The best bachelor’s in business intelligence will help you to secure roles that drive and shape the way that organizations do business.
Analysts, particularly those working within large organizations, earn some of the highest salaries among support staff you’ll find. Based on figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) alone, you could be earning upwards of $80,000 with some experience under your belt (see figures below). These positions, which are highly focused upon the use of technology and understanding a business and its processes in-depth, can also pave the way for more senior roles in management.
Related Resource: What is a Bachelor’s Degree?
What Is a Business Intelligence Degree?
Organizations across the world use data to make decisions and drive operational strategies. With a degree in business intelligence, you’ll be poised to gather data and utilize it in the improvement of business processes and profitability. You’ll need strong management, communications, and research skills and competence with the latest technologies.
Students enrolled in a business intelligence degree can expect courses in areas such as business statistics, business analysis, economics, marketing, and database management. While an internship is not always a given, many programs offer them and they are a great way to get hands-on experience before graduating and competing for coveted positions.
You’ll also have the potential to engage with extracurricular activities at some institutions; for example, the national association Beta Gamma Sigma, as well as the International Business Honor Society, provide valuable networking opportunities, benefits, and other opportunities to registered members. But first, you’ll need to secure admission to a program; admission requirements typically ask for a minimum 3.0 GPA for the top universities.
See Also: Best Undergraduate Economics Schools
Careers for Business Intelligence majors
A degree in business intelligence revolves around the analysis of quantitative and, to an extent, qualitative data for the betterment of an organization and its operations. Thus, some of the most common careers chosen by business intelligence majors include cost estimator, market research analyst, management analyst, financial analyst, and computer systems analyst.
Some graduates choose to continue their education with a master’s degree in business intelligence, though many employers do not necessitate this for entry-level or even more advanced roles. However, a master’s degree or doctoral degree can give you a competitive advantage over other candidates when trying to rise through the ranks to a management role.
Obtaining certification in your area of specialization is another way to potentially advance your career. If you’re a financial analyst, you could work towards the CFA (chartered financial analyst) certification, which is awarded by the CFA Institute. Market research analysts may pursue the professional researcher certification (Insight Association), while management analysts have the option of the certified management consultant certificate.
Business Intelligence Salary Potential
Earning potential and job security are two areas in which graduates of a business intelligence degree program can excel; let’s look at those common roles again with this in mind. For comparison purposes, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the average salary for all U.S. occupations in 2019 was just shy of $40,000.
According to the same source, in 2019, market research analysts earned a median salary of $63,790; the top 10% of earners earned over $120,000. And the BLS also predicted an 18% growth in available positions over the next decade, representing an increase of around 130,300 new openings.
Meanwhile, management analysts made around $85,260, computer systems analysts made around $90,920, and financial analysts enjoyed a median salary of around $81,590. Cost estimators earned less at around $65,250, though this still represented average earnings of around 150% above the U.S. national average. Clearly, this is a strong field for those motivated by earnings.
What Are the Best Business Intelligence Degrees?
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Arizona State University
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Arizona State University (ASU) has topped the U.S. News & World Report’s most innovative university ranking consecutively for more than half a decade. This institution has also been placed among the top 5 universities in the world for global impact in research, outreach, and stewardship.
ASU offers a BS in business data analytics, which will teach you the necessary skills to work in business analysis, including data gathering and research, data visualization and modeling, and data asset analysis. Based at the W.P. Carey School of Business, the program is available through face-to-face instruction or via online distance learning.
Undergraduate admission requirements for this program include a minimum cumulative high school GPA of 3.4. Alternatively, a 1230 SAT Reasoning or 25 ACT score can be used. On application, as a freshman, you’ll be advised to choose a second major; other business majors—such as business administration—are good choices for future employability.
On average, an undergraduate at ASU will pay around $11,338 in tuition as a resident of Arizona, or $29,428 for out-of-state students. Students qualify for the in-state rates after living within Arizona for a period of at least one year. For a more accurate approximation of your tuition and fees, you can check out the ASU tuition estimator.
Washington State University
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Washington State University offers a range of programs at every level, taught both on-campus and via the eLearning Global Campus. As a student, you’ll be a Cougar, sharing facilities and having access to a vast number of student organizations. According to U.S. News & World Report, WSU is ranked highly among best value schools and national universities.
