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Earning a master's in business intelligence prepares students to use theoretical principles and data interpretation skills to make informed business decisions. A master's in business intelligence program is a well-rounded business degree that combines courses in technology, management, data analytics, and statistics.
Because of the degree's interdisciplinary nature, graduates of a master's in business intelligence program gain the knowledge and skills needed to enter several career fields. The following guide outlines what to expect from a master's in business intelligence program, including likely courses and careers.
What Are the Best Online Master's in Business Intelligence Programs? Here Are Our Top 10:
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|1||Boston University||Boston, MA|
|2||University of Maryland, College Park||College Park, MD|
|3||Texas A&M University||College Station, TX|
|4||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||Champaign, IL|
|5||William & Mary||Williamsburg, VA|
|6||Stevens Institute of Technology||Hoboken, NJ|
|7||Worcester Polytechnic Institute||Worcester, MA|
|8||Southern Methodist University||Dallas, TX|
|9||American University||Washington, DC|
|10||The Ohio State University||Columbus, OH|
- How We Rank Schools
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Best Accredited Online Master's in Business Intelligence Programs
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|Boston, MA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 88%||
BU's master's in applied business analytics program features a 40-credit curriculum with core coursework in operations management, financial concepts, and data mining for business analytics. Students personalize their degree by selecting two electives from six options, including cybercrime and terrorism.
Over 95% of recent BU graduates have found a job or started another academic program. Students can research job openings and doctoral programs and receive resume reviews on BU's website.
Prospective students must submit undergraduate transcripts, three recommendation letters, and a personal statement. Full-time and part-time students pay different tuition rates. Most learners graduate in 18-24 months. This program is accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
University of Maryland, College Park
|College Park, MD||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 86%||
Distance learners can earn UMD's online master's degree in business analytics in 20 months. Core courses include models and decisions, database management, and decision analytics. Program alumni often begin careers in healthcare and consulting.
UMD's School of Business features multiple career resources for business analytics students, including one-on-one coaching sessions. Online learners can also attend virtual career fairs and review job opportunities on HireSmith — a private job board for business students.
Admission requirements include filling out a short form, speaking with an advisor, and submitting transcripts. UMD does not charge out-of-state tuition to graduate students. The university's funding website contains links to external fellowship opportunities. This program holds specialized accreditation from The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Texas A&M University
|College Station, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 82%||
Texas A&M's master of science in analytics program includes a part-time curriculum that most students can complete in five semesters. The program features synchronous courses, allowing online learners to interact with their on-campus counterparts. Graduation requirements include a capstone, in which students apply data to solve a problem that affects actual companies.
The university's career center provides students and alumni with virtual advising sessions, cover letter and resume templates, and professionalism tips. Degree-seekers can also review salary negotiation best practices.
Admission requirements include three years of work experience and GMAT or GRE scores. Approximately 75% of Texas A&M learners who work while earning their degree receive some form of tuition reimbursement.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
|Champaign, IL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 84%||
U of I offers an online MBA with a concentration in business analytics. In addition to the standard MBA curriculum, degree-seekers take courses like data and the firm, business data modeling, and analytics applications across business functions.
The university's College of Business offers excellent career services to business analytics students, including Handshake software, career fairs that attract over 250 companies, and resume workshops. Learners can also sign up for one-on-one interview practice sessions.
Admission requirements include undergraduate transcripts, GMAT or GRE scores, and at least three years of professional experience. Learners who live outside of Illinois do not pay a higher tuition rate for this online MBA program.
William & Mary
|Williamsburg, VA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 91%||
W&M's online master's in business analytics program features a 32-credit curriculum that emphasizes four academic pillars: business acumen, math modeling, computing technologies, and communicating with impact. The university launched this online program in 2018, and students enroll as part of a cohort.
The university's recent business analytics graduates enjoy an average starting salary of almost $76,000 per year. W&M's career advisors help learners find lucrative jobs and provide one-on-one and group professional development courses.
Admission requirements include two years of professional experience or extensive academic coursework in business topics. Applicants must also submit two recommendation letters and an essay. W&M awards the Kyle J. Milliken Memorial Scholarship to eligible online students.
Stevens Institute of Technology
|Hoboken, NJ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 87%||
Stevens' online master's degree in business analytics and intelligence includes a robust core curriculum with courses in financial decision-making, process analytics and optimization, and experimental design. After completing the core, students select two electives from five options. The program blends synchronous and asynchronous coursework.
