MBA Vs. MS in Analytics

Both Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Analytics and Master of Science in Analytics programs prepare students to use data to make informed business decisions. However, there are important differences in the focus, content and scope of these two graduate degrees. Schools offering Business degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Comparing an MBA and an MS in Analytics

Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Analytics

Analytics is a fairly common concentration available to students completing a two-year MBA program. These analytics MBA programs are designed to take students from a wide variety of undergraduate backgrounds and give them the tools they need to succeed as business professionals while also equipping them with the skills necessary to use data analysis in their decision making. To apply, students need a bachelor's degree in any discipline and GMAT test scores. Accepted students start with core courses in financial accounting, statistics, economics, and business leadership. In the analytics concentration, students complement business courses with technical electives on subjects like big data analytics, introductory data science and marketing analytics.

Master of Science in Analytics (MSA)

MS in Analytics programs also focus on producing professionals who can analyze vast sums of complex data to make informed business decisions, but they don't include core business classes like MBA programs do. Rather, students concentrate on using new methods and computing technologies to make use of big data in a business context. To apply, students generally need to send in GMAT or GRE test scores, hold a bachelor's degree and demonstrate proficiency in quantitative analysis, college-level mathematics and computer programming, usually through the completion of undergraduate coursework. Once admitted, students take courses in computing, statistics and data mining. This program is far more technical than the MBA program and provides students with specific skills that can make their resume stand out.

Degree Program Program Length Program Requirements Related Careers
MBA in Analytics 2 years Bachelor's degree
GRE or GMAT test scores
Entrepreneur
Business Manager
MS in Analytics 1-2 years Bachelor's degree
GRE or GMAT test scores
Business Intelligence Analyst
Operations Research Analyst

Career Paths for Graduates of MBA and MS in Analytics Programs

Business Intelligence Analyst

A business intelligence analyst collects, analyzes and reports on business and market data. Their primary responsibility is to use all available data to help their company or client make informed business decisions. An MBA or MS in Analytics is designed to provide students with the key technical skills that a business intelligence analyst makes use of each day, such as an ability to use data collection and data visualization methodologies.

Business Manager

A business manager can oversee any number of tasks needed to make a business run. They might review revenue reports, hire and train employees, monitor suppliers and even work a sales floor. They could also be tasked with taking charge of an operation's marketing or budgeting activities. An MBA in Analytics program can prepare graduates for this career by providing them with the analytical tools and business acumen needed to improve the efficiency of a business's supply chain or develop marking strategies, among other tasks.

Financial Manager

A financial manager is in charge of monitoring the flow of money in, out and through their company. They must have strong attention to detail to detect issues before they grow into major problems and be experts at filling out financial reports. Financial managers can gain both the analytical skills and problem-solving tools needed for this role through the financial analytics and securities courses that can be found in either an MBA or MS in Analytics degree program.

Marketing Manager

Marketing managers conduct and analyze market research to help their company tap into trends so they can remain competitive. With an MBA or MS in Analytics, graduates have the analytical skills to design a marketing strategy and the high-level leadership skills to coordinate the delivery of their strategy by leading teams.

Operations Research Analyst

Operations research analysts are business professionals who use statistics, mathematical modeling and data analysis to improve the efficiency of their company or clients' operations and aid in decision making. The business analytics and statistics coursework found in either an MBA or MS in Analytics program can qualify a graduate for entry to this field.

Top Executive

With the data analysis skills and business management practice gained from an MBA in Analytics, graduates could be well equipped to climb the corporate ladder. Business professionals who demonstrate a capacity for management and an ability to develop organizational strategies based on data can rise over the course of their careers to become top paid executives like vice president, president, chief financial officer and chief executive officer.

Job TitleMedian Salary (2018)*Projected growth (2018-2028)*
Business Intelligence Analyst $90,270 (for computer occupations, all other)10% (for computer occupations, all other)
Business Manager$100,930 (for all general and operations managers) 7-10% (for all general and operations managers)
Financial Manager$127,99016%
Marketing Manager$134,2908%
Operations Research Analyst$83,39011%
Top Executive$104,9806%

Source: *US Bureau of Labor and Statistics

Both Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Analytics degree programs provide graduates with key analytical skills and a knowledge of how they can be applied to business environments. While an MBA degree includes courses on business management and leadership, an MS in Analytics focuses on technical training in computer systems and mathematical modelling techniques.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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  • Strayer University

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    • Master

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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  • Rider University

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    • New Jersey: Lawrenceville
  • Capella University

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  • Georgetown University

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  • Grand Canyon University

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      • MBA in Accounting

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