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The Difference Between ITM and Business Analytics

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I have lost the count of how many times I’ve been asked this question ever since I joined UT Dallas in fall 2014. Almost two and a half years have passed, but the frequency of getting the same question continues to grow. For those who were not able to guess, the question is: “What is the difference between ITM and business analytics, and which one should I choose? “ I will try to use this post to share my two cents about this topic.

Information Technology and Management

ITM —information technology and management —is a very mature program and has been around for years. It is also one of the biggest graduate information systems program in the country, and the biggest program in terms of student population at the Jindal School at UT Dallas. It is a very well-rounded program for people either trying to get into technology or for people who are looking to enhance their breadth of knowledge in the information systems area. ITM has focus areas in business intelligence and analytics, enterprise systems, cyber security, healthcare systems, and IT consulting and management. The ITM program prepares students for jobs as computer systems analysts, business analysts, data analysts, project managers, IT managers, functional and technical ERP— enterprise resource planning — professionals, cybersecurity professionals, IT consultants, IT managers and many other IT related jobs. ITM graduates typically work directly for the IT department within an organization helping design and develop IT efficiencies and functionality.

Business Analytics

Business analytics is in its third year now, and it is the fastest-growing and only interdisciplinary program at the Jindal School at UT Dallas. In just two years, the program has grown from 30 odd students to 464 students. The MS in Business Analytics degree provides students with a strong foundation in analytics, business intelligence and data science domains. The elective tracks allow students to apply these techniques in business areas like marketing, finance, operations, healthcare and IT. A data science track with focus on R, Python, Machine Learning and big data has recently been added to the business analytics degree. The business analytics program prepares students for jobs as data scientists, big-data engineers, data analysts, risk analysts, financial analysts, pricing analysts, purchasing analysts, marketing analysts, strategic business analysts, business-intelligence analysts/developers and business managers. Business analytics graduates typically work for business units within an organization making data-driven business decisions.

Which one do I choose?

Which degree should one choose depends on what career one aspires to enter after graduation. If you want to pursue a career in computer systems analysis, data analysis, business intelligence, ERP, project management, IT management, or cybersecurity, ITM is an excellent choice. If you’re already in IT and would like to grow into consulting or IT management, then an ITM degree can definitely help you. If you’re targeting a job in business analytics, business intelligence, big data or the data science domain, then a business analytics degree has a lot of options for you. Also, business analytics will be a great choice for those who have prior business experience (marketing, finance, operations and more) and would like to grow into strategic and fact-based business-decision making.

Overall, both these programs benefit from our world-class faculty in information systems and are ranked among the best programs in the U.S.

Do you have more questions about ITM vs business analytics program? Stop by my office any time for a chat or call me at (972) 883-5094.

Kashif Saeed

I joined JSOM at UT Dallas as an adjunct faculty member in fall 2014 and became full time as the director of the M.S. in Business Analytics program in June 2016. I have taught several undergrad and graduate courses since then, but I enjoy teaching MIS 6309, Business Data Warehousing, the most. I have a passion for teaching and I love interacting with students. I used both these reasons to convince myself to take a pay cut and join academia full time. Read more articles

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