Online Analytics Degree Programs
Data has the power to make businesses more successful, improve healthcare, and advance scientific research. This makes it—and the skills needed to analyze and interpret it—a valuable asset for organizations of all types and sizes. Demand for analysts who can provide data-driven solutions has more than doubled over the last few years, giving rise to new career opportunities for those who want to work in the field. As demand for data expertise has grown, so have the number and diversity of online degree programs in the field of analytics. Currently, there are online bachelor’s in data analytics programs, and three prevalent types of master’s programs: master’s in data analytics, master’s in data science, and master’s in business intelligence.
Analytics degree programs are both evolving and interdisciplinary. In addition, at the master’s degree level, there is no specific accrediting body that sets curricular guidelines, or oversees degree requirements and naming conventions. Consequently, analytics programs may be offered by one of more schools or departments within a college or university, including data science, computer science, engineering, statistics, and business. Also, because there is no standardized name for these degrees, it can be hard to compare programs across universities, as programs with the same name may have a different focus. Conversely, programs with totally different names may actually have very similar curricula.
Online Analytics Programs
Online bachelor’s in analytics programs are the equivalent of a four-year undergraduate degree with a major in data analytics, data management, and/or data science. These programs are accredited regionally and typically include a full range of general education requirements, as well as a clearly defined data analytics curriculum that covers foundational mathematics, statistics, and computer science coursework. These programs also incorporate training in database design, computer programming for analytics, data mining, and other core areas of analytics.
At the master’s degree level, online analytics programs are more specialized in their focus. OnlineEducation.com has researched over 200 master’s in analytics programs. Based on set criteria, we classify these programs and place them into one of three buckets:
- Master’s in Data Analytics: These programs must have at least four highly targeted courses that address the applied mathematics, statistical modeling, and data mining skills that are central to analytics.
- Master’s in Data Science: In addition to foundational analytics coursework in mathematics, statistics, and data mining, these programs must include focused data science courses in subjects like big data management, applied machine learning, and programming in R, Python, or SAS.
- Master’s in Business Intelligence: In addition to core training in data mining and data analysis, these programs must include data-oriented information technology classes in areas like data warehousing and dashboarding.
With this research, we have created a comprehensive and proprietary database of programs that allows students to compare programs across universities without worrying about different naming conventions. For each program, we have included detailed information about course requirements and options, admissions criteria, tuition costs, and more.
In addition to classifying programs based on their curricula, on OnlineEducation.com we also classify programs based on the number of campus visits they require per year. For a program to be included on the site and classified as online, it must require two or fewer campus visits per year. Programs that require more than two visits per year are considered hybrid-online programs and are not included on the site.
As of March 2021, we have 78 non-profit colleges and universities offering 102 online analytics programs in our comprehensive database. (OnlineEducation.com only lists programs offered by non-profit institutions). The following is a breakdown of how these online analytics programs are classified:
- Bachelor’s in Data Analytics: 6 programs offered by 6 schools
- Master’s in Data Analytics: 60 programs offered by 55 schools
- Master’s in Data Science: 29 programs offered by 28 schools
- Master’s in Business Intelligence: 7 programs offered by 7 schools
A complete list of the 78 schools offering these programs can be found on our Schools Offering Online Degrees in Analytics, Business Intelligence and Data Science page.
Additional Analytics Resources on OnlineEducation.com
To complement our comprehensive directory of programs, we have created a Guide to Careers in Data Analytics and Data Science. This guide features information from interviews we conducted with industry experts and includes sections on the major types of data analysis; careers within data analytics, data science, and business intelligence; key skills and knowledge employers look for in data hires; and relevant programming languages and platforms. It also provides details on how analytics is used across many different industries. This guide is a must read for anyone interested in learning more about careers in analytics. We have also created an analytics FAQ section and featured content that explores different aspects of data analytics, data science, and business intelligence.