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Do I Need A Business Bachelor’s To Study A Master In Business Analytics?

What does it take to get accepted into a Master in Business Analytics, how should you prepare for the program, and what can you expect after graduation?


Thu Apr 21 2022

A Master in Business Analytics will help you develop the hard skills and business acumen it takes to find data-driven solutions to business problems across a range of industries.

The program typically lasts for one year, and students tend to enroll straight after their bachelor’s degree.

According to Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) research, about 17% of all business school candidates consider this type of program, making it the second most popular business master’s degree after the Master in Finance.

But do you need a business bachelor’s to study a Master in Business Analytics, what else does it take to land a spot in the program, and what career prospects will you have after graduation?

Master in Business Analytics entrance requirements

To apply for a Master in Business Analytics, you’ll need a good undergraduate degree. Some programs require you to have a degree in a quantitative discipline like mathematics or computer science, but many accept any bachelor’s degree.

At Nanyang Technological University Singapore’s Nanyang Business School (NBS), for instance, you can apply to the MSc in Business Analytics with a bachelor’s degree in any discipline. 

According to Regine Wong (pictured below), assistant director of outreach and admissions for specialized master’s programs at NBS, this makes for a diverse classroom. 8bcb159edfdb29090b3bd775fea11941a594659f.png

“Over 60% of applicants come from a non-technical background,” she explains.

“This could be business related like accounting and finance, or arts, humanities, economics, or languages.” 

Alongside a bachelor’s degree, you’ll need a good GMAT or GRE score, and English language qualification if your bachelor’s was in a different language. 

You can also apply to the program without work experience, notes Joanna Tan, manager of graduate careers development at Nanyang Business School. 

“About 70% of our MSc Business Analytics students don’t have work experience, and the remaining 30% have less than five years’ experience,” she says.

Acing your Master in Business Analytics application

You don’t need a business background to apply to a Master in Business Analytics, but you do need certain traits and interests to stand out to an admissions team.

For Regine, the most important thing you can have is a strong sense of what you’ll get out of the program.

“We want someone who has thought through what they want from their career and how the program will help them get there,” she says.

“Although we accept students from all disciplines, they must have an interest in analytics, and be comfortable with programming.”

At NBS, Regine adds, new students have the chance to complete a programming ‘bootcamp’ before the program officially starts.

But hard skills aren’t everything when it comes to business analytics. Regine and the rest of the admissions team are looking for strong communicators, who can not only draw insights from data, but also explain trends and proposals convincingly to others.

“The ability to get their point across and contribute to the cohort is important,” she emphasizes. 

Pivoting into a business analytics role

Employers are looking for these same abilities in their Master in Business Analytics hires.

“Employers are looking for graduates who can provide good insights with data and help to make good business decisions, help advise their managers, colleagues, other teams, and senior management,” Joanna (pictured below) explains. 63de758c0c663cb70f9c32cb79a5c806244e2f3d.png  

After graduation, Master in Business Analytics students enter roles including data analyst, business analyst, and risk analyst, across a broad array of industries.

“With the increasing popularity of big data, and data-related jobs, we’re seeing roles related to analytics gaining more traction,” says Joanna.

As the industry changes, the curriculum at NBS is regularly refreshed to include burgeoning topics such as AI and blockchain.

Notable employers for NBS grads include tech giants in China such as Alibaba and Tencent, as well as Shopee in Singapore. 

To help develop the communication skills these employers are looking for, students at NBS regularly give presentations, working with peers from a wide range of academic backgrounds and countries. 

“We all live in an interconnected world now, so this really is a life skill,” comments Regine. 

Students also take part in a business practicum during the program's final trimester, which involves working on a real world business problem with local organizations. Students get to choose their employers, and in the past have have collaborated with Singapore businesses such as Shopee, A*STAR, Grab, Seamoney, and CapitaLand.

This hands-on experience can help them get a foot in the door if they’re pivoting from a non-analytical background. 

“I think increasingly we’ll see more demand for talent in this area,” Regine concludes.

