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What is the Difference Between MS Business Analytics and MBA?

What is the Difference Between MS Business Analytics and MBA?

Edited By Stuti Jain | Updated on Jun 14, 2024 09:38 AM IST

Choosing between a Master of Science (MS) in Business Analytics and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) might be difficult for individuals who are interested in pursuing a master's in their chosen field. Both degrees have unique benefits, and understanding the fundamental differences can help prospective students determine which path best matches their future objectives. This article covers the differences between an MS in Business Analytics and an MBA, including curriculum, job prospects, fees, and more.

An MS in Business Analytics is a specialised programme that focuses deeply into the technical aspects of data analysis, statistical techniques, and machine learning. Studying MS in Business Analytics is ideal for those who want to become data analysts, data scientists, or business intelligence analysts.

On the other hand, an MBA is an advanced degree that prepares students for leadership and management roles. The MBA programme includes core business subjects like finance, marketing, operations, and leadership, as well as data analytics courses.

According to studies, MBA graduates can expect a 100% salary increase after three years. As per the media reports, students' salaries climbed by almost 130% on average within three years of completing their MBA. The average MBA salary in the United States is approximately USD 106,000 after graduation, however, MBA salaries differ by location. On the contrary, the average salary for MS graduates in the field of Business Analytics ranges from USD 50,000 to USD 100,000.

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Ultimately, both degrees can lead to rewarding and fulfilling jobs. The decision should be based on your career goals, interests, and the type of job that you find most rewarding.

What is MSBA?

MSBA is a STEM course that focuses more on Data Science and Computer Science and is less focused on Business. Business analysts use the data to make practical decisions based on the latest trends and insights. MS in Business Analytics employ various fields including Data Analysts, AI and Machine learning specialists, Data Specialists, and Software and Applications Developers. This programme typically last for 12 to 14 months and lays a strong emphasis on data science, mathematics, and technology.

What is MBA?

MBA provides a deep understanding of business management. The MBA course duration for international students is 1-2 years. MBA graduates are leaders in management roles across various fields. MBA is offered in various specialisations including finance, marketing, operations, and human resources.

Difference between MBA and MS in Business Analytics

Although both courses seem similar, there are key differences between them. Here is a table demonstrating the differences between MS Business Analytics vs MBA.




Course Duration

1 to 2 years

12 to 14 months

Average tuition fees

Rs. 10 to 60 Lakhs

Rs. 30 to 60 Lakhs


  • Financial Management

  • Marketing Strategy

  • Organizational Behaviour

  • Operations Management

  • Business Ethics

  • Strategic Management

  • Leadership and Communication

  • Data Mining and Machine Learning

  • Predictive Analytics

  • Business Intelligence

  • Data Visualization

  • Statistical Analysis

  • Big Data Technologies

  • Programming for Data Analysis


  • A 3 year bachelor’s degree

  • GRE / GMAT scores

  • English Language Proficiency (IELTS / TOEFL)

  • Work experience of at least 2 years

  • A 3-4 year bachelor’s degree in a related field

  • GRE / GMAT scores

  • English Language Proficiency (IELTS / TOEFL)

  • Work experience of at least 2 to 3 years

Top Job Roles

  • Finance Manager

  • Financial Advisor

  • HR Manager

  • Investment Banker

  • IT Manager

  • Management Analyst

  • Management Consultant

  • Marketing Manager

  • Operations Manager

  • Data Scientist

  • Analytics Associate

  • Data Science Consultant

  • Operations Analyst

  • Product Analyst

  • Business Consultant

  • Quantitative Analyst

Average Salary

USD 90,000

USD 80,000

Top Universities offering MSBA and MBA

There are 315 schools all over the world, that are considered among top MBA universities abroad by QS Global MBA Rankings 2024. Stanford Graduate School of Business is ranked 1st for its MBA programme across the world.

Top 10 MBA Universities in the World


Fees for 2024-25

Stanford Graduate School of Business

USD 82,455

Penn (Wharton)

USD 84,830

Harvard Business School

USD 76,410

London Business School

EUR 115,000

HEC Paris

USD 98,000

MIT Solan

USD 86,650

Columbia Business School

USD 84,496

IE Business School

USD 82,300

Cambridge (Judge)

USD 69,000

IESE Business School

EUR 105,000 total (2 years)

MS in Business Analytics is a growing field, UCLA (Anderson) and MIT Solan are among the top universities known for their MSBA programme globally.

Top 10 MSBA Universities in the World



UCLA (Anderson)

USD 70,771

MIT (Sloan)

USD 91,250


EUR 30,000

École Polytechnique/HEC Paris

EUR 26,250

Duke (Fuqua)

USD 70,000 - USD 83,500

Imperial College Business School

GBP 41,000

ESCP Business School

EUR 24,000

IE Business School

EUR 41,000

Texas (McCombs)

USD 53,000

NUS Business School

USD 70,850

Difference Between MBA and MBA Business Analytics

Understanding the difference between a traditional MBA and an MBA with a business analytics focus is crucial for those interested in blending analytics with business leadership.



MBA Business Analytics


General Business Management

Business Management with Data Analytics

Core Skills

Communication, Time Management, Teamwork,

Strategic thinking, Entrepreneurship,

Critical thinking, Problem-Solving, Business analysis, Data analysis, SQL, Communication

Work Experience

Required (3 or more years)

Not mandatory

Programme Duration

2 years

Less than 2 years

Career Options

Management consulting


Business intelligence

Product Management

Investment banking

Marketing Analyst

Management Analyst

Business intelligence

Operations management

Financial adviser

Which is Better for Indian Students: MSBA or MBA?

MSBA focuses on technical skills such as programming, statistics, data mining, and machine learning, preparing students for hands-on data analysis positions. MBA programmes, on the other hand, focus on business expertise with a specialisation in business analytics and educate students how to utilise data insights to make strategic decisions. The MSBA degree lasts 12-14 months, whereas the MBA programme lasts two years.

Candidates who desire to work as data analysts, business analysts, or data scientists should take the MS in Business Analytics course. Aside from that, students seeking jobs as product managers or marketing directors are most suited to the MBA programme. Furthermore, MSBA courses are often less expensive than MBAs. Ultimately, it is an individual’s choice to select a course that meets their academic goals and other preferences.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

1. Is a master's in Business Analytics better than an MBA?

Choosing a degree between MS in Business Analytics or MBA completely depends on your career goals. An MBA offers business expertise across finance, marketing, and leadership. Whereas, the Master's in Business Analytics focuses on data analysis, with skills in statistics, machine learning, and data mining. If one wants a career in the field of business or management, MBA would be a great choice, however those looking for a career in data science must opt for MS in business analytics.

2. Which is better, MBA or MS?

Choosing between an MBA and an MS depends on your career goals. An MBA provides an extensive understanding in business management, preparing you to excel in leadership roles across various domains. This is suitable for those who have work experience and aim for senior management positions. An MS, on the other hand, offers specialised knowledge in a specific field, such as finance or data analysis. This is an excellent choice for students with a focused career advancement or a career switch.

3. Which is more costly, MS or MBA?

In general, an MBA programme will cost more than a master's degree. Both include tuition and living expenses, but MBA programmes, particularly at prestigious colleges and universities, often charge higher tuition fees. The total cost varies depending on programme duration, location, and university popularity.  

4. Is a masters in business analytics worth it

Yes, a Master's in business Analytics (MSBA) is an excellent alternative for those interested in using data for business success. This programme teaches you how to analyse data, transform it into insights, and apply those insights to make profitable business choices. It is perfect if you want to work with data while also understanding how it connects to real-world business situations.


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