In January 2016, CIO Magazine published an article, “21 data and analytics trends that will dominate 2016.” A prevalent theme among the trends was that data analytics — the process of collecting, organizing and analyzing large sets of data to discover useful information — will become an integral part of a business’ core goals, as CEOs and investors alike realize that the intelligent use of data is critical to business decision making.
The rise in interest in business analytics was no surprise to leaders of Mendoza’s Graduate Business Programs. In fact, it’s been on the radar for a while.
“Five years ago, our students started a business analytics club and hosted a case competition focused on business analytics,” said Mary Goss, senior director of Graduate Business Programs. “Almost half of the students in the traditional MBA class of 2017 indicated business analytics as one of their two intended concentrations, so the students have been sending a clear message about their interest in this area for some time.”
The interest reached such a level that the Mendoza College of Business just launched a new dual-degree program, the MBA/Master of Science in Business Analytics (MBA/MSBA). The application process is now open, with the first class to be seated in fall 2017.
Intended for students with a strong affinity for statistical and other quantitative techniques, the 68-credit hour program concurrently provides a robust, values-based business education along with extensive analytics coursework to prepare candidates for a wide range of careers in the increasingly data-driven marketplace. Students also participate in internships and experiential learning opportunities, such as real-life case studies focused on analytics. The degree received a STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math) designation, which allows international students to extend their visas by 24 months.
“The focus is on the business end of the spectrum,” said Rob Easley, chair of the IT, Analytics, and Operations Department, who helped develop the program. “Data science can involve very technical skills, but that’s not our target. Our students are interested in applying analytics to business problems. They want to understand and develop the questions, seek answers in the data, and learn to present those answers through data visualization.”
The addition of the MBA/MSBA means a strengthening of business analytics offerings across the Graduate Business Program spectrum, Easley added.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to expand our analytics course offerings to meet this demand, and decided to go a step further to offer a full suite of courses sufficient to create the option of conferring the MSBA degree,” said Easley. “All MBA students will have access to a richer set of concentration options, while the dual-degree students will also take some additional courses specific to that program to earn both degrees.”
• Two-year residential program
• GMAT/GRE required
• Intended for students with three to five years of work experience
• 68 credit hours
• Includes the opportunity to take elective courses (non-lockstep)
• Designated as a STEM program
• Fellowship opportunities available
• Currently accepting applications for the 2017-2018 academic year (Class of 2019)