The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that employment in computer and information technology will grow by 13 percent between 2016 and 2026, faster than average for other occupations.

Recent technology advancements have enabled the collection of massive amounts of data, and companies are relying on analysts to interpret this data to help drive business decisions.

There are several paths to getting started in an analytics career. If you’re interested in a career in data analysis, a Master of Science in Analytics degree from Capella University can help get you there. But if you don’t have a strong analytics background, Capella offers a Master’s in Information Technology (MS IT) with a specialization in Analytics that provides both analytics topics and a foundation in information technology.

Melissa Zgola, faculty chair in Capella’s School of Business and Technology Department of Technology, shares more about IT analytics.

Q. Why should IT professionals consider growing their analytical knowledge and skills?

A. Data analysis is a dynamic career that offers opportunities to help address and solve some of the most complex business questions. By obtaining analytical knowledge and skills, IT professionals become equipped to use data to help individuals, organizations, or societies become more efficient and make smarter decisions.

Q. Who are the MS IT, Analytics and the MS in Analytics designed for?

A. The MS IT, Analytics specialization is designed for individuals who lack an established background in data analytics but are seeking the skills, experience, and confidence to enter the field. Capella welcomes individuals from any industry who hold an undergraduate degree and IT and computing knowledge into the program.

The Master’s in Analytics program is intended for students who already have experience in analytics and are seeking to advance their technical skillset and career. 

Q. So what sets an MS in Information Technology, Analytics specialization apart from a MS in Analytics degree?

A. Our MS IT Analytics specialization is designed for students who want to shift to a new career in analytics or advance their IT career with a focused and applied understanding of data analytics.

Another benefit of the MS IT Analytics specialization—especially for those seeking a career change to analytics—is the applied IT project work.  At Capella we understand that it takes more than just courseroom “book” knowledge to understand the industry. Students are given the opportunity to showcase their skills by working on real-projects with employers. This is a cornerstone of the program preparing students to become IT and analytics professionals.

Both programs offer an opportunity to earn industry certification and develop a hands-on familiarity with contemporary analytics tools, including SAS and Tableau.

Q. What careers would be available for graduates with a degree in analytics?

A. Graduates early in their data analytics career will have the programming skills, the statistics skills, and the data visualization skills to analyze query process reports and visualize data.

Related job titles to explore*† include:

  • Data analyst
  • Data architect
  • Systems analyst
  • Technology manager

*Many IT-related positions require/prefer a certification (e.g. MCSE, CISM) along with a degree. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.

† These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title.

Learn more about Capella’s online analytics degrees and certificates:

Multiple factors, including prior experience, geography, and degree field, affect career outcomes, and Capella does not guarantee a job, promotion, salary increase, or other career growth

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