It’s been a big week at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. On Tuesday (May 11), the Ross School announced the appointment of an interim replacement for its popular outgoing dean. Then on Thursday (May 13), Michigan announced the launch of a whole new program.
The Ross School is launching a new Master of Business Analytics to its portfolio of top-ranked one-year master’s programs. The new 10-month residential program will begin in June 2022, with applications open in July of this year. In the works for several years, the program “will prepare students for future leadership roles that require the ability to transform complex data into high-impact business insights and solutions,” according to the school’s announcement, while the curriculum “will offer opportunities for hands-on, action-based learning, including engaging with leading companies on projects where data science and business analytics are required to generate powerful insights and innovative solutions.”
“We are extremely excited to announce our new Master of Business Analytics program,” says David Wooten, associate dean of one-year master’s programs and Alfred L. Edwards collegiate professor at Michigan Ross. “There is an increasing demand for programs that combine a world-class business education with the analytical skills and technology expertise needed to succeed in business. These capabilities are increasingly demanded by all of our recruiters.
“In listening to our network of alumni, recruiters, as well as our community of students, we recognized that there was the opportunity for the MBAn program to complement our other degree programs, as it serves a distinct student need and a unique industry demand.”
‘A GROWING NEED’ FOR THOSE WHO CAN SOLVE DATA-DRIVEN PROBLEMS
Michigan Ross Dean Scott DeRue announced his unexpected departure from the school in early April. This week, as it continues the search for a replacement, the Ross School announced the appointment of long-time professor Francine Lafontaine will fill the dean’s role on an interim basis.
Now, with the launch of the new program, Michigan Ross joins the wave of top business schools that have embraced business analytics in recent years. Michigan currently offers Master of Management, Master of Accounting, and Master of Supply Chain Management programs. Now with its new business analytics degree, the school is joining one of the biggest developments of the last 10 years in graduate business education.
“Across the business world, there is a growing need for employees with both the skills and capabilities to solve data-driven problems, and the acumen to connect the solutions to the organization’s business model,” Wooten tells Poets&Quants. “Our recruiters and alumni are telling us they are actively looking for talented graduates with these skills, and anticipate future growth in this area.
“In addition, Michigan Ross is well positioned to offer a program that equips students to succeed in this field. We already offer a concentration in data and business analytics, and specialization in management science within our Full-Time MBA program. Today, we are offering students the ability to acquire similar skills within a focused, one-year master’s program.
“At Michigan Ross, we know how to deliver world-class one-year master’s programs, and have significant expertise and experience in data and business analytics, so we are excited to announce this new program.”
ELECTIVES OFFERED IN FINTECH, HEALTH-TECH & OTHER IN-DEMAND FIELDS
The curriculum of the new degree will offer “a balanced mix of data analytics and holistic business courses, taught by world-renowned Michigan Ross faculty,” the Ross School said in its announcement. “Students will also be able to customize their learning with elective coursework in cutting-edge domains such as digital marketing, fin-tech, health-tech, and other in-demand fields.”
Students in the 35.75-credit program, expected to number between 35 and 45 in the first cohort, also will be supported by a career coach at the Michigan Ross Career Development Office who will provide such services as interview preparation, resume reviews, and job search strategies tailored to business analytics.
“With a focus on recruiting high-achieving candidates, Michigan Ross will look for applicants who aspire to be leaders, and are comfortable with ambiguity and tackling data-driven problems,” the school announced. “Applicants will be required to have a background in quantitative undergraduate disciplines and to have completed a set of prerequisite courses.”
Adds Wooten: “The Master of Business Analytics program is designed for recent, high-achieving graduates who have a background in quantitative undergraduate disciplines. We are looking for applicants who are comfortable with complex data and ambiguity; exhibit a tendency to solve problems and offer solutions; and aspire to lead in an area of business about which they are passionate.”
Tuition for the Michigan Ross Master of Business Analytics program has not yet been finalized. Applications open in July; for more information and to apply, visit michiganross.umich.edu/mban.