Home Online Business Blog Getting a Master's in Business Analytics (MSBA): Is It Worth It?

Getting a Master's in Business Analytics (MSBA): Is It Worth It?

23 Feb
Getting a Master's in Business Analytics infographic

Often, prospective graduate students are searching out the certifications to substantiate their skills in certain areas, for the education to enable them to switch to a new career field, or for the career advancement opportunities that a master’s degree can help them unlock. For professionals in or looking to enter the analytics space, one question tops the list: Is a master’s in business analytics worth it?

For fields like data science and business analytics, the evidence is clear: Earning your master’s can help you reach new heights in your career moving forward. Below, you will find the key reasons why students should consider pursuing their Master’s in Business Analytics degree today.

The Benefits of Earning a Master’s in Business Analytics

When it comes to attending grad school, students often opt to pursue a master’s degree with continued career growth in mind—and that holds particularly true for students seeking their Master’s in Business Analytics, a field with massive growth and opportunity potential.

But don’t take just our word for it. The statistics on careers in data science and business analytics speak for themselves:

  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the outlook is strong, with data science jobs expected to grow by 36% (much faster than average) through 20311
  • There are 13,500 openings projected in the U.S. for data scientists each year through 20311
  • Data scientist came in as the #3 best job in the U.S. in Glassdoor’s 2022 list2
  • Data analyst and business analyst roles also made the top 50 jobs list, coming in at #35 and #36, respectively2
  • Data literacy is among the top most in-demand skills employees need to have over the next decade3

By earning your Master’s in Business Analytics, you can put yourself in the position to fill these open roles, becoming one of the few with the prowess businesses and employers need to succeed in the modern business landscape.

The Workplace Value of Our MSBA

Across numerous industries today, more and more CEOs are transforming their companies into data-driven organizations that use analytical insights derived from data to inform decisions at every level of their organizations. Corporate leaders are increasingly challenged to find qualified employees who understand data analytics and have proven experience applying its key business functions.

Those who can fill this need must be familiar with unstructured data dumps, machine learning, data visualization tools and current analytics tools, but they must also be able to interpret the information acquired through these means and effectively communicate its implication(s) for the organization's bottom line. If you want a career that allows you to provide insights that can directly affect the bottom line, data science might be the right choice for you.

Earning your master’s degree will help prepare you to advise the C-suite on ways to improve overall business functions and the bottom line. But to be able to do that, you need to make sure you receive the right education and acquire the right skills, which leads us to our next value point.

“What brought me back to school was kind of looking at the changing landscape, professionally. I didn’t want to be pigeonholed into computer science or statistics, strictly one of those two, nor did I feel like the general approach of an MBA was right for me either,” said Andrew Lieberman, William & Mary MBSA ’18. “I like the intersection of the two, which is what led me to business analytics. There are a lot of possibilities.”

Our master’s program blends the technical rigor you expect from a graduate business analytics program at a top-ranked university with the strategic business insights you need to communicate productively with stakeholders, including the CEO and others in the C-suite.

Translating Data Requires the Right Context

Indeed, this evolution in conducting business calls for a new breed of employee—one who can not only organize and understand the mass quantities of unstructured data but also interpret the meaning of this information in a business context, translating their findings to redirect the bottom line.

To find success in a business analytics role, an understanding of data science is not enough on its own. Companies are looking for employees with a thorough comprehension of business and its functional areas as well, so they are able to translate their understanding of data into better high-stakes business decisions, thus transforming otherwise useless data into actionable insights. By combining data science and business fundamentals, a Master’s in Business Analytics prepares you to provide the answers the C-suite needs.

Stand Out From Your Competition With a Graduate Degree

In the United States, 34% of data scientists have a master’s degree.4 With the majority of your competition holding a bachelor’s degree, you’ll stand out for consideration amongst other applicants competing for the same job. The same can be said for business analytics professionals in general. For business analyst positions, 18.3% of professionals hold a master's degree.5

With a Master’s in Business Analytics, you can outshine and outperform your competition.

