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New business program offered in Des Moines

BY ALISON CASSITY | JUNE 24, 2015 5:00 AM

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Following its success in Cedar Rapids last year, the Tippie College of Business will offer its business-analytics certificate in Des Moines starting in September.

“The early returns from Cedar Rapids show that the students like [the program], and the companies like it,” said business Professor Nick Street. “Companies in Des Moines are very excited about getting their people in these classes.”

Current Tippie faculty will commute to Des Moines from Iowa City every day classes are offered to teach the five courses required by the certificate, Tippie M.B.A. Marketing Director Ali Yildirim said.

“We have an incredible source of professional knowledge here, and we want to make sure that that knowledge base serves all of our bases,” he said.

The program is in part a response to the increasing demand for business-analytics professionals, which has boomed over the past few years, he said.

“Now that everyone has more data than they know what to do with, turning that data into money is a big deal,” he said. “A lot of companies want to have their own people train and develop these skills.”

The program offers the business school an opportunity to build upon its previously existing programs in Des Moines, including two M.B.A. programs, and pave the way in a growing field, said Samuel Burer, the faculty director of the Business Analysis Graduate Program.

“In the past five or seven years, [the field] has been growing,” he said. “We’re hoping we can serve the state and expand the program,”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of business analysis is growing at a rate of around 20 percent each year; almost double the growth of the average job.

In addition, the McKinsey Global Institute estimates that by 2018, the United States could face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills.

With a growing demand for business analytics skills, the decision to expand to Des Moines was an easy one, Yildirim said.

“Des Moines is the business hub of the state. We really followed the demand,” he said. “To serve the business community we need to start with people already in the business community, and there’s a major shortage of workers in [the business-analytic] area.”

The new program will represent an exciting period of growth for the department while bolstering the Des Moines business community, Yildirim said.

“These types of programs serve the working professional,” he said. “We need to think about how it meets the needs of the company. Looking at what the market gaps are for talent and what we’re good at teaching, the intersection is there.”

To accommodate the predicted demographic of working professionals, classes will be taught at night once a week, Burer said.

“We’re imagining people who are fairly early in their careers, young professionals looking to gain a new skill and diversify [the workplace],” he said. “This expansion keeps us moving forward and doing what we like to do.”

The faculty remain excited to begin the program.

“The department is uniquely put together to teach this material,” Street said. “This is the next natural extension.”


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