- Online Analytics Degrees
Business analyst or data scientist? Both are in high demand as industry and government strive to extract value from a world of data that is growing by the nanosecond. While their fields are complementary and require similar skills, their data sources and goals differ.
Business analysts apply descriptive, prescriptive and predictive methods to well-defined, historical data sets. Using clean data, commercially available software and their knowledge of business, they predict future results and communicate their findings to business stakeholders — helping businesses improve performance and profits.
Data scientists use quantitative analytics, predictive modeling and machine learning to extract insights from vast, heterogeneous data sets. Often using commercially available tools or developing their own to clean, manage and analyze this big data, they help private, public and nonprofit organizations address a wide array of organizational and societal challenges — from identifying consumer trends to predicting disease outbreaks. Data scientists not only analyze data but also visualize it and communicate their findings. They are able to make recommendations based on the data they have found.
Master of Science in Analytics (MSAn)
Analytics@American, the online Master of Science in Analytics (MSAn) program from the American University Kogod School of Business, focuses on applied business practices. The program prepares students to advance their careers as intelligence, financial and marketing analysts; consultants; and supply chain managers.
Business Foundations, Cybersecurity, Financial Analytics, Marketing Analytics
The program can be completed in as little as 15 months.
Start Dates: January, April, July, and October
Master of Information and Data Science
The UC Berkeley School of Information’s Master of Information and Data Science prepares working professionals around the world to derive insights from real-world data sets. Students learn to use the latest tools and analytical methods to interpret data and communicate findings. Delivered online, the program’s multidisciplinary curriculum and coursework are designed by UC Berkeley I School faculty and draw insights from social sciences, computer science, statistics, management and law.
The full-time path is designed for working professionals and can be completed in 20 months, with two courses per semester. The accelerated path gives students the opportunity to take three courses per semester to complete the program in as few as 12 months. The part-time path allows students to drop down to one course per semester and complete the program in no more than 32 months.
Start Dates: January, May and September
Master of Science in Management of Health Informatics and Analytics
Offered by the renowned Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University, the online HealthInformatics@GW program provides students with the opportunity to become innovative problem solvers who have the skills to improve health care systems, patient outcomes and overall public health through the use of data and technology.
The HealthInformatics@GW program can be completed in as little as two years and as many as four.
Start Dates: January, April, July and October
Master of Science in Data Science
DataScience@SMU is a Master of Science in Data Science from Southern Methodist University delivered online. Blending the flexibility of online learning with an interdisciplinary curriculum, students build technical, analytical and communications skills. Through live online classes and an in-person immersion, the program provides a comprehensive understanding of computer science, statistics, strategic behavior and data visualization.
The program is designed for working professionals and can be completed in 18–24 months. Students have both part-time and full-time options.
Start Dates: January, May and September
Master of Science in Business Analytics
BusinessAnalytics@Syracuse, the online Master of Science in Business Analytics, is delivered online by the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University. The program helps data-driven thinkers develop or sharpen their ability to interpret complex data and guide their organizations in making more informed and actionable decisions.
Master of Science in Applied Data Science
DataScience@Syracuse is Syracuse University’s online Master of Science in Applied Data Science program. Through an interdisciplinary curriculum led by the School of Information Studies and Whitman School of Management, students develop technical and analytical skills to identify, formulate and solve complex problems while making data-driven decisions that impact organizations. Live, online classes take place every week and foster collaboration and networking among working professionals in the data science field.
The M.S. in Applied Data Science program can be completed in 18 months after successful completion of 36 units of coursework.
January, April, July and October.
Data Analytics Graduate Programs
The Master’s in Business Analytics prepares students looking to enter or advance in this complex and rewarding field. Focusing on best practices, Master of Science in Business Analytics students learn to use data, statistics and predictive analytics to help organizations solve problems, improve performance and identify emerging business opportunities.
