Is a Master’s in Business Analytics Worth It for Your Career?

A master’s in analytics prepares individuals to use data to solve business challenges. With many companies hiring analysts across multiple disciplines and fields, it is now more important than ever to develop strong analytical, mathematical, and strategic thinking skills.

  • About half of U.S. employers (48%) plan to hire master’s in analytics graduates in 2019.1
  • Hiring demand is strongest in the technology (72%), energy/utilities (63%), and consulting (61%) industries.2

What Can You Do with a Master’s in Business Analytics?

Graduates with an MS in Analytics can apply their skills in many different industries. They can also specialize in a variety of areas, from business to consulting and financial analytics. American University’s online MS in Analytics program ensures students are set up for success as they develop key competencies:

Data isolation and mining: Students learn experimental design methods including honing statistical techniques, collecting and analyzing appropriate data, and making informed decisions.

Visualization and communication: Students use tools like Tableau and Excel and cultivate the oral and written communication skills needed to share conclusions with non-experts in an easy-to-understand and actionable way.

Technical skills: Students build skills in multiple database programs, including R, SQL, and Hadoop, and apply them to solve business problems.

By developing these key competencies, graduates with a master’s in analytics are equipped to pursue a variety of career paths.

Business Analyst

Business analysts leverage data to make strategic decisions and implement change across businesses. Business analyst skills include gathering evidence-based data, developing data models, and conducting quantitative analysis in order to help businesses make informed decisions and deploy effective strategies for long-term success.

Management Analyst

Management analysts use data to determine ways to increase an organization's efficiency and solve operational problems, often by reducing costs or increasing revenue. Management analyst skills include analyzing data, problem-solving, and recommending organizational changes or procedural updates.

  • The job outlook for management analysts is projected to grow 11% from 2019 to 2029.3
  • The median annual salary for management analysts in 2020 was $87,660.4

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts assess the performance of stocks, bonds, and other types of investments and make recommendations to businesses and individuals regarding their results. Financial analyst skills include evaluating historical and current financial data; examining and monitoring a company’s financial health; studying economic and business trends to inform decision-making; and making financial recommendations related to investments, risks, and opportunities.

  • The job outlook for financial analysts is projected to grow 5% from 2019 to 2029.5
  • The median annual salary for financial analysts in 2020 was $83,660.6

Market Research Analyst

Market research analysts focus on analyzing data to understand the competitive landscape. They gather consumer demographic data, psychographics, preferences, and buying behavior to help organizations make informed decisions related to marketing, products, services, branding, and pricing.

  • The job outlook for market research analysts is projected to grow 18% from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations in the United States.7
  • The median annual salary for market research analysts in 2020 was $65,810.8

If you are more interested in a marketing analytics career, we also offer an online Master of Science in Marketing Analytics.

Where Do Our Master’s in Analytics Student Work?

Students and graduates from our online Master of Science in Analytics program have been employed or continue to be employed in the public and private sectors, working across a whole range of industries:

  • CoStar group
  • Defense Intelligence Agency
  • Federal Reserve Board of Governors
  • Ford Motor Company
  • General Motors
  • LexisNexis
  • Lidl
  • Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
  • MetLife
  • MGM National Harbor
  • Navy Federal Credit Union
  • Special Olympics International
  • SunTrust
  • Thai Embassy in Washington, DC
  • The Vanguard Group
  • Transportation Security Administration
  • United States Air Force
  • United States Marine Corps
  • United States Navy
  • United States Navy Reserves
  • United States Army
  • Vanguard

This information reflects enrolled students as of June 2019.