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All You Need To Know About Master’s in Business Analytics (MSBA) 2021

MS Business Analytics

Data Science is the new engineering. Honestly.

This is a field that is so humongous and still ever-growing, that new data measurement terms are constantly emerging: petabyte, exabyte, zettabyte, yottabyte… There is no end to it!

Trying to draw meaningful business insights from the pure chaos of collected data is like looking for a needle in a haystack. An MS-Business Analytics graduate is the one who saves the day by bringing a magnet to do the task.

Here’s the thing that makes an MS Business Analytics worth it:

It trains you to not only understand and organize data but also to know enough about business to differentiate what matters from what doesn’t. You will be the one to drive critical business decisions with 100% verifiable evidence in data. You will be completely aware of exactly how wrong your decision can go, too.

Can you imagine, then, what an MS Business Analytics salary must look like?

Trust us, it’s likely to be higher than you’re thinking.

In this article, we will explore:

  1. MBA vs. MSBA: A Comparison
  2. MS Business Analytics Salary and Careers
  3. Top STEM-Designated MSBA Programs in the US


MBA vs. MSBA: A Comparison

So there are three post-graduate degrees that look similar at first glance:

  1. MBA Business Analytics
  2. MS Business Analytics
  3. Masters in Business Analytics

Of course, right? They’re all about Business Analytics! They must be the same thing!

Well, not really. MS Business Analytics and Masters in Business Analytics are one and the same, but together, they’re very different from an MBA in Business Analytics.

Here’s how they differ:

The biggest and most critical difference between MBA and MSBA is the expected academic background.

An MBA, no matter the specialization, is a business-centric course. It requires candidates with experience or interest in business and management.

On the other hand, a Master’s in Business Analytics is a data-centric course. It needs a strong academic background in mathematics, statistics and/or computer science.

An MBA can handle the needs of students without a business background even though business is the main focus of the course.

Conversely, a Master’s in Business Analytics cannot compensate for the lack of an academic background in mathematics and statistics. It is designed to build on the student’s existing knowledge.

In MSBA, you will study data structures and models to organize and manipulate large amounts of data. You will learn and conduct research into ways to handle and process data in order to extract actionable intelligence from it. MBA in Business Analytics will teach you various ways to use this actionable intelligence to bring about the best results for your business.

A Master’s in Business Analytics teaches you to handle data first-hand and to use it to run a business, while an MBA (Business Analytics) only does the latter.

2. MS Business Analytics: Salary and Careers

The best way to figure out whether any given degree is worth it is to check the way it impacts salary. If it boosts your earning potential, it’s worth giving it a shot.

At present, Master’s in Business Analytics is topping most charts in terms of maximum value added.

Harvard Business Review declared business analytics as “the sexiest job of the 21st Century.”

Need we say more?

Here are the top ten careers and average annual salaries you can expect post-MSBA.


  1. Pricing and Revenue Analyst – $58,540
    As a pricing and revenue analyst, you will be expected to perform two basic functions. One will be to analyze pricing trends and the other will be to analyze revenue trends. Ultimately, you will be expected to provide fact-based advice on how to drive the pricing strategy.


  2. Market Research Analyst – $60,429
    Market research is critical for every aspect of running a business. As an analyst, your primary job will be to provide insights and advice on what products and/or services the business should offer, based on market demand and supply for each. You may also be expected to provide feedback on how to differentiate the products and/or services provided by the business.


  3. Big Data Analytics Specialist – $65,470
    Speed is the most critical part of this profile. Of course, accuracy and reliability also matter, but speed takes center stage when you’re dealing with big data. The main responsibility of this profile is to quickly analyze large data sets and provide actionable insights.


  4. Data Analyst – $65,470
    If you prefer working with hard data and focusing on analyzing it rather than dealing with people and helping them understand the data, this is the perfect job for you.

    As a Data Analyst, you will work with massive volumes of cold, hard data that holds the key to many powerful business insights. It will be your job to find this key by organizing, processing, and analyzing this data. How good you are at doing this will determine how useful the insights you provide will be to the business.


  5. Operations Research Analyst – $68,571
    As an operations research analyst, your main focus will be on identifying avenues for improvement within the organization’s operations. Both administration- and delivery-related operations will fall under your purview. You will be expected to use data to point out inefficiencies and suggest ways to resolve the problem.


  6. Management Consulting Analyst – $75,091
    A management consulting analyst has three main aims: reduce costs, increase revenue, and improve efficiency. In this role, you will be expected to examine company data to identify problems that keep you from achieving any of these three aims, and then propose managerial solutions to help overcome them.


  7. Business Intelligence Analyst – $79,613
    Your sole goal as a business intelligence analyst is to maximize company profit. The data you will be dealing with can encompass the past as well as current conditions within which the company operates. Using this data, you will be expected to provide advice on how to increase your company’s profits.


  8. Program and Marketing Manager – $80,673
    This role requires a certain creative flair, because of which you may face competition from unexpected quarters. The edge you have over other candidates who don’t possess an MSBA is that you are capable of harnessing insights from available data to ensure you hit the exact mark required to achieve the company’s goals. If you have a creative bent of mind, this could be the perfect job for you.


  9. Data Scientist – $120,931
    Data is everywhere in today’s age of information. A person who can not only handle data but also help others make sense of it is called a magician Data Scientist.

    If you have a strong command over computer science, you can work with data by organizing, analyzing, and presenting it using software. You will also be expected to facilitate data visualization by presenting data in graphs and charts, making it easier for non-scientists to understand the underlying message.

