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An Inside Look at the Top Online Business Analytics Master’s Programs

Review 2024’s best programs, dive into the curriculum, explore career possibilities, and learn everything else you need to know about earning a master’s in business analytics online.

Author: Kathleen Curtis

Editor: Staff Editor

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Three businessmen analyzing financial data on multiple computer screens in a modern office setting, displaying graphs and statistics.

Are you passionate about numbers and data? Do you enjoy working with information that others can’t understand to provide insightful and actionable reports that drive meaningful business decisions? Pursuing a master’s in business analytics online offers the skills and training needed to take on in-demand data analysis roles across many industries.

By completing your studies online, you can benefit from a flexible schedule, affordable tuition costs, fewer educational expenses, career advancement opportunities, and higher earnings. It’s normal to have questions about the process, and we’re here to help answer them. Keep reading to find out what it’s like to get a master’s in business analytics degree online and to discover the programs that are at the top of our list for 2024.

2024’s Best Online Master’s in Business Analytics Programs

In an era where data drives decision-making, earning an online master’s degree can help you navigate the modern business analytics landscape. Our 2024 list of the top online master’s degree programs in business analytics caters to individuals who wants a career extracting meaningful insights from complex information. Explore these premiere schools to find the optimal program and become a skilled analyst in the dynamic world of data-driven decision-making.

About the ranking
1
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Type:
Private not-for-profit
Cost:
$$

Regent University’s MS in Business Analytics teaches students how to turn data into a career in a fast-growing field. Coursework provides comprehensive training, emphasizing data integrity strategies and privacy. Graduates will be prepared to seek a career in the field or, for those already working, fill important gaps in skills and knowledge. They’ll have opportunities to increase their income and become decision-makers in their organization. Specific courses include business, high-level mathematics, computer science and statistics, analytics, data mining, and more. The program culminates in a capstone project in which teams of students conduct an applied analytical research project that addresses a relevant industry issue.

Program Highlights:

MS in Business Analytics

  • Credits: 30
  • Length: 1-2 years
  • Cost: $695/credit
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
2
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s Master of Science in Business Analytics Online is designed for data-driven thinkers who want to develop their knowledge in transforming complex data and guiding their organization in making informed, actionable decisions. Graduates will be prepared to solve business and organizational problems using information systems and carrying out business analytics techniques. Coursework covers data collection, visualization, analysis, data mining, machine learning, social media analytics, and more. Students will find careers such as data analysts, consultants, business intelligence analysts, data specialists, and data scientists. The total program cost is $15,583.26; scholarships and financial aid are available.

Program Highlights:

Master of Science in Business Analytics Online

  • Credits: 33
  • Length: 1 year
  • Cost: $472.22/credit
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: AACSB

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation SACSCOC
3
Type:
Public
Cost:
$

The Online Master of Business Analytics at Ohio University teaches students to leverage data to drive business strategy and use emerging analytics technology. The program provides hands-on training with industry tools, along with live engagement opportunities, a leadership development conference, and access to a career support team. Through project-based learning, coursework covers database management, cybersecurity, and analytics. Graduates are prepared to seek a variety of information technology and analyst positions. The program is 100% online with a flexible format and part-time scheduling, designed for working professionals.

Program Highlights:

Online Master of Business Analytics

  • Credits: 30
  • Length: 20 months
  • Cost: $1,179/credit
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: AACSB

School Services & Accreditation

Career Services Yes
Academic Counseling Yes
Accreditation HLC

School Spotlight: Exploring Three Business Analytics Programs

Deciding where to pursue your master’s degree is a research-heavy process. To help you keep the ball rolling we’ve profiled three additional business analytics programs. These profiles should give you a good idea of which features to keep your eye out for as you continue on your search for the perfect program for you.

Carnegie Mellon University

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CMU’s Tepper School of Business offers an online Master of Science in Business Analytics program that is completed in 20. It’s designed for individuals with a technical background who are interested in developing deeper analytical skills in order to take on senior positions as intelligence analysts, statisticians, and analytical strategists. The course of study focuses on methodology, software engineering, corporate communication, and business domain knowledge. Coursework is delivered and completed online in a flexible, asynchronous format.

In addition to online coursework, students participate in three weekend-long campus-based intensives that allow for interaction with faculty and peers, experiential learning, and networking opportunities. Application submittals include unofficial transcripts, a GMAT or GRE score, current resume, essay, and two letters of recommendation. Program candidates may be required to participate in an interview as well. The program accepts new students four times annually.

