New York University’s Stern School of Business is launching an MS in business analytics that will be offered in Shanghai and at its New York campus starting in May 2013. NYU hopes to contribute to the global growth story in a significant way, says Stern Dean Peter Henry.
“We want to get students to realize that the world has changed,” he adds. “We’re writing a new chapter here.”
While Western universities have been partnering with Chinese institutions for years, the new development makes Stern the first American university with independent legal status approved by the Chinese government. Stern will accept about 30 students for its first class and has hopes of increasing that number over time. The MS in business analytics will help students see the intersection of science and business. The goal, says Henry, is to teach students to understand the data they are receiving and to use that data to develop business strategy. The program will integrate multiple disciplines. Educators are still working out the details, but students will receive an education in data mining, statistics, and strategy.
Part of the broader plan, which Henry implemented when he took the helm at Stern in 2010, the MS in business analytics represents the administration’s desire to move the school beyond its core strength in finance into other disciplines. In addition, teaching the program in China is meaningful because it aligns with Stern’s strategy to focus on emerging markets. In 2010, A. Michael Spence, a Nobel Prize winner in economics and an influential voice on economic growth in emerging markets, joined the school as a professor. A push to have students study urbanization is also part of the school’s plans, because cities are growing at a rapid rate and require special management and leadership, adds Henry.
“The key to being a great hockey player, they say, is going where the puck is going,” says Henry. “We want to take our strength in finance and broaden our portfolio to deliver 21st century skills for 21st century careers.”
His goals for the Shanghai program are equally ambitious. The program, taught in five modules spanning one year, is designed for English-speaking Chinese executives and expatriates working in China. Faculty will be drawn from Stern’s information systems and marketing departments.
In addition to fluency in English, students in the MS program should have 10 or more years of work experience in a range of industries, a college degree, and an intense curiosity about how best to use data to create strategy for their organizations.
Of course, says Henry, these future leaders, like all Stern students, should want to make a difference. “We’re creating an environment to allow students to be an important part of the global growth conversation,” he says. “We want them to be big thinkers who will use the tools of business to create value.”