Need for ‘Analytic Talent’ in Fairfield County Drove Decision to Expand Degree Offering
The rapidly growing and immensely popular master’s degree in business analytics and project management (MSBAPM), currently offered exclusively in Hartford, will soon be added to UConn Stamford’s curriculum.
“The masters in business analytics and project management, now celebrating its fifth anniversary, has been a resounding success,” said Professor Ram Gopal, department head. “The program is highly ranked, attracts a strong pool of applicants, and is extremely well regarded by our corporate partners.”
“We have received strong recommendations from companies, alumni, and potential students urging us to expand the program to the Stamford campus,” he said. “Stamford and greater Fairfield County have a significant need for ‘analytics talent’ and are eager for UConn to recruit, train, and provide the professionals to meet their demands.”
The first Stamford classes will begin in Fall 2017 with 40 students, and an additional 20 will be added in Spring 2018. The flexible program, allowing students to attend full- or part-time, has very high academic standards, said Meghan Hanrahan, associate director. Applicants with previous work experience are preferred.
Recent UConn MSBAPM graduates have commanded starting salaries around $85,000, with some topping $100,000 at graduation. Companies that have hired MSBAPM graduates in the last three semesters include: ADT, Amazon, Barclays, eBay, Fidelity, General Motors, Hershey’s, Novartis, Oracle, Prudential, Sears, TIAA Cref, The Washington Post, Yale-New Haven Health Systems, PepsiCo, CVS Health and Vanguard.
“This is an exciting time for a thriving program,” Hanrahan said. “The broad niche of this degree is transferable to a variety of fields.”
Students pursue the degree from a variety of majors, not just IT, computer or business, Hanrahan said. The program has drawn liberal arts, engineering and statistics majors, who all do well. The program is augmented with a full-time career coach, frequent career fairs and opportunities for high-quality internships.
“Due to our success and placement statistics, companies are coming to us,” Hanrahan said. “That’s exciting, because we have opened up a new market of corporate partners and it allows our programs to stand out.”
Suresh Nair, associate dean for graduate programs, said enrollment in the program began at about 50 at inception five years ago and has grown to 500 students today.
“The program is addressing an important need for big data analytics and project management,” he said. “We place students across the country, and internationally, in top firms doing leading-edge work in data analytics. With the Stamford expansion we wish to replicate our success and address the local area needs in the financial services and the hedge-fund industry. We share the enthusiasm of local businesses in having this exciting program offered in Stamford.”
Professor Jose Cruz, academic director of the program, said while business data is plentiful, there is a dramatic shortage of professionals with knowledge in analytics.
“As a result, MSBAPM students are finding well-paid jobs everywhere in the U.S., from Google, EBay, McKinsey, Amazon, Priceline, Expedia, Home Depot, to insurance, financial, and healthcare industries, just to cite a few.
“From an academic standpoint, the program is so strong because it is delivery by top professors and experts in the field and its innovative curriculum aligns well with the needs of the marketplace. The MSBAPM program is leading the way in the field of business analytics as one of the pioneers in the field and the only program in the country that combines business analytics and project management.”
Local business leaders are excited about the expanded offering.
“In today’s business world, working with and analyzing big data is essential to gaining a competitive advantage,” said Paul McKeon, senior vice president at Transatlantic Reinsurance Co. “The UConn MSBAPM degree is a highly-rated program that develops its students’ analytic and creative problem-solving skills. Students learn how to work hard and solve problems from the bottom up. They use cutting-edge technology to analyze large volumes of data to assist in making informed and strategic decisions.”
“Increasingly the growth in Big Data is driving demand for graduates that can use analytical tools to turn that data into business insights and actions,” said Patrick Brand, senior vice president at Pitney Bowes Inc. “UConn’s master’s in business analytics and project management program is geared towards preparing students for this emerging, high-growth job market.”