How to Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Intelligence Online
Organizations constantly search for innovative decision-making strategies, creating demand for professionals who understand technologies that collect, integrate, and analyze business data. Highly qualified candidates can boost an organization’s ability to understand consumer trends regarding supply and demand, reduce and manage risk, generate a better return on investments, increase efficiency, and establish a competitive advantage in the field.
Distance learners earning a bachelor’s in business intelligence gain access to flexible program options and enter a growing field after graduation. In fact, the Business Higher Education Forum and PricewaterhouseCoopers 2017 global report projects 2.72 million job opportunities for data science and analytics professionals by 2020.
How Much Can You Make in a Business Intelligence Career?
Prospective students should consider the returns on their educational investments by exploring job opportunities and earning potential. An online bachelor’s degree in business intelligence leads to lucrative career options; that said, students should note that degrees do not guarantee employment.
To qualify for the best business intelligence roles, candidates must hold at least a bachelor’s degree. Demand for professionals in this field continues to expand, making it easier for graduates to find employment upon graduation. The list below features occupations for which candidates with an online bachelor’s degree in business intelligence qualify.
Management analysts use data to improve organizational efficiency. They collect and organize information, interview employees, analyze financial data, provide system recommendations, and collaborate with relevant stakeholders to ensure efficiency. Management analysts can work for organizations or independently as consultants. Most management analysts work in scientific and technical service environments.
Operations research analysts apply advanced analytical and mathematical strategies to solve organizational issues. This role requires professionals to collect information from multiple sources, collaborate with employees to collect their input, and examine information to identify the problem. Operations research analysts often advise managers, compose reports, and provide recommendations. These professionals typically work in finance, insurance, or scientific and technical service organizations.
Business intelligence managers provide data solutions and strategies for organizations. These professionals utilize statistical methodologies to uncover solutions to quantitative problems, which lead to an increase in profitability. Business intelligence managers also manage employees, compose detailed reports, collaborate with executives, and assist in talent selection. This role also requires excellent communication skills because professionals must interact with multiple stakeholders.
Business intelligence consultants help organizations gather, organize, and apply computerized data. These professionals strive to improve efficiency, which requires an excellent understanding of management principles and technology. This role requires professionals to stay abreast of the latest technology. At times, these consultants may need to train other employees. Work is typically done freelance, with projects lasting months or sometimes years.
Business intelligence administrators research and organize data for organizations. They verify local system integrity, monitor business applications, manage operation systems, and reinforce security measures. Other responsibilities include testing new technology for efficiency before launch dates. Most business intelligence administrators work in offices and collaborate with other administrators, information technology departments, and executives.
While a bachelor’s in business intelligence leads to multiple career options, students should note that actual earning potential varies for multiple reasons. For instance, some states offer higher wages due to their economic climate or the number of organizations that hire for positions in the field. Also, experienced or highly competent candidates may receive higher wages for performance. The list below contains potential job titles and average salaries:
What Courses Can Be Taken for an Online Business Intelligence Degree?
A bachelor’s in business intelligence must contain fundamental coursework like applied probability and statistics, critical thinking and logic, and ethics in technology. But online business intelligence schools independently develop their curricula, and classes vary by program. For instance, elective options help students customize their degrees, and not all universities offer the same options. Here are a few common course options:
Network and Security Foundations: This course introduces learners to computer networks and communication protocols. Students learn about things like LAN, WAN, VPN, and CAN networks. This course also covers topologies, layered abstractions, and physical devices.
Business Data Warehouses and Dimensional Modeling: This course explores stored procedures and data warehouse architectures. Topics include SQL, warehouse requirements, design, and analysis. Students also learn how to build information-enabled professional models.
Fundamental Techniques for Business Data Analytics: Students learn how to clean, process, and crunch data, using programming tools and scripting for business applications. Other topics include extraction, loading enterprise data, and transformation for business applications.
Business Data Mining: Business data mining examines predictive analytics, machine learning, logistic regression, and decision tree methods. Students also learn about lift factors and ROC curves. This course utilizes case studies for practical learning experiences.
Business Database Systems Development: Business database systems development teaches learners about data warehousing systems development and management. Other topics include data modeling, data integrity, SQL, operational data stores, and data security.
