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A Master of Science in Analytics is officially classified as a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subject degree and fuses interdisciplinary topics such as computer science, statistics, business, information theory, market research, and operations research.  It can be used as part of an overall career strategy by those looking to gain rewarding employment analyzing vast sets of data to provide unique and invaluable insights into business strategy.
A master’s degree in analytics is a great way for those looking to excel in organizations that are highly data-driven, including major competitors in the tech, sporting, and media worlds.
The Institute for Advanced Analytics found that there are currently over 100 MS programs in analytics, business analytics, or data science at U.S. institutions; over 40 of those offered are in pure analytics, a field that has seen exponential growth since 2011.  As of 2016, there were at least 23 online and part-time master’s programs in data analytics. 
Undertaking a Master of Science in Analytics program can greatly increase earning potential. PayScale puts the national average salary for those with a Master of Science degree between $65,090 and $156,157, while those with a Bachelor of Science degree is between $58,712 and $151,197.  Other research suggests related analytics careers see an increase in salary, including: 
In 2014, management analysts were the highest paying roles in the financial sector, with a median pay of $78,600 quickly followed by financial analysts earning $76,950.  By 2015, the median pay had risen to $81,320  and $80,310,  respectively.
After earning a master’s in analytics, j the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports indicate that candidates are more fully equipped to advance from entry-level or junior analyst roles to more senior positions. This may also depend on practical work experience within a chosen industry.
Many master’s programs in analytics provide Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) or SAS certification or similar industry accreditation, giving students an advantage that may set them apart in their field.
On the other hand, some students might choose to study analytics in order to make a career change. This is usually from a related field in which data played a large role, such as business or computing.
An online Master of Analytics degree can be a practical way to achieve this for those already in employment because it allows for home learning and flexibility of class scheduling.
There is no shortage of demand for analytics professionals in the technological world of today and the future. As such, analytics professionals are required in a number of different industries, including:
With the rise in the reliance on big data, jobs in analytics are becoming more prevalent. Popular jobs with a master’s degree in analytics today include:
Many people are choosing analytics positions because they are a fast-growing industry. This often translates to job security as organizations become increasingly reliant on data-driven insights to respond to changing markets and behaviors.
In 2015, there was a 162% growth in demand for management analysts, and the use of big data is trickling down from large organizations to increasingly smaller firms. 
As technology plays an even bigger role in industry, there is an anticipated 40% growth in data generated globally per year that will require thorough, experienced, and professional analysts to manage it. 
For many, the sense of personal satisfaction from earning any degree is also a key benefit. Graduating with a Master of Science in Analytics conveys discipline, commitment, drive, great acumen, and the ability to merge theoretical knowledge with experience.
Students of the master’s in analytics degree typically enjoy good success rates when it comes to finding jobs in analysis. Universities often boast a job placement rate nearing 100%, and the jobs that students take tend to be lucrative.
Data is becoming more important to the growth and success of a range of industries and businesses. This is evident through our increasing reliance on technological advancements and a demand for adaptability to real-time global and market events.
In 2011, global business consultancy McKinsey predicted there would be a shortage of around 1.5 million managers and analysts by 2018, who could provide in-depth analytical insight for businesses. 
This means those holding a master’s degree in analytics will be well placed in industries where quantitative skills are a top priority, including software, technology, marketing, business, and economics.
For those looking to add to their skills, an MS in Business Analytics could further improve career success. Across the board of analyst careers, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects the growth rate to be high. This is mirrored through the increase of Master of Science in Analytics degree programs throughout America to meet industry demand.
The rate of growth for a number of key analyst roles is expected to rise much faster than the average 2014 through 2024, including:
Have Questions? Get Answers. Explore Your Analytic Degree Options Now.Learn More
Make an Informed Decision. Explore Master's in Analytics Degrees Now.Learn More
The length of an online master’s degree program can depend on a number of variables, perhaps the most prominent of which is the pace at which you choose to study. You can finish a typical master’s degree program in about two to three years if you choose to study full-time, although some accelerated programs may be able to help you finish more quickly.
Online master’s degree programs tend to offer flexibility suitable for students who choose to study part-time. This option will likely extend your time to completion, but it can allow you to study while fulfilling your familial, social, and professional obligations.
You can find more information on this topic at our program length overview page.
While each program will set its admission requirements based on its own criteria, many requirements are universal across all programs. No matter where you apply, you can expect to provide items like transcripts from previous degrees or coursework; standardized test scores; a personal statement or essay; letters of recommendation; and an overview of relevant work experience.
In certain cases, some of these requirements may be waived.
For more information about admissions, please visit our admissions requirements page.
Regional accreditation is the most prestigious type of accreditation that an online or traditional college or university can receive. It is granted only after careful consideration by private, not-for-profit organizations tasked with evaluating educational quality.
Regional accreditation is particularly important if you anticipate that you might want to transfer credits from one online degree program to another or use those credits to pursue another degree. Most regionally accredited schools will only accept credits from other regionally accredited institutions of higher learning.
