In today’s business environment, being skilled in analytics is becoming more and more of an advantage across many industries and corporations. Playing it safe with a basic understanding of business practices might be satisfactory, but successful businesses use data analytics techniques and models to make better decisions and gain a competitive edge.
At Rady School of Management, we equip our students enrolled in the Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) program with the skills needed to thrive in these types of data-rich business environments.
Our MSBA program offers rigorous, hands-on training that prepares students how to identify business opportunities, generate business insights and create business solutions, all through data and analytics. It’s unique in the sense that it delivers a curriculum at the convergence of data science and business.
As Raymond Pettit, Executive Director of Rady’s MSBA program, notes, “Rady is one of the few business schools that has a strong and collaborative relationship with our data science colleagues on campus. Many other schools that offer MSBA degrees are often stand-alone, however Rady offers cross-discipline opportunities through our close relationship with the Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute and the Supercomputer Center at UC San Diego and our world-class faculty in all these areas.”
As part of the MSBA curriculum, students must participate in a capstone project, which consists of solving a well-defined business problem for a real life company. Each student pursues this experience as part of a team and must complete both written and oral exams to pass the course, as well as a complete report for the sponsor company.
With more companies seeking skilled professionals who can work effectively in teams to answer key operational and strategic business questions using data and analytics, the capstone project is crucial to position students for future career success.
“The capstone project isn’t just mandatory for students, it’s beneficial for them because it gives students the opportunity to practice what they’ve learned throughout the course and apply it to a real-world setting with an industry leading company,” says Pettit.
Every year, the capstone stakeholders include Rady School industry partners and big name companies such as Petco, Hewlett Packard, Becton Dickinson, Cisco, DIRECTavenue, Mirum, and Mazda among many others. These companies present students with an opportunity to obtain real industry experience that aids them in their job search and beyond.
It’s also not just beneficial for students, but it’s also valuable for the participating companies. Pettit added, “Many companies that our students work with see the capstone as a way to create a talent pipeline, so they can keep these students on as interns or they can hire students for permanent jobs afterwards.”
Some participating companies have been involved with the MSBA capstone project for several years, meaning they can build off projects from the previous years. Not only that, but the capstone is growing tremendously with more than 25 companies submitting proposals to take part just this year alone.
For this academic year, Pettit and the rest of the MSBA faculty were overall very pleased with the capstone results noting that; “The quality of students emerged in the amazing work and reports the teams presented to the sponsoring firms. This group of students will be making sizable contributions as their careers continue to grow and evolve.”
It’s an exciting time to enroll in an MSBA program at Rady as there are many advancements on the horizon.
“We’re going to expand the program and we can envision this expansion benefitting a larger number of companies based on the success we’ve seen so far,” says Pettit. “There is scope for the current capstone to develop into a joint-capstone in partnership with other disciplines on campus including data science undergraduates and our Master of Professional Accountancy program. To do this on the business side and work together would be huge and a new type of collaboration that nobody else is doing.”
If your organization is interested in participating in the MSBA capstone project, please contact Raymond Pettit at firstname.lastname@example.org or if you would like more information about Rady’s MSBA program, visit https://rady.ucsd.edu/programs/masters-programs/ms-in-business-analytics/