As the impact of data on organizations of all sizes continues to grow at virtually exponential rates, demand is rising for professionals with the education, technical expertise and business insight to support strategies and goals.
In analyzing the relative value of general Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees versus specialized graduate degrees, Poets & Quants noted each have their own benefits. Still, a program that focuses on developing data-related competence is critical for business professionals who want to advance their careers in technical fields.
“Pursuing a specialized masters will bring many benefits for personal and professional development,” the article notes. “For those interested in consulting and data analytics, obtaining a firm understanding of technology and its role in shaping the future of organizations is becoming essential.”
A specialized degree curriculum, such as the Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) with a concentration in Business Analytics offered online by Murray State University, prepares graduates for top-tier positions that require proficiency in data sourcing, organization and management, data-driven decision-making, and statistical modeling and machine learning (ML).
Data analytics has proven business benefits, and demand for those professionals is growing among organizations that are struggling to fit business analytics into their information systems infrastructure and corporate culture.
Why Choose an Analytics-Related M.S. Over an MBA?
Poets & Quants notes in a separate article that if prospective-student enrollment indicates job-market expansion, then data-related professionals are in high demand.
“The fastest growing master’s degree at business schools these days is clearly the master’s in data analytics,” according to Poets & Quants.
Students can complete the business analytics MSIS online program from Murray State in as few as 12 months, and the program includes studies that position graduates for in-demand roles that increase efficiencies, cut costs, accelerate and improve decision-making, manage risk and drive innovation. The curriculum focuses on concepts such as:
- Advanced Business Analytics. Explore data mining techniques used to discover patterns, predict trends and classify observations through hands-on practice with analytic software and case-study analyses.
- Developing Analytics Applications. Focus on methods and tools that develop and sharpen analytics, data and analysis expertise and programming skills.
- Decision Support and Expert Systems. Develop understanding through practical applications in business and industrial deployment.
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Study the impact of ERP systems and strategies for integrating them into business operations.
- Data Management. Concentrate on developing Structured Query Language (SQL) queries and processes to extract, transform and store data from multiple sources.
“For a career in the data science industry, MS in business analytics will be the right choice,” according to Analytics India Magazine.
The magazine also notes that an MSIS in business analytics is also usually a more affordable degree than an MBA degree.
What Are Career Paths for Business Analytics Professionals?
Because the Murray State program focuses on data analysis and developing data-centric skills, graduates are ready for several career paths leading to senior management and executive roles.
According to PayScale, a career in analytics can proceed from management roles (entry salary: $74,000; senior: $117,000) to a director of analytics role (mid-career: $124,000; senior: $145,000), with potential advancement to a vice president position (mid-career: $165,000; senior: $186,000).
An advanced degree in information systems and business analytics will give graduates high-value skills, a strong career outlook and an achievable return on investment (ROI).