Beginning in fall of 2020, Oglethorpe’s Hammack School of Business will offer a Certificate in Business Analytics available to all enrolled undergraduate students, plus an online, fast-track version designed for working professionals.
Data analytics has become central to organizational decision-making. Companies, not-for-profit organizations and even government agencies use Big Data to identify both weaknesses and opportunities.
“While data scientists are likely to be the primary drivers of the collection and analysis, all managers in all areas of the business and in all levels will need to understand the fundamentals,” says Dr. Lynn Guhde, who guided the development of the new program.
Experts who successfully deploy Big Data are in high demand. With the new certificate program, Oglethorpe students can now hone their skills in data analytics and earn a resume-boosting credential in this fast-growing field. And they’ll benefit, says Dr. Guhde, by becoming more competitive candidates for both desirable internships and career-launching jobs.
To earn the certificate, students will complete three courses: Business Analytics, Advanced Business Analytics, and Data Visualization.
The first, taught by Dr. Guhde and Dr. Frank Pampush, covers the fundamentals of turning data into actionable intelligence—formulating a hypothesis, gathering data, analyzing the data, and most importantly, making effective use of Microsoft Excel, on which nearly every business relies. The Advanced Business Analytics Course, taught by Dr. Pampush, provides the foundations of quantitative analysis, including developing a work flow, working with advanced software and wrangling the data into usable forms. The final course, Data Visualization, taught by Dr. Carrie Mata, teaches students to draw on both art and science to transform data into well-designed and easy-to-follow visualizations.
While the certificate is offered through the Hammack School of Business, any Oglethorpe student can benefit—business major or not.
“From sociology, communications, politics, STEM and English, being able to interpret data or at the very least understand the reports that flow from data analysis will make all employees better equipped to make effective decisions and contribute to the success of the business,” says Dr. Guhde.
“From sociology, communications, politics, STEM and English, being able to interpret data or at the very least understand the reports that flow from data analysis will make all employees better equipped to make effective decisions and contribute to the success of the business.”
– Dr. Lynn Guhde
For similar reasons, the fast-track certificate program offers a game-changing career boost for adult learners in a huge variety of professions. Whether someone is interested in switching careers or advancing more rapidly in their current one, developing expertise in this critical skill can turn those aspirations into reality.
The fast-track program offers even more benefits to adult learners. It’s offered 100% online, so it’s accessible to working professionals no matter where they are. The full program is available at one flat, discounted fee. (Oglethorpe alumni receive an additional 20 percent discount!) Graduates will earn 12 undergraduate course credits, which can also count toward a degree. And the three consecutive courses take just 12 weeks to complete.
While fast-track participants might be a thousand miles away from Oglethorpe’s campus, they’ll still experience the student-centered mindset that makes an Oglethorpe education one-of-a-kind.
“Whether we teach face-to-face or online, we connect with our students in a unique way, allowing our students to become engaged in the course and maximize learning,” says Dr. Guhde. “Even our online courses will be small classes, fewer than 20, allowing faculty and students to connect in ways not possible in classes of 100 or more.”
Students will remain engaged with their cohort for the duration of the 12-week program, making valuable friendships and connections in the field. The fast-track program begins September 8.