Hamline News

Hamline’s Master of Science in Business Analytics Announces First Graduates

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Hamline University announced its first three graduates from the Master of Science in Business Analytics: Jake Goudey, Lee Witkop, and Andrew Hanson. All three graduated in May 2020.

The degree, which launched in January 2019, focuses on the technology and modeling behind data analytics as well as its applications in the business world. As a hybrid program, coursework is completed online, with in-person sessions on campus once every course.

“I liked the mix of getting some in-person time, but having the majority of the program be online made it easier to fit into my schedule while I worked,” said Goudey, who works as a data scientist and has a bachelor’s degree in economics.

All three grads pointed to flexibility as a major reason for choosing Hamline, along with competitive pricing and the strong reputation of faculty in the field. Hanson doubled up on classes to finish in under a year, while Goudey and Witkop studied part-time so they could continue working, but still finished in just over a year.

The major draw for all three grads was the program’s focus on the technical skills of business analytics, like statistics, machine learning, and programming languages like R and Python—skills they couldn’t get within the typical Master of Business Administration classes.

“Hamline did a great job of including some of the traditional business coursework, but it really was an analytically focused degree,” said Goudey. “Faculty members did a great job of teaching those content areas.”

Even before completing the program, the now-graduates were able to use skills learned in class in their day-to-day work.

“The conversations I was having at work, many times, were driven by what I was learning within the course as it pertained to business analytics and technology in general,” said Witkop, who manages a team of consultants for business software. He has a bachelor’s degree in management information systems with a minor in business.

The desire to expand his technical knowledge, as well as to develop the ability to speak about business analytics in advanced terms, was central to Hanson’s desire to complete the program. Hanson, who works in a private equity fund, also has master’s degrees in economics and business, along with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and theology.

“Gaining those technical skills, statistics, programming language, that’s the future,” said Hanson.

For Witkop, the degree lends him the credibility to discuss business analytics with his clients from an academic standpoint, as a boost to his prior experience in the field. Goudey aims to use his MSBA to continue his work in analytics, now with the ability to perform a wider range of advanced data science roles. And Hanson seeks a similar path, wanting to spend his career in the realm of data science, doing “everything business analytics.”

The next set of MSBA courses begins in September; learn more at hamline.edu/msba.

Written by staff.
6/9/2020