Analytics Marketing

Which Major to Pick? Business Analytics vs Marketing (Ex-NBS Student)

As a recent business graduate, I was once faced with the choice to select my specialisation in business school. Two of the most important contenders being Business Analytics and Marketing. For the record, I have taken 6 Business Analytics Modules in Nanyang Business School, 1 Marketing Module in Nanyang Business School, and 2 Marketing Modules during my exchange at ESSEC Business School in France. I eventually decided after my first year to specialise in Business Analytics. I shall do a one by one comparison by features so you could make the informed choice in knowing what you want to specialise in.

Career Prospects

Let’s face it, most of us come to business school with the intention to focus on our careers. This shall be the first point which I will focus on.

As a Business Analytics Graduate, what I observed is that Business Analytics Students are very versatile. A large proportion would decide to go into Banking, Technology and Consulting related roles as business analysts, data analysts, financial analysts, operations analysts, marketing analysts, human resource analysts, etc. There would also be a certain proportion who will end up in leadership programmes organised by the various multinational companies due to the fluid nature of analytics being applicable to many walks in management!

For Marketing Students, classmates who I have met tend to be interested in a variety of careers. A significant portion would aim to go into the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) or Retail sector, or into Marketing Agencies, focusing on branding, trade marketing, social media, e-commerce, sales among many other possible roles. There would also be some students who move on to B2B marketing, non-profit organisations or Human Resources. Marketing also similarly can be applied to many walks in management and are also highly sought after by leadership programmes.

Be it whether you’re a Business Analytics or Marketing Student, this post may be relevant for you!

Quantitative Content

For Business Analytics, the quantitative content tends to be the massive amount of coding involved. I have personally been involved in Python, SQL, R, SAS, Tableau, PowerBI, Excel projects among many others. It is also important to understand the underlying assumptions behind each of the statistical models which are used when doing analysis. Some of the models include regressions, decision trees, linear and non linear programming, association rules etc. This content is generally more applicable to the wide business context.

For Marketing, there is some quantitative content. I shall use the example of the marketing module which I took in NTU, Marketing Analytics, where we did a variety of analysis, with perceptual mapping, Customer Lifetime Value Calculations, Regressions, Conjoint Analysis. This content is more specific to the marketing and management context.

Qualitative Content

For Business Analytics, there is a focus on problem solving approaches, problem formulation, analysis and conclusion, along with recommendations. It is a rather standard but important framework.

For Marketing, there is more qualitative content, including creative problem solving, connecting the dots between the theory and practice.


For Business Analytics, in Nanyang Technological University, there is a good mix of classmates, with a third of the cohort being students who take computing classes. This means that you could learn from the computing perspective, coupled with your own business knowledge.

For Marketing, classes tend to be majority business students, with a sprinkle of social science students occasionally. There will likely be more knowledge exchange while in class and expect class participation to be extremely exciting!


For Business Analytics, tutors tend to come from a variety of fields, with some who have a mathematical and programming background, and others with business management and consulting backgrounds.

For Marketing, tutors tend to come mainly from the business management sector, specifically in the consumer business industries.

Mode of Assessment

For Business Analytics, the mode of assessment is commonly group project heavy, with it taking up a majority of the semester time even outside of class, as well as some quizzes. Out of my 6 modules, only one had a formal final examination, and every module had at least one project deliverable.

For Marketing, the key focus is on in class activities, quizzes and final examinations. Besides some readings and exam preparation, most of the learning is done inside of the classroom while interacting with one another. You may have a bit more of a work life balance while doing marketing modules, but they definitely require in classroom attendance.

This is my two cents worth when comparing Business Analytics and Marketing!

Follow me on my newest journey of Adult learning in marketing:

Do read this article for why I took Business Analytics.

For more on how to maximise your business school experience,

Photo Credits: Photo by Samson on Unsplash