Angie Chen knew exactly what she was seeking to achieve her career goals — a big city and a program that would advance her interest in data science.
“In my previous role as an internet product manager, I sought to increase collaboration with the technology and data departments of the company,” says the MS in Business Analytics (MSBA) graduate from Emory University Goizueta Business School. “I believed an MSBA would bring me more hands-on exploration of the data and prepare me well for my next aimed role as a data scientist or analyst.”
As an undergraduate student who majored in biological engineering, Chen is grateful for the chance to work with data from big companies, specifically Truist’s Wealth Department. Such is the potential of Goizueta’s MSBA analytics practicum, which places students at the heart of a real-life business scenario. They act as consultants to deliver results — with the MSBA curriculum advisory board and faculty supporting them every step of the way.
During the program, teams of students work with a real client — ranging from Fortune 500 institutions to scrappy startups — to deliver a data-driven business solution for the clients. The teams deliver the three core deliverables of a data science project: technical (code, cleansed data), dashboard visualization (Tableau, ggplot), and executive deck (business result).
The analytics practicum project serves as the pinnacle of a student’s academic journey. They leverage their expertise in data science, and manage big data, machine learning, and data visualization to develop innovative solutions tailored to the specific needs of our sponsor firms,” says Scott Radcliffe, Managing Director of MSBA at Goizueta.
Placing students at the center of business, data, and technology
Goizueta’s 10-month STEM-designated MSBA combines the knowledge of three fields — management, information systems, and applied statistics — to train students in solving real business problems. Here, they’ll cover topics such as data visualization, machine learning, artificial intelligence, managing big data, network analytics, cloud analytics, and more.
Students can choose from two academic tracks: Business Analytics or AI in Business. These tracks will influence the projects they complete during the analytics practicum. Those on the Business Analytics track complete a general data science project, while students on the AI in Business track work on a project with an AI-focused problem or solution.
At the start, the MSBA program incorporates a series of boot camps that help refine one’s knowledge in math, technology, business, and business problem-solving. The technology boot camp, for example, sees students conduct exercises in R, Python, SQL and other languages. They will also use various unix tools, file-transfer methods, and cloud-based services — something graduates like Faarid Sanaan appreciate.
“I could have gone anywhere, but the US is at the forefront of the data analytics and data science revolution,” says the Fulbright scholar. “I needed graduate school to build upon my basic knowledge. I felt like there was a missing piece that I needed to feel more confident and call myself an expert.”
Goizueta’s MSBA program has a stellar track record of turning students into highly employable graduates. With some of the highest employment rates among MSBA programs, students have gone on to work at companies such as Amazon, EY, Morgan Stanley, Slalom Consulting, Tik Tok, and many more.
Romin Williams, an MSBA graduate and a student-athlete, started working as a business insight fellow at McKinsey & Company two months after graduation. One of the most rewarding moments in his professional career, he shared, was putting the skillsets he learned at Goizueta into practice at McKinsey.
Each graduating class continues to see strong demand for their skillsets, with the class of 2022 receiving a median base salary of US$100,00 and a median signing bonus of US$10,000.
What’s more, thanks to their program’s STEM designation, students on an F-1 visa who graduate from the MS in Business Analytics program are eligible for a 24-month extension on their Optional Practical Training period (OPT) beyond the standard 12 months of OPT. The OPT lets international students continue to live and work in the US after graduation.
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