William and Mary offers new online master's in business analytics


The College of William and Mary has announced it will launch an online Master of Science in business analytics -- its second online master's degree program.

Pam Suzadail, director of online programs for the Raymond A. Mason School of Business, said the on-campus business analytics program was highly successful.

“Business analytics is a hot topic in the industry,” Suzadail said.

This is the college’s second online master's program in business; the other is Master of Business Administration, which began in 2015. Suzadail said the online MBA has become the business school’s largest master's program.

This semester, she said 57 percent of new students in the online program — 30 people — were outside of Virginia. As a whole, 48 percent of students in the online program, 132 people, are out of state. Jeffery Rich, chief marking officer at William and Mary, said in total, 265 students are taking their MBA online and 210 students are taking their MBA on campus.

The main difference between the MBA and the MSBA is an MBA is more focused on business strategy. Suzadail said the person getting a MBA is usually a middle manager who’s been working in the field for a while and wants to try to move up. Suzadail said an MSBA is for professionals who want to learn how to read data and crunch numbers so they can tell the story behind the data.

Michele Jackson, the college’s associate provost for university eLearning initiatives, said the university began to offer online master's degrees because the college wanted to reach out to a new student population.

“Increasingly, adult students are looking for ways to acquire their degrees in ways that don’t require them to move their families and quit their jobs,” Jackson said. “They are not just looking for an online degree, they’re looking for William and Mary degrees.”

Other online programs offered by the college include Doctor of Education and a certificate in military and veterans health, policy and advocacy from the School of Law. The university also offers some of their undergraduate courses online, but only during the summer for students who want to take courses while at an internship.

However, Jackson emphasized the point of the university’s online learning is to make education more accessible for its students. The college is not looking to build a second campus on the internet, Jackson said.

The cost for online courses are comparable to on-campus classes. An MBA at William and Mary’s campus for an in-state student costs about $26,000 in tuition for the first year of the program. Tuition for the online program is about $23,000 for the first year.

“We’re a public institution, so we are not out to make a profit,” Jackson said.

Want to know more?

This program will launch in August 2018. To find out more information about registration visit onlinemba.mason.wm.edu/admissions.

Amelia Heymann can be reached by email at aheymann@dailypress.com, or on twitter @HeymannAmelia.

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