Crowell School of Business Launches Three New Concentrations

Factors for concentrations include growing fields in analytics and finance

Apr. 3, 2017 By Peter Bradley

The Crowell School of Business will launch three new concentrations in the fall 2017 semester — business analytics, financial planning and financial management — to meet the rise in demand for these skills in the marketplace.


“Rapid growth of the business analytics field has opened up job opportunities for Biola graduates,” said Director of Innovation and Undergraduate Chair David Bourgeois. Students who completed some of Biola’s analytics courses have already received job offers.


“One of the things we saw as a business school was STEM and business degrees were both in demand,” said Bourgeois. “We said ‘what can we do as a business school to provide something in the sweet spot between business and STEM?’ And business analytics came to mind.”


In addition, the concentrations of financial planning and financial management provide students with high-demand career opportunities because of the growing need of retirement advice by baby-boomers, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 Best Jobs rankings. The rankings also list financial advisor as the number three best business job.


Professor of Finance Shane Enete said the industry of finance is expected to grow by 30 percent in the next seven years.


What students will learn


Students in the analytics concentration will learn to use state-of-the-art software to study data. One software program students will learn in the introductory analytics class is Microsoft Excel, a standard tool in the business program. Bourgeois claims analytics students will know Excel better than any other student on campus. Students will then utilize Microsoft Power Business Intelligence in the advanced analytics class.


One important goal of the concentration is to help students use data wisely.


“There is a great possibility to use data in a negative way. When you are working with data and you are presenting it to decision makers, you need a lot of integrity. You also need to understand that the data you are working with represents real people with real lives,” said Bourgeois.


In both financial planning and financial management concentrations, students will develop and use critical thinking skills in different ways. In financial planning, students will “demonstrate the ability to formulate, implement and monitor financial decisions” of families and individuals, according to Enete. In addition, students in the financial management concentration will develop the ability to identify, analyze and evaluate the most effective allocation of cash in a business organization.


All three concentrations have a spiritual objective to use biblical values as a foundation for the curriculum.


Growing Field


Bourgeois believes the rapid growth of the business analytics field will be a major draw to both incoming students and parents alike.


“It’s a growing job market. Whenever you look at the top ten jobs for the decade, two to four of them are related to this field,” he said.


A couple of students have already secured jobs after taking the standard business analytics course last year, prior to the formation of the new analytics concentration.


Knowing how data and analytics affects today’s business landscape is top priority for most companies and the importance placed on studying analytics has formed high-level executive positions.


Helping Transfers


Bourgeois said Crowell is allowing more credits to transfer from junior colleges to help students graduate more quickly.


“We are much more transfer friendly. We now allow students to transfer in courses that they never could before,” he said.


Hopes for the future


Bourgeois hopes the concentrations become recognizable in the business community in order to partner with them and have students help them make real decisions. He also hopes to partner with the math department to develop a joint program in the future.


For more information about the concentrations and how to apply to the Crowell School of Business, please visit their website.


Written by Peter Bradley, iBiola Reporter. For more information, contact Jenna Loumagne, media relations manager, at (562) 777-4061 or jenna.loumagne@biola.edu.

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