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Tulane to launch new master’s program in business analytics

April 12, 2017 10:30 AM
Mark Miester

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

The one-year Master of Business Analytics program will give students the skills to transform large, complex data sets into the clear information managers need to make business decisions. 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,” said 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 McKinsey Global Institute estimates that the U.S. could face a shortage of up to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills by 2018.”

Ira Solomon, A.B. Freeman School of Business Dean

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 skills the marketplace demands.

James McFarland, the Rolanette and Berdon Lawrence Distinguished Chair in Finance and management science area coordinator, said the program fills a unique niche in the market through its wide range of electives.

“Most analytics programs tend to be more of a management science program,” said 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.”

A joint-degree option with the Master of Accounting, Master of Business Administration, Master of Finance and Master of Management in Energy programs are in the works.

“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 said. “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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