by Jenifer Shockley
ATLANTA – Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business will launch two dual degree programs in fall 2016: a joint M.S. in Analytics and Master of Actuarial Science program; and a joint M.S. in Analytics and M.S. in Mathematical Risk Management program. Although each individual degree is a three-semester program, the dual degree programs extend coursework by only one semester.
The new programs are the first at a North American university to formally combine the fields of data science and actuarial science (M.S. in Analytics/Master of Actuarial Science), and data science and financial engineering (M.S. in Analytics/M.S. in Mathematical Risk Management), according to Robinson College Dean Richard Phillips.
“These dual degree programs anticipate emerging needs for professionals interested in the application of economic and mathematical modeling for the financial services industries, and provide our graduates with dramatic potential to differentiate themselves in the labor market. This structure allows data science students to acquire significant depth in actuarial science or financial engineering. Likewise, students with primary interests in actuarial science or financial engineering can now easily gain the data science skills that are in great demand by employers,” Phillips said.
Need for expertise in these fields is acute and growing. McKinsey & Company projects a 50 to 60 percent shortage of analytic talent by 2018 in the U.S. alone; 41 percent of respondents to an Accenture survey cite lack of talent as a top obstacle to implementing a big data strategy; and Careercast.com named actuary as the top job of 2015, due to the positive hiring outlook and high average pay.
“The fact that these programs are so closely linked means our students can efficiently access electives that will differentiate them in the job market even if they choose not to pursue the second degree,” said Daniel Bauer, an associate professor and faculty adviser for the programs.
The Robinson College of Business is at the forefront of the actuarial science, data science and financial engineering disciplines. The college is the only Center of Actuarial Excellence in the Southeast, and its mathematical risk management program is accredited by the Professional Risk Managers Association. Furthermore, Robinson’s departments of computer information systems and risk management and insurance are consistently ranked among the top 10 programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
The largest business school in the South and part of a major research institution, Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business has 200 faculty, 8,000 students and 75,000 alumni. With programs on five continents and students from 88 countries, the college is world-class and worldwide. Its part-time MBA is ranked among the best by the Bloomberg Businessweek and U.S. News & World Report, and its Executive MBA is on the Financial Times list of the world’s premier programs. Located in Atlanta, the Robinson College and Georgia State have produced more of Georgia’s top executives with graduate degrees than any other school in the Southeast.