So what can graduates from MS in Business Analytics programs expect to earn?
Demand for data analytics
LinkedIn ranked data science as the most promising job in America, in terms of salary, career progress, and number of job opportunities, in 2019. The median base salary was a whopping $130,000, and there were 4,000 jobs unfilled in the US, up by 1,400 jobs on the year before.
This is down to factors including the availability of data increasing, companies’ growing use of analytics, and the dearth of training programs in what is still a novel field.
A separate study by PwC and the Business Higher Education Forum found that more than a third of US data science roles required a master’s degree or a higher qualification.
Masters in Business Analytics Salary
MIT Sloan School of Management in Massachusetts runs the Master of Business Analytics (MBAn) degree. Of the students who graduated in 2019, the average base salary was $122,627, up from $110,000 in 2018. What’s more, the average bonus compensation last year was $20,682.
The pay was not far off the $140,000 average base salary earned by MIT Sloan’s MBA graduates, even though they tend to have substantially more work experience. Most master’s degrees in business analytics are for those with little to no professional experience.
The high pay reflects MIT Sloan’s strong reputation for science, technology and business, but also employers’ high demand for people who can interpret and use data to drive decisions.
The MBAn program has the added advantage of being a STEM-designated course, which gives overseas students an extra 24 months to work in the US, on top of the 12 months of Optional Practical Training.
Despite the high cost of US degrees (see program costs below), graduates in the US tend to earn the most, reflecting the reputation of many schools there but also the severe skills shortage and number of unfilled jobs.
IESEG Business School is based in Lille, France, and 90% of those who take its MSc in Big Data Analytics for Business program work in Europe. The average salary across the cohort is $70,00, including bonuses, but the program costs considerably less than US-based degrees.
“Many companies are transforming their business models for the digital era. They are realizing that data is an extremely valuable resource and are looking to capitalize on this,” says Kristof Coussement, professor of business analytics at IESEG.
He adds that demand for data scientists exceeds the number of master’s programs available. “As it can take more than one academic year to design and launch a new program, it can take time for institutions to catch up with demand from the job market,” says Kristof.
Salaries by region
Demand is truly global, and there are regional differences in pay. Nursen Aydin is director of the MSc Business Analytics course at Warwick Business School in the UK. She says: “In London, our graduates tend to earn around $41,882, while a trainee in Munich will be on around €60,000 ($67,811), and that can go up to €80,000––or $90,415––after a few years.
“In China, our graduates are earning ¥200,000 ($28,856), but after three or four years they are earning the equivalent of their English counterparts. In Hong Kong, they start on $HK240,000 ($30,800).”
Even in the UK, demand for graduates with technical skills to analyse complex data sets, paired with strong business acumen, is by far exceeding supply, says Nursen: her highest paid graduate is earning $97,460.
“The career prospects are very good: 88% of our graduates are in full-time employment six months after graduating, with many at the world’s top companies, such as Google, McKinsey, Goldman Sachs, Apple, eBay, Ford, and Accenture,” says Nursen.
“Most of them go into consulting, technology or financial services: as data analysts, data scientists, business analysts, senior consultants, or risk analysts.
“But any position that requires crunching data provides a job opportunity,” she concludes, “and with the amount of data being produced growing every year, the skills are going to be more and more in demand.”
Next read: Are Masters In Business Analytics Worth It?