Fred Riggins, Professor of Management Information Systems and Director of the MSBA Program at North Dakota State University, joins us today to discuss their analytics degree program.
1. Can you tell us about the business analytics program offered at North Dakota State University? *
The Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) at the College of Business at North Dakota State University is a 30-credit STEM program that is a collaboration with the Department of Statistics and the Department of Computer Science. To accommodate working professionals, all courses may be taken either online or in evening courses that meet once per week for eight-week half semester sessions allowing part-time students to complete the program in two years. However, many of our students are full-time students who can complete the program in one year. The program is structured as follows:
Data Analysis Foundation Courses (6 credits)
– STAT 725 – Applied Statistics (3)
– CSCI 765 – Introduction to Database Systems (3)
Business Analytics Courses (10 credits)
– MBA 751 – Business Analytics Concepts (2)
– MBA 752 – Business Analytics Strategy (2)
– MBA 753 – Business Analytics Methods (2)
– MBA 722 – Marketing Analytics and Customer Intelligence (2)
– MBA 723 – Digital Marketing (2)
Business Analytics Advanced Courses (6 credits)
– MIS 720 – Visualization and Reporting (2)
– MIS 740 – Advanced Business Analytics Methods (2)
– MIS 790 – Seminar in Business Analytics (2)
Business Analytics Focus and Field Experience (8 credits)
– MIS 795 – Capstone Project I, II, and III (5)
– Elective as approved by MSBA program advisor (3)
2. Is the GMAT & GRE required for acceptance into the program? Do international students have the same requirement? *
The GMAT or GRE is required for the application process, however, applicants with substantial work experience may request to have the GMAT/GRE requirement waived. International students have the same requirement.
3. How long does a typical business analytics program take at North Dakota State University? What is the maximum and minimum time of completion? *
The MSBA program is 30-credits and may be completed in one year on a full-time basis or two years on a part-time basis.
4. What do you think makes the North Dakota State University analytics program stand out from other programs offered by similar schools in your region*
The NDSU MSBA program offers face-to-face instruction by globally recognized leaders in the field in evening classes that meet for eight-week half semester sessions, yet up to half of the program may be taken online. Furthermore, the program is housed in the College of Business, but has required courses in statistics and computer science making this STEM program collaborative in nature. Courses are designed to equip students with the most up-to-date tools and methodologies for data wrangling and data manipulation, data visualization, machine learning and predictive analytics, and the ability to exploit data-generating emerging technologies. An industry advisory board provides sites for students to conduct an extensive 5-credit capstone project experience. Finally, NDSU offers a very competitive tuition structure.
5. How important would you say accreditation is when choosing a business analytics program? *
NDSU is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) which is the highest worldwide distinction business schools can receive. Less than five percent of the world’s business programs are AACSB accredited. Getting a degree from an AACSB accredited school assures students they are receiving a high quality education that is recognized around the world.
6. What are the advantages of earning a business analytics degree in general and where are you seeing employer demand with this degree? *
Earning a STEM degree from a college of business is unique and allows the graduating student the opportunity to move toward a number of exciting career directions. While there are many types of degrees from which to choose, the MSBA is emerging as the graduate business degree of the 21st Century. Many types of companies are realizing they must hire employees with the skills and knowledge to be able to make use of their data to achieve operational excellence, improve customer satisfaction, and gain strategic advantage in the marketplace.
7. Does the North Dakota State University offer job placement for students who graduate with a business analytics degree? *
NDSU has a very active Career Center with regular career fairs for students. Companies from across the Upper Midwest, and in particular the Minneapolis-St.Paul twin cities area, regularly attend our career fairs. Also, the companies on the program’s industry advisory board are eager to hire the students who distinguish themselves in the program.
8. What type of financial aid packages are available for students in business analytics? Are there any fellowships, grants, and scholarships available? *
We offer a limited number of Graduate Assistantships for full-time students that are awarded on a competitive basis.
9. Do you have any advice for students enrolling in a business analytics program at North Dakota State University? *
Students should get involved with the Data Analytics Club to interact with other students with similar interests and network with industry speakers at club events. Furthermore, students should attend regular speaking events hosted by the NDSU Center for Enterprise Business Analytics to learn about emerging topics in the field and network with local business professionals. Also, students should seek to master the tools and methodologies taught in their courses so they will be ready to maximize the benefit from their capstone project. The experience gained in the capstone project will equip students to be successful in their careers and will provide the opportunity to distinguish themselves with potential employers.
10. What do you enjoy most about your position at North Dakota State University? *
NDSU is an extremely supportive place where people seek ways to help others be successful. We are in the midst of an exciting time to be working in the information technology field as new technologies such as AI, machine learning, blockchain, and the Internet of Things are providing game-changing digital transformations in organizations of which we are on the front-lines here at NDSU. The Fargo-Moorhead area is a hot-spot for entrepreneurial activity providing exciting opportunities for faculty and students in the MSBA program.
For more information on the business analytics programs offered at the North Dakota State University, visit them online.
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That concludes our interview!