Demand for Analytics Goes Beyond Master of Data Analytics Programs

Full-time MBA candidates increasingly expect data analytics to be a part of their course load.

Jul 13, 2017

Curriculum & Delivery

Data analytics at work

Master of Data Analytics programs continue to grow in popularity.  Past Research Insights articles have noted the dramatic growth these programs have seen both in terms of GMAT score reports received from candidates and the total number of programs receiving scores (see B-Schools and GMAT Examinees Alike Respond to Rising Employer Demand for Data Analytics). Findings from GMAC’s 2017 Prospective Student Survey—which is based on data collected throughout 2016—highlights that the percentage of candidates considering applying to Master of Data Analytics programs grew from 7 percent in 2009 to 11 percent in 2016.  Data collected from February through May 2017 shows an even greater share of candidates are now considering these programs (16%).

The data also indicate that the growing interest in data analytics goes beyond merely those considering analytics programs. Almost half of all business school candidates (47%) consider data analytics a “must-have” in their ideal graduate business programs.  Importantly, most of these candidates seeking analytics coursework are not considering Master in Data Analytics programs, but are considering traditional full-time MBA programs (67%).

Candidates seeking data analytics

Survey findings reveal that among 24 different topical areas of interest, candidates considering full-time MBA programs rank data analytics sixth in terms areas they want to cover in their coursework. Nearly half of candidates considering full-time MBA programs (48%) are interested in learning more about data analytics, trailing just strategy (59%), leadership/change management (53%), entrepreneurship/innovation (50%), international management/business (49%), and project management (48%). 

For more on graduate business school candidates, download the 2017 Prospective Students Survey Report at