“It’s getting more popular, and students who study the topic earlier can reap the benefits of applying it to the workplace sooner.”

Student Reviews

Nanyang Business School




Good campus life and extra-curricular activities

This is a great place to learn and interact with more like-minded people. The campus is something that stands out to me. The infrastructure is great and the university is very well-built. There is lots to do on the high campus, from a large number of eating joints to the numerous clubs and sports activities. I also quite like Singapore as a country, as there is so much to do around not very far from campus. The educational facilities are extremely good, there are lots of opportunities to take on research projects and do industrial projects, which I really enjoy. The only thing I dislike about NTU is that the number of international students is really low and I would like to see a larger international intake in the future. Definitely recommend for the amazing educational facilities and on-campus social life.




An international campus that provided diverse choices for students

It's a beautiful campus with a high degree of internationality, providing diverse choices for students in terms of research opportunities and career consultation. Also, scholars are knowledgable and very inspiring, and are good at motivating the thinking of students.




Great University

In overall, the university has met my expectations with its wonderful lectures and research staff. However, there are some issues with the administrative side, i.e. administration may give you different answers on the same question. Also, the university’s website often provides outdated information and it takes time to get what you need; perhaps there is not enough people for managing it.




Good resources

I would recommend. Good resources for research. Knowledgeable professors and instructors. Conducive environment for studying and doing assignments. Helpful staff and faculty. Food options are good. An overall good place to study.




On Campus

inefficient communication and lack of transparency

The administrative team at the university is slow to respond and is often inadequate in their responses and solutions. The uni is also unclear and resistant to explain their actions and motivations when carrying out policies or when questioned




On Campus

Formative experience for success

NTU prioritizes giving students ample time for independent research. The academic schedule consists of 6–7 weeks of study, followed by a week without classes, allowing students to catch up on any material they may have missed. This is succeeded by another 6–7 weeks of study, culminating in a week dedicated to final exam preparation and exams. The curriculum is designed to be student-friendly, minimizing burdens such as excessive assignments, projects, exams, quizzes, and attendance requirements. This approach affords students the freedom to pursue personal interests and self-development. In my experience, each of the four courses I took had a comparable workload, typically comprising 2 assignments, 3 easy labs, 2–3 quizzes (some without), and 1 final exam. In contrast, comparable courses at other universities often entail significantly heavier workloads, including 3 homework assignments, 5 projects, 5–6 pop-up quizzes, mandatory attendance, 2 midterms, and 1 final exam. Moreover, each project typically demands 3–4 days of work. It is hard work, but it pays off.




On Campus

Academic atmosphere

Nanyang Technological University offers a vibrant academic atmosphere that fosters innovation and excellence. The strong emphasis on research and practical learning equips students with real-world skills. Positives include access to state-of-the-art facilities, collaborative projects, and a diverse student body. However, the competitive environment can be intense, leading to high stress levels. NTU's academic atmosphere encourages growth but requires resilience to thrive.




On Campus

Diverse professors

As a student at Nanyang Technological University, I have been extremely impressed with the quality of education I have received. The professors are knowledgeable, approachable, and passionate about their subjects, which makes learning engaging and enjoyable. The teaching styles vary from lecture-based to interactive discussions and group projects, providing a well-rounded learning experience. The use of technology in the classrooms also enhances our understanding of the course material. One of the things I love about NTU is the diversity on campus. Not only are there students from all over the world, but the professors also come from various backgrounds, making the learning environment truly global. English is the main language spoken on campus, which makes it easy for international students to feel at home. In terms of examinations and coursework, the workload can be challenging at times, but the support from professors and classmates makes it manageable. The exams are fair and assess our understanding of the material effectively.




On Campus

Video lectures

As a student at Nanyang Technological University, I am extremely impressed with the transportation options available on campus. The buses and shuttles make it easy to get around the huge campus. The beautifully landscaped garden campus adds a peaceful and scenic vibe to studying. The facilities, from the state-of-the-art labs to the comfortable study spaces, are top-notch. The video lectures are a convenient and effective way to supplement classroom learning.