Howe School Expands Graduate Curriculum to Meet Demand in Big Data

6/27/2014

The continuing opportunity posed by Big Data — and the growing need for more employees who can analyze mountains of data and draw the right conclusions and strategies from such information — is why the Howe School has created three new concentrations in its graduate division. 

The new concentrations are aimed at continuing to help leaders in the workforce turn data into actionable business plans — a continuing and pressing need for organizations of all sizes and in many industries. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, by 2018, the United States could face a shortage of nearly 200,000 people with deep analytical skills, and a shortfall of another 1.5 million managers and analysts able to analyze Big Data to make effective decisions.

The MBA program has added a concentration in Business Intelligence and Analytics (BI&A), and includes courses in marketing analytics, risk management, data warehousing and social network analytics. The concentration, which draws on the training at Stevens’ master’s program in BI&A, emphasizes the analytical skills needed to pursue a career in data-rich environments and craft practical growth strategies.

The Stevens MBA has five other concentrations — Finance, Information Systems, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Marketing, and Project Management — and includes a practical Field Consulting Program that puts students to work on a real-world problem posed by a partner corporation. Its heavy emphasis on technology-based training helps the program stand out from vanilla MBA programs, said Dr. Murrae Bowden, the program’s director.

“Elsewhere, the focus is primarily on the business disciplines,” Bowden said. “Here, we recognize that technology is an important component in any business, and have tailored our core to include courses on technology and innovation management, as well as entrepreneurship.”

The technology focus is a major driver of the BI&A degree, one of the first of its kind in the nation and among the most robust, thanks to the research contributions into Big Data made possible by the state-of-the-art Hanlon Financial Systems Lab. This degree program has added two concentrations — one in marketing analytics and another in supply chain analytics — in a bid to serve two areas in great need of understanding how data can solve logistics problems and exploit market opportunities.

Students in these concentrations learn “what the strategic problems are, they understand how to go about helping companies solve them, and they can take on more of a consultative role as they move into business functions,” said Dr. Christopher Asakiewicz, the program’s director.

The Marketing Analytics concentration prepares students to understand the tools and techniques used to interpret customer reviews and capitalize on social media interactions to create, plan and support effective marketing campaigns in any business. The Supply Chain Analytics concentration, meanwhile, explores how predictive and prescriptive analytics can help organizations make sense of large-scale logistics problems.

For additional information on these and other graduate degree programs, and how they can help you to advance your career, visit the Howe School graduate page at www.stevens.edu/howe/academics/graduate/programs.