Illustration of computer screen with graphics of data

5 Reasons to Get a Masters in Business Analytics Degree

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Last updated: January 26, 2024

Data is the oil of the 21st century. Much like how oil only becomes useful once refined, data must be broken down and analyzed before it becomes a valuable resource. This is where business analytics comes in.

In the rapidly digitizing economy, a master’s degree in business analytics can set you up to become a leading force in the growing field of data science and business analytics. Here are five reasons to pursue this degree:


1. Future-proof your career

As the digital economy matures, companies across industries are turning to big data to gain customer insights and drive decisions. According to a study from Ernst & Young, 93 percent of companies stated they were increasing their investments in data and predictive analytics. And the data is clear: Companies that adopt data analytics outperform those that do not. 

With organizations adopting data strategy and a data-driven culture, there’s no end in sight to the demand for analytics professionals who can leverage data for problem-solving and innovation. It should come as no surprise then that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects data scientist careers to grow 35 percent through 2032, which far exceeds the five percent average growth rate for all occupations. This translates into a need for an average of 17,700 data analysts/data scientists each year for the next decade.

As the field continues to formalize, a degree in data analytics—such as the Carlson School’s Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA)—can set you up to become an indispensable force in the developing profession.


2. Boost your salary

Since demand and growth for business analytics professionals are so high, expect to see great returns for your investment in a graduate degree. ZipRecruiter reports that the annual pay for those with a bachelor’s in business administration is $69,117. Compare that to the average salary of those with a master’s degree. The Carlson School’s most recent MSBA graduating class saw a mean base salary of $117,507 with a mean signing bonus of $14,084. That’s a 70% change after just one year of additional study!


3. Work in any industry you like

At its core, business analytics is about offering data-driven insights and intelligence, whether it is to support a decision or to add intelligent features to products and services. No matter your interests—whether it’s in using data to better target your marketing campaigns or power predictive organization for your company’s budget—you will find your skills in demand across business functions. As more industries undergo digital transformation, take your pick in consulting, start-ups, nonprofit, and corporate firms from healthcare, finance, technology, retail, sports, agriculture to … well, you name it.


4. Connect to a network of analytics professionals

Developing meaningful relationships in the analytics field and industry is valuable for launching and advancing your career. Since business analytics programs are offered through a university’s business school, it means you’ll have access to strong alumni networks and robust career services. During your program, you’ll have many opportunities to cultivate such connections through a built-in network of faculty mentors, peers, and alumni. These relationships can open the door to new opportunities, help you stay current with industry trends, and serve as a resource as you navigate your career. 

At the Carlson School, the Business Career Center will help you grow your network of analytics professionals so you’re prepared for your career after graduation. Through info sessions, site visits, and weekly drop-in events, you can meet with company representatives to learn about different company cultures and expand your professional contacts. You’ll also have a dedicated career coach to help you navigate all aspects of your career development, from goal identification to job negotiation, for life. And with a network of 60,000+ alumni from around the world, there’s no shortage of opportunities to move you toward your goals.


5. Build the knowledge and skills you need to pursue a career in data analytics

A master's program can improve and advance your analytical skills so you’re ready to work professionally as a data analyst. It can also help you build a technically-oriented career that requires an advanced understanding of statistical and machine learning modeling. Some jobs you will be able to pursue with a master’s degree in business analytics also include data science, data engineering, and machine learning engineering.

With a Carlson School MSBA degree, you’ll be equipped with a systematic understanding of the field of business analytics and a robust, well-rounded set of essential skills. Through coursework in fundamentals such as statistics, SQL, and programming to advanced topics such as predictive modeling, AI, and big data engineering, you’ll receive comprehensive training in just one year. 

You’ll also work with the latest technologies and software tools such as Python, AWS, and Apache Spark, and put your knowledge and skills to the test with hands-on learning opportunities. 

Through the Carlson Analytics Lab, you’ll have opportunities to work with real-world datasets to solve problems for corporate partners—all before you graduate. With the Carlson School's comprehensive and experiential analytics curriculum, you’ll be prepared to hit the ground running at any company, in any industry.

Explore our new Artificial Intelligence for Business track


If you love working with data and can stay open to a lot of different learning along the way, a master’s program in business analytics can help you become a leading force as more companies integrate analytics into their operations. Learn more about how the Carlson School’s Master of Science in Business Analytics program can take your career to the next level whether you’re new to the field or building on your existing experience.

Accelerating your path in business analytics

Learn how the MSBA degree helped alumni launch and accelerate their business analytics career at several different companies.


Request information

Complete this form to receive information about the Master of Science in Business Analytics program's coursework, admissions, tuition, and more.

*Required information

 I authorize the Carlson School of Management and its representatives to contact me via SMS text message.