The data analytics program at WSU includes a core curriculum in mathematics, computer science, and statistics, with the requirement to also complete a specialization track. You can choose from a business track and actuarial track, each with its own curriculum.
In this program, you will gain a broad understanding of data analytics tools and techniques, allowing you to evaluate organizational performance and predict future needs. The program is available to both new freshmen and transferring students alike. You’ll need to submit official transcripts along with your application to ensure that you meet the program requirements.
Undergraduate tuition at Washington State University typically runs at around $10,760 annually for state residents or $25,702 for non-residents. The total costs including mandatory fees, housing, and dining are around $24,909 and $39,907 respectively. These figures are based on a student taking between 10 and 18 credits per semester.
Texas A & M University-Commerce
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At Texas A&M Commerce, you’ll have a choice of over 100 academic programs and study within class sizes averaging 24 students. You’ll have access to direct, one-to-one mentoring from top faculty members, too. Outside of the classroom, other opportunities include internships, research opportunities, and hands-on experiences.
As an approved STEM program, the Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Analytics at Texas A&M will prepare you with all the relevant skills you’ll need to launch a career in business intelligence. You’ll cover the collection, organization, and analysis of data and learn how to use it to solve problems or make decisions.
Lasting for around four years, the program is based at the Commerce, Frisco campus, though it is also available online via distance learning. The program comprises 120 credit hours and doesn’t require a thesis. It has been running for more than a decade, so you can be sure that you’re receiving tried and tested tuition.
Texas A&M Commerce, like most universities, charges different tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students. Residents of Texas pay around $4,790 in annual tuition, while out-of-state students pay considerably more at around $17,460. Fees of around $4,168 are charged at the same rate for both groups of students.
Webster Groves, Missouri
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Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Webster University was established in 1915 and today provides study options across the USA, Europe, Africa, and Asia. It’s accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and offers programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Its programs have also featured highly in rankings by U.S. News & World Report, including America’s Best Colleges and the best study abroad programs.
Webster University offers the data analytics (BS) program, which blends together 39 required credit hours with a range of electives. Required courses include titles such as Descriptive Statistics, Business Mathematics, Information Analysis, and Data Analytics Methods. A minimum of 21 of these required 39 credit hours must be taken at Webster.
Students who enroll in this program will gain experience in skills that are essential in business analysis, including critical thinking, problem solving, and how to use data analysis software packages. You’ll demonstrate how to organize and analyze data and apply visualization techniques, while understanding how this data can influence business decisions.
The typical yearly cost of tuition is around $28,500 for undergraduate students; this is based on a schedule of around 13 to 18 credit hours per semester. Some programs charge on a per-credit basis, which varies based on campus; what’s more, military-affiliated students could see a discount in tuition. More information is available here.
Grand Canyon University
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A private, Christian institution, Grand Canyon University offers degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, many of which can be studied online via distance learning. According to the website, GCU ranks highly in areas such as housing affordability, wage growth, and startup survival rates. While it’s a Christian school, students of any faith and background are welcome to apply.
This BS in applied business analytics undergraduate program was designed with a specific set of skills in mind, including the ability to make strategic and tactical business decisions, data collection and analysis techniques, effective communication with stakeholders, project management techniques, and applying predictive and prescriptive analytics techniques.
You’ll take a total of around 120 credits, with an option of transferring up to 90 credits maximum from previous college courses. The curriculum includes 34-40 credits of general education courses, 40 credits of major courses, and 40-46 open elective credits.
There are three learning styles at GCU; traditional, campus-based learning, evening classes, or online programs. Tuition can vary depending on the route taken, but a typical campus-based undergraduate will pay around $16,500 regardless of residency. Students also pay an average of around $7,700 for room and board and $1,600 in fees.
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
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Undergraduates at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota can choose from more than 55 majors, while other options are available for graduates or as certificate programs. Founded in 1912, today the institution has a total enrollment of around 5,500 and is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
To graduate from Saint Mary’s University with the BS in intelligence and data analytics, you’ll need to satisfy 122 credits. This includes 24 credits of required business courses and 15 credits each for both required business intelligence and data analytics courses, and required communication courses. The remainder of the credits comprise electives and a capstone course.
Business course titles include topics such as Economics for Managers, Applied Leadership and Management, and Business Law. Your specialist courses will include areas such as Information Systems for Business Intelligence, Data Mining for Decision Making, and Business Computer Applications. This program can also be taken as a Bachelor of Science double major in business administration and business intelligence.
