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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 need analytic understanding, problem-solving skills, and a passion for transforming raw data into actionable insights — 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 an average salary of $74,680 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 tuition cost of $20,513 per year, 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

This degree is typically offered as a Master of Science. 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 plans to identify a specialization that resonates with your professional trajectory.

Popular concentration options for this degree include data science, healthcare analytics, and marketing analytics. 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

You should only apply to institutions that have been approved by a DOE-recognized regional accrediting organization, such as the New England Commission of Higher Education or Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. These organizations evaluate schools to ensure they provide students with a high-quality education. Those who attend a school that isn’t regionally accredited may be unable to access financial aid or transfer credits to another institution if needed.

Ideally, your master’s in business analytics program will also be accredited by a respected industry group like the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This programmatic accrediting organization has particularly high standards for business education.

In addition to accreditation, consider faculty credentials, curriculum relevance to your specialization, and alumni outcomes during your research. Assess student support services, networking opportunities, and capstone project offerings as well to ensure a holistic educational experience tailored to your professional objectives.

To learn more about any schools that you’re interested in, you can visit the school’s website, contact an admissions counselor, follow the school on social media, or attend an in-person or virtual open house.

Prepare for tests and applications

Application requirements vary by school and program. Familiarize yourself with each program’s requirements, especially GMAT or GRE scores. 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.

Before submitting an application, always contact an admissions counselor to ensure you have the most accurate information regarding requirements and deadlines.

Select your program

Before making your final decision, review your needs and goals again. Do you plan to attend school full-time or part-time? Do you want your program to be as online as possible, or are you fine with a hybrid program that has a fair amount of in-person requirements? Some programs offer asynchronous courses, which can be completed at your own pace, while others only offer synchronous courses, which involve remotely attending lectures and completing assignments at the same time as other students — which of these two online learning formats do you prefer? Your school should accommodate your scheduling needs and learning preferences.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

Be sure to speak to financial aid counselors at the schools you’re interested in for the most accurate and specific information about program cost.

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. Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year to determine your eligibility for federal assistance.

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

BEST ONLINE MASTER’S IN BUSINESS ANALYTICS DEGREE PROGRAMS
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Arizona State University
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Boston University
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Oklahoma State University
01

Penn State World Campus
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Maryville University
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Indiana University
01

Drake University
01

Iowa State University
01

Syracuse University
01

Quinnipiac University
01

University of Texas Dallas
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UMass Lowell
01

University of Nebraska - Lincoln
01

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
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West Virginia University
01

Ohio University
01

University of Maryland, College Park
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Drexel University
01

Wake Forest University
01

Texas A&M University
01

Lewis University
01

Purdue University
01

William & Mary
01

Stevens Institute of Technology
01

Carnegie Mellon University
01

Rutgers University-Camden
01

University of Scranton
01

Worcester Polytechnic Institute
01

University of Texas at Austin
01

Cornell University
01

Duke University
01

Georgetown University
01

Seton Hall University
01

Pepperdine University
01

Villanova University
01

University of Colorado Boulder
01

University of Florida
01

University of Houston
01

University of Massachusetts Amherst
01

The Ohio State University
01

Saint Joseph’s University
01

University of South Florida
01

Santa Clara University
01

Northeastern University
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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 postsecondary education. 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 admission, retention, and graduation rates as well as tuition costs, faculty, reputation, and the 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 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, collaborations 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 about decision trees, neural networks, and clustering methods for forecasting 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 operational 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

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 many 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:

  • Management analyst — Advise organizations on how to increase revenue, reduce expenses, and improve efficiency.
    • Median annual salary: $99,410
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 10%
    • New job openings projected: 92,900 annually
  • Data scientist — Use data analysis and visualization methods to extract meaningful insights from data sets and present findings to others.
    • Median annual salary: $108,020
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 35%
    • New job openings projected: 17,700 annually
  • Financial analyst — Study economic trends and recommend investments to organizations and individuals.
    • Median annual salary: $99,890
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 8%
    • New job openings projected: 27,400 annually

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?

The average tuition for a master’s in business analytics is $20,513 per year, though prices will vary depending on the specific institution you attend.

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 provide 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 and offer favorable salaries.

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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