Open New Doors and Earn More with a Master's Degree in Business Analytics

When you earn a Master’s in Business Analytics, you will open doors to new career paths or you can advance on your current career track. Common job titles held by professionals with an advanced business analytics degree include:

  • Data Scientist
  • Data Architect
  • Business Analyst
  • Senior Business Analyst
  • Machine Learning Scientist
  • Data Analyst
  • Data Warehouse Manager
  • Digital Strategy Manager/Consultant
  • Business Data Analyst

You will also open doors to careers across a number of industries. Alumni of William & Mary’s MSBA program hold positions in the following industries:6

  • Technology
  • Accounting
  • Consulting
  • Financial Services
  • Manufacturing
  • Healthcare
  • Educational Services
  • Government

Additionally, with a graduate degree, you will set yourself up for higher earning potential. Professionals in the U.S. with master's degrees generally earn 18% more per year over those with bachelor's degrees.7

For data scientist roles specifically, the average annual salary for a bachelor's degree holder is $106,104, while the annual salary for a master's degree holder is $121,668.8

Choose a Business Analytics Program With a Rigorous Curriculum

Going back to our original question—Is a masters in business analytics worth it?—to really find the value in earning a master’s degree, you will want a rigorous curriculum that blends the best of computing and modeling skills with strong business and communication skills.

William & Mary’s graduate program is based on four pillars that speak to the skills you will need to succeed in the business analytics space:

Business Acumen

Solve business problems while considering the critical needs of the business and its existing processes, strategy, and organization; share results ethically with respect to customer and client confidentiality

Math Modeling

Build technical skills as you develop algorithms that solve problems with speed and accuracy, select appropriate methodologies to solve a problem, and construct error-free models and analyses

Computing Technologies

Program effectively in R and Python, use data wrangling to cleanse data and render it more effective in solving business problems, and effectively manage databases

Communicating With Impact

Create and deliver digestible presentations and business data visualizations to audiences less familiar with the intricacies of analytical processes

Mastery of these pillars helps ensure that you graduate with a tangible advantage in a high-demand field. These business analytics skills will guide you in asking the right questions, building the right models and using those models to perform the right analyses to provide real insights to stakeholders.

Ready to Speak the Language of Data?

Now that you have more information on what earning your advanced degree in business analytics can do for you, do you believe earning a graduate degree in business analytics is worth it?

If you’re ready to earn your master’s, check out William & Mary’s new Online Master of Science in Business Analytics program, so you can learn to redefine the bottom line for your organization today.

Alumni of our online graduate program would tell you joining our master’s program and earning your master’s degree is worth it, based on their demonstrated success. A total of 90% of William & Mary MSBA graduates received a promotion after graduation.9 More than 60% received a salary increase of 25% or greater, while 70% of alumni said they were able to use what they learned in the program and apply it to their current career.9

Reach out to an Admissions Advisor today to get started.

  1. Retrieved on February 13, 2023, from www.bls.gov/ooh/math/data-scientists.htm
  2. Retrieved on February 13, 2023, from glassdoor.com/List/Best-Jobs-in-America-LST_KQ0,20.htm
  3. Retrieved on February 13, 2023, from forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2022/08/22/the-top-10-most-in-demand-skills-for-the-next-10-years/ 
  4. Retrieved on February 14, 2023, from zippia.com/data-scientist-jobs/education/ 
  5. Retrieved on February 14, 2023, from zippia.com/business-analyst-jobs/education/
  6. Based on cumulative self-reported W&M Online MSBA student profile data collected from the spring 2018-2021 cohort
  7. Retrieved on February 14, 2023, from www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2022/data-on-display/education-pays.htm
  8. Retrieved on February 14, 2023, from zippia.com/data-scientist-jobs/salary/
  9. Based on a limited sample of self-reported data from alumni of W&M’s Online MSBA program from graduating cohorts between 2021 and 2022