InformationWeek: Business Analytics Program is Among Nation’s Top 20

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The UT Master of Business Analytics program is one of the nation’s top 20 programs in big data analytics, according to a recently released ranking from InformationWeek magazine.

InformationWeek looked at big data analytics programs within colleges of business, computer science, and engineering across North America. The top programs were not individually ranked.

“We have been an innovator in incorporating business analytics into our curriculum,” said Ken Gilbert, head of UT’s Department of Statistics, Operations, and Management Science in the UT College of Business Administration. “We were the first business school in the country to offer an undergraduate, Master of Science, and MS/MBA dual degree in business analytics.”

The UT College of Business Administration is one of only six US business colleges in the top 20 listing that offer either Master of Business Administration or Master of Science business analytics degrees, he said. The others are Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, Drexel University, Louisiana State University, and University of Cincinnati.

Graduates who understand business analytics and also have strong business and leadership skills have excellent job opportunities, Gilbert said.

“That combination seems to be rare among today’s graduates, yet it is in incredibly high demand by organizations,” he said. “As a result, business analytics is a strategic initiative for our college.”

According to Gartner Research, big data creates big jobs. Data analytics is expected to create 4.4 million jobs worldwide by 2015, but the availability of skilled workers will fill only one-third of those projected openings.

“We recognize this existing critical talent shortage and are committed to offering relevant curricula to prepare our graduates for the growing needs of business,” Gilbert said. “More than twenty global leaders that use business analytics—firms such as Deloitte, Ernst and Young, dunnhumby, Capital One, Disney, Eastman Chemical, Hanes, Home Depot, and State Farm—have hired our graduates.”

UT offers three ways to earn a graduate-level business analytics education. Students can earn a master’s degree in business analytics, dual master’s degrees in business analytics and business administration, or an MBA with a concentration in business analytics for MBA students who do not want to earn the master’s in business analytics but are interested in the subject matter.

Undergraduates can major in business analytics or supplement another major with a 9-credit-hour business analytics concentration.

“We know of no other school in the nation providing this scope of business analytics offerings,” said Jan Williams, dean of UT’s College of Business Administration.

Gilbert noted that the college is scheduled to launch a program in supply chain analytics later this year.

“We will continue to develop and enhance our curriculum to keep ahead of demand,” he said.

UT’s business analytics program also serves as a resource to the business community. The university last year hosted a business analytics conference that drew 200 participants. Speakers included executives from Teradata, Regal Entertainment Group, Kroger, and Google.

The university hosts a business analytics forum where members can share best practices. Participants include global organizations such as Caterpillar, Capital One, State Farm, Jewelry TV, and Pilot-Flying J.

UT also has seminar series that allow corporate speakers to interact with business analytics students.

CONTACTS:

Cindy Raines (865-974-4359, craines1@utk.edu)

Lola Alapo (865-974-3993, lalapo@utk.edu)

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