The university's career center provides learners and alumni with numerous virtual resources, including advising sessions and workshops through Zoom. Degree-seekers can also sign up for InterviewStream — a free service that helps users hone interviewing skills.
Prospective students must submit recommendation letters and GMAT or GRE scores. Stevens uses a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA cutoff. The university allows accepted students to sign up for a monthly tuition payment plan.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
|Worcester, MA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 87%||
WPI is one of only a few colleges that offers an online master's degree in data science. The 33-credit curriculum includes required coursework in integrative data science, data analytics and mining, and business intelligence and case studies. Although the curriculum does not offer a concentration, degree-seekers gain knowledge and skills that relate to five data science subfields.
WPI's career advisors connect students with virtual resources that include advising, workshops, and career fairs. These services have helped over 92% of WPI's recent data science alumni find jobs, and these workers earn an average salary of more than $88,000 per year.
Admission requirements include undergraduate coursework in data science, calculus, and statistics. Applicants must also submit GRE scores. WPI charges the same tuition rate to all learners, and incoming students may qualify for the Gateway Scholarship.
Southern Methodist University
|Dallas, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 78%||
SMU's master's in data science program builds upon learners' previous education in computer science and data visualization. Participants can choose a specialization in business analytics or machine learning. Courses in the business analytics pathway include machine learning, network security, and time series analysis. The program culminates in a capstone course.
SMU provides data science students career coaching sessions, in which advisors teach interviewing skills and resume best practices. The university's Virtual Career Hub hosts live webinars and maintains a job board.
Applicants can have a bachelor's degree in any subject, but they should have some sort of academic or professional background in mathematics and programming. Prospective students must also submit a recommendation letter and a resume.
|Washington, DC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 80%||
AU's online master's in analytics program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The curriculum features coursework in business insights through analytics, big data, and statistics. Program graduates often begin careers in management and consulting.
Nearly 95% of AU's School of Business graduate alumni achieve a positive career outcome just months after graduation. The university's Office of Career Engagement provides online students with virtual webinars and access to Handshake software.
This program does not require GRE scores for admission. Applicants must submit a personal statement and two recommendation letters. Financial aid opportunities include federal loans and institutional scholarships.
The Ohio State University
|Columbus, OH||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 84%||
Ohio State's specialized master's in business analytics program is delivered through a blend of asynchronous and synchronous learning. Students can complete all of their coursework online; however, they must attend 25% of their courses either on campus or through synchronous livestreams on Saturdays.
Notable courses in the curriculum include prescriptive analytics, predictive analytics, and descriptive data analysis and visualization. Students can earn their degree in 10 months.
Applicants must submit letters of recommendation, GMAT or GRE scores, a resume, and a personal statement. A committee evaluates these materials and invites certain applicants to participate in an interview. Prospective students with a minimum 3.2 GPA and at least four years of work experience do not need to submit test scores. All students in the program pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency.
What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Business Intelligence Program?
Learners with strong mathematical abilities and an interest in business can thrive in business intelligence programs.
Data can be meaningless without interpretation. Graduates with a master's in business intelligence degree understand how collected information can drive critical business decisions. Learners with strong mathematical abilities and an interest in business can thrive in business intelligence programs.
Pursuing an online degree allows students flexibility while completing their degree. Most online master's in business intelligence programs require 30 credits and take 1-3 years to complete. Setting your own pace can allow you to continue working full time while pursuing your degree.
Prospective students can choose different degree paths, including a master's in business administration with a concentration in business intelligence or a master of science in business intelligence and analytics. Some schools may also offer a business intelligence certification program.
Learners enrolled in any master's in business intelligence program will complete courses in qualitative and quantitative data, programming languages, data management, and analytics. However, additional topics of study will change depending on which degree you pursue. For instance, an MBA offers a well-rounded business education, whereas a master of science program may focus more on math and data.
Admission Requirements for Online Master's in Business Intelligence Programs
Although admission requirements vary between colleges, applicants to online master's in business intelligence programs will typically need to possess a bachelor's degree and submit official transcripts. Some programs may require an undergraduate degree in a related field, while others may accept unrelated degrees but expect learners to take additional prerequisite courses.