You can learn more on this topic at our regional accreditation page.
If you are pursuing a Master of Science in Analytics, then you likely already have a good concept of mathematics and computer programming and are looking to extend your skills so that they can eventually be applied in a business environment.
While a master’s degree in analytics is a relatively new degree, the uptake by students has grown over the past decade since its introduction. There are now more than 40 master’s in analytics programs, a rise of 4,000% in 10 years. 
Of course, students may also be interested in pursuing other fields of study. For those wishing to specialize in a particular area of analytics, these programs may be of interest and will provide similar opportunities for Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) or SAS certification; some may even be better suited to a certain industry:
This advanced degree is ideal for those looking to enter finance or business environments, as this degree will more closely look at data with a view to how it can be applied commercially.
Individuals looking to strengthen their analytical skills in relation to their application in a range of industries, including computer programming and statistical analysis, might be better suited to this degree.
There is a lot of overlap with the master’s in analytics but this program will more closely hone interests toward scientific or web-based analysis of databases rather than taking a holistic approach covering a wide range of industries.
There are also a lot of other avenues for study available following graduation from the master’s in analytics program. Some students go on to study another master’s degree, such as in business analytics, or progress to postdoctoral study with a Ph.D. in analytics or another related discipline. Others may choose to pursue a graduate certificate.
Many of these professional certificates still require a bachelor’s degree in a related quantitative subject. However, they make advanced analytics study available online, may be much cheaper, and can be ideal for someone looking for a career change.
There are several professional associations and organizations that students and graduates may wish to join when studying, during placement, and after securing a position. Each organization is specific to an industry or job role within which the candidate is working.
They may require an exam to be passed in order to join, which verifies the candidate’s knowledge and expertise as well as certifies them as a member of a professional body. In turn, they can provide much valuable advice, support, and new and enriching industry opportunities. Relevant analytics organizations include:
On top of earning your degree, many master’s in analytics programs come with product certification. Licensure or certification can be an invaluable benefit of your program. As such, it might be one of the most important considerations when choosing a program provider.
Certification can qualify you for working with a certain system and can help when applying for jobs as it will satisfy the employer that you can meet industry standards of best practice and knowledge.
Some of the most common certifications include:
SAS certification is one of the most popular forms of certification available with a Master of Analytics degree. It proves in-depth competency, knowledge, and experience working with SAS programming software.
SAS certification is defined according to strict international standards. As such, it is highly respected in the field of analytics. Not only can this globally endorsed accreditation prove you have a high proficiency in this area of programming, it can also give you and your potential workplace a competitive edge. 
Other programs may also lead to this certification, and it is worth checking with your institution to find out what they offer. Programs such as Master of Science in Data Science, Data Mining, and Predictive Analytics from specific institutions currently offer SAS or OSU certification.
SAS and other certifications are not an industry requirement; however, research suggests they could lead to better pay. A report by MONEY and PayScale found that SAS skills, in particular, are among the most in-demand data skills and are linked with a +6.1% pay increase. 
If your program does not offer this certification, there are options to become self-accredited directly through SAS, for which you will need to pay a fee and take an exam.
There are a number of factors that can greatly affect how much your education will cost. These include whether you attend a public or private institution; whether you attend as an in-state or out-of-state student; and whether you qualify for financial aid like grants or scholarships.
For a more detailed breakdown of tuition, fees, and other financial issues, please visit our tuition and fees page.
Data analysis has become an essential business strategy. According to Forbes, data will continue to grow at an exponential rate, especially when taking into account the number of handheld, internet-connected devices to which we have access. [41 A strong foundation in management, finance and accounting are recommended, but as technological advances continue, analytics professionals will also need advanced skills in data capture, organization, and analysis to guide business decisions.The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) reports in its Year-End Poll of Employers that 98% of employers believe business school graduates need to know how to use data to drive decisions. 
A Master of Science in Analytics generally covers advanced data collection, organization and analysis providing graduates with a competitive advantage over others in the job market.
Before investing in an MSA, it is advised that you define your goals. A good place to start is by asking others who have analytics positions what experience and education they have received. 
The time to completion varies depending on the program. Most online MSA programs will take about two years of full-time study. Many MSA programs allow flexibility with your courses, allowing you to take longer than two years if necessary. An online MSA degree provides the additional benefit of flexibility often needed by those who continue to work while studying for their graduate degree.
Asynchronous coursework can be completed on your own time — a big plus for many online graduate students who may be working around a busy work schedule or home life. Synchronous coursework has to be completed within a set timeframe. This is typically done for group projects, seminars, presentations, and other learning initiatives that require multiple attendees.
The elements of asynchronous and synchronous learning in your online program depend on the professor and the course. Once you enroll, reach out to teachers for specifics, but remember that the curriculum may be divided into these two subsets.
Generally speaking, candidates with experience working with data, numbers, pattern recognition, and similar topics, either in academia or a professional setting, can find success and enjoyment in an MSA program. Critical thinking skills are invaluable, and many programs prefer candidates with demonstrated capabilities in statistics, research analysis, and business intelligence.
