Masters in business analytics in USA - Top Programs, Career prospects, admission requirements, fees etc.
A master's degree gives leverage to a student in addition to boosting knowledge and acts as a stepping stone to a satisfying and successful career.
Having decided to pursue master's, the student needs to choose the right course which can give them the right opportunity and exposure. Courses like a master’s in business administration and management used to be the go-to master’s degree until a few years ago, however, many newer courses such as a degree in business analytics have since gained prominence.
Business analytics aims to turn raw unprocessed data into actionable intelligence. In order to achieve that, business analysts use a variety of quantitative methods, computational tools, and the knowledge of finance and the economy to make data-driven decisions.
What is Business Analytics?
Business Analytics is the study of data to obtain meaningful insights into business decision making. It involves the analysis of data through predictive, prescriptive and descriptive modelling techniques. The degree can be pursued following the completion of an undergraduate degree (in IT or non-IT fields). Broadly speaking, Business Analytics serves as a link between core IT specialists and business administration professionals (from non-IT background).
The Advent of Business Analytics
Organizations all over the world collect and store data as a way to keep track of the business progress. However, this data can be used in a much broader spectrum. The patterns that emerge in the data can be used to analyze the market trends and customer’s responses to the product or service.
Once people recognized the potential that raw data holds, they began to develop a field of study the primary purpose of which, is to analyze data and interpret the information that has been gained from it. This field of study has come to be identified as Data Science. When data science is specifically employed for studying business data, a subset is established called Business Analytics.
Business Analytics is a well-balanced blend of mathematics, technology, and business studies. It deals with topics such as statistics and probability alongside subjects like finance that sharpen the business acumen. The foundation of this program was laid down by these subjects. However, with technological advancement, there was a need for computer devices to decrypt the overflowing data. This led to machine learning and computing be a part of the program. Business analytics uses computer languages like SQL, R, and Python.
Study Business Analytics in the US
A Masters in Business Analytics in the USA is one of the top choices among students. The country has some of the leading schools in the world which offer a well-developed program in Masters in Business Analytics. The program is offered online or on-campus and also has a blended model of theory and field work in the form of case studies. The MS program also includes industry projects or competitions.
Admissions and Cost Criteria Are Important
Although a good GRE test score and an undergraduate degree GPA are the requirements for admission into the Business Analytics program in the USA, Universities do admit students by taking into consideration the IT work experience instead of the scores. The Masters in Business Analytics can be secured either as a Master of Science degree with a major in Business Analytics or as an MBA with a Business Analytics concentration. This degree is one of the most widely taken STEM degrees, providing the graduates with the Optional Practical Training(OPT) in the USA for 3 years.
Some programs prefer applicants with a bachelor’s degree in engineering or statistics while others are satisfied with a few prerequisites. MBA programs favor candidates from a business background or having extensive work experience. Typically, top universities require applicants to take the GMAT or GRE, although some schools do not have such admissions requirements. An international student may need to take the TOEFL/IELTS exam to prove their English proficiency.
The program cost and financial aid options are essential factors to consider while choosing the right program. Tuition fees for the degree can be anything upward of USD 40,000.
Choosing the Right Program
Before picking a program, the prospective students should assess the curriculum and admissions requirements.
Listed below are the top three institutes in the US offering an MS in business analytics -
MIT - Sloan School of Management
Location - Cambridge, Massachusetts
Degree - Master of Business Analytics
Has a one-year program that can extend up to 18 months. The program is ranked number one all around the world and is unmatched in terms of quality education and employability. The tuition fees are USD 77,350.
The University of Texas at Austin-McCombs Business School
Location - Austin, Texas
Degree - Master of Science in Business Analytics
The MS in Business Analytics is a 10-month program. Ranked second-best worldwide, it has high placement rates and has partnered with top consultants. The tuition fees are USD 48,000
USC Marshall School of Business
Location - Los Angeles
Degree - Master of Science in Business Analytics
One of the top-ranking and longest-running programs. The MSBA program emphasizes on project based learning in collaboration with industry partners The fees are USD 63,096.
Some other leading US schools offering a master's degree in Business Analytics are -
- UCLA Anderson School of Management-Master of Science in Business Analytics-15 months program
- University of Chicago-Master of Science in Analytics-12 months program
- Duke University-Master of Quantitative Management-10 months program
- Northwestern University-Master of Science in Analytics-8 months industry project with 3 months summer internship and 10 weeks for the capstone.
- University of Rochester-Master of Science in Business Analytics-choice of an 11-month program or a 17-month program with a summer internship.
Scope of Business Analytics
Business Analytics has turned out to be a huge industry with an increase in demand for Analysts in different industries. The requirement for a Business Analyst transcends all sectors. Thus the position has become an important addition to a company's workforce. MS in Business Analytics degree holders will always be in demand, working as an analyst in a company or as an independent consultant with multiple companies.
Skills required for a career in Business Analytics
- Technical Skills - SQL, Coding, Application Software and Statistics
- Solution-Oriented Approach
- Stellar communication skills
- Critical Thinking and visualizing
- Sharp observation skills
- Decisiveness and foresightedness
Job prospects of MS in Business Analytics
According to McKinsey, companies are in urgent need of talented analysts to meet the ever-growing demand. A degree provides a multitude of options in multiple functions for those seeking a career as an analyst. Some top jobs include
- Management Analyst
- Marketing Analyst
- Operations Research Analyst
- Data Scientist and other Big Data Jobs
- Other careers of interest include mathematicians and statisticians, logisticians.