Northwestern University and IBM are collaborating on new business and technology curricula to help students gain the latest skills in business analytics. The new courses of study, Masters of Science degree programs with analytics concentrations in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and the School of Continuing Studies, will better prepare students and current professionals who are seeking new analytics skills for today’s competitive job market.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there will be a 24 percent increase in demand for professionals with management analysis skills over the next eight years. The need for this specialized talent is being fueled by an increased use of business analytics by companies to better understand the explosion of data generated online, via social networks and mobile devices, or through real time sensors. With so much data residing within, and shared across, these digital sources, organizations are seeking new ways to understand, measure, act and even predict outcomes based on customer and social sentiment.
The demand for new higher education programs such as those at Northwestern illustrates the evolution of analytics. Once considered an area of focus for technology majors, that has moved beyond computers science and is now a required competency across businesses from finance and IT to human resources and marketing.