Additional requirements may include GRE scores, a minimum GPA, letters of recommendation, and personal statements. For more information, consult our Graduate Admissions Guide.
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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Master's in Business Intelligence Program?
An online master's in business intelligence prepares graduates to analyze and interpret data using various technical tools. Coursework focuses on programming, analytics, statistics, and information systems.
Many programs culminate in a capstone project or practicum, during which students apply their knowledge in a real-world setting. Read on to learn more about five common courses in these programs.
- Descriptive Analytics
This course leads students through the process of collecting and evaluating data to make informed business decisions. Studying historical trends, learners look at how data has shaped and changed the way businesses make decisions.
- Business Intelligence
In this course, learners gain experience using technology and software tools to collect and interpret data about customers, competitors, and suppliers. Covered topics include quality control, process simulation, and business process analysis.
- Predictive Analysis
In this course, students learn to make predictions by identifying and analyzing relationships in data using various statistical techniques. Learners use popular software tools to conduct analyses of continuous, clustering, and classification models.
- Introduction to Data Mining
This course provides a comprehensive overview of data mining methods. Students learn how to use data mining to identify patterns in large sets of data and interpret their findings.
- Web and Social Media Analytics
This course teaches learners how to apply data analysis and predictive analysis to the internet and social media platforms. Students learn how to use web-based platforms like Google Analytics to gauge site performance.
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What Can I Do With an Online Master's in Business Intelligence Degree?
Businesses and organizations need qualified professionals to analyze data to help influence important decisions. Given society's data-driven focus, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a much faster than average growth rate (11%) for management analysts between 2019 and 2029.
Graduates of online master's in business intelligence programs can find job opportunities in several competitive fields, including marketing, healthcare, business, and education. Although some positions require a bachelor's degree, obtaining a master's in business intelligence can set you apart from other applicants and lead to managerial positions.
Learn more about what a master's in business intelligence degree can do for you. Explore careers in business intelligence.
- Computer and Information Research Scientists
Computer and information research scientists design and create new technology and invent new ways to use existing technology. Working within fields like science, business, and healthcare, computer and information research scientists earned a median annual salary of $122,840 in 2019.
- Business Analyst
People who love to solve complex problems and have great interpersonal skills can excel as business analysts. Business analysts often work on multiple projects with many teams at once. These professionals evaluate companies' performance and create plans that help them meet business goals. These analysts earned a median annual salary of $85,260 in 2019.
- Database Architect
Organizations need efficient ways to store and organize data. Database architects design and create databases and make sure they work properly. These professionals must also possess good communication skills to report information to other members of the company. Database administrators and architects earned a median annual salary of $93,750 in 2019.
- Financial Analyst
Financial analysts provide recommendations about investments to individuals and organizations. These professionals study economic and historical trends in financial data to provide guidance to clients. Many financial analysts work in banks, insurance companies, and financial departments in large corporations. These analysts made a median annual salary of $81,590 in 2019.
- Database Administrator
Database administrators manage the specialized software used to store and organize data. These professionals monitor database security and manage access to the database. Database administrators understand companies' specific data storage and access needs and facilitate database protocols based on those needs. Database administrators and architects made a median annual salary of $93,750 in 2019.
Business intelligence not for you? Check out these related careers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Business Intelligence Programs
- Is a master's in business intelligence worth it?
Several entry-level careers in business intelligence pay well and only require a bachelor's degree. However, for more advanced positions, earning a master's in business intelligence may make you a more competitive candidate. Professionals with advanced degrees typically earn higher salaries. Completing an online master's in business intelligence can also allow you to specialize your expertise.
- What can I do with a master's in business intelligence?
Many organizations need professionals with business intelligence degrees to properly store, secure, organize, and analyze data. Graduates with a master's in business intelligence can pursue careers in finance, health, marketing, and education.
- Are business intelligence professionals in demand?
- How much money can I make with a master's in business intelligence?
Many careers within the field pay above average salaries. According to the BLS, database administrators earned a median annual salary of $93,750 in 2019, while management analysts made a median annual salary of $85,260 that year.
- What are the highest paying jobs with a master's in business intelligence?
The highest paying jobs for graduates with a master's in business intelligence are database administrator ($93,750 per year), computer network architect ($112,690), and computer and information research scientist ($122,840).