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Business analytics involves leveraging data-driven techniques to inform strategic decisions, making it essential across most industries. To thrive in this field, you’ll require analytic understanding, problem-solving skills, and a passion for transforming raw data into actionable insights — and a master’s degree can get you there. With this skill set, graduates often pursue careers as market research analysts, data scientists, business managers, and more.

Notably, these roles command salaries that regularly surpass the national median — with market research analysts earning a median of $68,230 and data scientists regularly seeing six-figure incomes.

Typically completed in 18 months to two years, these online programs offer flexibility without compromising quality. With an average cost of $19,749, this degree guarantees professional advancement and substantial earning potential in a growing field.

How to Choose an Online Master’s in Business Analytics Program

Choose your area of study

Choosing the right area of study is crucial for aligning your academic pursuits with your career goals. To make this decision effectively, evaluate your interests, strengths, and long-term goals to identify a specialization that resonates with your professional trajectory. Popular specializations include data science, healthcare analytics, and marketing analytics — among others.

You might opt for data science if you want technical roles, leveraging algorithms and machine learning. Healthcare analytics suits those passionate about improving healthcare outcomes through data-driven strategies, while marketing analytics is ideal for students keen on enhancing brand strategies and consumer insights.

Research schools and programs

Once you’ve chosen a specialization, you can research schools and programs. Start by identifying your ideal program format — which may be asynchronous or synchronous.

Asynchronous formats offer flexibility, appealing to working professionals balancing multiple commitments. Conversely, synchronous formats provide real-time interaction, fostering a more structured learning environment suitable for full-time learners. You’ll also want to consider your enrollment preference, as part-time or full-time status can impact program duration and intensity.

Consider accreditation status, faculty credentials, curriculum relevance to your specialization, and alum outcomes during your research. Assess student support services, networking opportunities, and capstone project offerings, ensuring a holistic education experience tailored to your professional objectives.

Prepare for tests and applications

With your shortlist of prospective schools, it’s time to prepare for tests and applications. Familiarize yourself with each program’s requirements, especially GMAT or GRE scores, as they can vary by institution. Enrolling in a test prep program can boost your performance and help you stand out in the applicant pool.

Prioritize early requests for transcripts and letters of recommendation to ensure timely submission, and dedicate ample time to writing your personal statement — reflecting your enthusiasm, goals, and alignment with the program.

Select your program

You may have a significant decision to make if you receive multiple acceptance letters. Now is a great time to revisit some initial factors from your research — such as the program’s curriculum and the faculty who teach there — that align with your career goals. Evaluate the total cost of attendance, factoring in tuition, fees, and living expenses, alongside available financial aid or scholarship opportunities.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

For many students, paying for your degree will require strategic planning. Start by prioritizing scholarships and grants, as these are essentially “free money” that minimizes debt. Next, consider federal loans over private options, given their typically lower interest rates and more flexible repayment terms.

Take your search for financial aid further by exploring work-study if you’re seeking part-time employment. For those currently employed, see if your employer offers a tuition reimbursement program.

By combining these financial aid resources, you can optimize affordability and minimize out-of-pocket costs, ensuring a sound investment in your future without compromising financial stability.

Best 50 Accredited Online Master’s in Business Analytics Programs


Arizona State University

Boston University

Oklahoma State University

Penn State World Campus

Maryville University

Indiana University

Drake University

Iowa State University

Syracuse University

Quinnipiac University

University of Texas Dallas

UMass Lowell

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

West Virginia University

Ohio University

University of Maryland, College Park

Drexel University

Wake Forest University

Texas A&M University

Lewis University

Purdue University

William & Mary

Stevens Institute of Technology

Carnegie Mellon University

Rutgers University-Camden

University of Scranton

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

University of Texas at Austin

Cornell University

Duke University

Georgetown University

Seton Hall University

Pepperdine University

Villanova University

University of Colorado Boulder

University of Florida

University of Houston

University of Massachusetts Amherst

The Ohio State University

Saint Joseph’s University

University of South Florida

Santa Clara University

Northeastern University

University of Dayton

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How We Rank Schools

This list features some of the best online master’s in business analytics programs at top colleges across the country. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. Many of the schools on our list have been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which assesses the objectives, quality, and overall effectiveness of business-related programs.

