Villanova Online MSA Information Session
Originally presented October 30, 2014
Topics covered in this information session include:
- Information about the Villanova School of Business and the online MSA program
- Program curriculum & learning outcomes
- Critical application components
- Answers to participant questions
- Stephen Mahar, PhD, MSA, The Richard J. and Barbara Naclerio Scholar in Analytics, Associate Professor, Management & Operations
- Matthew Liberatore, PhD, John F. Connelly Endowed Chair in Management, Faculty Director, Center for Business Analytics, Professor, Management & Operations
- Lauren Wang, Team Lead & Enrollment Advisor, Online MSA Program
Hello, for those of you that have just joined us welcome to the Villanova School of Business Online MSA Information Session. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to join us. My name is Annie and I will be the moderator for tonight’s session. We’ll be covering a number of topics to provide you with further information about Villanova School of Business and the Online Master of Science in Analytics Program. Before we begin I just like to go over a few logistics for the presentation. All participants are in listen-only mode in order to cut down on the background noise. So, you can hear us, but we cannot hear you. Everyone is encouraged to ask questions throughout the session. Please do so by typing them in to the chat box on the right-hand side of the screen and hit send. We’ll answer as many questions as time allows at the end of the presentation and if your question was not answered during the session one of our enrollment advisors will follow up with you directly and lastly a recording of today’s presentation will be available shortly after the event and we’ll email the link to the email you provided when you registered for the webinar.
With that, I would like to introduce each of our presenters and share some of their accomplishments. First, we have Dr. Stephen Mahar. Dr. Mahar is Associate Professor in the Management and Operations Department at the Villanova School of Business. In addition, Dr. Mahar served as the faculty director of the online MSA Program and teaches the first introductory course for the program. Dr. Mahar was recently awarded the Barbara and Richard J. Naclerio VSB Scholars Award in Analytics and the McDonough Family Faculty Award for research excellence. He earned his BA in Mathematics from State University of New York at Geneseo, a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology and a PhD in Decision Sciences and Operations Management from the Kelly School of Business at Indiana University. Dr. Mahar’s research interest include analytics application, operations management, supply chain management and multichannel supply chains.
Also presenting today is Matthew Liberatore. Matthew is the John F. Connelly Chair in Management and Director of the Center for Business Analytics at the Villanova School of Business. Prior to joining Villanova, he held Management Positions and Operations Analysis, Information Systems and R&D Planning at FMC Corporation. He also worked in Operations Analysis at RCA Corporation. Dr. Liberatore is the author or co-author of nine books and has published extensively in the fields of Healthcare Decision Making, Analytics, Supply Chain Management, Operations Research, Information Systems, Project Management and R&D Management. He is also consulted with variety of organizations including Campbell Soup, FMC Corporation and Lockheed-Martin. He received his BA in Mathematics from the College of Arts and Sciences of the University of Pennsylvania and his MS in PhD Degrees in Operations Research from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Also answering questions today during our Q&A portion is Kristy Irwin. Kristy is the Director of Online Graduate Programs at the Villanova School of Business. She oversees the strategy development and operations of the online MBA and online MS in Analytics Programs which are two of the newest additions to VSB’s portfolio of graduate program. She has been a member of the Villanova Graduate in Executive Programs team for five years. Prior to Villanova, Kristy’s corporate experience includes managing the Company-Wide Training Initiatives for a National Consulting Firm, cofounding a Life and Career Management Company and working on Wall Street in investment banking for Goldman Sachs. Kristy holds an Undergraduate Degree in Finance and International Business from Georgetown University and an MBA from Villanova University.
And our final presenter today will be Lauren Accurso. Lauren is an Enrollment Advisor and Team Lead for the MSA Online Program. Some of you may have had the opportunity to speak with Lauren already. Lauren has more than five years of experience as an enrollment advisor for graduate programs and business and Lauren holds a Master of Education and Higher Education from Abilene Christian University. Lauren is available to answer questions about the program and provide assistance with admission process as well. Now, let’s go ahead and started. Lauren is going to start us off and Lauren we’ll let you take us through the session agenda for today.