An aptitude for mathematics is another strong determining factor of student success.  Although analytics software is constantly improving, a high degree of proficiency in programs like Excel along with a solid understanding of statistics is usually necessary to enter most MSA programs.
Generally there are supplementary costs apart from tuition. The tuition does not usually include the cost of books or additional fees. These additional costs will vary from program to program.
The largest provider of student financial aid in the nation is the Federal Student Aid office in the U.S. Department of Education. It supplies college-level or career school students with loans, grants, and work-study funds. You can apply for federal financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly known as FAFSA.
There are numerous other scholarships available, but you will need to research which opportunities you’re qualified to pursue. Many states, associations, websites, and businesses award scholarships based on specific criteria. Be sure to do your research and apply for any scholarships you’re qualified to be awarded. 
As more analytics graduate degrees and specializations emerge, the need to discern which program may be right for you becomes ever more important. One of the first things you should consider is the caliber of the program’s teachers. Are the professors tenured faculty or adjunct? Do they teach on-campus programs as well as online? What are their accomplishments, and what recognition have they received?
It’s also critical to compare the curriculum. Although many analytics programs have similar core courses, they may differ from one another through their specializations, concentrations, tracks, and electives. Ask yourself what your goals are. This will help determine which program best suits your needs.
Finally, check to see if the program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).This accreditation represents the institution’s dedication to excellence and continuous improvement. These distinguishing factors and many more are important attributes when considering which path is right for you.
Yes, reputable master’s programs require an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution. Although an MSA is technical in nature, student backgrounds vary and don’t necessarily have to be primarily quantitative.
Whether you will need to complete the GRE prior to applying for a program will largely depend on what school you have chosen. There are many programs that do not require a GRE for acceptance. Check the admissions requirements for your school before applying.
Yes, many institutions offer MSA degrees online.
Online and on-campus degrees typically look identical. Most institutions do not indicate on the degree that it was earned online.
Yes, schools typically follow the same curriculum for their online programs as they do for their campus-based programs.
Master of Science in Analytics degree may have different variations of its name that indicate a specialization in curriculum. For example:
The demand for analysts has already exceeded the supply of qualified experts and continues to expand as big data becomes bigger, growing at an unsurpassed rate. Degree specializations are expanding as well, giving graduates an even greater competitive advantage.
Although each program is different, MSA students can expect to study intermediate and advanced statistics, regression analysis, data mining, probability, programming, data models, structured analysis, multivariate data analysis, business intelligence, simulation, business applications, and more.
Most programs incorporate business analytics, data analysis, data mining, web mining, and analytical methods for optimization.
Data analysis enables you to make strong inferences that guide critical business decisions.  Modern business practices are dependant upon the skilled analysis of complex and varied data, as well as the creation of actionable strategies that result from that analysis. An MSA program can prepare graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary to have an immediate impact on critical business decisions.
A Master of Science in Analytics program is a business degree, and the most reputable business programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Its accreditation standards challenge business programs to pursue excellence and continuous improvement. 
Accreditations are a strong indication of quality, but are also required for students who plan to apply for federal financial aid. Accreditation ensures that your degree is recognized by employers, professional associations, and other accredited institutions of higher education.
SARA (State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement) applies only to distance education programs in the United States that cross state lines. This agreement is made between member states and establishes comparable postsecondary national standards for distance education courses.
Not every state is a SARA member. Through SARA, member states only have to receive authorization in their home state. Without SARA, non-member states would have to receive authorization in their home state and the state of each of their online students. 
Every school has a department or team responsible for online education. This department will be able to answer questions regarding compliance for your home state. Additionally, you can locate the school through SARA (if it is a SARA institution) to confirm compliance.
Some of the most common analytics career paths for MSA graduates fall under the categories of predictive analytics professional, business analytics professional, and data analyst.  There are many titles and positions that someone equipped with an MSA degree can choose to pursue, such as logistician, management analyst, benefits and job analysis specialist, market research analyst, marketing specialist, budget analyst, financial analyst, credit analyst, operations research analyst, statistician, and many more.
Yes. There is a growing need for analytics professionals. A report by McKinsey Global Institute states that by 2018, individuals with analytical skills will be in high demand due to a shortage of about 140,000 to 190,000 people with knowledge of analytics. The report also suggests a deficit of 1.5 million analysts who have the proper business sense to function with big data.  MSA graduates will be poised to fill these analytics roles across many industries.
A Master of Science degree isn’t the only pathway to gaining knowledge and expertise in analytics. Many MBAs have concentrations in analytics, allowing students to hone their general business studies with a greater understanding of big data management and decision-making. Graduate degrees in computer science also share similar curriculum with MSA degrees, but may have different outcomes for graduates. Consider these degrees and others carefully when determining which is right for you.
No, attaining management/senior positions is not guaranteed through the completion of a master’s degree. These positions often require many years of experience and a significant level of career achievement. However, an advanced degree can help you develop the necessary knowledge and skills required for these positions and also prove your dedication to the field.