MIT Sloan School of Management launching new Business Analytics Certificate

Coursework to address student and industry’s skyrocketing demand along with a predicted shortage of U.S. data scientists

Cambridge, Mass., Nov. 16, 2017 —MIT Sloan School of Management today announces the launch of a new Business Analytics Certificate to prepare students for career paths in data science and business analytics across a variety of industries. 

MIT Sloan’s launch of the new certificate program is in response to growing demand from students and employers for rigorous academic content focused on data science. The certificate complements the broad variety of analytical programs offered to MIT Sloan students, including the new Master of Business Analytics (MBAn) degree launched in 2016, and the leading PhD and Master of Science degrees offered by the Operations Research Center.

“Competency in analytics — the ability to parse large quantities of data, translate analytic insight into action and influence key business decisions — is an essential skill needed to be successful within modern organizations,” says Michelle Li, director of the MIT Sloan Business Analytics Certificate and the MBAn degree program. “Students at MIT Sloan want to learn how to work with multi-disciplinary teams and use analytical tools to make more informed business decisions.” 

Applications to MIT Sloan’s Master of Business Analytics degree have more than doubled from 300 to 800 over the past year, making this program the most competitive degree at MIT Sloan, with an admissions rate of fewer than 4%. 

A broad array of industries — including marketing, finance, healthcare, logistics, insurance, e-commerce and manufacturing — use analytics in their business processes. As a result, demand for graduates who can harness the power of business analytics has skyrocketed in recent years. According to a report from IBM, by 2020 the number of annual job openings for all data savvy professionals in the U.S. will increase by 364,000 openings to more than 2.7 million. 

“Every industry is waking up to the power of analytics and companies need people who can use business data to make decisions and predictions that will bring value to their organizations,” says Georgia Perakis, MIT Sloan William F. Pounds Professor of Management. “Employers, such as Amazon, McKinsey, the Boston Consulting Group, and IBM Watson, among many others, are very interested in hiring our students for data science roles.”  

The program provides students with hands-on management expertise through MIT Sloan’s pioneering Action Learning Labs, giving them on-the-ground opportunities to put classroom theory into practice.

“Business Analytics Certificate participants will work on live analytical projects with companies such as DHL and Facebook to solve real life business challenges using the analytical tools they will learn throughout the program,” says Prof. Perakis. 

Students will select from a wide range of electives in their vertical of interest. Classes are completed over a two-to-four semester period, including a number of options for students to learn and practice using analytics techniques in operations, finance, marketing, human capital, healthcare, and sustainability. 

One new class, Machine Learning: Algorithms, Applications and Computation, covers fundamental methods of machine learning, developed from an optimization perspective. Topics include regression, classification, optimal and boosted trees, algorithms for missing data, sparse recovery, robustness, and deep learning. The objective of this course is to familiarize students with state-of-the-art approaches to machine learning, so they can solve problems from data on their own. 

Another of the courses, Communicating with Data, tackles the misconception that data speaks for itself. Students will explore the complexity of talking, writing and creating visuals that capture the essence of complex digital information, with the goal of inspiring action and influencing outcome in a professional work environment. In essence, it teaches students how to give data a “voice”.

The Business Analytics Certificate is open to all MIT masters-level programs, including MBA, Executive MBA (EMBA), Master of Finance (MFin), and Sloan Fellows. The program is tailored for those who plan to pursue a data science career across a variety of industries.

About the MIT Sloan School of Management
The MIT Sloan School of Management is where smart, independent leaders come together to solve problems, create new organizations, and improve the world. Learn more at mitsloan.mit.edu