Lauren Accurso: Thank you, Annie. The agenda for tonight, we will have Dr. Mahar start off with an overview of the Villanova School of Business and the Online Masters of Science and Analytics Program. He will review topics such as highlights of the program, some of the learning outcomes and the faculties for the program. I will be discussing the application process and some helpful hints to keep in mind when completing your application. I will also discuss important dates and deadlines for our upcoming semester. We will finish off with a Q&A session at the end where some of your questions will be answered. Once again, we asked that you type in your questions in the chat box on the right-hand side of the screen. Now, Dr. Mahar is going to start us off. Dr. Mahar, welcome to the session. I’ll let you take everyone through the program highlights.
Stephen Mahar: Thank you Lauren and I want to extend my welcome to everyone. Thank you for coming out tonight. To start, I’d like to talk a little bit about the strengths of Villanova University and the Villanova School of Business. As you can see, both the university and the business school are well ranked by a number of different publications. The university has been ranked number one in the Master’s category in the Northern Region for the last two decades and the university has also been ranked number two best value in the Northern Region and it’s in the top 100 of the Forbes List of America’s Top Colleges. Focusing specifically on the Villanova School of Business, our part time MBA Program is ranked number 19 in the country and number three in the region by Bloomberg Businessweek and our Master of Science in Church Management Program is ranked number 17 in US News and World Report Ranking of the best online graduate business program. We’re proud of these rankings if they speak to our strengths in providing education to part time graduate students and our ability to deliver high quality online programs.
Building on these strengths and the expertise of our faculty, we’re excited to offer the online Master of Science and Analytics Program is the newest addition on our portfolio of graduate business program. So, now why should you consider Villanova School of Business for Analytics? Well, to start VSB is accredited by AACSB and this is the premier accrediting agency for business schools. This accreditation certainly sets us apart, but so does that the fact that the programs housed in the business school. There are many people with knowledge of data and data mining techniques and then there are others who know business, but people with expertise in both areas they can bridge the gap between with the technical and the business world and they can add real value of their organizations and differentiate themselves. Our MSA Program is designed to blend the technical and business components of analytics and our courses have a strong focus on practical business application and how analytic techniques can be used to assist organizations and making more strategic business decisions.
The courses you’ll take here are top by world class faculty and these are the same faculty that teaches in our ground programs. Even though it’s housed in the business school, the program draws the time faculty expertise from across campus in areas like computer science and mathematics. Our curriculum, which I’m going to talk about a little more in a couple of slides, is designed to be comprehensive in nature and unlike many other programs they were developed together with a lot of existing courses our program is built from the ground up. What that means is both our curriculum and the courses you’ll be taking here were specifically designed for the MSA with input from fortune 500 executives in the analytics field. The program is also supported by the center for business analytics and Matt is going to speak to this in a couple of minutes. As I mentioned before, the focus of the program is practical application. We want you to be able to immediately apply what you’re learning back in your jobs and your professional work settings and we place a lot of emphasis on providing a high touch learning environment one where you’ll have direct access to your professors and your peers and one where you can build meaningful relationships that extend beyond the classroom.
Throughout the admissions process, we place a lot of emphasis on attracting high caliber students with strong quantitative aptitude and we consider each personal background and professional background when we’re creating teams because we want to maximize the value of peer-to-peer learning. We understand that each one of you have has a busy life and for that reason we’ve structured the program be highly flexible. All classes are offered online and designed for working professionals. As you saw from our rankings, VSB specializes in part time business education. We understand the needs of adult learners and provide the necessary support and resources for you to succeed and as such we have dedicated career services for our graduate students. I’ll talk more specifically about this later on in the presentation. Finally, the program is going to provide you with access to networking opportunities through Villanova’s extensive alumni community. Okay, at this point, I’d like to spend a few minutes focusing on the structure format and curriculum of the program.
