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Why Study an MBA in Business Analytics?

Matt Kefford

Matt Kefford - BusinessBecause

Matt Kefford is a writer for BusinessBecause and mba.com.

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Data is probably the most important asset in business today. Ninety-four percent of companies say data and analytics are vital to their business growth strategies.

So why do an MBA in Business Analytics? If you want to be part of the digital revolution, data literacy is key.

While enrolling in an MBA provides you with the essential management skills you’ll need to advance to leadership roles, specializing in business analytics is a great way to future-proof your career and understand how business can leverage big data.

Here’s everything you need to know about the MBA in Business Analytics:

What is an MBA in Business Analytics?

The MBA in Business Analytics is an MBA degree with a concentration in analytics and is one of the most popular MBA specializations out there.

The curriculum covers core business fundamentals while training you to consider business from a data-driven perspective. Modules typically feature core MBA topics including:

  • Management
  • Leadership
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Operations management

These are combined with data-focused topics like:

  • Database management
  • Social media analytics
  • Data mining for business analytics
  • Data science in markets
  • Marketing analytics
  • Regression analysis

Enrolling in a full-time MBA program means you’ll likely complete these modules over two-years. Some schools, like University of Chicago Booth School of Business, offer slightly shorter programs around 21-months. The University of Delaware’s Lerner College of Business and Economics offers an accelerated 16-month MBA Business Analytics program.

You can also study online or part-time programs, offering the same content with more flexibility. The University of Arkansas’s part-time MBA with Business Analytics for example can be completed in anywhere between 18 and 72 months.

During your degree you’ll have opportunities to gain real-world experience. MBA in Business Analytics programs include practical business simulators, company visits, and an internship period, allowing you to test your skills in a work environment.

According to Natalie Souresrafil, lead recruitment manager for the MBA in Business Analytics at UBC Sauder School of Business, “students will be provided the tools to strategically align and understand new technologies while leveraging data-driven processes and decision making to lead in the business community.”

Common undergraduate degrees among MBA in Business Analytics students include technical subjects like accounting, mathematics, statistics, and computer science, along with subjects like economics and business.

There is typically a minimum work experience requirement of two years to apply for an MBA in Business Analytics; for recent college graduates there are a range of Master’s in Business Analytics programs to choose from covering similar content.

What can you do with an MBA in Business Analytics?

There are an abundance of job opportunities for data analytics graduates and employer demand is only increasing— the global data analytics market is expected to grow by 25 percent by 2030.

“We’re seeing a growing number of organizations who are keen to use data to make predictions and more informed decisions,” says Neumann Chew, professor of business analytics at Nanyang Business School in Singapore

From Microsoft to McKinsey, the vast numbers of companies employing business analytics graduates typically look to fill these key roles.

  • Business intelligence analyst
  • Big data analyst
  • Management analyst/consultant
  • Market research analyst
  • Data scientist
  • Marketing manager

With an MBA, you also open yourself up to high-level management jobs across industries—an understanding of data is valued whatever your position in a company.

Some of the world’s best MBA programs offer Business Analytics specializations. The likes of Wharton School, NYU Stern Business School, and Carnegie Mellon: Tepper School of Business all offer programs ranked in the top 10 MBAs for Business Analytics by US News.

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Whatever your specialization, graduates from these MBA programs get a strong return on their investment. Graduates from the NYU Stern MBA see their salaries rise by 122 percent after completing the program. Within three years of graduation, they can expect to earn salaries averaging around US$166,000.

At Wharton, 94 percent of students accept job offers within three months of graduation, and 90 percent of graduates report that the program helped them achieve their career aims. Top employers of Wharton MBA grads in 2020 included Apple, Goldman Sachs, Accenture Strategy, and Deloitte.

A large proportion of graduates from the Tepper MBA go on to work in the most popular and lucrative MBA industries. In 2020, 29 percent went into consulting while 21 percent went into finance. Average salaries for graduates from the program were around US$160,000 within three years of graduating. 

Is an MBA in Business Analytics worth it?

It can be costly to unlock the significant career benefits an MBA in Business Analytics can provide. Enrolling in the Tepper MBA costs US$70,000 per year in tuition, with a total cost of US$140,000 for the entire program. The Wharton MBA costs around US$150,000, while Stern charges US$157,000.

Studying outside of the US brings cheaper MBA tuition fees. The University of Amsterdam Business School in Europe offers an MBA in Big Data and Business Analytics costing around US$47,000.

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However, there are ways to make paying for your program easier. Enrolling in a part-time program allows you to continue working while you study. Schools and independent organizations also offer a number of scholarships, fellowships, and loans to help with funding.

The impact an MBA in Business Analytics can have on your career; the increased salary and job opportunities along with the skills and knowledge you’ll acquire which will only grow more important in future, mean you can expect a strong return on your investment—the MBA in Business Analytics, then, is more than worth it.

If you’re looking to get a graduate business degree, deepen your understanding of data and analytics, and launch a career in the digital space, you have a range of options. The next step is choosing the right program for you.

Our free guide, Finding Your Best Fit Full-Time MBA Program, gives you the expert tips and guidance you need to confidently narrow your options and identify the programs that make the most sense for your needs, preferences, and career goals.


Matt Kefford

Matt Kefford - BusinessBecause

Matt Kefford is a writer for BusinessBecause and mba.com, writing stories and creating social media content covering business education. He's also a contributor to the GMAC Connect Blog.

Matt is an experienced media professional, he’s previously written for national news organizations including The Sunday Times and i News, as well as a number of regional titles. He’s also worked in social media for Sky News.

Matt has a B.A. in History from the University of Leeds and an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Sheffield. He is also a gold standard accredited journalist with the National Council for the Training of Journalists.