One in a series of articles profiling university programs focusing on big data and analytics.
The Master of Science in marketing analytics program at Bentley University began in 2005 but has grown significantly in the last three years as analytics have become a crucial part of modern marketing.
After the nighttime program admitted around 10 students the first year, 47 entered in September 2012 and it now has close to 90 students in various states of completion, according to Paul Berger, a visiting scholar and professor of marketing who serves as the program’s director.
The program has grown, Berger said, because students leaving with a degree have found the job market for their services to be “fantastic.” Companies with headquarters close to the Waltham, Mass., campus, such as Epsilon, EMC and Vistaprint, have hired students out of several consecutive graduating classes.
“When we have companies continue to hire our people every year, it gives us a good feeling that we’re doing the right thing,” Berger said.
Bentley has also tweaked its 10-class curriculum to keep up with what the market demands, adding the ability for students to take even more analytics courses or electives from the university’s information technology department, which has its own master’s degree program.
“There is great flexibility,” Berger said. “There is certainly a minimum amount of analytics and a minimum amount of marketing, but within that framework students can specialize in their interests.”
Berger said the program pulls both mid-career students and those who are not far removed from their undergraduate studies. He said this coincides with an observation about employers: companies are looking for two different populations of analytical professionals. They seek younger professionals who have less experience but can be cultivated as team members. They also seek more experienced graduates with years in marketing or analytics to lead analytics teams.
All classes are held at night so part time students are accommodated, Barger said, but 80 percent of students are full time. About half of the students in the program are international students, he said.
- Created in 2005.
- 90 students in the master’s program as of fall 2012.
- Program is 30 credit hours; full-time students usually complete in three semesters.
- Tuition is $36,540.
- Internship encouraged but not required; students can choose between three- or one-credit internships
- Students learn SAS, SPSS statistics software, other industry tools depending on electives.
- All classes at night to accommodate part-time students.