A 2016 report by McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) followed up on their previous study, from 2011, observing the impact of analytics – The Age of Analytics: Competing in a Data Driven World. In their study, they found that most organizations and companies have captured only a fraction of the true potential of data and analytics.
The greatest progress having been made in location-based services and US retail. Sectors like manufacturing, the public sector in advanced economies and health care, are still lagging behind in a whole-hearted adoption of the data and its analytical possibilities.
More than anything, now, businesses need to equip themselves with the four main aspects of stepping into the analytics realm.
The way businesses are run is changing. The race to embrace data analytics is on and so is the increasing demand for analytics talent. Not just data experts but also experts who understand the impact of the insights on organizations – the business plus analytics experts.
Several MBA programs and specific MBA Specializations have begun to appreciate the demand and incorporate analytic skills well within the daily curriculum.
Many of these programs, or specific MBA specialities, have the stamp of approval by the US government to be certified, or designated, as STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) courses.
In this article, we will talk about the motivation and some of the Business Schools in the US that have adopted this designation.
It is true that many business schools have active Master’s programs which incorporate the goodness of technology and business education. However, MBA programs have only started scratching the potential that comes from a STEM designation. Here are some of the motivators working towards such a cause.
It is estimated that the number of data science programs could increase by over 7% a year but still not compensate for the excess of 12% increase in demand. The above report also predicts that there could be a shortage of nearly 250,000 data scientists and analytics experts, in the next few years.
But even with their expertise, companies will need Business translators to bridge data savvy and organizational, and industry, functional expertise. There is a growing demand for such human resources who are experts in business as well as in the STEM fields to meet the expectations of a role which is as well-versed in Business as it is in Analytics and Technology. This is where STEM MBA Programs step in.
University of Rochester’s Simon Business School recently became the first full-time MBA program to be assigned as fully STEM MBA. This is regardless of the MBA specialization. What this means is that their program focusses on building data driven decision making capability and sound quantitative skills among its students, to become future business leaders with strong analytical acumen.
“A STEM MBA option is a reflection of today’s business needs. The ability to pause and analyse data, and make better business decisions is increasingly important in all levels of an organization, all the way up to the c-suite,” says Andrew Ainslie, Dean of Simon Business School in this video.
The STEM MBA stamp acts as an added credential over the already rigorous business curriculum that their graduates undergo. Employers, with one foot into the future hold such quantitative skills in high regard and STEM MBA graduates will have that recruitment advantage.
In fact, more than 85% firms, according to a NewVantage Partners survey among 50 Fortune 1000 or industry leading companies, have already begun transforming into data driven organizations. Hiring patterns will certainly reflect that culture.
One of the biggest drawing points, targeted at the massive crowds of international students flocking American business schools each year, is the employment opportunity upon graduation.
Average salaries, in the US, are among the highest within the MBA cohort. North America is somewhere in the vicinity of an average of $124,000 starting salary. Whereas, Asia Pacific hovers around $90,000.
Given that a majority of international students waltz in from China, India, and other international boarding points with comparatively lesser average RoI on an MBA, it is safe to assume that work opportunities play a big role in their decision to travel the seas.
With a STEM designation, these MBA programs have gained the government approved status of a STEM extension on their OPT. This makes their student F1 to work H1B visa transition comfortably cushioned, with 12 months OPT plus 2 years of additional OPT – a total of 36 months.
This is a big biiig advantage to international students. Read Optional Practical Training (OPT) on F1 Visa in USA
Not many schools are there in the brotherhood yet. In fact, except for Simon Business School, pretty much all the other MBA programs have adopted a STEM designation/certification for certain specialities.
Here is a list of the schools and the respective specialities.
[The team informed MBA Crystal Ball that the Iowa Full-time MBA program has closed. The last class of MBA – Business Analytics students will graduate this May ’19.”]
Programs like Duke University, Fuqua School of Business’ Daytime MBA has a Management Science and Technology Management certification which may likely become STEM certified.
Clearly, the list is still very small and many famous business school MBAs are yet to jump on the STEM certified bandwagon.
Although, many business schools do already have Master’s programs, offered by their department, in specializations that qualify as STEM certified. Master of Business Analytics, Master in Supply Chain Management, Master in Operations Management, Master in Financial Risk Management, Master in Business Analytics and Project Management, and more, have already gained the status of STEM in many business schools across America.
The exceptional, and outstanding quality, that a combination of MBA and a STEM designation, provides, is in extracting the goodness of the MBA degree and combining it with a training to think analytically, at the same time.
Perhaps, with coming years, we will see many more names added to the above handful list. Do let us know if you come across one. Until then, good luck in your data-driven scientifically appreciated program decision.