The role of Business Analyst often encompasses a wide range of distinct positions that vary in skill sets and responsibilities. Although some Business Analysts take on a more consultative role to assess an organization’s operating model and processes, we’ll be exploring the Business Analysts who work with business intelligence and quantitative data.
Institutions around the United States now offer dedicated Masters in Business Analytics programs that prepare individuals to succeed in a data driven business environment. Why have these programs risen in popularity?
Demand for Business Analysts
Alongside Data Scientists, Business Analyst positions continue to increase as the world rapidly embraces vast amounts of data in their everyday business decisions. This big data trend is swiftly changing business environments and consumer choices. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that the demand for Management Analysts—including Business Analysts—will increase 14 percent from 2016 to 2026. The BLS attributes this rise to organizations’ growing needs in looking for new ways to innovate processes and regulate costs.
As one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States, educated and experienced professionals with the right skill sets will have plenty of opportunity to advance their careers.
Business Analyst Salaries
Business Analysts in 2019 received an average base pay of $69,163, according to Glassdoor. It’s important to note that this salary differs by industry, location, and prior experience. Comparatively, Senior Business Analysts can expect to earn $88,436/year and Entry Level Business Analysts about $63,971/year. With the scarcity in supply and high employer demand for these positions, salaries will most likely rise in the future.
What to Consider When Choosing Masters in Business Analytics Programs
1. The Faculty
What credentials do the professors in your Business Analytics programs boast? Master’s degree students have many more interactions with professors than at the undergraduate level, so familiarize yourself with their industry background and research focus. While these don’t have to align directly with your own interests, it’s definitely a benefit to your growth. Universities with top Masters in Business Analytics programs often have faculty pages to highlight their professors and researchers.
2. Potential Employers
Check to see what connections a university has with local and national employers. Sometimes these may even appear on the program’s website, featuring companies where alumni have been hired. Are there specific companies that sponsor research at the university or help partially fund study? These existing relationships can help secure you internships and full-time job opportunities that you otherwise may not have access to.
What awards or recognition has the university and the program specifically received? Credible universities often mention reputable organizations that have given them distinguished recognition. You must also make sure the university itself is accredited, so that curriculum meets a certain standard and your degree carries weight once obtained. The top universities listed below all possess proper accreditation.
4. Overall Reputation
Several websites and magazines use a range of factors to rank universities on an annual basis. The US News & World Report is one of the most popular ranking system for top universities in the United States. The following listing of top universities shows the overall ranking from US News & World, but be sure to check the program’s specific rankings.
If you pursue Masters in Business Analytics programs, but wish to specialize in marketing, consider receiving your degree from a top university in business and marketing. Please remember that rankings are meant to be guidelines to evaluate university reputation; they are not meant to be treated as decisive factors on their own.
5. Masters of Business Analytics Requirements
Most Masters of Business Analytics programs welcome applicants with a variety of backgrounds and strengths. However, having a background in a quantitative science, such as mathematics, computer science, or engineering, will help provide a solid foundation. To make sure you have the necessary skills to succeed, it’s recommended to explore a program’s curriculum to see if you could benefit from basic programming or analytical software skills (Excel, Tableau, Databases, etc.).
Top Universities with Master’s in Analytics
*Hybrid degree programs are on-campus programs that offer many classes online as well, which could potentially allow students to take an entire semester online.