We evaluated each school’s program on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation, as well as the student resources provided for online students. Then, we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Next, we compared this comprehensive list of online master’s in business analytics programs to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report, among others, to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

What Can You Expect From an Online Master’s in Business Analytics Program

An online master’s in business analytics equips prospective students with the necessary skills to harness data for strategic decision-making. These programs typically span 18 months to two years, providing the theoretical knowledge and practical tools you’ll need to thrive in this field.

Coursework includes statistical analysis, data mining, predictive modeling, and machine learning techniques. These courses emphasize versatile applications due to the ubiquity of data-driven decision-making across industries. Notably, sectors like communications, retail, insurance, and healthcare frequently need individuals with this particular skill set. By taking specialized coursework, you can tailor your skills for analytics within these sectors.

While virtually all coursework is available online, many programs increase student engagement with hands-on projects using real-world datasets, collaborating with industry experts, and capstone projects designed to solve complex business problems.

Potential courses you’ll take in an online master’s in business analytics program

  • Data Mining and Predictive Analytics: A common core component, this course delves into techniques for extracting patterns from large datasets. Students learn algorithms like decision trees, neural networks, and clustering methods to forecast future trends and behaviors, enabling businesses to anticipate market shifts and optimize strategies effectively.
  • Business Intelligence and Reporting: Here, students explore tools and technologies that convert raw data into meaningful visualizations and reports. They acquire skills in dashboard design, data visualization techniques, and KPI tracking, empowering organizations to make informed, data-driven decisions and enhance operation efficiency.
  • Healthcare Analytics: Considered by many programs to be an elective, this course examines data-driven strategies to improve patient outcomes, reduce costs, and optimize healthcare delivery. Students explore healthcare databases, predictive modeling for patient diagnosis, and regulatory compliance.
  • Retail Analytics: Ideal for students seeking retail-specific skills, this course centers on leveraging data analytics to drive growth and customer engagement in the retail industry. Students delve into consumer behavior analysis, inventory optimization, and sales forecasting techniques. Graduates can help retailers enhance customer satisfaction and maximize profitability by understanding purchasing patterns and market trends.

What Can You Do With an Online Master’s in Business Analytics Degree?

Career outlook

The career outlook for individuals with an online master’s degree in business analytics is highly promising. The demand for skilled professionals in this field is expected to grow significantly, driven by the increasing reliance on data-driven decision-making across industries. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a faster-than-average job growth rate for occupations related to business analytics. A 10 percent growth is expected over the coming decade for management analysts, for example, who make a median salary of $95,290 annually. Industries such as finance, healthcare, and technology have a strong need for qualified individuals with expertise in data analysis. This optimistic outlook highlights the value of an online master’s degree in business analytics in meeting the evolving needs of the job market.

Career paths

An online master’s degree in business analytics opens up many promising career paths for individuals seeking to navigate the dynamic landscape of data-driven decision-making.

Professionals in this field are in demand across industries, including finance and banking, healthcare, retail, technology, and manufacturing. The versatility of business analytics skills allows professionals to make significant contributions across a wide range of business sectors by transforming data into actionable insights.

Here are some common paths available to those with this educational credential:

  • Data engineers develop, construct, test, and maintain architectures for data generation and processing.
  • Machine learning engineers build and implement machine learning models to enhance predictive analytics and automated decision-making.
  • Quantitative analysts apply statistical and mathematical models to analyze financial and market trends.
  • Data architects design and create data systems and structures for efficient information management.
  • Healthcare data analysts analyze healthcare data to improve patient outcomes, operational efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.

