You may have heard a lot about Big Data/ Business analytics. These terms have become buzzwords of sorts and are in the news for their utility across domains as   varied as health care, financial services, governance and the outcome of sports events.  As  Big Data becomes increasingly entwined with our everyday lives, it creates job opportunities in the lucrative new field of data analytics. For companies of virtually any size in any industry, the mining and processing of big data is a do-or-die proposition.

According to a Forbes article from last December, the demand for Computer Systems Analysts with big data expertise increased 89.9% in 2015 alone, and it is on track to grow even more in the coming years.

In response to fast-rising demand for workers trained to wrangle and analyze the big data streams that are getting bigger by the second – almost a third of the top 100 universities have rolled out Master’s Programs in Big Data /Business Analytics.

The Master of Science in Business Analytics Program

So what exactly is data analytics and how can you get the experience for an analytics career? The first step towards a career in data analytics is to get the Master of Science in Business Analytics degree. The outcomes of this Master of Science program are:

  • Students learn how to be leaders in business data management process and analytics approaches
  • Students develop expertise in key data management areas such as:
    • Data mining, marketing technology, applied statistics
    • How to interpret and communicate data analysis

The table below shows most of the topics covered in the curriculum – both the core (required) courses and the elective courses.  Note that elective courses often provide multiple topics simultaneously; for example, data mining, neural networks, association/classification, and statistical learning are closely-related topics and may be covered in a single course, along with appropriate software, computing resources, and advanced data skills.

Topics covered in Business Analytics programs

Image Source: Georgia Institute of Technology


Top Master of Science in Analytics Programs

School Program Duration Program Tuition
MIT Business Analytics 1 year $75,000
University of Texas-Austin McCombs School of Business Business Analytics <1 year $44,000
Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business Business Analytics 1 year $57,100
Michigan State Broad College of Business Business Analytics 1 year $39,000
USC Marshall School of Business Business Analytics 1 year $51,300
University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management Business Analytics 1 year $68,175
Washington University Olin Business School Customer Analytics 18 months $72,930
Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business Analytics 1 year $49,000
University of Maryland Smith School of Business Marketing Analytics 9 months $55,590
Arizona State Carey School of Business Business Analytics (also online version) 9 months In$48,000
University of Iowa Tippie College of Business Business Analytics 1-2 years $19,950
University of Rochester Simon Business School Marketing Analytics 9-10 months $63,000
University of Rochester Simon Business School Business Analytics 10 months or 17 months (internship track) $63,000
Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business Business Analytics 9 months $41,850
Purdue University Krannert School of Management BA and Information Management 11 months  $46,000
George Washington University School of Business Business Analytics 1 year $50,985
Temple University Fox School of Business Business Analytics 1 year $45,330
University of Texas-Dallas Jindal SOM Business Analytics 18 or 24 months 18 months: $45,444; 24 months: $48,452
College of William & Mary Mason School of Business Business Analytics 1 year $45,000
U.C. San Diego Rady SOM Business Analytics 1 year $52,900
University of Miami School of Business Administration Business Analytics 10 months $55,500
Louisiana State Ourso College of Business Analytics 1 year : $34,901
University of Colorado Leeds School of Business Business Analytics 1 year $35,446
University of Tennessee-Knoxville Haslam College of Business Business Analytics 3 semesters $49,575
Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead SOM Business Analytics 11 months $47,500
University of Connecticut Storrs School of Business BA & Project Management (also part-time) 1 1/2 years $28,875
University of Cincinnati Lindner College of Business Business Analytics 9-12 months 28,796
American University Kogod School of Business Analytics (also part-time) 1-2 years $50,358
Fordham University Gabelli School of Business Business Analytics 12-16 months $40,560
Texas Tech Rawls College of Business Data Science 1 year $16,000



Placements following a Master of Science in BA Program

Companies that typically recruit from these programs include:

Apple iTunes;  Amazon; Bitcasa; Chubb Group; eBay; Facebook; Hewlett-Packard; IBM; LinkedIn; Micron Technology; Motorola; NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Nielsen; Nike; Nordstrom; Northwestern University; Pandora Media; Paypal; Schneider; Square Inc.; STATS LLC.; Tampa Bay Rays; Teradata; The Hartford; TransUnion Financial; Unity 3D; Uptake.

The salary range across the top Master of Science in BA Programs ranges from USD 83,000 to USD 1,20,000


Application Process for the Program

Typically applications for all Master of Science in BA Programs are online. The components of an application packet include:

  • Application Form: This form contains a summation of your academic, demographic, professional (if available and pertinent) and extracurricular information.
  • Resume : You will need a resume that includes your employment history and any internships in reverse chronological order, with titles, dates, and whether employment was part time or full time. Your educational record should also be in reverse chronological order and should indicate dates of attendance and degree(s) earned or in progress. Other information appropriate to a business resume is welcomed and encouraged. The resume should be no more than one page in length.
  • Personal Statement: Typically your application will require you to submit a personal statement (500 words or fewer) answering the following questions:
    • Why is the Master of BA the right program for you?
    • Why School X is the right place for you?
    • What are your overall objectives and aspirations?
    • How would this degree help fulfill these aspirations?
  • Recommendations
    Typically the program requires you to submit three letters of recommendation. These letters should be from faculty who are able to speak definitively about your academic achievement and potential. If you have been working you can submit an additional recommendation from an individual, e.g., a work supervisor or manager, who is able to speak with certainty about your professional achievement and potential. Recommenders need to typically address the following questions in their recommendation:

    • How long and in what capacity have you known the applicant?
    • How does the applicant stand out from others in a similar capacity?
    • Please give an example of the applicant’s impact on a person, group, or organization.
    • Please give a representative example of how the applicant interacts with other people.
    • If you are an academic/technical recommender, please tell us how well the applicant mastered the subject you taught or supervised and in what ways did the applicant demonstrate this mastery.
    • Which of the applicant’s personal or professional characteristics would you change?
    • Please tell us anything else you think we should know about this applicant.
  • Academic Records (Transcripts)
    You need to have transcripts from all post-secondary institutions that you have attended or are currently attending.
  • Test Scores (GMAT or GRE)
    Typically Master of Science in Business Analytics Programs accept both the GMAT & the GRE test scores.
  • Language Test Scores (IELTS/TOEFL/ PTE)

International students are required to submit language test scores along with their application. Most Master of Science in Business Analytics Programs accept the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE




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