Master of Business Analytics: Everything You Need to Know

Thomas Nugent

Thomas Nugent - BusinessBecause

Thomas Nugent is the Deputy Editor for BusinessBecause.

Students Lounging

Today’s most in-demand jobs revolve around technology, data science, and business analytics. 

By 2025, the World Economic Forum (WEF) predicts that 97 million new jobs will emerge. Jobs with growing demand will include data analysts, AI and machine learning specialists, big data specialists, and software and applications developers. 

When you’re making a career plan, you want to identify a target area that combines your passion and interests with the highest chance of making an impact. 

If you’re a tech enthusiast with management ambitions, a Master of Business Analytics will give you exactly that.

Who is a Master of Business Analytics for?

A Master of Science in Business Analytics gives you the skills to apply modern data science and machine learning capabilities at work to solve real-world business problems. 

The degree is for working professionals or recent graduates who want to launch, or accelerate, their career in a business analytics role. That could be in sectors like digital, retail, healthcare, finance, logistics, or supply chain. 

A Master of Data Analytics is more focused on data science and less on the business side, although the terms are often used interchangeably.

Ultimately, business analysts use the data they analyze to make practical, data-driven decisions and to implement change, whereas data analysts focus mostly on the uncovering of data trends and insights.

Types of Masters of Business Analytics

The traditional MS in Business Analytics degree is an in-person, campus degree that usually lasts between 12 and 14 months. 

Students either go straight into their degree from undergraduate level or take time out of the workforce for the duration of the program.

You can also study Masters in Business Analytics online and, in the United States, many Masters in Business Analytics programs are STEM-designated. 

Master of Business Analytics STEM degree

A STEM-designated degree is a US academic program recognized for its specific, close focus on science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM). 

International students pursuing STEM-designated masters degrees can apply for a 24-month STEM-extension to their 12-month Optional Practice Training (OPT) period, which allows them stay in the US on a student visa after graduating. That means students on STEM-designated masters can work in the US for up to three years after graduation, without an H1-B visa.

Studying a STEM-designated Master of Business Analytics is the perfect way to acquire a top technical skillset that will allow you to accelerate your career. According to the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the STEM field has the fastest growing and highest-paying jobs this century.

Online Master of Business Analytics

Online Master of Business Analytics programs allow you to study for your degree part-time, over several years. The online version of the degree covers the same content as the full-time, on campus version. 

Course content is delivered through each school’s online learning platform, and lectures, seminars, and group project work are all carried out virtually. 

Some of the best online Master of Business Analytics degrees allow you up to three years to complete your education. There’s the added bonus that you’ll be able to earn while you learn, and apply the skills you’re acquiring in real time to your job. 

MSc Business Analytics: What you’ll learn

Masters of Business Analytics dive into the world of big data, artificial intelligence, and data analytics. 

On MIT Sloan’s Master of Business Analytics (MBAn), students study modules like Analytics Edge and Optimization Methods. They also take an action learning seminar on analytics, machine learning, and the digital economy. 

There’s an Ethics & Data Privacy module, and electives offer the choice to study Analytics of Finance, Product Management, and Applied Machine Learning. 

Students also work on real-life data science problems with industry practitioners in the degree’s capstone project. 

The seven-month project sees students work in teams of two around the US and abroad. After working on campus at MIT on the projects, students then travel to their host organization in the summer for a full-time summer internship.

Students study a similar syllabus on Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business Online Master of Science in Business Analytics. 

They take classes in machine learning, programming in R and Python, and corporate communication. They also study traditional business modules in marketing, operations, accounting, finance, and people analytics. 

