Top Business Analytics Degree Programs

Are you interested in a career as a business analyst? There are now numerous academic institutions that offer business analytics degree programs.

The cost of tuition fees continue to increase while employment after graduation is not an easy goal to achieve. This is why college students and parents are keeping an eye on possible degrees that offer the best returns for investing on education. Clever educators are working hard to modify courses that can be a hit in the employment market. What is one of the latest developments in contemporary education?

“Big Data” has turned into a catchword. Advanced degrees in business analytics are fast becoming popular in various colleges and universities across the nation. Academic institutions are now offering data-driven syllabus to students. Schools have come to realize that many corporations worldwide are making use of analytics as a strategy for growth. Successful firms have achieved this because of the more recent technical modernization. Moreover, data explosion is like an epidemic. Real-time data comes from mobile gadgets, social networking, data sensors and multiple sources.

Expectations from BA Programs

Data-based schemes have a crucial role in formulation of business strategies. The program in business analytics is meant to strengthen analytical capabilities. It aims to teach students the techniques of harnessing big data potentials. Analytics will help you make informed decisions at all levels of the company. You will also discover the importance of supply chains, marketing analytics and restructuring the company by way of information platforms.

You have to delve into the balance between analytical and non-analytical flair. Graduates will come out more equipped in making decisions that can produce competitive advantage for organizations that they will possibly be working for. It is supposed to take your skills to a higher plane.

Interaction with faculty and colleagues will help you achieve the following:

  • Determine and carry on analytics competence within the company.
  • Build up the competence that you need to enhance your organization’s analytics.
  • Figure out how big data can impinge on different functions which include marketing and the manufacturing process.
  • Understand the value of this discipline in relation to the IT industry.

The program tackles a wide variety of issues essential to information management. Some of these are:

  • Realize the competition in analytics.
  • Compare big data assessment with the conventional small data methods.
  • Reform industries and corporations using information systems.
  • Utilize the capacity of unstructured data innovation.

Thousands of academic institutions globally are priming up for business analytics and related programs focusing on data analysis in a business milieu.

Growth of information is headed towards a single path. It is evident that skills deficiency may be a long-term issue. There is a big need for qualified information management specialists and data experts to plug the talent dearth. Such programs are meant for individuals with undergraduate degrees and preferably with three or more years of working experience. There are part-time classes which allow students to continue working while learning more about big data analytics. Said programs may not be an assurance that you will be asked to be involved in a significant big data research endeavor. However, graduates of these degrees especially from prominent institutions indicate that top employers will be after you.

Emergence of Business Analytics Degrees

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Business analytics came out as one of the fastest-growing jobs last year especially in the Fortune 100 corporations.
According to the Harvard Business Review, “the position of business analyst or data scientist is the sexiest job of the 21st century.” As a matter of fact, employment for business analysts is projected to surge by 22 percent until 2020 based on figures released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The growth of our technologies has exceeded our supply of qualified talent. 90 percent of the world’s data today has been generated in the last two years, and we can’t keep up with demand. According to a recent McKinsey & Company big data report, by 2018, the United States alone could face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 professionals with deep analytical skills, as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions.” (Source: Harvard Business Review)

Academic institutions are now offering BA programs with quantitative components such as engineering, mathematics, science, and technology. Master’s degrees bolster the chances of students to obtain a job in this field. A consulting company for higher education disclosed that during the last three years, there were 15 new master’s programs which focused on data analytics. One degree is the Master of Science in Business Analytics which used to be made available only by a small number of universities.

Today several programs concentrate on experiential erudition. Students deal with real-world business problems to acquire actual experience. In most cases, the core syllabus is frequently conceptualized considering the skills that business organizations companies need primarily in this area. Under these courses, zero up to a maximum of only two years (work experience) is required. Some MBA degrees offer specialty fields in information systems management which can complement business analytics. Part-time MBA programs are designed for students who want to continue working. Actually, some big companies even shoulder tuition and fees of outstanding employees to enroll in said programs.

Suggested BA Programs

Many universities and colleges offer new business analytics programs which are inter-disciplinary degrees backed by prominent business schools. In some instances, it could be a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree with specialization in analytics and information management. For some, it may be a program that can be completed in only one year or even less. Some institutions have created more business-related and big data-oriented courses.

