How to get ahead with a Master in Business Analytics

A Master in Business Analytics will enable you to advance your career in a booming field. Photo by Juan BARRETO / AFP

By Aisyah Liliana 

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Business analytics is currently a booming industry, where companies around the world are increasingly looking for specialists with both business knowledge and expertise in data analytics.

A Master degree in this field will enrich your career by providing you with relevant knowledge and equipping you with the skills needed to succeed in this thriving industry.

Business analytics is fast becoming an essential component for businesses as it allows them to make more strategic business decisions through predictive analytics. 

According to a survey of C-level executives of Fortune 1000 companies done in January 2019 by New Vantage Partners,  48% said their organisation competes on data and analytics while a whopping 92% said they are increasing their pace of investment in big data and AI.

However, 77.1% of respondents found that “business adoption of Big Data and AI initiatives remains a major challenge.”

This shows that there is an urgent need for capable business analysts to mine and analyse data in a business context. 


What you will learn in a Master in Business Analytics course

A graduate programme in Business Analytics typically focuses on educating students on analysing complex data and then transforming it into insights for stakeholders, through advanced analytics courses.

Business intelligence, Information theory, Data Science, Analytics and Computer Science are some key areas where you will gain in-depth knowledge in a Master-level course.

In a nutshell, you will learn how to become a business analyst that is able to turn big data into actionable business intelligence. 

To do this, you will become well-versed in computational tools, statistical and predictive modelling, and brush up your knowledge on international business, economics, and finance so that you can make data-driven business decisions for companies.

Besides the knowledge needed to be a leader in business analytics, a Master-level course will also help you gain the skills you need for this industry.

For example, you will need to become an effective communicator to present data-driven information in a digestible way to stakeholders and investors who are not well-versed on data analytics.

You’ll also need to communicate with other colleagues from different departments to understand the organisation’s goals and needs, and how your data-driven insights will help them. 

Through presentations, internships, projects, or other practical learning components, you will be able to hone your communication skills and receive feedback on how to improve them from your professors.

Many Master in Business Analytics programmes today involve a capstone project where you apply your knowledge and skills through a project with a local industry partner. This will allow you to practice and further hone the skills needed for a career in Business Analytics. 


Earning potential

As there is currently a shortage of business analysts, you can expect to earn a high salary and grow your career quickly with a Master’s in Business Analytics. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics in the US estimates that “employment of management analysts is projected to grow 14 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for the services of these workers should grow as organizations continue to seek ways to improve efficiency and control costs.”

According to Prospects.UK, experienced business analysts can earn from £39,000 to in excess of £50,000 yearly.

Additionally, business analysts can also go on to work in a contractual or consultant-based role once you’ve gained the relevant experience. You will be able to charge approximately  £350 per day as a freelance business analyst or consultant.