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Muma College of Business to Offer New Master's Degree Designed for Working Professionals

By Keith Morelli

TAMPA (March 24, 2017) -- Most working IT professionals would relish the chance to earn a post-graduate degree, but the problem with this: They are working professionals.

A full-time schedule leaves little opportunities to skip away for that 2 p.m. class, or that 8 a.m. guest lecture. Night classes after a full day at the office? Not as easy as it sounds. Missing an exam because of a business trip? Not good.

So the University of South Florida's Muma College of Business is offering a newly designed master of science degree in business analytics and information systems that may scrub away most of those obstacles.

The brand new program melds online instruction with face-to-face classroom time, with classes held on alternating Saturdays. Professors and administrators have heard from professionals about why they can't pursue graduate degrees and have come up with something that meets them somewhere in the middle.

"The business analytics field is growing and in high demand," said Kaushik Dutta, an associate professor in the Muma College of Business Information Systems and Decision Science Department who is heading up the new project. "This program targets working IT professionals who want to build their expertise in this field and take their career to the next level."

The course integrates technology development and data analytics with a strong focus on leadership development. It will equip students with the ability to overcome issues that include communication, self-awareness, team orientation and accountability.

The program is designed for working professionals who want to move into management positions in the information systems and technology arenas. And since this is a business degree, it covers both the technology related to business intelligence and the managerial aspects of implementing these technologies in corporate settings.

Graduates will leave with a firm grasp of how to use big data, data science, project management and information-technology strategies in technology leadership roles.

"The program blends the technology of business analytics with management and leadership and that will enable these graduates to take leadership roles in this area within their organizations," Dutta said. "The program will be taught by research-active, award-winning faculty members of USF at a schedule that suits the working professionals and at a downtown Tampa location, conveniently accessible by the greater Tampa Bay area."

The weekend classes will be located at USF's Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation, 124 S. Franklin St. in downtown Tampa

An information and launch session is scheduled for between 5:30-7:30 p.m. on March 31 at USF's Small Business Development Center, 1101 Channelside Drive, Suite 210, in the Port Tampa Bay building.

This is an 18-month program designed to accommodate busy work schedules and consists of 11 courses, a project and/or independent study. The program blends online content and face-to-face class time – from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. on alternate Saturdays – to maximize flexibility.

This is one of the strongest analytics and business intelligence focused curricula in the nation, combining six data-focused courses in addition to an 18-month project. Upon completion, students receive a degree from an AASCB and SACSCOC accredited school. They also receive a USF Certificate in Analytics and Business Intelligence.

The $29,700 tuition covers the complete program spread over four semesters in two calendar years and access to an extensive online digital library at USF that includes electronic books and journals; breakfast, lunch and snacks during live meeting days at the downtown Tampa site; all in-state tuition fees;all software requirements, as well as special events, receptions and student IDs.

Leadership development is integrated into each course to help students move forward in their careers and students may use this opportunity to prepare a paper for submission to an international peer-reviewed conference.

For information, prospective students should contact Kaushik Dutta, with the USF Muma College of Business Information Systems and Decision Sciences Department.

More information is at