The University of North Carolina Wilmington will begin offering two online master’s degrees in the 2018 fall semester, officials with the university announced this week.
One master’s degree includes a concentrated one-year master’s program in finance and investment management. The other is a one-year professional science master’s degree program in business analytics, according to the university.
Both programs will be based in UNCW’s Cameron School of Business, with 30 credit hours (10 courses) of online instruction.
“Graduates of these programs will have specialized, workforce-relevant skills in industries that are in high demand, both locally and nationally,” UNCW Chancellor Jose Sartarelli said in the release. “Various workforce surveys indicate a shortage of qualified candidates available, and these programs will address those prominent industry needs.”
The programs are designed to meet the needs of the finance and analytics fields. The master’s programs will train students to apply advanced methods and skills to realistic investment and business analytics problems, according to the release.
Officials say graduates will be prepared for growing careers in a wide range of industries.
The university’s new programs are in high demand across the state, Robert Burrus, dean of the Cameron School of Business said Thursday.
“As fully online programs, the courses are designed and sequenced with the working professional in mind,” Burrus said in the release.
Part of getting programs like these approved at the state level is the level of demand for the programs by students as well as the high-demand by employers for new hires with degrees in the field, officials said.
“There are no online programs in these particular areas right now,” Burrus said. “So we think there is a pretty good market for these skills. They are in high demand, and our goal is to really be able to allow people that wouldn't be able to have access to this type of education in a face-to-face environment to be able to have access to a really high-quality education in business analytics and finance. That’s really our goal."
It’s about flexibility, he said, and allowing those across the state the opportunity to work toward training and skills that will elevate their careers.
"Online delivery has really improved over time," Burrus said. “We’re looking at people who can’t necessarily quit their job and move to Wilmington … to take a year off and do a program here.”
The business analytics masters is an applied program, Burrus said. Someone with a business analytics masters can find careers ranging in business administration to operation research analytics and statistician operation analytics. On average, jobs in those fields are paying an average $65,000 to $70,000 or more, he said.
Students coming out of the finance and investment management program will be "well prepared" to take the Certified Financial Analyst exam, Burrus said. Job titles for those with a finance and investment management masters include financial analysts, budget analysts, investment managers and financial planners. The pay prospects for those careers are around $70,000 and up.
“These are high-demand positions," Burrus said. "We think we will be able to place our students well when they get out and [into] good-paying jobs."