Your Guide to the MBA Business Analytics Concentration

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MBA candidates who choose a business analytics concentration learn how to manage and leverage big data for problem-solving and decision-making.

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Data analytics is one of the most sought-after skills in the corporate world, as executives and managers rely on data analysis to evaluate the success of their business and plan for the future. To enable business leaders to make strategic, data-driven decisions, many organizations turn to business analysts.

Business analysts use data to form business insights and recommend changes or improvements to their company's processes and practices. Pursuing an MBA with a business analytics concentration can help you develop the skills you need to leverage big data in your business career.

What is an MBA in business analytics?

Business analytics is an MBA concentration that combines training in business fundamentals and management practices with technical training in data and analytics.

In addition to the core curriculum that MBA programs require, a business analytics concentration will typically require students to take between three and five upper-level analytics courses.

MBA business analytics coursework 

Coursework in an MBA business analytics program covers a broad range of computer science topics and business skills. Your business analytics coursework may include electives such as:

  • Database management

  • Social media analytics

  • Data mining for business analytics

  • Data science in markets

  • Marketing analytics

  • Regressions analysis

Reasons to get a business analytics MBA

Pursuing a business analytics concentration offers several advantages that can boost your marketability in the workforce. These include possible increased job opportunities, potential salary increases, and the development of in-demand skills.

Increased job opportunities 

With a background in analytics, you can develop skills that transfer across different business settings. Graduates go on to work in various industries, including consulting, marketing, health care, and more. If you are interested in a career in business analytics, pursuing a business analytics MBA can signal to recruiters that you have honed your expertise and are prepared to guide data-driven decision making in their organization.

Potential salary increase

In general, MBA degrees are considered worth the investment, as they are generally associated with increased salaries after graduation. The median salary for MBA graduates is $115,000, but 2020 graduates with a data analytics concentration from Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business reported a median wage between $125,000 and $154,000 plus bonuses [1].

Develop in-demand skills 

As you take courses toward a business analytics concentration, you can develop valuable, in-demand skills that organizations may want to see in their employees and leaders. These skills include:

  • Collecting, managing, and describing data sets

  • Forming inferences and making predictions from data

  • Using data to support decisions

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Job outlook for business analytics MBA graduates 

The job outlook for MBA graduates with a concentration in business analytics remains positive. You may be able to apply for a wide range of leadership positions with an organization, including data-focused positions. Some of the jobs these graduates eventually accept include:

  • Marketing manager

  • Management consultant

  • Financial manager

  • Database administrator

  • Business operations manager

  • Supply chain analyst

  • Business intelligence analyst

A concentration in business analytics supports data-focused business positions and business management.

Tips for choosing a program 

You can find a variety of MBA programs offered by schools from around the world. As you consider your options, use the following questions as a guide:

Why do you want to earn a business analytics MBA? 

Knowing whether you're looking to improve your leadership skills, develop technical skills, or network with peers can help you decide which school is best for you. 

What type of schedule does the school offer? 

You might finish the degree quicker if you choose to attend full-time. On the other hand, if you have to balance other responsibilities, such as a job or family, a part-time schedule may fit easier in your life.

What teaching style do the professors use? 

At some schools, the professors use the case method, which incorporates class discussions about assorted business case studies. Other schools rely on a traditional lecture model. Many MBA programs may require students to work in teams to solve business-related problems.

What type of specialties is the school known for? 

You may discover that one school excels in business specialties like finance or marketing, while others have a reputation for a well-rounded education.

Earn your MBA with a business analytics concentration

Earning an MBA is a long-term investment in your career. If you're ready to take the next step, consider earning the iMBA from the University of Illinois, which offers a specialization in managerial economics and business analysis, or try taking a course to explore topics related to the degree. Check out the courses in business analytics available and start making plans for the future.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

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Article sources

1. Fortune Education. “MBA in business analytics: Big data is a big deal,” Accessed March 10, 2022.

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This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.