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Big Data Analytics Master's Degrees: 20 Top Programs

These one-year and two-year graduate programs are just what's needed to close the big-data talent gap. Read on to find a school that fits your ambitions and background.
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It's well documented that there's a big data talent gap, but what's being done about it? What's needed is knowledge and experience. On the first front, hundreds of colleges and universities worldwide are gearing up business analytics, machine learning and other programs aimed at analysis of data in a business context.

Data growth is headed in one direction, so it's clear that the skills gap is a long-term problem. But many businesses just can't wait the three to five years it might take today's undergrads to become business-savvy professionals. With that and InformationWeek's readership in mind, there's a great opportunity for experienced information management professionals and even data-savvy IT generalists to fill the talent void. Thus, here's our short list of one- and two-year business analytics and big-data-oriented masters programs in North America.

All of these programs are geared to candidates who already have undergraduate degrees, and most favor professionals with three or more years of work experience. In many cases part-time options are available, so students can continue to work as they learn more about big data analytics.

This is not a ranking. It's an alphabetical listing of well-known and emerging masters programs specifically targeting the big data analytics talent gap. We've included several of the masters programs at elite schools of engineering where grad-school-supported research programs have sprung up around big data. Columbia, for example, has its Institute for Data Sciences, Harvard has its Institute for Applied Computational Science and the University of California, Berkeley has its AMPLab (which explores the role of algorithms, machines and people in big data analytics).

Getting into a masters program at an elite school is no guarantee you'll be tapped for an interesting big data research project working alongside a well-known professor. Nevertheless, graduates of these schools tend to have their pick of future employers.

More than half of these schools are offering fairly new masters programs in business analytics. These tend to be interdisciplinary degrees sponsored by schools of business. In some cases it's an MBA degree with a specialization in analytics and information management (see New York University and Rutgers). In other cases it's a focused, business-meets-analytics program that can be completed in one year or less (see North Carolina State University, Drexel, Louisiana State University and Canada's York University). In still other cases, departments of statistics and operations research have dialed up their applied learning to create more business- and big-data-oriented programs (see University of Cincinnati and University of Tennessee).

Those specifically interested in big data analytics as applied to marketing should investigate Bentley University and DePaul. Insurance and financial services get special attention at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where State Farm has a research center that offers tuition assistance and internship opportunities.

Given the number of universities developing business analytics and big-data related programs, a list of 20 schools can't be comprehensive. Thus, our last slide offers links to 10 more masters programs for big data analytics, including new programs at Arizona State, Fordham University and The University of Maryland.

We encourage schools not listed here to add appropriate masters programs using the comment tool at the bottom of the page (note: all comments that include URLs must be reviewed before posting to eliminate spam, so either omit links or count on a delay). It will take some time to fill the big data talent gap, so we'll be updating and expanding this career-development compendium as a service to our readers.

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ElsaEvans
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ElsaEvans,
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11/13/2014 | 12:22:09 PM
MS in Analytics at the University of San Francisco
The University of San Francisco offers the MS in Analytics, jointly offered by the College of Arts & Sciences and the School of Management. It is an intensive one-year (July-June) program that provides students with the skills necessary to develop techniques and processes for data-driven decision-making. The program covers topics such as data mining, machine learning, statistical models, predictive analytics, econometrics, optimization, risk analysis, data visualization, business communication and management science. USF's Analytics Program is highly technical and students write R and Python programs for most of their courses. Throughout their program, students work with an industrial partner in the practicum (some are paid).

Pre-requisites include: a bachelor's degree, courses covering programming languages, inferential statistics, calculus and linear algebra, and either the GRE or GMAT exam.
JasonW719
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JasonW719,
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11/11/2014 | 9:42:25 PM
Re: Master of Business Analytics - Deakin University, Australia (online or onCampus)
Don't forget Bond University on the Gold Coast. They offer a digital business degree that covers all of the necessary topics and drill down into data science, big data, programming, systems design, cyber security, etc. Plus the course is offered over 3 semesters per year so the course is over in 2 years. They have strong links with Australian businesses and almost all grads land a great job straight from Uni...there is a lot of demand for data scientists in QLD at the moment and most jobs pay > $150k pa.
arthuryeh
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arthuryeh,
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11/4/2014 | 10:01:45 AM
Master of Science in Analytics at Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, offers a cohort, 12-month Master of Science in Analytics (from August to August). It is an inter-disciplinary program that offers the following strength and uniqueness:
  • Full-time, cohort, 12-month program
  • Focus on hands-on experience and applications
  • Analytical skills in descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics
  • Technical skills in database management, business intelligence and big data analytics
  • Soft skills in management and leadership
  • An integrated experience in analytics projects
  • Taught by full-time faculty
  • Collaborations with the Center for Business Analytics

For more information, please visit BGSU websit.