Drexel University

Customized study is a key feature of Drexel University’s online M.S. in Business Analytics program. Through their selection of electives, students can concentrate their courses of study in Information Systems, Statistics, or Modeling, or create their own customized concentration to fit their particular interests in the business analytics field. Most students complete the program and capstone project in 18-24 months. Topics covered in the 45-credit curriculum include predictive business analytics with relational database data, managerial decision models and simulation, and multivariate analysis.

Admission requirements include an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution, 3.0 or higher GPA, transcripts, GRE/GMAT scores, one letter of recommendation, an essay, and current résumé. Applicants with at least three years of managerial experience may apply for a GMAT/GRE waiver. Tuition costs $1,139 per credit. Discounted tuition rates are available to qualifying alumni, members of the military, and members of partner organizations.

University of Massachusetts Amherst

The Isenberg School of Management at UMA provides an online Master of Science in Business Analytics designed to support working professionals looking to specialize their skillset. The degree consists of 31 credits and typically requires 12-18 months to complete. However, students have up to four years to complete all program requirements. Course topics include, among others, business data analysis, business intelligence, data management for business leaders, and corporate finance.

Applicants are required to submit a personal statement, resume, official transcripts, GRE/GMAT scores, and two recommendation letters. Students meeting specific conditions may be able to waive the GRE/GMAT score requirement. Programs starts are available in the fall, spring, and summer. The current tuition rate is $925 per credit, with the estimated total cost reaching $28,675. The course of study culminates with a required capstone project. You can attend a virtual information session to learn more about UMA’s program.

3 Key Advantages of Earning a Master’s in Business Analytics

A bachelor’s degree in business or statistics can get your started in a business analytics career, but only offer a foundation in the subject. To dig into advanced topics in business analytics, you’ll need to earn your master’s degree. Understanding how business analytics master’s programs work can provide a number of actionable, concrete benefits essential for serious career advancement, including:

  1. Access to a growing industry

    The Quant Crunch report estimates more than 2.7 million job openings for data professionals by 2020. With so many companies, nonprofits, and governmental agencies seeing the value of data analytics, jobs are sure to be in demand in the coming years.

  2. More job accessibility

    In the same report, researchers found that approximately four out of every ten business analyst roles require a master’s degree or higher. By completing an advanced degree, you open your career options substantially.

  3. Digital tool awareness

    By completing an online M.S. in business analytics, you gain real-world experience using the technologies and tools currently informing the field. Online programs may provide you with greater confidence in using these tools than students in campus-based programs.

What You’ll Learn in Business Analytics Master’s Programs

No two online master’s in business analytics programs are the same, but many possess similarities in coursework and learning outcomes. By taking classes in subjects like data analysis and decision making, linear statistical models, and advanced information analytics, you gain the latest skills and knowledge needed to work in 21st-century business analytics. Because most degrees are professional, students tend to complete some type of capstone project. However, if you intend a more academic or research-based career, then a thesis may better suit your goals. At the end of any well-regarded M.S. in business analytics, you should possess advanced data collection and organization skills, the ability to recognize data patterns, and a toolbox of strategies.

Popular Courses

  • Data Mining

    This course introduces students to best practices and techniques in the world of data mining, with an emphasis on the foundational skills needed for advanced studies later in the degree program. Topics explored include available software, interpreting results, decision trees, and algorithms.

  • Quantitative Analysis for Business

    Taking this course ensures you possess the knowledge needed to employ simple and multiple linear regression methods, time-series data, and autocorrelation. The course also includes a problem-solving portion to help you handle issues resulting from heteroscedasticity and multicollinearity. The course concludes with a focus on ARIMA modeling.

  • Using Optimization and Simulation in Decision-Making

    With an emphasis on classical and contemporary optimization methods, this course helps you develop the skills needed to use data analytics tools for effective decision-making. Other topics covered include linear and nonlinear programming methods, game theory, business applications, and agent-based modeling.

  • Financial Analytics

    Often taken as an elective or specialization, this course covers the analytical tools explicitly used within the financial industry. Students review execution algorithms, trading analytics, equity data, and term structures to better understand their role in providing advanced analysis.

  • Capstone Project

    During the final semester of studies, the capstone project allows you to demonstrate all the knowledge and skills gained during the program in a culminating assignment. Your advisor will work with you to find a suitable topic and provide guidance along the way.

