Following up on four master’s programs introduced last year, the Graduate School of Business Administration (GBA) will roll out three more this fall: in marketing intelligence, business analytics and media entrepreneurship.
By launching seven degree programs in two years, GBA is setting an “unheard-of” pace as it seeks to stay ahead of seismic changes in the market for advanced business degrees, according to a March 20 webinar by David A. Gautschi, Ph.D., dean of the school.
The school is also raising its visibility, building ties with alumni, and launching new international ventures aimed at nothing less than redefining graduate business education.
“The goal for GBA is to reposition us so that we’re at the front of the changes that are taking place right now. And the changes are momentous,” Gautschi said. “We are no longer going to be trying to replicate models of how business schools have operated in the past. We’re trying to anticipate what businesses are going to be needing over the next five to 10 years, and then adapting accordingly.”
In a sign of the school’s expanding global presence, Gautschi spoke to 90 alumni, faculty members, staff members, students, and friends of the school who were dialing in from as far away as Turkey and China. He described a volatile market for business education, marked by questions about the utility of the MBA, growing interest in U.S. business schools among international students, and growing competition from business schools abroad. Interest in graduate business degrees is growing among students under 24, although it is dropping among the 24- to 30-year-olds who have traditionally sought them.
The seven degree programs have been developed through collaboration among faculty members, advisors and alumni. The three master of science programs launching this fall will address skill shortages identified by industry:
— The master’s in marketing intelligence will focus on data-driven marketing decision making, bridging two skill sets that are often separate. “There are people who have strong analytical skills but do not know marketing,” and vice versa, Gautschi said.
— The master’s in business analytics will prepare students to make the most of various technologies to help businesses analyze data and make enterprise-wide decisions. These technologies are “widely believed to be woefully underutilized in terms of their capability,” Gautschi said.
— The master’s in media entrepreneurship, inspired by New York City’s “silicon alley” of new digital media enterprises, will focus on business models in new media. According to industry, Gautschi said, “there are way too many people who have great technological ideas but don’t have the business acumen, or basic grounding, to understand how to exploit those technologies commercially.”
These follow the four master’s programs begun last year: the master’s in business enterprise, the master’s in investor relations, the master’s in global finance, and the three-continent master’s in global management, or 3CMGM, a one-year program that includes study tours in Europe, India and New York City. Click here for a list of current master’s programs.
In other efforts, the school is building stronger ties with alumni and other constituencies through the Alumni Student Career Alliance, the Fordham Wall Street Council, and the Flaum Leadership Lecture Series. The school is building its social media presence and has sent lots of e-mails—in all, 150,000—to students, faculty, staff and alumni over the past year.
He detailed various international ventures such as the Fordham Future of Business series, launched in January in partnership with King’s College in London, which brings together senior executives in different parts of the world to discuss where business is going. The first session, held in London in January, will be followed by one in Turkey in March, and meetings in New York and Jerusalem in June. The school is planning to build partnerships in Africa as well, and will take part in a conference in Johannesburg in 2013, Gautschi said.
These efforts are essential for getting the kind of knowledge that just can’t be gained by reading periodicals, he said. “It helps to actually know people in different parts of the world in order to understand what’s going on,” he said. “We see this as a way to inspire us to innovate.”