Data Scientist

Earning Potential: $68,937-$83,573 annually
Education Required: Master’s degree in business, business analytics or a related field

A data scientist leverages advanced statistical, mathematical, and programming skills to analyze complex datasets, extracting valuable insights that inform strategic business decisions. They design and implement machine learning models, employing algorithms to identify patterns, trends, and correlations within data. Data scientists play a crucial role in developing predictive models for forecasting, classification, and optimization, contributing to improved decision-making processes. Additionally, they often collaborate with cross-functional teams, interpreting findings and making recommendations to stakeholders. The role of a data scientist requires a combination of analytical prowess, domain knowledge, and effective communication skills to unlock the full potential of data for organizational success.

Business Intelligence Analyst

Earning Potential: $96,546-$123,056 annually
Education Required: Master’s degree in business, business analytics or a related field

A business intelligence analyst interprets and transforms complex data into actionable insights to support strategic decision-making within an organization. They gather, analyze, and visualize data using tools and techniques to identify trends, patterns, and key performance indicators. Business intelligence analysts create reports and dashboards, providing stakeholders with clear, comprehensible information. They are pivotal in helping businesses understand their market and enhance overall performance. Focusing on data-driven solutions, business intelligence analysts bridge the gap between raw data and informed business strategies, contributing to organizational growth and market competitiveness.

Database Administrator

Earning Potential: $89,537-$113,988 annually
Education Required: Master’s degree in computer and information technology, business or business analytics

A database administrator (DBA) manages and maintains an organization’s database systems, ensuring their efficiency, security, and reliability. They oversee the installation, configuration, and upgrading of database software while also implementing security measures to protect sensitive data. DBAs optimize database performance and troubleshoot issues to ensure uninterrupted data availability. They design and implement data models, manage user access, and collaborate with IT teams to align databases with organizational needs. Database administrators play a critical role in safeguarding data integrity and supporting the seamless functioning of an organization’s information systems.

Online Master’s in Business Analytics Degree Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to an online master’s in business analytics degree program?

While admissions requirements can vary, many schools require the following application materials:

  • Personal statement
  • GMAT or GRE scores
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts

Before applying, you must contact an admissions counselor to understand specific requirements and any program prerequisites. Their insights can guide you through the application process, ensuring you meet all criteria and present a compelling application illustrating your readiness for advanced studies in business analytics.

How much does an online master’s in business analytics degree cost?

An online master’s in business analytics averaged $19,749 for the 2020-2021 academic year, though prices will vary depending on the specific institution you attend. Unlike in-person programs, online options often eliminate costs like room and board, commuting, and campus fees. Digital formats also offer a unique flexibility, allowing students to continue working while pursuing their degree, potentially offsetting lost wages.

However, it’s important to be mindful of potential technology, distance learning, and library fees — which can add up over time. These costs are often not incorporated into the tuition price. Be sure to consult with a financial aid counselor at your school to understand your attendance cost better.

How long does it take to earn an online master’s in business analytics degree?

Typically, earning an online master’s in business analytics takes full-time students 18 months to two years to complete. However, completion times can vary based on enrollment status, with part-time options often extending the duration. The total number of required credits also influences program length — generally, the more credits required, the longer it will take to graduate. It’s important to note that online programs often allow flexibility, allowing students to pace their studies and accommodate work or other commitments, which can also lengthen the timeline.

Is an online master's in business analytics degree worth it?

An online master’s in business analytics is often considered a valuable investment, providing a comprehensive skill set highly sought after in today’s data-driven business landscape. The program equips individuals with advanced analytics, statistical, and programming skills, making them adept at transforming data into actionable insights.

The broad range of positions available to those with this degree includes many jobs that are in high demand, with favorable salaries. For example, those working as financial analysts can expect to make a median salary of $96,220 a year. This occupation should see a growth rate of eight percent over the coming decade, which is faster than average, according to BLS data.

Additionally, the flexibility of an online format allows individuals to continue working while pursuing their education. While the cost and time commitment should be considered, the potential for career advancement and the opportunity to contribute significantly to organizational success make an online master’s in business analytics a worthwhile investment for those seeking to thrive in the data-centric business world.

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