The Masters in Business Analytics (MSBA) program at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, welcomed its largest class ever this August. The class of 38 students along with 11 dual-degree (Business Analytics and Master’s in Business Administration) students brings a diverse set of experiences to the university. The 49 students come from all over the United States and the world and have backgrounds ranging from enriching undergraduate careers to several years of professional work experience in a variety of sectors. The growth in the program is not surprising; the field of business analytics is growing quickly. That hasn’t kept the faculty of the UTK Business Analytics program from encouraging growth in analytics.
“Because business analytics is an emerging career field, not many high school counselors know about it, and that needs to change,” said Dr. Melissa Bowers, director of the Master’s in Business Analytics program, associate professor and Beaman professor of business at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. “This career field is providing another math-oriented option for students who don’t want to teach math or become an engineer. And it’s growing quickly because today’s technology is powerful enough to handle large amounts of data.” Additionally, the program has had success getting its students into top jobs in the workforce, with the classes of 2012 and 2013 having 100 percent job placement within three months of graduating.
The program has had success getting its students into top jobs in the workforce, with the classes of 2012 and 2013 having 100 percent job placement within three months of graduating. The job placement expectation is the same for the incoming class, and the students wasted no time preparing for their future internship and job searches.
Earlier this month the incoming student were introduced to the returning class, set to graduate this December. During the new student orientation, the incoming students heard from several second-year students about their summer internship experiences and plans for their upcoming transition to the professional workforce. The returning students’ advice made up the closing session of a two-day long crash course in navigating internship and career opportunities.
The first week on campus was not all business. The class got to know each other well at a department picnic, meeting their new professors. The picnic, together with a rather exhilarating high ropes course, gave the students a chance to learn about each other quickly. They soon learned their class was anything but ordinary. The class includes former collegiate athletes, business owners, and activists. There are moms and expecting dads in the program, and a pair of sisters experiencing the program together. The diversity of the class has not kept a strong sense of comradery from developing, and the faculty are excited to see how well the class will perform. As for the students, they’re excited to exceed expectations.