The online MSA Program can be completed at 20 months or five semesters. They are right up here. Each of the five semesters is broken into two sessions and depending on the semester the sessions will be either seven or eight weeks in duration. The program is 100% online with no campus residency and this provide you with a maximum flexibility that fit the program in your busy schedule, although you don’t have to come to campus we love to see you and of course you’re welcome to join us for any of the events we hold here as well as for graduation. Over the five semester, you’re going to take 11 courses, okay. I’m going to speak to these in the coming slides, but each of those courses is three credits and that makes a degree total of 33 credits. These courses are offered year round and what this means to you if you’re starting the program in spring you’ll graduate in the summer of 2016. In terms of format, most of the course content a synchronous. Okay, this very last bullet point and this just means you’ll be able to review the class material and work on assignment at times that best fit with your unique schedule.
Each course also include one synchronous session each week after 7 p.m. eastern time and the format and content for those synchronous sessions it varies by class, but it could include things like lectures, discussions, or maybe a review with specific assignment. Participation in those synchronous sessions is highly encouraged, but not required and since the sessions are recorded you’ll be able to view them at your leisure if you can’t attend in real time. So, as I mentioned before, the curriculum is designed to be comprehensive and applied and every course was developed and designed specifically for this program with the input of Fortune 500 executives. The program is taught from a business perspective with a focus on using analytics to improve business decision making. So, our goal is to prepare you to succeed across the analytic continuum all the way from data collection through the analysis through implementation and use and we’re going to give you a broad toolkit of skills within the context of the various business function. One corner start of the program is analytics practicum and at this point I want to turn it over to Dr. Matt Liberatore. Matt is going to be teaching the practicum course and he can discuss this class in a little more detail.
Matthew Liberatore: Thanks, Steve. The analytics practicum is the cornerstone of the program. The purpose of the analytics practicum is to help students to learn how to actually do in analytics project within a real world organization. It is the capstone and it will be completed during the final semester of the program. Students will be organized into virtual teams to work on the project. The project will draw on all the knowledge and skills gained during the program. The project will include interactions with managers in the organization including making presentations in project activities and results. An analytics project is successful all the way up to sponsors understanding of the business value and agree to implement it. The capstone course will also address the development of business communication skills and project management, Steve.
Stephen Mahar: Great, thanks Matt. Okay, finally analytics software is going to be use in all of the courses. Throughout the program, you’re going to learn a variety of different analytics techniques, however what you do learn won’t be software dependent. Is everyone here knows what constitutes the most appropriate software is always evolving and so our goal is to teach you the techniques you can apply using a variety of different software packages. That said, we’re going to incorporate software from a variety of vendors. So, for example, you’ll use sequel R, sat, jump in addition to many others. Okay, I’d like to take a few minutes right now to walk you through the structure of the MSA curriculum so you can see how each course was specifically designed, developed and strategically placed in the curriculum to give you those skills needed to succeed as an analytics professional.
During the first semester in the program you’re going to take three courses. So, you’ll be taking the intro to business analytics, data models and then multi-variant data analysis. The intro course goes through the entire first semester and then the data model course is taught in the first half of the semester, multi-variant in the second half. The intro course is going to give you an overview of business analytics, the business analytics process and the important analytic technique and this is actually the course I teach so you’re going to be seeing me right away. After developing these foundation skills, you’ll start building your analytics toolbox. The three categories of tools are in the areas of data management and business intelligent, data mining and decision modeling. You’ll take two courses in each of these categories. So, for example, under data management and business intelligent you’ll have one course and enterprise data management, a second course in business intelligent. For data mining, you’ll have a course in data mining and another in text and web mining and then down here decision modeling you’ll have a course analytical methods first optimization and simulation part one and part two, okay. You’ll take these two courses at each category in your second, third and fourth semesters in the program.
So, at this point you’ll have compiled the toolbox of the analytics skills. Now, you’ll leverage that skill set in the advance business application course and here’s where you’re going to exam and arrange of advanced applications of analytics and some of those applications could include things like fraud detection, financial analytics, risk analytics, marketing and customer analytics or geospatial analytics. Finally, the program culminates with the application based practicum and as Matt discussed this is our capstone course where you and your team are going to partner with a real company. Here, you’re going to work hands on with the real business analytics project and to successfully navigate the project you’ll combine the concepts and skills you’ve learned throughout the entire program. So, to recap you’re going to start the program learning the fundamentals. In the first semester, you’ll take the intro, data models and multi-variant.
