Masters In Data Science Vs Masters In Business Analytics: Which Is Right For You?

With an estimated 163 zettabytes of data that will need to be analyzed by 2025, data analysis related professions are highly sought after jobs. If you are looking to pursue a career in data gathering, modeling, and analysis, you might find yourself weighing the pros and cons of getting a masters in data science vs masters in business analytics.

So What Are The Biggest Differences Between The Two?

Where business analytics is more focused on answering business-related problems, data science is the larger subset that also covers questions like customer preferences and external influences. In addition, data science also tends to include algorithm development to provide solutions for problems. Professionals in business analytics will perform data analysis using statistical concept application, whereas those in data science have been applying Machine Learning and AI to gain insights from their data sets.

In addition, while there are common industries between the two disciplines, there are also several differences. Although both data science and business analytics are involved in technology, finance, and mixed fields, data science tends to focus on internet-related industries and academia. Business analytics is more involved in marketing, customer relationship management (CRM), and retail. These industries are largely depended on the knowledge needed for extraction. Business analytics works with statistically-based data, and data science requires some computer science knowledge in order to strategically comb through and organize big data. This being said, the data that business analysts are usually structured, and data scientists will work with both structured and unstructured data.

What Is The Expected Pay For A Career After Each Masters Programs?

As the highest paying entry job, many are interested in pursuing these career paths due to earning potential and career advancement opportunities. However, it should be noted that to become a data scientist or business analyst, further education will be needed. Over 73% of professionals had a graduate degree, and 35% had a Ph.D. For those with just an undergraduate degree, becoming a data analyst can earn a $67,000 salary a year. Business analysts can earn more at $63,000 a year. However, data scientists (postgraduates) can earn an average salary of $117,000, although this will most likely require further graduate schooling.

Data scientists typically have higher pay potential due to their more advanced programming abilities and needed skillsets. As they work with estimating unknown numbers and creating experiments, they will need more knowledge of how to use different programming languages and write custom queries. Data and business analysts work with known, structured data, and will thus earn less.

What’s The Bottom Line?

With all of the great schools available, there is a program for your career aspirations. For additional resources on the best schools, make sure to check out our guide on top masters programs for data science and business analytics.