The BI&A Program – Vision and Architecture

The BI&A program develops graduates with strong professional and technical skills that complement the knowledge gained in our 12-course MS curriculum. The following program architecture realizes this vision.

Professional skills. An effective business analyst understands business and is an effective communicator.  The BI&A program develops these skills through a strong learning culture nurtured by extra-curricular activities such as industry-supported job-skills workshops, oral and written communications skills seminars, talks by industry professionals, and an active student club.

Disciplinary Knowledge. The center piece of the BI&A program is a rigorous 12-course curriculum that emphasizes both theory and practice and that culminates in and industry practicum course in which students work on real applications with industry mentors in a student’s area of interest.

Technical skills.  Strong software skills are needed to manipulate, analyze and mine “big data.” To develop these skills, the BI&A program offers a series of free “software bootcamps” that provide training in software packages such as R, SAS and Python. These bootcamps are offered on Saturdays throughout the semester; a required 2-week bootcamp will be held in January 2014 for the fall and spring entering classes.

Infrastructure. Stevens’ Hanlon Center for Financial Services provides a robust infrastructure consisting of software packages such as SAS and R together with a number of large data sets that support research and industry-strength educational exercises.