One hundred and fifty applicants for 30 spots. That was the target as business-school administrators at the University of Texas at Austin laid the groundwork for a new master’s-degree program in business analytics. This past fall, they welcomed the inaugural class: 52 students selected from more than 400 applicants. The average GMAT score was 710, highest of any graduate program at the business school. One-year revenue from the self-funded program is projected to total about $1.7-million.
That strong start is a direct reflection of the “mad dash for talent” among employers trying to extract value from rapidly accumulating troves of data, says Prabhudev Konana, chair of the business school’s department of information, risk, and operations management, which offers the new degree. Students are drawn by the job opportunities and good salaries that big-data degrees can deliver, he says.
It’s not just Texas that is rushing to accommodate the queue of applicants. As data generated by social-media sites and mobile devices proliferate, so, too, do degree and certificate programs designed to train data professionals. The programs represent a blending of disciplines including applied mathematics, statistics, and computer science. Programs are being planted in informatics schools, engineering schools, and cross-disciplinary research centers. Some of them see the possibility of substantial revenues. <Read more.>