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Schools with Business Analyst Programs: How to Choose

Dec 05, 2019

Many schools have developed programs for aspiring business analysts. Students may earn a certificate, bachelor's degree or master's degree in the field.

Undergraduate and graduate business analyst programs are typically available at 4-year colleges and universities. When considering a business analyst program, prospective students may want to consider a school that is a recognized education provider by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA).

Top 10 Business Schools

Business programs are offered at a number of institutions, including those listed here.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition* (2018-2019)
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate $55,584; Graduate $34,882
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate $51,832; Graduate $51,520
University of California - Berkeley Berkeley, CA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Out-of-state Undergraduate $43,176; Out-of-state Graduate $26,544
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Out-of-state Undergraduate $49,350; Out-of-state Graduate $46,678
New York University New York, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit Certificate, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, Graduate Certificate Undergraduate $51,828; Graduate $42,888
University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Out-of-state Undergraduate $49,032; Out-of-state Graduate $26,830
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergraduate $55,465; Graduate $43,815
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Out-of-state Undergraduate $35,170; Out-of-state Graduate $27,454
University of Texas - Austin Austin, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Out-of-state Undergraduate $37,580; Out-of-state Graduate $22,564
Cornell University Ithaca, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's, Doctoral Graduate $29,500

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

School Selection Criteria

Students interested in business analyst programs have several considerations to keep in mind.

  • While certification is optional, certified business analysts prove they possess a high level of competency, and several companies acknowledge the importance of Certified Business Analyst Professional (CBAP) credentials.
  • Since program delivery varies among schools, prospective students should determine the time commitment required and select the program that best fits their goals and learning needs.
  • Undergraduate degree programs in business administration and information technology have recently added business analyst tracks within the curricula.
  • It is also possible to pursue business studies towards an undergraduate or graduate certificate, which may be more cost effective than pursuing a degree.

Certificate Programs

Business analyst certificate programs teach students how to collect and document an organization's business process requirements. Students learn to initiate functional system design solutions that can be implemented by information technology development teams.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Although there aren't bachelor's degree programs specifically created for business analysts, a number of programs offer the theoretical groundwork necessary to succeed in the field. Business analysts may choose to major in information technology, finance or business administration. Several schools offer a concentration in project management or business analysis within these majors. Courses prepare graduates to act as liaisons between business and technology departments.

Master's Degree Programs

Master's degree programs in business analysis provide students with the skills and knowledge required for a career in private business or government. Courses equip students that have no previous business experience with management training, emphasizing technology implementation. A practicum may be required.

Graduate Certificate Programs

This program is appropriate for those who have a bachelor's degree and are currently employed as business analysts, product managers and quality assurance analysts. Courses are often tailored to prepare students for the CBAP exam. Some schools offer to perform the training on-site and customize the program to serve a company's specific needs.

Business analysis is incorporated in business programs at many private and public institutions across the country. Students can opt to pursue an undergraduate certificate or degree, or complete a graduate certificate, master's degree or doctoral degree that incorporate business analysis into the program of study.

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