On this foundation, you’ll build a toolbox with essential analytic skills in the areas of data management, data mining and decision modeling. You’ll see how these general tools can be used to tackle a variety of advance business application and then you’ll apply everything you’ve learned to complete a real analytics project in your capstone practicum. So, by the time you complete the program you will develop the skills and experience needed to succeed as an analytics professional and be able to assist any organization in making more strategic and informed decision, okay. I’ll now turn it back over to Matt whose going to provide some additional information on our faculty and their industry expertise.
Matthew Liberatore: Thanks Steve. Our faculties are drawn from the various business departments within our school and also drawn from the math stat department and computer science group. They possess expertise in all phases of business analytics including information system statistical and mathematical modeling and analysis, operations research, decision support systems and pretty importantly applications of analytics within all the function areas of business. They are research active and up-to-date in their fields and many are engaged in consulting. The center for business analytics has been kind of instrumental in the development of this program. It was actually initiated with discussions among our advisory group and they are still very active and very interested in its development. They provide [inaudible] counsel on curriculum development, advanced analytics practice, research and consulting activities and the student activities and placement. The center is comprised of a diverse set of individuals interested in analytics. So, as you can see from the list, we have representative firms in the energy industry, excuse me, such as Exelon and PPL and product oriented businesses such as Wyeth Nutrition, Campbell Soup and Johnson Healthcare Innovation.
Tech companies such as IBM and SAP consulting firms such as North Highland and Pricewaterhousecoopers, service oriented firms such as Aramark and Harris and credential firms such as Bank of America. The analytics efforts of the center cross a wide range of programs and activities. We have a number of speaker series including top executives, CEO level executives that will address analytics within your organizations as well as those that are actually doing analytics in the trenches. We do going round table sessions which are basically a set of case studies in analytics activities within business organizations. We offer seminars in specific areas of analytics, research briefings, student workshops and the center engages in some consulting and research projects. MSA students are invited to attend all of the events and a number of the events are also available on our website in terms of videos or other presentation materials, Steve.
Stephen Mahar: Great, thanks Matt. The last thing I want to talk about is some of the career services we offer. As I mentioned before, we specialize in providing best in class graduate education. We recognize that career and professional development need the graduate students are very different from those of an undergraduate population. Unlike many other graduate programs, we have two people in the career service office dedicated to assist in graduate students. These individuals understand the needs of working professionals and are able to drawn their own expertise in this area to provide you with resources and tools tailored with the unique circumstances. Some of the services that we offer include things like one-on-one career coaching and this can be done via the phone, Skype, maybe Adobe connect. We also hold lunch time webinars and these are called career bites. This focuses on a variety of topics ranging from finding a new job to professional development. Topics could cover things like, “How to develop a noticeable linked in profile?” or “How to juggle completing a degree while you’re working?”
We also hold other professional development workshops will find campus and online. Students will also have access to Villanova’s job listing database and that’s GoNovaJobs. This includes posting from alumni and employers specifically seeking candidates from Villanova University. You’ll also have access to other online resomurces which allow you to explore various career options and it’ll help you to assess your own skills. For those of you who live or work in close proximity to campus, you’ll also have the opportunity to participate in campus corporate information sessions and panels. Many of these events are highlighted in our graduate student news letter called first glance. This news letter also contains relevant career and professional development articles and job postings. Okay, well thank you for your time and attention. Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the Villanova School of Business, the MSA Program and some of the services we provide. I’m happy to answer any questions you have at the end of the session, but for now I’m going to turn it back over to Lauren who is going to discuss some of the application process.
Annie: Thank you so much Dr. Mahar and Dr. Liberatore. For everyone listening, if you have any questions, please go ahead and type them in to the chat box and hit send. We’ll start to compile those questions and address as many as we can at the end of the presentation. Again, now we’d like to welcome Lauren back to the webinar to talk through the application process.