How to Choose the Best Online Business Intelligence Program
Aspiring students can select from multiple online business intelligence school options. However, not every school offers an elite experience. When narrowing your options, consider the school’s reputation, regional or national accreditation, and programmatic accreditation. Selecting an online school also requires students to consider personal needs, such as overall cost, student-faculty ratio, and in-person requirements. Additionally, schools often include distinctive courses, so check for courses related to your interests.
Q. What is the difference between a business intelligence bachelor’s and a business analytics bachelor’s?
A. Business intelligence analyzes the past and present to meet current business needs, while business analytics uses past data to project future trends. Business intelligence tools can also vary from those used by business analysts. However, the fields are closely related, and many companies combine positions or departments to cover both topics under a single job title or category.
Q. Which accrediting bodies should I look for when choosing a school?
Q. How do internships or field experiences function with online business intelligence schools?
A. A bachelor’s in business intelligence often requires students to gain practical experience hours through internships as a capstone course. These experiences allow students to apply their knowledge and build meaningful professional relationships that could lead to employment. Some programs may place students while others require students to seek their own internships, but most online programs allow students to do their internships locally.
Q. How does an online bachelor’s degree in business intelligence help me reach my career goals?
A. Careers in this field often require a bachelor’s degree. Online business intelligence schools design their curricula for students who know little about this field. Programs begin with foundational knowledge and skills. In the latter half of the program, students gain advanced knowledge and skills that employers expect from their employees.
Q. How can I determine if a school ranks well among business intelligence programs?
A. Some schools hold awards or acknowledgment from noteworthy organizations, and students can look up this information on the school website. Students may also want to check credentials of faculty members teaching major coursework to see their levels of experience in the field. Additionally, learners can research statistical and enrollment data for their programs.
Q. Should I only consider four-year programs, or can I attend a community college first?
A. Many students attend community college first because it can lower the overall cost of earning a business intelligence bachelor’s degree online. Community colleges that offer associate degrees in business intelligence often partner with local four-year institutions so learners can transfer credits. Students must examine transfer requirements for schools that do not hold an existing agreement.
Q. What concentrations do online business intelligence schools offer?
A. Earning a business intelligence bachelor’s degree online means students can choose programs that offer concentrations in their unique interest areas. Specialization options include operations management, accounting, international business, and eCommerce. Students with an affinity for a particular industry, like healthcare administration, may want to consider earning a double degree.
Scholarships and Financial Aid for Business Intelligence Programs
An online bachelor’s degree in business intelligence requires a significant financial investment. Federal Student Aid strives to make education more accessible through paid work-study opportunities and grants that do not require repayment. Students may also qualify for loans that offer a six-month grace period after graduation before repayment begins. Students should also consider scholarships, which do not require repayment and serve specific student populations.
Data Processing Management Association Scholarship
DPMA strives to support and expand the IT industry through legislation, networking, and education. Students can apply for a yearly $1,000 scholarship. DPMA also offers $500 yearly renewal opportunities for students with excellent academic performances. This scholarship targets graduating high school students, who can access a list of participating schools on the DPMA website.
The HIMSS Minnesota Chapter offers scholarships for students interested in a career in the healthcare industry. Acceptable degree paths include business intelligence and computer science and information systems. Students must show proof of leadership and communication skills. Applicants do not need to be members. Students may be enrolled part or full time. Additionally, students must hold residency in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, or South Dakota.
Connect Worldwide supports the global business community and business technology stakeholders. The Connect Worldwide Scholarship Fund offers competitive scholarships to students who aspire to become leaders in tech-related fields. This scholarship offers $2,000, but students may qualify for additional awards. This scholarship requires high school transcripts, official college transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and a minimum 1000-word essay about the career students plan to pursue after they graduate.
UNCF and Alliance Data strive to change consumer behavior and expand businesses for clients. Alliance Data prioritizes data and community. This scholarship offers up to $5,000 of unmet financial need for minority students. Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA to apply. UNCF and Alliance Data also require applicants to hold permanent residency or U.S. citizenship. Students must complete an internship. Locations include Ohio, Texas, and Georgia.
Xerox offers a scholarship to minority U.S. citizens or minority students with a permanent resident visa. Xerox requires a minimum 3.0 GPA, full-time college enrollment status, and proof of financial need. Applicants must complete a FAFSA application to apply. Students also need to submit a professional resume. Awards range between $1,000-$10,000 depending on financial need.
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