Master’s in Business Analytics
The Master of Science in Business Analytics prepares students to use quantitative analysis and data gathering and modeling tools to improve businesses’ financial and operational performance.
While courses vary by institution, the core curriculum of an MS in Business Analytics degree typically includes these courses:
- Managerial Statistics focuses on the tools and strategies used to make business decisions, including probability distributions, numerical descriptive measures and multiple regression models.
- Management Information Systems explores the management and use of information technology and information systems within national and multinational corporations to gain competitive advantage.
- Database Management introduces the use of data modeling, database design and data extraction to transform raw data into useful business information.
- Business Insights explores the use of predictive, descriptive and prescriptive analytics to extract multidisciplinary business insights from data.
- Predictive Analytics explores the use of predictive modeling methods, tools and software to predict probable future results based on current and historical data.
- Business Intelligence explores the management practices, methodologies and technologies major corporations use to identify trends and patterns from multiple data sources.
Many, though not all, data analytics programs offer a choice of concentrations to accommodate students’ backgrounds and career interests. For example, Analytics@American, American University’s online MS in Analytics program, offers the following concentrations:
Business Foundations:Students from non-business backgrounds gain broad business domain skills in finance, marketing and accounting.
Financial Analytics:Students with experience in finance and analytics deepen their expertise in portfolio analysis and investment optimization.
Marketing Analytics:Students with an interest in marketing explore marketing campaign tactics and techniques.
Master’s in Data Science
Data science graduate programs prepare students to clean, manage and analyze large, heterogeneous data sets to detect patterns and solve problems in fields ranging from public health to e-commerce. Students are taught to ask the right questions about the data they work with through the creation of refined research questions. They learn how data is used by organizations when making decisions and how to best collect, store and retrieve data. Data science programs teach best practices for finding value in data and making predictions using statistical and computational methods. Finally, students learn to use visualization tools and written and oral presentations to communicate findings.
While core courses may vary by school, most programs have subject matter regarding:
- Designing research for data analysis
- Use of machine learning to find patterns in data.
- Data analysis, storage, retrieval, interpretation, visualization and communication.
- The privacy, security, legal and ethical implications of large-scale data.
- Advanced practices in statistics
- Working with especially large data sets
Choosing the Best Data Analytics Degree Program
When comparing programs, applicants will want to consider characteristics that set top online analytics programs apart:
Flexible, engaging learning environment : When comparing programs, applicants should consider that the best online analytics programs offer:
- The flexibility to earn a degree while maintaining career and family commitments.
- Innovative technology that connects students and faculty through live classes, social media and online collaboration tools.
- On-campus immersions that enable students to gain hands-on experience and make valuable career connections.
Career goals : Some students are more interested in statistics and programming, while others are interested in applying analytics to a specific business domain. Students should make sure that the program they select aligns with their professional goals and the skills they’re interested in building.
2U-Powered Analytics Programs
2U partners with top universities to offer their degree programs online, including master’s programs in business analytics, analytics and data science. Students in 2U partner programs benefit from the highest-quality online learning platform available, with access to an online campus from anywhere they have an Internet connection. University faculty lead all academic issues related to programs, including instruction and curriculum development. 2U-powered programs feature:
created by faculty and available 24/7.
in a collaborative online classroom.
between students and universities.
at field placements or immersions.
from application through graduation.
As big data gets bigger, less expensive and easier to acquire, more industries are vying for the talented professionals able to extract meaning from that data. Seeking real-world applications and a competitive advantage, employers are offering both data scientists and business analysts excellent continued job growth, along with an excellent salary. Most careers in data science and business analytics require at least a master’s degree, so those aspiring to work in these fields should work toward an advanced degree in order to be a competitive job candidate.
Education of Data Scientists and Business Analysts
Those considering a career in business analytics and data science should take the necessary steps to become a competitive job candidate. Although there are many jobs available in these fields, employers are usually looking for candidates with a master’s degree or higher.