Lauren Accurso: Thank you so much Dr. Mahar and Dr. Liberatore for providing some great information about the MSA Program. I will take a few minutes to speak about the admissions requirements for the program. First, you will need to start your application by accessing our online application. Your admissions advisor can send you a link of the application if you do not already have it. For the admissions process, you will need to submit a copy of your most updated resume, two short essays, official transcripts from all previous undergraduate and graduate degrees where you completed nine or more credit hours and two professional letters of recommendation. The GRE or GMAT requirement is not required for admission, but it is recommended as an opportunity to strengthen your application. Additionally, in order to be eligible for admission to the Masters of Science and Analytics Program you will need to have completed an undergrad or graduate statistics course that you pass with a grade of a B or better. There are select scholarships available for exceptional candidates who have submitted GRE or GMAT test scores.
Some helpful tips to make the process smoother for you, start the application by creating an online profile. You can save your progress as you’ve finished each question and submit it when you have everything completed. If you are taking the GRE or GMAT, schedule your test date and request your scores to be sent to Villanova School of Business. Request an official copy of your transcript to be mailed to our offsite processing center and think about who you would like to write a letter of recommendation for you and how you will fund your program. The next step after that would be to begin the financial aid application process if you’re looking to file for federal assistance. Start writing your essays and upload them into the application when you are complete and essay topics can be found listed in the application. Finally, you will submit your application and pay your $50 dollar application fee. Now, just some important dates and deadlines to consider, our spring application deadline is November 15th and spring classes do begin on January 12th. And just a note, due to the high volume of documents that are received by the university, we do strongly encourage you to apply while before the published deadline to ensure timely processing of your application.
Lauren Accurso: “Is the practicum a group project or is it done on an individual basis?”
Matthew Liberatore: The practicum will be done by a group of students. They will form a virtual team to work on the project so the class will be split up into a set of virtual teams most likely four to five students on each team and all the students will work on the same project.
Lauren Accurso: “Do professors have office hours for classes?”
Stephen Mahar: Right now so I’m teaching the introduction course, the first course you would begin the program with and I do have office hours several — actually two days a week during a set time and that’s right in the syllabus, but a lot of students it may be easier for them to contact me off office hours so I’m pretty flexible as far as when I virtually meet with the students and I’ve done office hours sometimes both synchronous sessions which maybe one time a week. There’s a chance to have at the end of those a virtual office hours where the students can see me and I can see them. I’ve also done a lot of one-on-one phone calls, we’ve done some Skype calls and a lot of email correspondent. So, the faculty are very flexible as far as being available for the students.
Lauren Accurso: “Thank you. “Does one have to have a business background to apply to the program?”
Stephen Mahar: No, definitely not. So, as you’re applying the only prerequisite to the program is either an undergraduate or graduate statistic course and yes throughout the program we are looking for candidates who have some quantitative aptitude, strong quantitative aptitude because the courses are pretty technical in nature, but beyond the stat course you’ll develop the skills you need to become an analytics analysts through the program.
Lauren Accurso: Great, thank you. The next question is, “Is the 20 month start to finish of the MSA standard and is it possible stretch that over a longer period of time if necessary?”
Kristy Irwin: This is Kristy speaking. So, the 20-month program is recommended that students follow the set path. So, we have set up the curriculum and see block through to have a certain number of classes within each particular semester. Now, we certainly do understand that students have outside obviously professional obligations as well as personal obligations so we will work with students who are not able to follow the step recommended path, but due to the way that the courses are offered. Not every course is offered every semester so we just will advise students accordingly and let them know how they can get back on that set path and how they can continue throughout the program so that we can keep them on a set path to graduate in a certain number of semesters. The overall degree though does have to be completed within three years so that is certainly something to keep in mind. With these 33 credits and 11 courses that something that is very doable. As we mentioned, we do offer courses in every semester so we will work with the students to find the path that’s right for them within that set time frame.
Annie: Thank you Kristy. Our next question is, “What is the typical class size for the program?”
Kristy Irwin: Typically, we’re looking for classes of around 20 students. That could vary semester by semester, but you will not take courses of 30 or 35 students in this program. As we talked about, at Villanova we really value personalized and individual attention to all of our students and specifically and especially in an online environment we want to make sure that these groups and that these classes have a limited number of students so that you can directly engaged with your classmates and your professors specifically on those synchronous sessions which are such a core component of the classes that we offer.
