June 26, 2022

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Column | Meera Komarraju: Transformations at SIU’s College of Business and Analytics | Education

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COBA Revised Brochure Images

SIU College of Business and Analytics students are seen in the classroom before the pandemic.




As the landscape of higher education is constantly changing, academic units must adapt and respond. Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s College of Business has faced daunting challenges and yet has witnessed encouraging transformative changes. Here are four examples.

Analytics

First, the college pivoted into analytics, launching two new programs: a Master in Strategic Analytics, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Analytics. These programs opened for enrollment in Fall 2020. Curriculum for these programs reflects in-depth interviews with analytics professionals in a number of corporations, including the CME Group, Caesars Entertainment and Caterpillar. Demand for new graduates is booming across a host of industries including manufacturing, hospitality, finance, retail and marketing. IBM predicts up to 3 million jobs for analytics professionals by the end of 2020.

Second, to reflect these new program additions, the College of Business changed its name to the College of Business and Analytics. Graduates with expertise in business analytics are in high demand. The college name beckons to prospective students and potential employers, looking for entry-level analytics specialists for jobs in social media, customer profile analysis, production management, accounting and financial analysis.

Synergy

Third, as SIU reorganized into a university for the 21st century, the college gained three additional programs from other parts of the university: Economics; Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management; and the Master of Public Administration. Each of these programs is outstanding in its own right. Economics has a very strong and highly respected graduate program. Hospitality is noted by corporate recruiters for its graduates who are ready to hit the ground running. Our NASPAA-accredited Public Administration program produces graduates who form a national and international “who’s who” in city management; local, regional, and national government; museum administration; aviation management; and nonprofit administration. These programs synergistically complement and accentuate the college’s traditional mix of accounting, finance, management and marketing. Certainly, the college is stronger, more competitive and better able to prepare our students for a changing job market with these additions.