These are only a handful of prospective business analytics careers that you can take up after completing your MSBA. Keep in mind that this is still only the beginning – this field is just starting to take hold around the world, so you can expect this list to grow even further by the time you graduate!


Top 8 STEM-Designated MS Business Analytics Programs in the US

A postgraduate degree boosts your earning potential either because it adds value to your knowledge or because it acts as a signal to potential employers about your capacities. A great program is one that does both.

MSBA Programs in the US must consistently meet certain basic and rigorous standards in order to maintain their STEM designation. A designation given by the US Department of Homeland Security, STEM allows the students of a designated course to work in the USA for nearly three years after graduating, without needing an H1B visa.

Here is a list of the best STEM MS Business Analytics programs in the US. The list is arranged according to MSBA rankings for your convenience.

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management – Master of Business Analytics
    MIT is the world’s leading institute when it comes to the STEM fields, so it is no surprise that it would top this list. The MS Business Analytics offered by MIT’s Sloan School of Management is run under the guidance and leadership of the MIT Operations Research Center.

    A 12-month course, this is designed for current students or fresh graduates who want to pursue a career in data science. It is especially recommended for students with an academic background in engineering, mathematics, physics, and computer programming.
  2. University of Texas in Austin, McCombs School of Business – MS Business Analytics
    A highly accelerated, highly specialized course in business analytics, the McCombs MSBA lasts only for 10 months. Don’t let the duration of this course deceive you into thinking it will be easy. This program has also been hailed as the world’s #2 program in this category.

    McCombs remains one of the country’s most consistently top-ranked B-schools, making this program all the more credible and attractive for students looking to pursue a career in data science.
  3. University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business – MS Business Analytics
    Yet another highly reputed institution, the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business offers a flexible two-year program that students can expedite and complete within 12 months, too.

    This program offers highly specific training in the analysis of big data, including statistical modeling, data management, visualization, information security, optimization, and decision-making under uncertainty. The MSBA focuses on equipping students with directly marketable and highly useful skills like effective data presentation.
  4. University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business – MS Business Analytics
    The University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business offers a flexible two-year MS Business Analytics program in the US that students have the option to finish within a single year as well.

    There is a strong focus on cybersecurity, information systems, supply chain and transportation, social media and web analytics, forecasting, and quantitative analysis in this program. This course provides students with the option to specialize in highly specific fields that are gaining momentum in the market today. The University’s partnerships with companies like Deloitte, KPMG, and Unilever give students a strong edge over their peers.
  5. University of Connecticut, School of Business – MS Business Analytics and Project Management
    Conducted at the University’s Hartford or Stamford campuses, this course can be done full-time as well as part-time. It features five required courses under business analytics, namely, Business Process Modeling and Data Management, Predictive Modeling, Business Decision Modeling, Data Mining, and Business Intelligence, and Statistics in Business Analytics.

    The Project Management part includes four required courses: Introduction to Project Management, Project Leadership and Communications, Project Risk and Cost Management and Advanced Business Analytics and Project Management. There is a great variety of optional subjects and electives for students to pick from. The program requires a total of 37 credit hours, including one credit hour in technical communication.
  6. University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Business – MS Business Analytics
    This program is a one-year full-time course that requires 45 credits to be completed. What sets it apart from most of the other MS Business Analytics courses, however, is that it involves experiential learning from the get-go.

    Given its tie-ups with companies such as PwC, the University of Minnesota affords consistent live case studies for the students of its MSBA course. This course has been ranked within the top five courses of its kind in the country by US News as well as QS World University ranking. 100% of the graduates of this program received recruitment offers within 90 days of graduating in 2015 and 2016.
  7. Purdue University, Krannert School of Management – MS Business Analytics and Information Management
    The Purdue Krannert MSBAIM has very high academic standards. It lasts for 11 months and begins with a summer session. The program offers MBA holders an option to request waivers for Business Foundation courses if they have studied them before, allowing them to fast-track their way through the program.

    The program requires a minimum of 36 hours of coursework to be done, with subjects divided into 4 categories: Core Courses on Techniques and Technologies, Foundational Courses in Functional Areas, Restricted Electives on Information Management and Analytics, and Free Electives or Immersion Electives.
  8. UC Davis Graduate School of Management – MS Business Analytics
    The one-year full-time Master of Science in Business Analytics course offered at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management is located in the very heart of the San Francisco Silicon Valley. This course opens doors to collaborations with a variety of Silicon Valley companies that are at the forefront of the Big Data revolution.

    This program focuses on honing students’ core competencies in business, data management, and analytics by encouraging constant practice. The School features an Industry Advisory Board which partners with the academic team to keep the course content relevant and up-to-date.

This is only a list of the best MS Business Analytics programs in the US. There is a multitude of programs available in Australia, Canada, and across Europe, too. Since you can safely expect a decent post-MS Business Analytics salary, the cost of programs anywhere in the world should not be a problem.

At CrackVerbal, we help thousands of students with their MS applications every year. We understand the challenges of choosing the right school and going through the rigors of applying to your chosen set of schools.

From figuring out which schools they should apply to, to actually putting the applications together – we are with you from beginning to end.

You can reach out to us for help to apply for any of these courses as well as any other Masters in Business Analytics.

This should sum up everything you need to know about MSBA, but we’d love to hear your feedback on this article. Was it helpful? Did you find anything lacking? Let us know in the comments!