Business Administration

Want to Earn More Money? Consider an Analytics MBA

Want to Earn More Money? Consider an Analytics MBA
High-level analytics positions require collaborative design, monitoring, and evaluation of ideas and strategy. Image from Unsplash
Lucien Formichella profile
Lucien Formichella March 22, 2023

Companies are desperate to fill analytics management positions, and having an analytics MBA can help you qualify for high-paying roles like data science manager and chief information officer.

MBA Programs You Should Consider

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According to Poets and Quants, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) adds $2.3 million to your lifetime earnings. That value increases to $8 million when you attend top ten programs. If you’re looking to earn more money, an MBA is a great choice.

Recent business trends include an increased focus on analytics. MBA programs have noticed, adding courses and concentrations to their curricula.

As business and technology grow more interdependent, earning an analytics MBA has become an excellent way to optimize your education and land the best positions.

So, do you want to earn more money? Consider an analytics MBA. This article covers:

  • What does a business analyst do?
  • What does a business analytics manager do?
  • How much does business analytics pay?
  • Should I get an analytics MBA?
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What does a business analyst do?

According to CIO, “Business analysts (BAs) are responsible for bridging the gap between IT and the business.” They use data analytics “to assess processes, determine requirements and deliver data-driven recommendations and reports to executives and stakeholders.” These professionals must have excellent analytical skills plus the communication and leadership abilities necessary to sell their ideas.

High-level analytics positions require collaborative design, monitoring, and evaluation of ideas and strategy. Key practices that business analytics professionals utilize, according to the International Institute of Business Analytics (IIBA), include:

  • Backlog management
  • Business model canvas
  • Collaborative games
  • Decision modeling
  • Financial analysis
  • Prioritization
  • Process analysis
  • Reviews
  • Roles and permissions matrices

Business analysts face several career path options. Earning an MBA positions them for management and leadership roles. Those who prefer the number-crunching and programming aspect of the job might want to consider a Master of Science in Business Analytics. This degree focuses more on math, computing, and analysis, and less on management and strategy.

Business analysts share many similarities with data analysts, but with several key differences. Data analysts focus primarily on:

  • Data cleaning
  • Data mining
  • Data preparation
  • Data visualization
  • Gathering data sets
  • Project management
  • Statistical modeling

Business analysts may work from a similar knowledge base, but they ultimately focus on making business decisions. Data analysts take a more information technology (IT) approach to big data analytics.

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“Should I Get A MBA?”

The National Association of Colleges and Employers predicted an average starting salary for 2019 MBA graduates of $84,580—provided those graduates found jobs in computer science, engineering, science, or business. (source)

Students considering an MBA or graduate business degree can choose from varied career paths, including those focused on financial management, data analytics, market research, healthcare management, and operations management. The analytical skills and problem-solving techniques gained from graduate level business degrees are in high demand across business sectors. (source)

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What does a business analytics manager do?

Business analytics managers (sometimes referred to simply as analytics managers) typically oversee a team. Their skillset must include soft skills like communication, leadership, and negotiation.

Specific jobs vary by business function. A supply chain analytics manager may be tasked with reducing costs and/or increasing revenue. They typically do this through predictive and prescriptive modeling—identifying a potential issue early, then isolating the best possible alternative.

Marketing managers run marketing analytics and develop sales plans. They typically focus on forecasting demand for products and conducting extensive market research. Financial analysts utilize data to optimize budgets and analyze proposals. Healthcare analytics managers may focus on leveraging patient data to improve practices.

You may need industry-specific knowledge in addition to an analytics understanding to work as an analytics professional in a particular business silo.

How much does business analytics pay?

The average business analyst earns nearly $65,500 per year, according to Payscale. Glassdoor reports that that figure jumps to $85,000 for business analysts with MBAs.

Positions you can earn with an MS or MBA in business analytics include:

Salaries for each of these roles can reach well above $100,000 per year, especially for senior professionals. With bonuses, stock options, and other perks, overall compensation can go far higher.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics defines management analyst as a professional who “recommend ways to improve an organization’s efficiency.” The definition encompasses multiple roles, including positions for staffed employees and consultants. In 2020, these professionals earned a median income of $87,660.

Top professionals can earn far more. Salary.com lists the salary range for business analytics managers who hold an MBA as between roughly $129,000 and $137,000 per year.

Industries that hire the most business analysts

What you earn in analytics depends on where you work. According to the BLS, the top industries for management analysts, plus the percentage of the workforce they hire, are:

  • Management, scientific, and technical services: 12 percent
  • Federal government: 3 percent
  • State government: 2.6 percent
  • Computer systems design: 2.3 percent
  • Management of companies and enterprises: 2 percent

The top-paying industries, and their median annual wages, are:

  • Metal ore mining: $148,000
  • Oil and gas extraction: $126,000
  • Engine, turbine, and power transmission equipment manufacturing: $125,000
  • Securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments: $124,000

Consultants are often self-employed and work across multiple industries.

Top-paying states

The top paying states, and their average annual wage are:

  • Massachusetts: $116,900
  • New Jersey: $116,800
  • New York: $115,000
  • District of Columbia: $114,700
  • Illinois: $112,400

Top-paying cities

The list of top-paying cities includes some you’d expect and some you may never have heard of:

  • Dothan, AL: $135,000
  • Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT: $127,000
  • San Francisco, CA: $125,000
  • San Jose, CA: $125,000
  • Barnstable Town, MA: $123,500
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Should I get an analytics MBA?

The decision to earn an analytics MBA ultimately depends on your career goals. MBA programs in analytics teach a combination of business management and technical analytics skills. In their first year, students typically complete traditional MBA coursework like:

  • Accounting
  • Business ethics
  • Economics
  • Financial management
  • Leadership
  • Marketing

Students usually specialize in their second year. Though programs may differ, this typically includes coursework in:

  • Applied analytics methodologies
  • Business analytics
  • Data analytics
  • Data visualization

Students in the Stevens Institute of Technology Analytics MBA program complete coursework with the following titles:

  • Advanced data analytics and machine learning
  • Applied analytics
  • Business analytics: data, models, and decisions
  • Marketing management
  • Multivariate data analytics

So, how does this differ from other analytics master’s programs? An analytics MBA prepares you for management roles. You’ll be more likely to study how to create solutions with algorithms, machine learning, and artificial intelligence in a Master of Science (MS) in Data Analytics or Data Science program, rather than managing the technology. Pursuing an MS graduate degree with a data analysis background is more likely to help you build advanced technical skills that lead to career opportunities like data scientist, though it can also lead to management positions.

There are reasons to choose an MS over an MBA; maybe you’d rather manage technology than people. Still, if you’re looking to earn more, it’s tough to compete with an MBA. You’ll qualify for many of the top-paying, highest-responsibility positions. Nearly a third of the top 100 CEOs have an MBA, according to Poets and Quants. Also, if you’re looking to enter management and have a greater impact on the long-term direction of a company, the MBA is likely the better choice. That’s why the MBA is still a go-to degree for those who want to advance their careers to the highest level.

Questions or feedback? Email editor@noodle.com.

About the Editor

Tom Meltzer spent over 20 years writing and teaching for The Princeton Review, where he was lead author of the company's popular guide to colleges, before joining Noodle. He has been managing editor of the Noodle.com website for over four years.

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MBA Programs You Should Consider

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