New master’s program in business analytics to launch

Master of Business Analytics

The new one-year Master of Business Analytics program is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2018.

Next summer, Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business will launch a new specializedmaster’s program designed for students seeking careers in the rapidly growing field of business analytics.

The one-year Master of Business Analytics, currently pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), will give students the skills to transform large, complex data sets into the clear information managers need to make business decisions. The program targets students seeking entry-level
analytics positions in a variety of industries, including accounting, consulting, energy, finance, health care, human resources, marketing, operations and supply chain management, and technology. Graduates will emerge with proficiencies in data visualization, quantitative business modeling and analysis, the use of commercial business software, and at least two computer programming languages.

“The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that the U.S. could face a shortage of up to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills by 2018,” says Freeman School Dean Ira Solomon. “Given that great demand coupled with the strength of our faculty, we think the Freeman School is well-positioned to take advantage of
this exciting opportunity.” The Master of Business Analytics program is modeled in part on Freeman’s successful Master of Management in Energy. Like that program, the curriculum was developed in consultation with recruiters and corporate partners to ensure that students graduate from the program with the skills that employers demand.

The 36-credit-hour program kicks off with a business analytics “boot camp” to introduce students to the field. Students will then complete courses including Advanced Spreadsheet Modeling, Business Statistics and Modeling, SQL Database Fundamentals and Business Intelligence, Modeling and Analytics, Operations and Supply Chain Management, and Projects in Business Analytics. Electives include Accounting
Analytics, Energy Fundamentals and Trading, Econometrics and Forecasting, Financial Modeling, Organizational Research Methods and Analytics, Social Media and Online Marketing, and Marketing Research and Analytics.

According to James McFarland, the Rolanette and Berdon Lawrence Distinguished Chair in Finance and management science area coordinator, the program’s wide range of electives fills a unique niche in the market.

“Most analytics programs tend to be more of a management science program,” says McFarland. “Our students will come out with those analytics skills, but we’ll also have elective courses in accounting, finance, energy, management and marketing, so students can pursue career tracks in different areas that fit their career objectives. Other programs aren’t as flexible in terms of electives, so I think that’s a big differentiator.” McFarland expects the program to admit approximately 40 students. Initially, the focus will be on recruiting recent Tulane graduates interested in adding to their undergraduate degrees. McFarland says he also expects to offer the program as a joint-degree option with other Freeman master’s programs.

“I think from a value proposition, earning two degrees for two-thirds or three-fourths of the credit hours makes a lot of sense,” McFarland says. “Especially for our international students, coupled with the science, technology and engineering (STEM) designation, I think that’s going to be a very attractive option.”

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