At Mercer University’s Stetson-Hatcher School of Business, delivering impact through business is no mere catchphrase. Accredited by the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Mercer has what it takes to transform students into respected leaders and professionals for the extraordinary times we live in.
Take the STEM-designated Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA), for example. Offered in weekday, weekend, and online formats, the MSBA combines business education with data retrieval, analysis, and presentation skills that prepare students to analyse, synthesise, and visually present data effectively in a business setting.
Hear it from graduates like Matt Green, who currently works as a Product Manager at AdminaHealth, among other roles. “The programme, right out the bat, was everything I was looking for in terms of developing my data analytics skills,” Green explains.
Shannon Coburn, another MSBA graduate, agrees. “Mercer’s MSBA prepared me to achieve a successful career in business because it approached analytics from a business perspective rather than focusing only on the quantitative aspects.”
Such is the case with the MSBA’s challenging curriculum, where students learn about Legal and Ethical Issues Affecting Big Data, Statistics for Business Analytics, Marketing and Social Media Analytics, and many more. An applied project work component ensures students learn by doing. It gets them to find data-driven solutions for real business problems.
For his capstone project, Green took real data to build a linear progression model for the company he was working at. It predicted the profitability of work orders.
Green, in particular, loved working with the peers he met during the programme. “I met really good people in my cohort — people that I am still connected to now,” he shares. “I teamed up with a student from China and another friend of mine, and we really formed a great partnership when it came to developing these projects and solutions.”
The best part? As a student who worked full-time, Mercer’s flexible format allowed him to get an advanced degree without pausing his career. Green experienced a mix of virtual and in-person classes, where he had the best of both worlds.
Beyond this, MSBA students have access to an experienced and passionate faculty. Dr. Wei Xiong, for example, is an Associate Professor of Marketing and Analytics who teaches areas of marketing analytics, quantitative methods, and management information systems. His research interests include behavioural targeting, sentiment analysis, and text mining, which have led to published articles in a variety of peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings.
Since data analytics is a growing field, earning an MSBA allowed Green to pivot into a new industry. “When I was working, I was a manager in an accounting department,” Green shares. “[The MSBA] allowed me to pivot and refocus my career into what I ultimately want to do and focus on that.” Upon graduation, he gradually transitioned into a Senior Data Analyst role at Teradata, a software analytic computing company.
The MSBA’s STEM designation is a valuable opportunity for students who want to apply to work in the US for up to three years under the Optional Practical Training programme. Beyond this, they can give back to the broader community through service learning with Mercer On Mission.
Most recently, in September, Dr. Stephanie Bennett, clinical assistant professor in the College of Nursing, and Dr. Sara Mitchell, clinical associate professor emeritus, led seven Mercer students on the third Mercer On Mission trip to India, providing health screenings and education to nearly 1,000 residents. Held from July to August, this was the last of 15 Mercer On Mission trips held across the globe this summer.
In doing so, Mercer curates unique modules for students to apply the knowledge they gain in the classroom to real-world situations across the globe. The programme in Kigali, Rwanda, for example, sees students working with Groupe des Anciens Etudiants Rescapees du Genocide (GAERG), a non-governmental and non-profit organisation of educated genocide survivors getting together to preserve the memory of the genocide against Tutsi and restoring families to overcome post-genocide consequences. Mercer on Mission also organises and conducts workshops on business, marketing, and operations management.
With such experiences, it’s little wonder why many MSBA graduates go on to advance in their company, effectively seek new opportunities and make an impact. MSBA graduates are now adding value at companies such as Coca-Cola, Ernst and Young, KPMG, Pfizer, WarnerMedia, and many more.