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Rensselaer Announces Innovative New Degree in Business Analytics



A new undergraduate degree program in business analytics is coming to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institutethis year. The major, approved by the New York State Education Department last month, will be offered through the Lally School of Management beginning in the fall semester of 2019.

The new program will equip students with a unique combination of data science skills and fundamental business skills as they enter the workforce.

“As part of the country’s first technological university, the Lally School of Management has always offered technologically driven business programs,” said Thomas Begley, dean of the Lally School. “Our new program advances this effort by teaching students how to analyze and think critically about data in order to make decisions that improve and grow businesses.”  

The new degree offering builds upon the data dexterity requirement for Rensselaer students that was announced last year. With the first such requirement in the nation, Rensselaer strives to produce graduates who can use diverse datasets to solve complex problems regardless of their field of study.

“With the rise of social media and related technologies, 21st-century businesses have access to more data than ever before,” said Chris Meyer, director of Lally undergraduate programs. “These businesses are in strong need of leaders who can analyze and apply data to make strategic business decisions.” 

“Over the last several years, with the advances in computing power and the pervasiveness of data, the potential value of analytics and data sciences has become clear to businesses globally,” said Ed See, Rensselaer alumnus and partner at McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm. “Companies are now looking to data science programs to create data science professionals who not only can develop and create the analytics but also be able to translate those into business actions and business impact.”

The new program curriculum combines core business subjects such as finance, marketing, and accounting with advanced math and computer science. The interdisciplinary nature of the program exemplifies the collaborative spirit of the New Polytechnic, the driving model for teaching, learning, and research at Rensselaer.   

Students enrolled in the program will gain direct experience working with complex datasets, powerful visualization resources, and real-world applications. The program also includes a capstone course where students work on real-world projects with industry partners and opportunities for students to pursue internships and co-ops.

“Students who complete the program will enter the workforce ready to make meaningful contributions to their chosen organizations,” said Begley.

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