Annie: Thank you so much Kristy. We have another question, “Do you need technical skills such as software programming experience for the course work in this program? For example, it helps to know code programming and sculpting, I’m sorry, scripting language like python?”
Stephen Mahar: Yes. The answer to that is sure. It’s definitely a beneficial skill if you have that coming in, but students don’t need those skills coming in. Students will gain any necessary program and skills through the program. So, again the only prerequisite is that statistic course.
Matthew Liberatore: I have a quantity to that too.
Lauren Accurso: Great, thank you. Our next question is, “Does the course need to be viewed live during a specific time slot or they can be viewed as allowed by the student schedule?”
Stephen Mahar: So, most of the course content is going to be a synchronous so the student will be able to view those course components on their own schedule. So, one part of the course is synchronous each course has one evening per week where they have one synchronous sessions. So, for example, I have a synchronous session on Thursday evening. It’s a one hour slot where I’ll probably go over some type of example problem and then open it up for just doing questions. We use Adobe connect for that so I’m able to see the students, they can see me and we can talk back and forth and they can see everything that’s on my desktop. These are — all of those sessions though the synchronous are recorded in archive so if a student can make a particular synchronous session we encouraged them to try to make them, but if they can’t it’s not required and so they can always view that lecture in whatever works best for their own schedule.
Lauren Accurso: Great, thank you. The next question is, “What is the difference between this program and a degree in data science?”
Matthew Liberatore: Okay. The first difference is that our focus is on analytics within business that science programs can focus much more broadly to any sort of program whether it’s the engineering or natural science or whatever so that’s the first difference. The second difference is that the emphasis in our program is much more towards application of the most important methods and techniques to solving and addressing problems within business organizations. It’s somewhat less technical in nature in the sense that it’s less concerned about building custom applications for business, but more about addressing the broader range of problems that can be dealt with both the science of the shelf rather methods and techniques. So, the other side of it is that a science programs are more similar to what you might find coming out a computer science with a little bit of statistics sprinkled in. I mean that’s essentially what you have there. Our program is very different. It’s trying to address the full range of analytics from a collection and extraction of data through analysis of data to implementation to get a business solution so they are somewhat different.
Stephen Mahar: Yes. Kind of building on what Matt was just saying. Our program tends to cover a broader based of analytics topics and techniques and then being housed in the business school we’re more concerned, as Matt said, with the application of data management, data mining and decision modeling techniques to improve the business decision making as oppose to maybe algorithm development.
Lauren Accurso: Great, thank you. The next question is, “Is there a group work in other courses aside from the practicum?”
Stephen Mahar: Yes, there is. There is probably the majority of the courses are going to be — has some group component and one of the — in my mind when the valuable skill set you’re going to get out of this program is working in virtual teams and so the student teams right now they are conducting — they have virtual meetings using either Adobe connect or Google hangouts. I know they do a lot of Skype, but they are pretty close contact with their teammates and I think it’s a great skill to have.
Kristy Irwin: I know certainly also this some level of individual assessment each course will be a little bit different, but the faculty members will outline that upfront in their syllabus so that you understand the different requirements of each particular course.
Stephen Mahar: For the intro course, for example, we have four kinds of team-based many project or many assignment and then a couple of exams. The exams are individual. The projects or assignments are team based.
Annie: Thank you. Our next question chatted in is, “Are there any undergraduate degrees that are not exempted?”
Stephen Mahar: So, when your applications come in and the admissions committee looks at them we consider your application as a whole. So, we’re going to look at your undergraduate major, we’ll look at the school you’re from, your grades, your GMAT or GRE scores all that in the context of your work experience and application essays. That said, it is a quantitative program so we’re going to be looking for strong quantitative skills and hopefully see some evidence of strong quantitative aptitude for me the GPA, GMAT or elsewhere.
Kristy Irwin: If you do particularly have a nontechnical background though it is strongly recommended that you do take that GMAT or GRE as a way to strengthen your overall application because as Steve said the admissions committee is looking at y our application holistically, but they are looking for some level of quantitative and technical aptitude. So, if you have not demonstrated that for your undergraduate degree and/or the professional work experience that you have that GMAT or GRE score is a way that can really show the admissions committee that you have the requisite skills to be successful in this program.
