specifically focused on key topics such as data collection and statistics.
Another option you may consider is a Master of Data Analytics. With these programs, the approach is slightly different than in business analytics. Data analytics courses rely heavily on developing STEM skills and the technical prowess needed behind the scenes. Data operations are generally covered in-depth as part of a data analytics curriculum.
What is the difference between a business analytics degree and a data analytics degree?
On the surface, the two degrees may appear similar. Both programs feature courses that teach how to analyze large data sets and transform data into actionable insights. Another similarity is both degrees prepare you for positions in multiple industries.
However, there are also some notable differences.
One difference is that business analytics combines basic business skills with technical skills, while data analytics focuses heavily on the technological side. For instance, data analytics programs cover topics such as scripting and ethics involved with data, including privacy laws. In business analytics, you may study not only how to collect and analyze data, but how to make important business decisions based on the results. Strategy is an important part of any online analytics program.
Career outcomes are usually different between a business analytics and a data analytics program. Business analytics graduates tend to secure a position as a business or financial analyst, while data analytics graduates are more qualified for data scientist positions. However, many companies will consider both graduates for multiple roles.
What does a master's in analytics focus on?
The best analytics programs prepare you for jobs in multiple work settings. Since it’s such a broad field, you could seek a position in the private or public sector. Analysts work for insurance companies, securities firms, investment banks, creditors, manufacturers, tech firms, government offices, and more. Your core and specialized courses can prepare you for at least a mid-level position in the field.
The Master of Business Analytics degree features multiple core courses that provide a strong background in data and business subjects. Although each school’s curriculum may look different, you’ll likely come across these courses as part of your prerequisites:
Principles of marketing
Additionally, you may take entry-level courses in data analytics and information systems. Your core courses may also vary based on your experience level. For instance, some colleges allow those with corporate experience to forgo one or more core courses.
Developing advanced skills can have a significant impact on what type of job you secure after earning your degree. Advanced analytics training can enhance your abilities in the following areas:
Information systems strategies
Information systems is one of the most important topics explored in advanced courses. Employers want confirmation you’ll be able to manage complex information systems with confidence. A typical course may include:
Information systems acquisitions
Information systems top strategies
Business process design
Structured system analysis and design
Data flow analysis
Managerial challenges with information systems
Statistics is one of the backbones of any online analytics program because it is vital to collecting data sets. Topics you’re most likely to explore during advanced statistics are:
Statistics for analytics
Data sets collection
Visualization of data
Students in the field of analytics face numerous issues regarding ethics. Many people have valid concerns over how their data will be used. Consumers are also worried about data security. Business analytics students cover both ethics and data security during advanced courses. You can expect to review:
Code of ethics
Ethical business practices
Data analytics trends and technologies
Technology has expanded exponentially over the past decade. Advanced courses delve into what type of tools are being used to collect and analyze data. Emphasis will be placed on big data. Big data has truly changed all industries, and modern technology allows analysts to capture impossibly large data sets and make them usable for obtaining actionable insights. Topics covered may include:
Programming concepts is a part of advanced analytics degree requirements. Often, analysts are required to write programs that can perform analyses of data and manage data sets. SAS programming is a standard topic that may be studied at length during a business analytics degree program.
Typical concentrations and electives
Business analytics is already a specialized field, but online analytics programs may still offer concentrations to narrow the degree’s focus even more. Concentrations can help you make an easier transition into a specific career track.
Business analytics concentrations include:
Supply chain management
Electives are typically offered as part of online analytics programs. They can give you the opportunity to explore topics that are of interest to you while adding value to your resume and teaching you in-demand skills.
Traditional elective options for analytics include:
Global market trends
Financial risk mitigation practices
Choose your coursework wisely — it should map to your career goal to help increase your starting salary and job opportunities.
Online vs. on-campus: How to decide what is right for you
There is no one-size-fits-all model for a graduate education. Many programs come in various forms, each with its own benefits. Here are some of the most common questions you should ask when researching your master’s in business analytics:
How long will earning my master's in analytics take?
Traditional master’s degree programs take about two years to complete if you choose to study full time. Some online analytics programs offer an accelerated option, which can enable you to finish in approximately 12 to 18 months.
If you plan to work while earning your analytics degree, part-time and self-paced options are available through many online programs. These options will likely extend your time to completion, but it can allow you to study while fulfilling your familial, social, and professional obligations.
There are two types of accreditation — regional and specialized.
Regional accreditation is the most prestigious type of accreditation that an online or traditional college or university can receive. Regional accreditation confirms that the provider has met and maintained adherence to a minimum set of academic standards.
Most regionally accredited schools will only accept credits from other regionally accredited institutions of higher learning.
Schools often apply to gain specialized accreditation for specific areas of study, departments, or degree programs. Enrolling in an accredited program can make you more marketable to employers and affect your career growth over the long term.
The following organizations offer specialized accreditation for online analytics programs:
Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International
Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE)
Why accreditation matters
Accreditation is key if you want to:
Transfer your credits, as most schools will only accept transfer credits from accredited institutions
Apply for financial aid, as federal aid is only granted to students who are studying at recognized accredited institutions
Check for both national and regional accreditation at your university of interest. You may also find that your degree program or academic department of interest has additional and specialized accreditations.
You have goals. We have a path.
Analytics is essential to our global economy due to its impact on how business decisions are made. As the world’s learning company, we proudly partner with universities to offer a suite of online graduate degrees in business analytics. Whatever your career goals, we have a path for you.