In response to demand from the profession, students pursuing the 150-hour Professional Accounting Program in Audit now have the opportunity to earn a graduate certificate in Business Analytics.
"The new Data Analytics certificate will provide students with skills and knowledge that will launch their career in the accounting profession," Heather Carrasco, assistant professor in accounting, said. "With a foundation in long standing statistical techniques, our students will learn how to examine, transform, test, interpret and visualize data using cutting-edge technology."
The Rawls College decided to offer the certificate because of large accounting firms' investments in emerging data analytics technology. Because of this shift, firms are recruiting students with the skills to utilize this new technology.
"Cathy Engelbert, the chief executive officer for Deloitte, stated that in the next five or six years, the accounting profession will change more than it has in the last 30 years," Ralph Viator, Clark and Lois Webster Professor of Accounting, said. "Going forward, public accounting firms will focus their recruiting efforts on students who possess the ability to work with large data sets and interpret information generated by data analytics tools."
Students considering pursuing the certificate should be interested in learning statistical methods and new technologies. To earn the certificate, students will be required to complete five courses, including Advanced Statistical Methods, Multivariate Statistical Analysis, Database Concepts, Big Data Strategy and Business Intelligence.
"I chose to pursue the Data Analytics certificate because the world of technology is changing, and our profession is changing with it. The knowledge gained by obtaining this certificate will be a vital part of accountancy in the next five to ten years. Why not be ahead of the rest?" Monica McGee, a M.S.A. student pursuing the Data Analytics certificate, said.
The school expects the track will continue to grow in popularity as accounting students learn about the benefits of having knowledge and skills in data analytics.
"The moment I learned the Rawls College started offering the Data Analytics graduate certificate, I knew I had to jump on board if I wanted to be part of changing the future in accounting," Nancy Martin, a M.S.A. student pursuing the Data Analytics certificate, said.