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M.S. in Business Analytics Vs. MBA

Here we discuss some of the differences between an M.S. in Business Analytics and a Master of Business Administration to help potential students choose. Learn about each program, common coursework, possible careers and admissions standards.

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Students trying to decide between earning a Master of Science in Business Analytics or a Master of Business Administration should carefully consider their specific interests and career goals. Although these programs may have some overlap in business-related topics, they are unique degree programs that usually result in different kinds of job opportunities. Compare and contrast these two degree programs and their admissions requirements here.

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Comparing a Master of Science in Business Analytics to a Master of Business Administration

Master of Science in Business Analytics

A Master of Science (M.S.) in Business Analytics is a more specific degree program that teaches students how to collect, manage and analyze business-related data, as well as how to apply these findings to decision-making processes in the field. These programs can be completed in as little as 18 months, are typically available on-campus and online and can be taken full- or part-time. Some M.S. in Business Analytics programs may require students to complete a capstone project and/or internship prior to graduation that allows students to apply their knowledge to a real-world problem.

Students usually need to take some elective courses to finish out their degree, but common core courses often include topics in data management, models, data analytics, programming/computing and statistics. Graduates of these degree programs may work as data scientists, business analysts, marketing data analysts, business intelligence analysts and many other related job titles in various industries, such as retail, investment banking, entertainment and marketing.

Master of Business Administration

As the name implies, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree is a broader program that prepares students for administrative and managerial roles in various areas of business, usually depending on their chosen specialization. MBA programs are available on-campus and online, both full- and part-time, and are usually 1 to 2 years in length.

These programs may require students to complete an internship for related work experience and typically offer multiple concentrations, including, but not limited to, analytics, marketing, entrepreneurship, human resources, real estate, information systems, accounting and finance. Students in these programs must take elective courses in their area of specialization, but some common course topics for these programs include financial accounting, managerial economics, organizational behavior, project management and marketing.

Graduates of an MBA program can work a wide range of business and managerial careers in for-profit and not-for-profit organizations in industries like investment banking, small businesses, the government and more, mostly depending on their area of specialization.

Common Entrance Requirements

Like many graduate-level degree programs, M.S. in Business Analytics and MBA programs usually require applicants to submit the required applications and fees along with official transcripts, GRE and/or GMAT scores, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose and/or a resume. M.S. in Business Analytics programs may also require students to have at least a 3.0 GPA, a GMAT overall score of 710 or higher and/or a Quantitative GRE score of 167 or better. Students applying to a business analytics program are often expected to have a quantitative background and experience with computer programming. Applicants to an MBA program could be required to have professional work experience upon entrance to the program. They are also often required to have a minimum 2.0 GPA.

Students wishing to advance their education and career in business may pursue a Master of Science in Business Analytics to work with business data or a Master of Business Administration in a particular area to take on a more managerial role. Both degree programs often require internships to gain hands-on experience, and both prepare graduates for a variety of business careers.

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