Undergraduates enrolled at Saint Mary’s University can expect to pay approximately $37,650 in tuition, plus room costs of $5,390 and board at around $4,240. There are additional fees that include an activity fee of $170, technology fee of $380, and laundry fee of $80.
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Bellevue College offers degree programs for both undergraduates and graduates, with over 80 degree programs in various high-growth fields. Situated in beautiful, 46-acre grounds, the main campus is located in Nebraska and welcomes around 10,000 students each year, including many who choose to study online.
Bellevue offers a BAS (Bachelor of Applied Science) with a concentration in business intelligence, which covers areas such as data warehousing, multidimensional analysis, and ETL (extract, transform, load) strategies. Courses are available in the evening, allowing working professionals to gain a bachelor’s degree without sacrificing their existing role or busy schedule.
While you have a choice of what major to pair with this concentration, many students opt for a BAS in information systems and technology or similar. Pairing your business intelligence concentration with a degree program focused upon IT, especially for business use, could help to advance your career more quickly after graduation.
Tuition at Bellevue College is charged at different rates for residents and students from other states. Residents pay around $101.42 – $113.04 per credit, depending on the number of credit hours taken. Non-resident students pay between $279.66 and $291.28 per credit. Full details of tuition, fees, and credit hour workloads can be found here.
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DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and has been welcoming students for over 85 years. Programs are offered both fully online and on-campus, at one of over 45 locations. You also get access to 24/7 on-demand tutoring and one-on-one faculty support, in addition to dedicated student support teams.
DeVry University offers several bachelor’s degree programs with a specialization in business intelligence and analytics management. You can pair it with three majors, including business administration, management, and technical management. These degree pairings lead to well-rounded graduates who have exceptional knowledge and skills in the areas of business analysis, business administration, management, and technology.
Your curriculum will cover essential skills, such as critical thinking, analysis and implementation, management, and complex problem solving. The program structure is varied and includes courses from a wide variety of disciplines; you can see a full breakdown here. Undergraduate students at DeVry University will pay approximately $514 per credit hour in tuition. There is an additional discount for military, corporate, and government partners. This university offers numerous scholarships and grants, including the Tech Essentials Grant, Business Edge Scholarship, and more; check them out on this page.
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Every new student at Creighton University will join the official orientation process, which has been running for more than 70 years. This process helps all New Jays to feel welcome and get familiar with campus, as well as to access the more than two hundred student clubs and organizations.
The business intelligence and analytics degree program at Creighton University offers a minor in applied information technology. This minor is suitable for students who want to understand more about IT concepts and how they are applied in a business environment. You’ll cover topics like data management and data analysis.
You can also choose from three specializations, including business analytics, digital media and design, or information technology tracks. After graduation, you’ll be ready to work in a range of fields; Creighton’s graduates are commonly employed in roles involving work with database or network administration, consulting, and web strategy.
Students at Creighton University pay varying rates of tuition depending upon the major chosen. At the Heider College of Business, as an undergraduate you’ll pay around $41,176 in tuition (12 to 18 credit hours per semester). Fees include a $552 technology fee and $3,114 for student health insurance.
Potsdam, New York
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Students at Clarkson University have plenty of opportunities to get involved outside of the classroom. There are more than 250 clubs, organizations, and teams to choose from, including the campus newspaper and radio station. Inside the classroom, more than 4,800 students study from a choice of over 90 programs.
This BS in business intelligence and data analytics (BIDA) comprises 42 credit hours in foundation business knowledge, 21 credit hours of specialized coursework, and 6 credit hours of electives. You’ll also dedicate 33 credit hours to the Clarkson Common Experience, a group of common courses required by all students, irrespective of major.
As part of the BIDA core requirements, you will take part in a project-based, hands-on experience; this could be an internship, community or research project, or other activity that is aligned with your career aspirations. As a Clarkson business student, you will also be expected to undertake a global experience, which could be a semester exchange program for example.
Undergraduate students at Clarkson University pay around $51,454 per year in tuition (around $25,727 per semester). Housing costs roughly $9,810 per year, while meal plans come in at around $7,306. There are additional fees, including an activity fee ($350), health, wellness, and recreation fee ($670), and other optional fees that you can read about here.