The Importance of Accreditation for Online Master’s Programs

Finding a properly accredited business analytics master’s program is critical. Failing to do so can result in difficulties in transferring credits, issues with qualifications, and problems finding a job after graduation. Look for a program approved by one of the six regional accrediting organizations at the institutional level. No accrediting body currently exists at the program level, however, but you may find departments approved by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). You can use the U.S. Department of Education’s Database of Postsecondary Institutions and Programs to search for current accreditation status.

What Can You Do with a Master’s in Business Analytics?

Online master’s in business analytics programs lead to a variety of career options in a wide range of industries. Whether working as a financial analyst at a hedge fund, conducting surveys for a research firm, or creating data-driven operational plans for a hospital, a business analytics graduate degree can help you achieve your career goals. Many employers prefer to hire candidates with master’s degrees to demonstrate advanced learning and dedication to the topic. You’ll discover in our section on careers below that advanced careers in business analytics offer substantial pay with many of those at the top of their field earning six figures each year.

Operations Research Analyst

These professionals harness advanced knowledge of analytics and mathematics to help businesses produce better operational outcomes. Whether working in-house for a single company or in a consultative role, operations research analysts identify and create solutions to problems, gather and analyze data, and use simulations and models to offer creative and practical recommendations.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$48,670

$84,810

$140,790

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Statistician

Using advanced understanding of statistical techniques, statisticians look for answers to real-world analytics problems in various professional settings. They identify the question or problem before using appropriate models and techniques to find solutions. Statisticians create surveys or new models to help better analyze data and draw conclusions.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$52,690

$91,160

$146,770

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Actuary

Actuaries help companies minimize risks and uncertainties by analyzing financial options. They develop models for collecting and analyzing data, estimate probability, and create policies that militate against risk. Additionally, actuaries use their advanced knowledge of data analytics and statistics to create reports that help executives make better informed decisions.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$64,860

$108,350

$193,600

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts use their skills to help businesses make sound decisions on investment strategies. They evaluate financial data about the company and the investment landscape, analyze ratios of investments, and keep track of how various types of investments perform and whether those investments best serve a business’s financial goals.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$47,230

$81,590

$156,160

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Survey Researcher

Survey researchers create surveys, collect data, and analyze the results to help businesses make informed decisions. They create and test survey questions based on theories and methodologies, train interviewers and data collectors, iron out any sampling issues that arise, and analyze collected data. After collecting and collating all data, they create accessible reports for decision-makers.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$32,150

$59,170

$108,860

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Costs and Financial Aid for Online Master’s Degrees in Business Analytics

Before deciding on any master’s in business analytics program, you need to fully understand what you’re committing to financially. Despite jobs for graduates paying impressive salaries, you don’t want to find yourself underwater with student loans. It’s to your great benefit, therefore, to understand all financial aid options. In addition to filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) early, you’ll want to speak with your school to learn about specific funding opportunities available. Lastly, you should research private and governmental scholarships, grants, and other options to ensure you leave no financial aid possibilities on the table. To give you an idea of what you might pay for your business analytics master’s program, here are the current tuition rates and total costs for three online master’s in business analytics program

What Your Online Master’s in Business Analytics Could Cost

School Name No. of Credits Cost/Credit Total Tuition Cost

33 credits

$1,055/credit

$34,811

30 credits

$1,863/credit

$55,900

31 credits

$925/credit

$28,675

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Business Analytics Master’s Degrees

What are the admissions requirements for an online master’s in business analytics?

Admission requirements for business analytics master’s programs can vary substantially. There are, nevertheless, a number of requirements common to most programs. They include:

  • Completed application and application fee payment
  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • 2.5 or higher GPA
  • GMAT/GRE scores (may be waived for qualifying applicants or at certain schools)
  • 2-3 letters of recommendation
  • A personal statement laying out your reason for enrolling
  • Updated resume/CV
  • Evidence of at least two years of professional experience post-college
  • Interview
  • TOEFL/IELTS scores for international students

How long does it take to complete a master’s in business analytics online?

The amount of time you spend completing your master’s in business analytics program depends on several factors. Both part- and full-time options exist, with the former typically taking approximately two years and the latter one year. If you’ve previously completed relevant master’s level coursework, you may be able to transfer the credits for that coursework into your master’s program and reduce your total program length. Some schools permit up to four to five to graduate, making it easier to progress through coursework at a pace that works best for you.

Can I earn a master’s in business analytics completely online, or do I need to visit campus?

That depends on the program you select. The degree offered at Carnegie Mellon University, for instance, requires students to participate in three campus-based intensives. Others programs allow their students to meet all requirements without ever visiting campus. If you plan to attend a school far from your home – or lack the time and/or funding to travel – it’s best to find a program that can be attended fully online.