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What Does Getting an Online MSBA Degree Really Mean?

July 20, 2021
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Are you thinking about advancing your career by getting an Online Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA)? If so, then you're probably curious what a typical degree program entails, including which MSBA courses you need to graduate. You might also be wondering when you should get an MSBA degree instead of the more traditional MBA degree.

We’ve compiled everything you need to know about an Online MSBA degree below to help you decide if it's the right choice for you.

What is an MSBA?

As a relatively new degree option, the MSBA evolved out of a need for business managers to be able to form strategic insights by analyzing the vast amount of data companies and institutions now collect. These programs offer courses in data analytics, computer programming, economic and business forecasting, artificial intelligence for business, and machine learning.

You can get the degree right out of college, but many Online MSBA seekers are looking to position themselves better in their existing job. Others may already have MBA degrees but lack necessary programming and data analytics skills.

The Difference Between MBA and MSBA
An MBA is the traditional postgraduate degree option for those who want to play a managerial role in the business world (including finance), the private industry sector, education, healthcare, and real estate. A quality MBA program will provide a strong foundation in economic theory and its real-world applications. MBA programs are designed for both recent college graduates and working professionals who want leadership and management skills so that they can advance in their current position.1

On the other hand, an MSBA degree has a more specialized program that focuses on how to perform complex data analysis and form strategic insights based on the results. It also teaches individuals how to communicate these results effectively to stakeholders and other people of interest.

Typically, an MSBA degree requires fewer hours than an MBA. Some MSBA degrees can be completed online in as little as six months. Generally speaking, though, the MBA is a two-year program, while the MSBA takes a year to complete.

Requirements for an MSBA

MSBA candidates should have strong math and communication skills. A background in data analysis and computer programming is useful, but not necessary. You will also need to submit transcripts and have a GPA of at least 3.0.

In order to be accepted into an Online MSBA program, you may need to provide GMAT or GRE test scores. Not all Online MSBA programs require these test scores, and some waived them during the Covid-19 pandemic. You should check the application requirements of the programs that interest you to confirm.

Online MSBA vs Traditional MSBA

With a traditional MSBA, you'll need to attend classes at a brick-and-mortar institution, and the schools that accept you might be hundreds—even thousands—of miles away. Though there are advantages to in-person learning, this option can be disruptive for students who are already working full-time and just want to learn new skills or advance in their organization.

Getting an Online MSBA is a more convenient and flexible approach that allows students to pace themselves and determine their own study schedules. Some Online MSBA programs offer a residency retreat or other opportunity for students to meet in person, allowing for the best of both worlds.

Necessary Online Courses for a Seattle U MSBA
Here's a look at the classes you'll need to take for an Online MSBA at Seattle University's Albers School of Business and Economics:

  • Statistics for Business Analytics (3 credits)
  • Programming I for Business (3 credits)
  • Law and Ethics for Business Analytics (3 credits)
  • Data Wrangling, Visualization, and Communication (3 credits)
  • Programming II for Business (3 credits)
  • Economics and Business Forecasting (3 credits)
  • Managing Stakeholders with Data (3 credits)
  • Analytics for Financial Decision and Market Insights (3 credits)
  • Big Data Analytics (3 credits)
  • Mathematical Models for Decision-Making (3 credits)
  • Database Management (6 credits)
  • Applied Econometrics (3 credits)
  • Artificial Intelligence for Business (3 credits)
  • Machine Learning (6 credits)
  • Capstone Project in Business Analytics (3 credits)

Students need to complete 48 credit hours in total to graduate. Although no prior knowledge in coding is necessary, degree candidates must take a six-hour preparatory course in Python programming before they begin the program.

Take the World by Storm

Getting your Online MSBA from the Albers School of Business and Economics is a smart choice for aspiring business leaders in today's data-driven world. Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), our Online MSBA degree is designed to meet evolving industry standards with a cutting-edge curriculum. Learn more about our courses and get started on your journey to success today.

  1. Retrieved on May 19, 2021, from education.seattlepi.com/msba-vs-mba-1835.html.