What Can I Expect from an Online Master’s in Business Analytics and Intelligence Program?

Online master’s in business analytics and intelligence programs offer the same academic quality as on-campus programs in a more convenient format. Indeed, removing the need to commute to campus allows online programs to provide students with more time for their personal and professional commitments. When selecting an online master’s in business analytics and intelligence program, you should carefully review each option to ensure you pick the best one for your career goals.

Available concentrations

If you’re interested in a particular aspect of this field, you should look for a program that allows you to focus on that specialty. Some of the most popular concentration options for a master’s in business analytics and intelligence program include:

  • Business Intelligence Systems: Examine how to use data and analytical tools to assess competitors, predict market reactions, and work within a regulatory environment.
  • Data Science: Become a data science specialist through computer programming and mathematics courses.

Common degree curriculum

Master’s in business analytics and intelligence programs involve carefully designed curriculum requirements that combine management, computer science, system design, and data mining classes. When combined with a specialization or concentration, graduates of this program are equipped for both generalist and specialist roles in business analytics.

Students may encounter some of the following courses during their graduate studies:

  • Data Mining: Dives into the world of data mining, including warehousing, cubes, and algorithms.
  • Predictive Analytics for Business: Introduces students to predictive analytical tools and the techniques they enable.
  • Foundations for Business Intelligence: Focuses on the practice of business intelligence, exploring various systems for gaining insights from an organization’s data.
  • Process Simulation and Analysis: Explores numerous case studies on current technology and allows students to use the concepts learned in a closed environment to design and monitor deployed systems and procedures.

Certification and license preparation

While a master’s degree will qualify you for most entry-level jobs in this field, earning additional credentials allows you to bolster your resume further and advance your career. Specifically, you should look into the following certification programs:

  • Certified Analytics Professional: This certification, widely considered one of the most beneficial for practitioners in the business analytics industry, is granted to those who meet the education and experience requirements and pass a rigorous exam.
  • Certified Management Consultant: Offered by the Institute of Management Consultants, eligible applicants can earn this certification by passing oral and written exams.

Program accreditation

Only apply to schools approved by a DOE-recognized regional accrediting organization, such as the New England Commission of Higher Education or Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. If your school doesn’t have regional accreditation, you may be unable to access financial aid or transfer credits to another institution if needed. Ideally, your program will also be accredited by an industry group such as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business or the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board.

Program completion timeframe

Depending on the school, students who enroll in an online master’s program in business analytics and intelligence must earn 30 to 48 credits to graduate. These credits are split between core curriculum, courses related to specializations and concentrations, and end-of-degree opportunities like internships, practicums, thesis writing, and capstone projects. The typical time to complete all coursework ranges from 18 months to three years. Part-time students may take up to five years to complete their master’s — this is the maximum time most universities allow.

Several other factors can increase or decrease the time students need to complete their master’s in business analytics and intelligence program. Colleges that offer asynchronous programs allow students to move at their own pace, whether faster or slower than average. Degree programs can take longer if students choose more than one specialization or concentration. More time may also be necessary depending on how long internships or similar experiences take to complete. On the other hand, students may save time if they’ve previously been in an equivalent advanced degree program at another college, as most schools allow students to transfer up to 12 credits.

Employment Outlook for Master’s in Business Analytics and Intelligence Graduates

Regarding average salary and expected job growth, a master’s in business analytics and intelligence is among the most valuable degrees available.

Indeed, this field offers the potential to earn an exceptionally high salary. For example, the top 10% of management analysts make over $167,650.

There are also plenty of job opportunities for business analytics and intelligence professionals, making it easier to find work and negotiate pay raises. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the total number of jobs in the United States is projected to increase by 3% over the next decade — most jobs in this field are expected to grow at more than triple that rate.

Job Title Job Description Median Yearly Salary Projected Growth Rate (2022 – 2032)
Management Analysts Management analysts use collected data to examine how organizations operate, how well they perform, and where opportunities may exist to improve efficiency and cut waste. $95,290 10%
Computer and Information Research Scientists In this role, you would use your expertise to help develop the next generation of business analytics and intelligence tools. $136,620 23%
Operations Research Analysts Operations research analysts use the principles of statistics and probability and data science tools to help organizations identify and solve problems. $85,720 23%

Professional organizations

Professional organizations offer many benefits, allowing you to take continuing education courses, keep up with the latest developments in business analytics technology, and network with fellow professionals. Some of the most prominent organizations in the business analytics and intelligence industry include:

  • Computing Research Association: The CRA seeks to further the careers of its members through job listings and ongoing learning opportunities.
  • IEEE Computer Society: An enormous entity with 60,000 members and regional chapters nationwide, IEEE provides professionals with continuing education, industry publications, and advisory materials.
  • Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences: A large and well-regarded organization, this institute has over 12,500 members who can access best practices documentation and attend periodic meetings that enable continued learning and networking opportunities.

Financing Your Online Master’s in Business Analytics and Intelligence Degree

How to finance an online master’s in business analytics and intelligence program is a significant consideration for most incoming students. The total cost is usually lower than it would be if you were earning your degree in person, but graduate school is still more expensive than most students can afford on their own

The first step to lining up the financial aid that will help pay for a master’s degree is filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Depending on the information included in this application, such as the student’s income and other key demographics, the federal government may be able to offer a variety of financing options, such as grants and subsidized loans. Many colleges, nonprofit organizations, and private companies also provide their own financial aid programs.

Student Finance Resources and Guides

With all of the different options available, it can be challenging to determine exactly which opportunities you may qualify for. The resources listed below will help you determine your financial aid situation and save as much money as possible.

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Interested in a degree?

Learn more about online degrees, their start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.