With technologies emerging at a breakneck pace and ever-changing business landscapes, executives need the knowledge and skills to address complex global challenges. They need enhanced know-how, more specialised business and tech knowledge, and a whole suite of soft skills. At Creighton University’s Heider College of Business, students find all of that and more.
Located within walking distance of four Fortune 500 headquarters, this is where students are inspired by expert faculty with over 500 years of combined experience. They pursue a rigorous curriculum that equips them with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in various sectors, including accounting, marketing, business, and risk management.
Here, students can tailor their education to match their passions through various majors, tracks, and specialisations. One such major is Business Intelligence and Analytics (BIA), designed to equip students with the skills to leverage data and information technologies to drive business performance. This programme provides students with a powerful combination of data analytics skills, IT knowledge, and business acumen, making them highly sought-after across industries.
The flexibility of the BIA programme allows students to explore different tracks, including Business Analytics, Digital Media and Design, and Information Technology. What’s more, the option to double major enhances their versatility. Pairing BIA with related majors like Accounting or Marketing broadens their expertise, opening doors to a myriad of career possibilities. “Organisations are looking for data-driven leaders in every area, so BIA pairs well with any major in business or across the University,” says Natalie Gerhart, associate professor of business intelligence and analytics.
To ensure students have excellent learning no matter which option they undertake, each BIA student is assigned a dedicated faculty advisor who provides personalised career guidance and assistance with course sequencing and registration processes. It’s something a 2022 BIA grad with a minor in Computer Science benefitted. Thanks to the help provided by the career centre and his strong background in Analytics, he landed a job at Union Pacific, a North American railroad franchise.
For those passionate about the intersection of finance and technology, Heider College offers a FinTech (BSc in Business Administration) programme. Ranked among the top 25 finance and BIA programmes in the nation by US News and World Report, this programme equips students with the knowledge and skills to navigate the rapidly evolving financial landscape.
Students gain a solid foundation in finance while developing expertise in big data, machine learning, and blockchain technologies. Upon graduation, this combination will make Creighton FinTech majors highly competitive in the finance job market while also preparing them for professional finance certifications to become certified financial planners and chartered financial analysts. “The FinTech degree requires 10 courses, with one elective,” says Lee Dunham, professor of finance. “The degree prepares students for several career paths, including FinTech specific work, such as app development and software engineering, as well as more traditional finance jobs, such as an investment analyst or a corporate finance professional at a Fortune 500 company.”
Experiential learning lies at the heart of an education at Heider College. Students can participate in industry internship programmes, which boast more positions than candidates, highlighting the high demand for Heider graduates. There are individual study courses under faculty mentorship, study abroad opportunities, short-term international programmes, and leadership development programmes as well — all enabling students to gain real-world experience and a global perspective.
The FinTech programme, in collaboration with the First National Bank of Omaha, offers a distinctive practicum experience. Students work closely with the bank’s team, contributing to the development of Milli, the bank’s start-up digital platform. This hands-on experience equips students with design thinking, research, prototyping, and product specification skills, making them valuable assets in the rapidly evolving FinTech sphere.
Just ask Garrett Cahill, Class of 2022, whose internship role at First National Bank of Omaha, entailed launching a blockchain-related product, which led to a full-time position with the company. His competing offers were at large Silicon Valley-based blockchain companies, including Coinbase. “I’ve been amazed by the calibre of discussions and the people I connected with here,” he says. “They’ve motivated me to work harder, aim higher and be more compassionate. I keep hearing people say your path won’t be linear, and mine hasn’t been because of Creighton.”
All Heider College students, including those in FinTech and BIA programmes, have access to the John P. Fahey Career Centre. This dedicated centre offers comprehensive career guidance, personalised advising, networking opportunities, and workshops. The Career Portfolio Programme, a four-year programme focused on developing strong networking skills, ensures that all Heider students are well-prepared to launch successful careers. “All first-year students meet with a career advisor to establish a relationship, resulting in a personalised advising relationship,” says Heather Doering, Associate Director, Business Career Programmes. “Career advisors frequently connect students with alumni, recruiters, and other professionals in their field of study or industry of interest.”
Such connection with alumni can be pivotal in a career — something that is not new here. For example, a 2023 BIA and FinTech graduate was involved in the Baseball Analytics Club and landed an internship at Amazon’s HQ. Prior to graduating, she secured a full-time role through a connection with an alumnus in her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. Currently, she is employed by Bunge, a global leader in the field of agribusiness. She landed her internship at Amazon, as well as her position at Bunge through these connections and the vital skills acquired through the coursework.