The College of Business at the University Montana is marking the completion of its fourth year for the Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) program. This innovative and cutting-edge curriculum trains candidates in the critical skills needed in today’s business environment: leveraging advanced data analytics at the intersection of business, statistics, and computing. Throughout the program students develop technical skills, including programming and statistical analysis, to discover insights and transform them into compelling stories to aid in decision-making at all levels of business, from local small business to Fortune 500 companies, government institutions, and non-profit organizations. Through partnership development with other campus programs, including the distinguished Franke College of Forestry and Conservation at UMT to bring the power of data analytics to solving global problems related to conservation and the environment. Students can customize their curriculum with joint MBA, J.D., Environmental Sciences, and Sustainability in Business Certificates. UMT’s MSBA is a premier, multimodal program providing in-person and online collaborative instruction designed for working professionals and aspiring undergraduate students to supercharge their career with a cutting-edge skillset.
This semester students faced the COVID-19 pandemic, juggling their coursework, part-time jobs and internships, with family needs and shelter-in-place restrictions. Whether it was relocating to other cities in Montana to help family or graduating into a very stressful and uncertain economic environment, this group of students demonstrated a capacity to persevere under trying conditions, to adapt to changing circumstances in real time, and to excel despite adversity. Several of them tackled interesting projects mid-stream to apply their skills to analyzing the COVID data. We could not be prouder of them.
Coursework and Projects
The core of the business analytics program provides a balanced but comprehensive approach to the field of big data analytics, with hands-on technical skills coupled with soft business skills and an informed view of the trajectory of data science in decision-making (in business and otherwise). Students combine electives, ranging from machine learning and cybersecurity to sustainability in business and project management, with the core curriculum to fine-tune their learning experience and best fit their post-graduation goals. Read more...
A benefit of the MSBA program is its diverse curriculum, but how have our students allocated their time?
Throughout the year, students heard from a variety of analytics professionals in several different industries. From marketing researchers to data scientists, each provided useful insights into what it takes to succeed in the analytics field.
Like much else, the Spring MSBA Showcase could not be convened IRL to protect public health. Instead, the 2020 cohort pivoted to online in parallel with instruction at UM.
Partnerships with the business community and other organizations are a differentiating feature for our program. These partnerships include local, regional, and national companies, non-profits, and business organizations.
How has the program evolved over the last four years?
Professor Jason Triche
The applicant pool and level of competitiveness and quality of students attracted to the program continues to improve, year after year, driving increased quality in classes, seminars, presentations, and projects.
Professor Simona Stan
The program has matured significantly in the last 4 years and has attracted strong cohorts from diverse backgrounds. Staying ahead of the curve combined with a strong student focus has evolved into an amazing program.
What excites you about the program most?
Professor Jakki Mohr
We continue to develop partnerships with other campus programs, including the Franke College of Forestry and Conservation to bring the power of data analytics to solving global problems related to conservation and the environment.
Professor Jason Triche
The cohesiveness of the students in the program. They help each other out and want everyone to succeed.
What gets you pumped up for the future of the program?
Professor Jakki Mohr
The outstanding job placements for our graduates continues to be a highlight of the program, whether large companies such as IBM, Disney, and Deloitte, mid-size such as Moss Adams and FAST Enterprises, or smaller companies such as TadPull or Adswerve.
Professor John Chandler
Data science intersects technical realms (statistics, computer science) and decision making, at-large. Now students can focus their energies on specialized learning tracks, providing amore student-centric program. Data science changes quickly, as does our program.
Develop and Hone Your Analytics Skill Set
Our program gives students the practical and marketable skills to successfully leverage data in a variety of contexts. Students gather data, including text and images, clean and transform the data, perform appropriate statistical analyses to solve problems and aid in decision-making. Hands-on instruction in leading programming languages, database management systems, and cloud computing platforms.
Personalize Your Program
Integrate internships at Fortune 500 companies or local tech start-ups with your Capstone (final project) to create a unique academic experience. Incorporate a Cybersecurity or Sustainability in Business certificate into your coursework. Interested in automation and the future of work? Add a machine learning or artificial intelligence class.
Hone Data Visualization & Storytelling Skills
Become a modern-day storyteller: Learn to transform raw data into a compelling visual story for boardroom meetings or client presentations.
Curriculum Guided by Industry Partnership and Student Engagement
Student feedback on coursework along with deep, ongoing industry partnerships guide faculty to adjust projects and lecture material in real-time.
Innovation & Creativity
With all businesses facing disruption, the future requires breakthrough thinking. Our evolving curriculum challenges students to think outside the box and to break what ‘works’ and make it better. Importantly, this approach is grounded in data governance practices that honor privacy and security concerns.
Exceptional Career Opportunities
Our students combine technical skills with business and domain expertise, leading to a 100% job placement rate. Network with alumni, work in the local tech-scene, become a consultant; our graduates and industry partners will help you navigate the college-to-career transition.