Arthur Yeh
VishalR224
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VishalR224,
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10/20/2014 | 6:01:24 AM
Re: Master of Business Analytics - Deakin University, Australia (online or onCampus)
I am looking to do Masters of Business Analytics. I am just concerned with the quality of programs in Australia and the best universities to do with. As far as I know there are only few in Australia that provides this degree, namely Deaking, Melbourne Business School, Victoria Uni, RMIT. I am just not sure on how to go ahead with either of them as there is no performance information, existing alumini you could speak to, rankings, etc that usually helps a student to make a decision. 

 

could you please help.
EduA040
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EduA040,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/14/2014 | 6:45:39 AM
http://www.eduall.in
Nice, keep updates...
HillaryUT
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HillaryUT,
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7/3/2014 | 12:01:16 PM
Business Analytics MS at McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin
The McCombs School of Business offers a challenging, intensive one-year program for recent graduates with quantitative and technical backgrounds. The MSIROM: Business Analytics Program boasts faculty from across the UT campus, deep industry relationships with top companies like Deloitte, Walmart, IBM, AT&T and others, workshops in applications for analytics, choice of electives in marketing, supply chain, and finance, and career services support for students. STEM-certified. No work experience is required.

http://www.mccombs.utexas.edu/business-analytics.aspx

msbusinessanalytics@mccombs.utexas.edu

 

 
voorheesb@broad.msu.edu
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voorheesb@broad.msu.edu,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/10/2014 | 11:31:51 AM
Michigan State University MS Business Analytics
The MS in Business Analytics program at Michigan State University is also a phenominal program to feature. Students have the opportunity to: 

Take classes with leading Michigan State faculty in business, computer science and mathematics from the Broad College of Business, College of Engineering and College of Natural Science
  • Gain experience working on live data analysis projects and real-world problem solving every semester of the program
  • Expand thier business intelligence and link thier expertise to a growing industry
  • The curriculum includes courses in business strategy, data mining, applied statistics, project management, marketing technologies, communications and ethics  

The program is designed to be completed in one calendar year from January to December.   

To learn more, visit: https://accounting.broad.msu.edu/welcome/ms-business-analytics/about-the-program/ or email:  analytics@broad.msu.edu
JonReade
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JonReade,
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5/20/2014 | 5:17:50 AM
Data Science at University of Dundee, Scotland
The Data Science MSc at the University of Dundee in Scotland is also worthy of consideration.

I gained my MSc in Business Intelligence there and the Data Science MSc is run by the same people. I'd definitely recommend it:

www.dundee.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/data_science_msc.htm
dineli
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dineli,
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5/14/2014 | 12:28:26 AM
Master of Business Analytics - Deakin University, Australia (online or onCampus)
The Deakin Business Analytics program is a collaborative academic program with industry. The course partners of the program include IBM, SAS, Microsoft, Accenture, Altis, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, PBT Group and PwC. The course was designed with significant input from the Analytics industry and 25% of the core curriculum is delivered by current industry practitioners. The course also gives students hands-on experience working with a range of internationally recognised business intelligence and analytics tools including IBM Cognos, SAS Enterprise Miner, Tableau and Microsoft BI/Analytics .

The Deakin Masters' is designed for those who have a Bachelor's degree and a minimum 3 years of graduate level business or IT related work experience. The course aims to develop a broad set of skills spanning Information Management, Data Analytics and Business Value of Analytics. The course is delivered in both Cloud(online) mode and Campus mode from Deakin's Burwood Campus in Melbourne with live interactive webinars of lectures. 
cdm_mgr
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cdm_mgr,
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1/6/2014 | 10:35:34 AM
IBM supports academic programs to close the big data skills gap
Many of these institutions participate in IBM's program to narrow the big data skills gap - over 1,000 partnerships globally receive support for analytic programs (e.g., software, curriculum development or services) from IBM as of Aug 2013.

Universities mentioned in this article:
  • Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)
  • The University of Connecticut (UCONN)
  • Northwestern
  • Louisiana State University (LSU)
  • University of Ottawa (OttawaU)
  • North Carolina State
  • DePaul University

Additional examples from IBM's 1,000+ analytic academic partnerships:
  • Dublin City University, Ireland
  • George Washington University School of Business
  • Georgetown University McDonough School of Business
  • The University of Missouri College of Engineering's Department of Computer Science
  • Mother Teresa Women's University, India
  • The National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Dalhousie University's Institute for Big Data Analytics, Canada, launched in July 2013

Full list here: http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/41733.wss
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