The degree programs are categorized into four groups:

  • MS in Analytics (Master’s of Science) was developed around 2007. It belongs to a new grouping anchored on formidable inter-disciplinary character that brings together practical mathematics/ statistics, computer science and a mixture of business disciplines. The MSA may be operated separately as a university-wide alliance or by and large in Colleges of Sciences and Engineering for full-time programs. Part-time or distance learning modules are usually available in institutes of continuing learning. The degree title is sometimes called “predictive analytics” or “data analytics.” Yet, these degrees encompass practically the same domain.
  • MS in Data Science is similar to MSA. The syllabus is almost the same for both. It is also given the title of Master’s in Information and Data Science or Master’s in Data Science and Engineering.
  • MS in Business Analytics can be entirely new or an old degree that you can find in business colleges or universities. It is just like the MSA but the curriculum is less technical. However, the tuition is generally more expensive.

Choosing Business Analytics Schools

What criteria should you follow in choosing a college or university that offer the business analytics program? It is important to take into consideration both accreditation and time commitment.

As much as possible, opt for schools that have been accredited by the International Institute of Business Analysis. The IIBA is the principal organization which issues credentials such as the Certified Business Analyst Professional certification. Even as this accreditation is elective or non compulsory, it is interpreted by employers as proof of high reading of aptitude.
Potential BA students ought to settle on mandatory time commitment and decide on the course that will be relevant to targets and learning prerequisites. This should be the case because delivery of programs varies among educational institutions. Meanwhile, some undergraduate programs for information technology and business administration have also added business analyst subjects in their curriculum.

BA Program Overviews

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Certificate Programs for Business Analytics educate students regarding the right methodology in gathering and documenting business process requirements of a corporation. You will learn how to formulate practical system design solutions which will be implemented by information technology development staff. Some of the subjects consist of Project Management, Planning Techniques, Principles of Business Process Management, and Technical Communication Skills.

There are no bachelor degrees created exclusively for business analysts. However, several programs provide theoretical foundation needed by students to thrive in said field. Business analysts have the prerogative to take up any major in business administration, finance or information technology. A number of schools have specializations in project management or business analysis included in majors. The courses prepare graduates in performing liaison work between business and technology departments. Among the possible subjects are Project Management, Finance, Communications Skills, and Information Systems Integration.

Analytics degrees make use of tools in quantitative as well as statistical interpretation with huge data groups and analysis of findings. These are terminologies which are frequently used in different business schools within the country. Programs in Data Science put weight on technical knowledge related to the management of massive data bases. However, there is not much importance on interpretation and assessment of data.

University faculty members respond to the evolving business requirements and movements in technologies that support decision-making with modified and pioneering academic programs. These are more of a response to ever-increasing amounts of data available in organizations and management’s preference to evaluate data and use this as a component of business operations. Analytics and data science are used to describe new masters degrees and graduate certificate programs.

Some universities offer programs consisting of 31.5 credit hours which can be completed in a full calendar year or three successive semesters on a full time basis. The first semester has an anchor class in Business Analytics during the initial semester. The course topic includes strategic use of data management, business analytics and importance of these tools. Among the courses are management of information systems projects, enormous databases and communication of analytics results.

The second semester concentrates on applied statistics along with aggregation and review of marketing data collection and analysis. Likewise, there is a subject in statistical problems that entails data study. The last semester has a technical subject in discovery of knowledge, data mining procedures and tools. One topic covers big data and data markets with one project assignment. This is a course on predictive data analysis plus another 1.5 credit course entitled “Ethics and Intellectual Property Issues.”

Online Training Materials for Bas

It is not necessary to splurge or spend a lot of money to finish business analytics. In fact, there are many training materials online that you can download free of charge. This is a big help for beginners.

  • The Smart BA hosts multiple training collaterals in Business Analysis. One module covers process and data models as well as functional analysis.
  • Bridging the Gap is a free eight-lesson email module in business analytics. It focuses mainly on the role of the business analyst, skills or certifications, and useful materials that can assist you in getting started.
  • Business Analysis Experts is a portal that provides free training in business analytics. There are videos (five to nine minutes each) that make up one topic in analytics. You can also download free eBooks and a self-paced course in e-learning for business analysts.
  • The Business Analyst Mentor is a course entitled, “The Insider’s Guide to Core Techniques for Successful Business Analysis.” The course gives a general idea of best practices in Business Analytics, case models and proto-typing.


In case you want to become trained and finish a course in business analytics, it is important to determine your needs, identify tour background and set your sights on targets. You need to know what you want to achieve as a business analyst. Remember that it is a must to control analytics in the daily workflow. Likewise, pinpoint the skills gaps such as technical, marketing and communicating with other professionals. Among the key proficiencies in analytics utilized by data scientists are SQL which is the capacity to obtain data from numerous sources and bring these together for analysis. At the same time, you must be capable of working efficiently with stakeholders in the business. If you believe that by this time you are prepared to leverage data for making intelligent decisions, it is high time to switch your career to the world of business analytics.