The University of New Haven reaped immediate benefits after it launched its two STEM MBA concentrations, Data Analytics and Financial Analysis. MBA applications were up overall in 2018 and have continued to rise in 2019: as of spring, the school had enrolled 230 MBA students.
Success has spurred innovation. This fall New Haven launches another STEM program, a business analytics concentration for its well-established MS in Sport Management that Dean Kench calls “one of a kind.” The 36-credit program “provides an in-depth framework for use of analytics and how data is driving critical decisions in the industry,” with a goal of enhancing students’ quantitative and statistical skills, including predictive modeling and data management. The program, Kench says, aims to give students’ an understanding of the relationship between data and decisions, and develop the skills to communicate those relationships.
New Haven’s MS in Sport Management is highly touted and widely respected, the kind of program that brings to campus luminaries like former Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman. So why tinker with it? “We are well known for our sport management program,” Kench says, “but we moved because we are planting a flag in the ground around business analytics and STEM programming. Our research suggests this newly approved MS in sport management with a concentration in business analytics is the first one, even though Moneyball is out there and people are talking about analytics. But there is no STEM-designated sport management program that we could find.”
A SMALL SHOP DEFIES TRENDS
As MBA programs across the U.S. get aligned with STEM, they join (or are joined by) a raft of other degrees that already qualify for the designation. There are about eight MS Accounting programs with STEM, at the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Miami, Ohio State University, Rochester Simon, Case-Western University, Lehigh University, the University of Illinois, and New Haven. Meanwhile, there are about nine STEM-designated MS Business Analytics programs at major schools: at the University of Texas-Austin, USC Marshall, MIT Sloan, Columbia Business School, the University of Maryland, American University, the University of Iowa, the University of Connecticut, and the University of California-Davis.
Like its Sport Management Business Analytics track, New Haven’s AI/Analytics concentration in its MS Accounting program debuts this fall. Simply put, the school saw its success in the MBA and its STEM-designated MS Finance and designed a track for its accounting program, too. But New Haven is also thinking long-term, which is why it will launch a third degree in the fall: a new undergraduate degree, the BS in Business Analytics. It’s a degree few business schools offer.
The beginnings are humble: Fourteen freshman have signed up for the inaugural freshman class, which is about 10% of New Haven’s first-time, full-time freshman business class. Only a few are international. But it’s the beginning of an undergrad pipeline of international students to the College of Business’ grad programs.
“At the moment, we have very few undergraduate international students,” Kench says. “We believe it’s an important play on the international part as well. The current students that are coming in are domestic students and they’re being spurred by the labor market shortage and the salaries that go along with business analytics. It’s very attractive to the price-sensitive student that’s really concerned with ROI, which is just about every freshman that’s coming into college these days.
“But our applications have been rising, our international numbers have been rising,” he adds. “So we’re a small shop, but we’ve been the opposite of the national trends. We’ve seen, year over year, increased international students in the business school.”
‘WE PICKED THE RIGHT MARKET’
It’s a very exciting time at New Haven, its dean says. The CEOs he has talked with all say the same thing: “We’ve got data everywhere we look, and we have no idea how to make it work for us.” So, Kench says, “STEM-certified programs were a no-brainer for us.”
“It is a pivot for the college. We’re trying to plant the flag around business analytics and then move resources in that direction. I think it’s what the college will become known for as we move forward. Now that it’s required across the curriculum, both at the undergraduate and the graduate levels, things have pivoted into that space.
“So it’s the very beginning and we’re very optimistic. I think we picked the right market and I think the labor market is driving that and I think we’ll have some good success there.”
See the next three pages for Poets&Quants’ directory of MBA programs with STEM designations.