Annie: Thank you. Our next question is, “What is the average number of recommended hours per week that will be necessary per course?”
Kristy Irwin: I think generally speaking it really varies depending on the student’s individual background and the particular course that they’re talking about. One of the courses right upfront the data model course has some specific programming step that the students will learn. You don’t have to have that background, but if you don’t have that background then it might take a little bit longer. I would say on average you’re probably looking in about 15 hours of work each week outside of the synchronous sessions which is about an hour so you’re looking as Steve said to engage with the content in an a synchronous manner hopefully attend those synchronous sessions, but it really does vary depending on the students background and the course. Steve, anything to add to that?
Stephen Mahar: No, I definitely does. I would say, but I think around about 15 hours of class work per week is sounds about right to me. If you have — if you’re coming in to some of these courses with some of those a lot of experience with data mining already then the data mining course maybe a little easier for you and you can low-ball [ph] that number a little, but right around 15 I think is a good estimate.
Annie: Thank you. Our next question chatted in is, “What are the most common career path which graduates pursue or students pursue I should say?”
Matthew Liberatore: Okay, there’s a lot of different ways of going with this degree. There are a variety of analyst positions that you’ll finding within business organizations within specific functional areas. For example, the individual would be able to move into carbon [ph] marketing analytics position after finishing this program or into an operations analyst type position. So, those would be kind of clear paths. Other paths might be to move in to a consulting organization that does analytics oriented work. Another path would be to move in to the IT organization that is more concerned about the data end of the process basically being able to extract the data and provide that kind of data for others within the organization to use and analyze. So, there are range of different types of jobs that would fit. What we know is that there’s a great shortage of analyst positions within the United States and the program such as this are being develop to address that shortage.
Annie: Great, thank you. Our last question is, “Will we know who — what our classmates contact information is that we can network with them when we are not in class?”
Kristy Irwin: I would say that we do not as a program send out a list of contact information upfront just to protect students privacy and students personal information, although as Steve said within a particular class a lot of your work will be group work and in part of that group it will be up to each particular group member to share his or her personal contact information so that you can collaborate as well as share different information. So, I would say that as a program we’re not giving it out, but it certainly student to student, it is shared and highly recommended.
Stephen Mahar: And for instance in my course in the intro course I’m also in the admission committee and knowing the background of all the students after we had a class put together for the fall semester we went in and figured out a good compositions of some teams and then for everyone on team one I distribute their Villanova — I sent that team everyone is on team want the Villanova email addresses for all of their team mates. In that way, they could get in contact with one another before the program even started.
Kristy Irwin: We do also share at the beginning of the program beyond contact information of view book of all the student profiles. So, as part of our virtual orientation course to start at the beginning of the program we ask each of our students to submit a bio as well as a picture and that view book is shared among the entire starting cohort so that you can get a sense of the different backgrounds of your team members that are about to start the program, but that is information that you provide to us that we then distribute.
Matthew Liberatore: One last thing, in the synchronous class sessions too the first section of the semester, for example, I had everyone turn on their mics and webcams and we are all able to kind of see one another and have some interaction before the class officially kicked off and so you do virtually meet your — everyone else in your cohort that way.
Annie: Wonderful, thank you so much. Okay, now Lauren we’ll go ahead and provide us some important contact information, Lauren.
Lauren Accurso: Thanks so much Annie and for Dr. Liberatore, Dr. Mahar and Kristy for answering those questions for us. Up on the screen you will see some contact information for our enrollment advisors. If you have any questions or feel that you’re ready to get started, please contact via the information on your screen.
Annie: Wonderful, thank you so much Lauren. I just want to thank you again Dr. Mahar, Dr. Liberatore and Kristy as well as Laure for your time today and this will conclude our webinar. Thank you for everyone who is able to join us today and please note you will receive a follow up email message after the event with the recording of today’s presentation and again that will be sent to the email you provided when you registered for the webinar and please feel free to reply to that email with any questions as well. If your question did not get answered during the Q&A portion an enrollment advisor will follow up with you on your question. Thank you again everyone and have a great evening.