Only a handful of universities in the U.S. offer a fully online version of the highly sought-after, lucrative Master of Science in Applied Business Analytics degree, and Jacksonville University is now one of them.
The degree allows students with a strong background in the technical side of business such as in computer science, information technology and engineering to build on those skills without sidetracking them from their current career.
“Businesses were coming to us and saying ‘We need people with these skills analyzing, compiling and sharing data in real time, seeing the hidden patterns, the market trends, the customer preferences, and mastering analytics tools like Tableau and Hadoop,’” said Davis College of Business Dean Dr. Don Capener. “Our graduates are going to be able to answer those job ads and say they are trained in these skills and have a degree in this area.”
For some time now, companies have used advances in technology to collect massive amounts of data – from smartphones, social media and even traffic signals – but then have wound up data-rich but with no insights and no one to acquire them.
In concert with online education provider Bisk, the Davis College of Business welcomed its first cohort for the two-year degree this month (May) with 15 students, and envisions increasing that to about 30 down the road in order to meet industry demand, Capener said.
He added that top-level executives like Kathleen Brandt, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for CSX Technology, helped make the case for the degree and advised on designing its curriculum. Business faculty members continually work with industry leaders to identify skill sets so that JU students are ready for the challenges of big data.
There are often three business analytics jobs for every one qualified person, according to Capener, and salaries start at $70,000 to $80,000 and year and can go well into the low six figures. An MS in Applied Business Analytics strengthens a job candidate’s positions for information technology and data analytics-related professions such as business systems analyst, market research analyst, management analyst, market research manager, computer or information systems analyst, operations research analyst, business insight manager and financial analyst.
“There is a massive shortfall of people with the right educational training who can work with big data sets and the challenges of analysis for unstructured data sets,” said Dr. Vikas Agrawal, Associate Professor of Business Analytics at Jacksonville University. “If there is one field where students can always find work, it is Business Analytics, irrespective of the industry. Business Analytics is considered to be a new normal, and everyone is expected to possess these skills.”
The most likely candidates for the degree will have experience or a degree related to computer science or information technology, or a business degree and high interest and savvy in technology. JU’s Master’s Degree programs are administered by the JU Davis College of Business, which is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
The next JU MS in Applied Business Analytics start date is July 3, and the application deadline is June 21. Click here to learn more, or call (855) 300-1472.