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Online Master's Career in Business Analytics – Forbes Advisors

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Editor’s note: I earn commissions from partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect editors’ opinions or ratings.

If you’re a fan of problem solving and math, a master’s degree in business analysis could be in your future.

Graduate school is an investment that deserves thorough research and analysis. That said, with the high growth rate of the industry and the demand for data analytics in every industry, enrolling in a master’s degree in business analytics program is a smart choice for many. Here’s what you should know before registering:

What is Business Analytics

All businesses and organizations use qualitative and quantitative data to make informed decisions. But raw data alone is not enough. Organizations need well-trained people to translate that data and turn it into actionable insights.

Business analytics is the practical application of data to financial, sales, operational, and management decisions. As systems and technology become increasingly complex, professionals with a Master’s Degree in Business Analytics are essential in helping organizations solve problems using innovative analysis and modeling.

Success in business analytics requires balancing one foot in technical, data-oriented areas and the other in practical business applications.

Business Analytics Master’s Admission Requirements

The entry requirements for the Master’s Degree in Business Analysis are similar to those for other graduate programs. Business analytics is a highly competitive field with growing demand. Check the application dates for your chosen program and submit your application as soon as possible.

The most common Master’s program entry requirements include a resume, letter of recommendation, bachelor’s degree, GMAT or GRE scores, and a personal essay.

In competitive degree programs, admissions officers and professors seek relevant experience, an interest in analysis and problem-solving, and strong interpersonal skills. Emphasize your curiosity, future goals, and ability to collaborate in your essay or statement. Previous courses or certifications in data analysis, programming, statistics or mathematics are fine.

Each program has its own requirements. Read all the fine print to make sure you meet the criteria and are in line with the program’s mission and goals.

Master’s Degree Course in Business Analysis Program

A Master’s Degree in Business Analysis typically takes one to two years to complete, depending on the course load. Each program has its own course title, description, and requirements. However, core courses are similar across schools.

statistical model or method

All business analytics programs offer statistics courses from introductory level to more complex modeling and probability.

Business analysts need to use advanced statistics to make accurate forecasts and find new opportunities for their organizations. Statistics courses also teach you to use and apply tools such as Generalized Linear Models, Sampling, and Support Vector Machines.

Optimization method

Business analysts must not only interpret data, but also find ways to improve an organization’s function and capabilities. The Optimization Techniques course provides the information and tools you need to solve problems and discover new techniques for a variety of business problems.

Customer analysis

Many organizations work with their customers and clients to use data to improve their business functions. Customer Analytics is a valuable course that teaches learners how to provide accurate and insightful data while enabling them to clarify and present data to a general audience.

marketing analysis

A specific subset of business analytics, marketing analytics uses statistical and quantitative analysis to predict customer behavior. This course enables learners to determine which marketing strategies are most helpful to marketing managers in making informed decisions.

Other courses that are part of the Business Analytics Master Program include project management, programming, data mining, and financial analytics.

Careers with a Master’s Degree in Business Analytics

Believe it or not, there are many career options beyond the business analyst title after graduation. Strong analytical skills are valuable in every industry, from consulting and academia to healthcare and retail. You may lead a team of analysts or be promoted to senior management.

machine learning engineer

average annual income: Machine learning engineers can earn about $113,000 a year.

Machine learning is a burgeoning field for professionals with a background in analytics, computer science, or mathematics. These professionals operate computers, robots, and other self-automating programs.

Machine learning engineers work with computer scientists to find and use data to help machines learn and perform specific tasks. We also develop automated programs that use machine learning to perform data mining and data interpretation.

data architect

Median Annual Income: $98,860
Forecast Growth Rate (2020-2030): +8%

If you enjoy looking at numbers and digging deep into databases, a career as a data architect might be right for you. A data architect works with an organization to build a framework for managing and storing accurate data and creating data usage policies. Familiarity with terminology and attention to detail are qualities that are required to succeed in this role.

data scientist

Median Annual Income: $100,910

Data scientists derive meaningful information from raw data. They use data-oriented visualization software and programming languages ​​to do this job. These professionals conceive data findings, translate and report them, and in some cases create data reports detailing the findings.

Data scientists may work in industries such as computer systems design, corporate management, scientific and technical consulting management, or scientific research and development.

Technical Project Manager

Average Annual Income: A technical project manager can earn approximately $95,300 annually.

Project managers are assets in all industries and often have titles such as IT project manager, marketing project manager, technical project manager, and so on. A technical project manager with an eye for detail and an understanding of data must be able to supervise technical teams, prepare budgets, and apply complex analytics to improve processes and team function.

market research analyst

Median Annual Income: $63,920
Forecast Growth Rate (2020-2030): +22%

Market research analysts are part of a fast-growing field that combines advanced data analysis and marketing strategies. These analysts conduct quantitative consumer research, explore sales trends, and use a variety of tools (from spreadsheets to statistical analysis) to provide insights to stakeholders and marketing managers.

Frequently asked questions about business analytics

Is business analytics a good career?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, data and business analytics jobs are growing at an above-average rate. An advanced degree in business analytics opens the door to individuals with the aptitude to interpret complex data and transform it into innovative business practices.

What are the highest paying analytics jobs?

On average, machine learning engineers earn the highest salaries of all business analytics professionals. That said, salaries vary by organization, industry, location and level of management.

What do you do in business analytics?

A business analyst’s day-to-day responsibilities vary by role and industry. Tasks include creating reports for stakeholders, forecasting markets to support sales goals, and recommending improvements to internal and external processes.