Dr. Ashley Bush, Program Director, Master of Science in Business Analytics (MS-BA) Chair, Department of Business Analytics, Information Systems & Supply Chain, Sprint Professor of MIS at Florida State University College of Business, joins us today to discuss their Master of Science in Business Analytics (MS-BA) degree program.
1. Can you tell us about the business analytics program offered at the Florida State University College of Business? *
We launched our Master of Science in Business Analytics (MS-BA) in 2018 to meet expanding industry demand for a new type of business school graduate, one equipped with the skills to not only transform raw data into trusted analysis but also to leverage that analysis into sound business strategy. Our intensive year starts with a deep dive into Python programming, quantitative methods and machine learning, then eventually culminates with capstone projects that allow students to apply their new skills to solving challenges provided by real companies.
2. Is the GMAT & GRE required for acceptance into the program? Do international students have the same requirement? *
Yes, the GMAT/GRE is a university requirement for all applicants but may be waived for highly qualified individuals with significant work experience. Our admission decisions are based on a portfolio of qualifications, including prior academic performance, work experience, GMAT/GRE scores and letters of recommendation. Additionally, international applicants without native English skills will need to meet certain marks on the TOEFL or IELTS.
3. How long does a typical online business analytics program take at the Florida State University College of Business? What is the maximum and minimum time of completion? *
Our business analytics master’s degree is a lock-step program on campus that starts each May and runs for one full calendar year. Our graduates say learning and progressing with a cohort of fellow students results in close-knit professional relationships that they carry into their careers.
4. What do you think makes the Florida State University College of Business analytics program stand out from other programs offered by similar schools in your region*
Although we have offered a highly ranked online master’s degree in Management Information Systems for many years, we intentionally set out to build our new Business Analytics program from the ground up instead of developing an offshoot or modification of our existing degree program. We also made sure it could pass the muster of STEM designation, which signals that our graduates are equipped with the priority technical and analytical skills employers are seeking to stay relevant and competitive.
5. How important would you say accreditation is when choosing a business analytics program? *
Checking out a school’s accreditation credentials is the best way to ensure you’re choosing a quality program that will give you an excellent return on your investment. Florida State’s College of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International). Based on an arduous peer review, AACSB accreditation is achieved by fewer than 5 percent of business schools worldwide.
6. What are the advantages of earning a business analytics degree in general and where are you seeing employer demand with this degree? *
Today’s businesses know that having skilled data analysts is just as crucial as having a financial manager. That means business analytics positions are plentiful and available in most industries, and their presence will only increase as our technological world generates more data. Demand is high, which means starting salaries are, too.
7. Does the Florida State University College of Business offer job placement for students who graduate with a business analytics degree? *
Our faculty actively works to connect students with internship and networking opportunities, and the college provides professional development activities that prepare students for the job market. Additionally, the college has a very active advisory board of highly successful business alumni and friends of the college who advocate for our students. To my knowledge, all of our MS-BA graduates thus far are thriving in analytics careers at a vast range of companies, such as The Home Depot, Naval Air Systems Command, Duke Energy Corporation, and ReliaQuest.
8. What type of financial aid packages are available for students in business analytics? Are there any fellowships, grants, and scholarships available? *
Our program offers competitive graduate assistantships that provide financial assistance to a select number of students in each admissions cycle. Graduate assistants receive a stipend and a tuition waiver for nine credit hours (at the in-state tuition rate) for each of the three semesters. In return, they work 10 hours per week with a faculty member, assisting with academic research.
9. Do you have any advice for students enrolling in a business analytics program at the Florida State University College of Business? *
Apply early to be considered for financial assistance. Know that our program is designed for students who are already comfortable with quantitative tasks. If you hate math or fear statistics, then it’s probably not the best fit for you.
10. What do you enjoy most about your position at the Florida State University College of Business? *
It’s very rewarding to watch our students become more confident in their analytical skills over the course of the year. They enter hoping to take their strong quantitative skills to even higher levels, but even they are surprised at how comfortable they become with extrapolating business solutions from immense amounts of data.
For more information on the business analytics program offered at Florida State University College of Business, visit them online.
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That concludes our interview!