Business Analytics at Whitman

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Where are the jobs today for business school graduates? Business Analytics! The Gartner Group reports that 4.4 million jobs will be created over two years in the big data or business analytics arena, with only one-third of those jobs being filled. Business graduates with quantitative skills will have an abundance of opportunities and the Whitman School is ensuring its students are gaining the expertise needed for this future job market.

 

What skills do future Business Analytics professionals need to succeed? Students need a tool set of skills in statistics, technology, and data management. PwC delineated these skills in February 2015 in its assessment of the market (from “Data driven: What students need to succeed in a rapidly changing business world,” PriceWaterhouseCoopers, February 2015). Companies are recruiting employees who are proficient with legacy technologies (Microsoft Excel and Access), especially complex spreadsheet capabilities; have core skills with databases (SQL); statistical analysis with R; and data visualization with Tableau. Business school graduates need to be able to perform advanced analyses using factor analysis, conjoint analysis, regression, logistic regression, machine learning techniques and optimization.

 

Fortunately, the Whitman School is teaching students in all of these skill sets. Whitman launched a graduate Business Analytics course in January 2014. Offered both fall and spring semesters, enrollment has reached 126 students in the spring 2015 semester. The course includes all the skills identified by PwC, and also includes Google Analytics to prepare students for analytics in the Internet age. Whitman students are well positioned for the rapidly changing marketplace.

 

Donald Harter

Professor Harter is associate dean for masters programs and associate professor of MIS in the Lubin School of Accounting. He teaches the MBA courses in management information systems and project management, and a PhD seminar in software engineering economics.

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