Employer Demand for Professionals with a Master’s in Business Analytics

Businesses across industries have access to big data — data that has large volume, variety, velocity and veracity — that can provide them with valuable information and insights. To be competitive in the 21st century, they need to harness and analyze this data to make better decisions and operate more efficiently and effectively. To transform big data into desired business outcomes requires a specialized skill set, and professionals with these skills are in high demand.

In 2015, employers posted more than 206,000 jobs requiring big data skills, and demand for this expertise continues to grow. A blue-ribbon research report projects that In the United States by 2020, there will be nearly 700,000 job openings for data scientists, data developers and data engineers, and the number of jobs for all data professionals will increase to 2,720,000.

The talent gap has led some companies to develop internship programs and cultivate in-house talent. Universities, including Carnegie Mellon, are doing their share to keep up with the demand, offering master’s degree programs in business analytics that can provide students with the deeper skills and business knowledge that employers seek.

What Business Analytics Professionals Do

Business analytics professionals analyze data to gain actionable insights and identify opportunities for a competitive business advantage. Their work typically involves using technologies such as business intelligence reporting software, statistical analysis tools and big data platforms to guide their analysis and improve decision-making. Today’s professionals must be well-versed in programming languages such as Python and R that are often used for machine learning and data analytics, as well as advanced methodologies such as optimization to develop prescriptive analytical solutions. In addition to having data science skills, they must also have business knowledge.

Where Business Analytics Professionals Work

The increasing accumulation of and access to data — the world will reach 163 trillion zettabytes of data by 2025 — affects every area of society including Fortune 500 companies, universities, the government and nonprofits.

In 2015, the top industries hiring professionals with big data expertise were:

  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
  • Information Technologies
  • Manufacturing
  • Finance and Insurance
  • Retail Trade

Business Analytics Professional Job Titles

Business analytics professionals hold a range of positions across sectors and industries. They have titles such as operations research analyst, market research analyst and statistician. Other job titles for these professionals include:

Business Intelligence Analyst

  • Business intelligence manager
  • Commercial intelligence manager
  • Competitive intelligence analyst
  • Consultant, strategic business and technology intelligence
  • Director of enterprise strategy
  • Director of market intelligence
  • Director, global intelligence
  • Intelligence analyst
  • Manager, market intelligence

Operations Research Analyst

  • Analytical strategist
  • Business analytics director
  • Business insight and analytics manager
  • Decision analyst
  • Operations research group manager

Market Research Analyst

  • Business development specialist
  • Client service and consulting manager
  • Client services vice president
  • Communications specialist
  • Market analyst
  • Market research consultant
  • Market research manager
  • Product line manager


  • Clinical statistics manager
  • Human resource statistician
  • Private statistical/psychometric consultant
  • Program research specialist
  • Senior statistician
  • Statistical analyst

Business Analytics Professional Compensation

Salaries for business analytics professionals vary depending on factors including employer, title, experience and location. The median salaries, for instance, for business intelligence analysts and operations research analysts are $66,229 and $74,578, respectively. Some business analytics professionals in leadership roles, however, report earning up to $176,267 per year, and salaries can be higher than this at some companies. The MSBA program aims to help students transition into these higher-level positions by enhancing their analytical skill sets with business acumen.

The Tepper School Masters Career Center

The Masters Career Center helps online MSBA students in the Tepper School of Business make the most of their opportunities to build valuable skills and expand their professional networks. As an online student, you can attend workshops, webinars, and virtual one-on-one coaching sessions. With expert guidance, develop an individualized career plan that will help your progress toward your long-term goals.

For more information on the Masters Career Center, visit our Student Services page.

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To learn more about the Tepper School’s online Master of Science in Business Analytics, fill out the fields below to download a free brochure. If you have additional questions, please call 888-876-8959 or 412-238-1101 to speak with an admissions counselor.

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