Master of Business Analytics salary & jobs prospects

What can you do with a Master in Business Analytics? The types of jobs you can get with an MS in Business Analytics include:

  • Data Scientist
  • Analytics Associate
  • Data Science Consultant
  • Operations Analyst
  • Product Analyst
  • Business Consultant
  • Quantitative Analyst

Companies that hire Master of Business Analytics grads include: 

  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Boston Consulting Group
  • McKinsey 
  • Uber
  • Walmart
  • PayPal

There are high employment numbers for business analytics degree grads. One hundred percent of job-seeking grads from MIT’s MBAn landed jobs within six months of graduating. One hundred percent of accepted offers were in data science functions. At Imperial College Business School in London, 94 percent of MSc Business Analytics grads were employed three months after their degree. 

The skills you gain from the degree mean you can enter a wide array of industries. Consulting teams at McKinsey, Bain, and BCG (MBB) now consist of not just management experts, but also leaders in data analysis and big data. The ability to work in technically diverse teams is one of the key things MBB consulting firms look for in their business school hires.

The pandemic-induced demand for healthcare has seen the industry digitize and develop technologically. As companies compete for the gaps in the market this has left, they’ll be looking for employees with the latest data and analytical competencies.  

The same demand is seen in finance, as the big banks battle to adapt and compete with agile fintech firms looking to dominate the industry.

Master of Business Analytics salary

What salary will you earn after your Master of Business Analytics?

Graduate base salaries for business analytics grads vary, depending on the program. Some examples include:

  • MIT Sloan’s Master of Business Analytics - US$114K
  • IÉSEG School of Management’s MSc in Business Analytics & Consulting - US$68K 
  • Warwick Business School's MSc Business Analytics - US$43K

The strong salaries for business analytics degree grads reflects demand in the market, and the willingness of companies to pay highly skilled, tech-savvy grads who will be able to utilize their skillset to drive business growth in the decades to come.

Master of Business Analytics cost & ROI

The cost of Master of Business Analytics programs range from around US$20,000, up to the higher end of US$84,000 and above. Examples of program cost are:

There are many ways to pay for business school. Students take out student loans, and some are sponsored by their companies. There are also many scholarship options available. 

The return you get from your investment is that you leave business school ready to launch or accelerate your career at the forefront of technology, where the opportunities and salaries are booming. 

The answer to whether a Master of Business Analytics degree is worth it comes down to your own personal career goals. 

The degree is well suited to undergraduates fresh out of their degree who want to launch a career in data and analytics, and to professionals who want to accelerate their career in the space. 

A Master of Business Analytics will give you the comprehensive technical skillset you’ll need to tap into the huge opportunities and salary prospects in the analytics arena over the coming years.

Master of Business Analytics admission requirements

Some business analytics masters require you to have a bachelor’s degree in a related topic, such as management science, math, statistics, computer science, engineering, or business and management with an incorporated quantitative element. But that isn’t required for all Master of Business Analytics degrees.

You’ll typically start your an online application form and need to submit the following materials:

  • Full degree transcript
  • GMAT exam score
  • Personal statement
  • CV
  • English language test results (if applicable)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Written/video essays

The Ultimate Business School Application Checklist

Use our business school application checklist and timeline to nail the admissions process and access useful mba.com resources right when you need them. 

The admissions team then review your application and, if successful, you’ll be invited for a face-to-face interview.

Interested in a Master of Business Analytics or want to learn more about your degree options? Download our Graduate Business School Application Guide for Undergrads and find your best fit master’s program.

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Thomas Nugent

Thomas Nugent - BusinessBecause

Thomas Nugent is the Deputy Editor for BusinessBecause, with responsibilities supporting the Editor with content and SEO strategy, alongside editorial team development.

Thomas is an experienced writer who has written articles covering business education, management, careers, and the future of work.

He launched and edits the BusinessBecause Insights series, which explores the latest research and trends from the business school classroom, drawing on the expertise of world-leading professors to inspire and inform current and future leaders. The Insights series has covered things like the sharing economy, working from home during COVID-19, the future of the office, NFTs, and ESG investing.

Thomas earned an MA in English from the University of Aberdeen before completing an MSc in Journalism at Robert Gordon University. He joined BusinessBecause in October 2017.

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