The UNCG Bryan School of Business and Economics is launching a new curriculum in business analytics this fall, designed to help professionals advance their understanding of analytics and its application in the business environment.

Co-sponsored by SAS, the Bryan School will offer two courses of study: an online graduate certificate in business analytics and a concentration in business analytics as part of the online master of science in information technology and management (MSITM) degree. The curriculum will offer students in-depth knowledge and skills that will prepare them for the challenge of developing and managing an information system within an organization.

Interested applicants should submit an official transcript confirming a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, a statement of purpose highlighting career and educational goals, a resume, three letters of recommendation, a completed UNCG Graduate School application and a $60 application fee. A GRE/GMAT score is required for consideration for the MSITM program, though that requirement may be waived under some circumstances. The deadline to apply for fall semester is July 1.

“With the exponential growth of data, specifically big data, the demand for analytics talent has increased tremendously,” said Dr. Lakshmi Iyer, an associate professor in the Bryan School and director of the Department of Information Systems and Supply Chain Management’s graduate programs. “Recognizing the need for talent, companies such as SAS are partnering with universities to address the talent gap.”

The coursework integrates SAS’s industry-leading software, offering students the opportunity to gain experience using the platform while learning key concepts.

“Our SAS co-sponsored business analytics program, both the certificate and MSITM concentration, is for business professionals to gain state-of-the-art knowledge and skills in models, methods, tools and techniques in business analytics that will enable them to make better data-driven business decisions,” Iyer said. “The concentration in business analytics in the MSITM program will not only help students develop the competencies needed to join the big-data talent workforce but also to take on leadership roles within that area.”

The job market for people with these skill sets is considerable. According to one new projection from McKinsey & Company, the U.S. alone faces a shortfall of 140,000 to 190,000 big data professionals in the next five years. Another recent study from Gartner suggests that 4.4 million IT jobs worldwide will be needed to support big data by 2015.

“That’s a lot of potential employment for the right people,” Iyer said.