Work with GE Leads UConn to Create Master of Science in Business Analytics

by   |   January 29, 2013 10:17 am   |   0 Comments

One in a series of articles profiling university programs focusing on big data and analytics education.

The Department of Operations and Information Management at the University of Connecticut’s School of Business worked with General Electric for 10 years, pairing graduate and Ph.D. students with their researchers to complete analytics projects.

That partnership ended as planned in 2010, but the department built on that experience to create a Master of Science in Business Analytics and Project Management.

Ram Gopal, head of the department of operations and information management, said that partnership taught him just how important data-driven decisions have become in business and how important it is to be able to see an analytics project through to a timely completion.

“We’ve had a lot of experience in looking at real world problems, and understanding what are the skill sets our students need to survive,” Gopal said. “That was the impetus for us to start the program.”

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The program first accepted students in the fall of 2011, and there are now 93 students. The classes run on nights and weekends, so students can work full time while enrolled in the program. The program requires the completion of 11 courses, with four core classes in business analytics, three in project management, three electives and a capstone practicum course at the end. It’s possible to complete the program in one calendar year, Gopal said.

The capstone practicum course uses a team-based approach, and students are connected with local businesses around Hartford, often in the insurance or financial services industries. Business partners provide real data to work on, and a contact that is available to the team throughout the entire semester.

“The capstone project ties the two tracks together, the project management track and the business analytics track, and the students work with an industry partner on a real life project,” Gopal said. “These are analytics based projects, so students work in teams to execute the project, and as they work they’ll use the project management skills to make sure it’s executed correctly.”

Gopal said he’s proud the mix of students in the program: international and domestic, male and female, full time and part time. The program has a technology partnership with SAS, and also works closely with IBM, he said.

Some classes are available online, he said. After completing the program, students should be prepared for the Project Management Institute’s associate project manager certification exam, Gopal said.

Program details:

  • Created in 2011
  • Currently 93 students in the program
  • Full or part time, some classes available online.
  • Tuition is $22,440.

Program features:

  • Capstone project connects students with industry partner
  • Classes are on nights and weekends.
  • Technology partnership with SAS, IBM.
  • Students prepared for associate project manager certification exam.

Email Staff Writer Ian B. Murphy at Follow him on Twitter .

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