Benchmarking Academic Programs in Business Analytics
Interest in business analytics (BA) is currently popular. Professional consultancies and software houses are both touting it as the next wave in business, claiming that the need for BA skills is large and growing. Universities are beginning to respond by offering undergraduate majors and minors, Master of Science degrees, certificates, and concentrations within their Master of Business Administration programs. But what subjects are being covered in these programs? We surveyed some of the largest, most established, and best-known programs (predominantly in the United States, but some international) and interviewed representatives of these programs to better understand the requirements for students entering, the required and elective course topics covered, and job opportunities for graduates. In this article, we summarize our findings and provide some conclusions about analytics programs, including the current landscape, suggestions for development, and our vision for the future. We believe this report is useful to institutions that offer analytics programs, to those considering such offerings, and to the employers who are hiring analytics professionals. These employers need to better understand the skills that professionals are acquiring. Finally, it should help prospective students who seek to understand the analytics programs being offered to find the best match for their skills and interests.