GWU, SAS foster high-demand analytics talent

Masters and certificate programs, SAS faculty, student engagement add up to “most valuable career skill”

What students at the George Washington University School of Business (GWSB) are learning could land them the hottest jobs today. GWSB is embedding SAS Analytics technology, coursework and faculty into programs to cultivate high-demand analytics talent. A massive study of 54 million employee profiles on recently examined which career skills translated into salary bumps. Knowledge of SAS was No. 1.

“Our business analytics program gives students a rock-solid foundation in the methodologies, technologies and skills to solve real-world business problems,” said Gil C. Yancey, Executive Director of GWSB’s F. David Fowler Career Center. “Analytics mastery makes them extremely valuable and highly sought-after by employers.”

Business analytics mastery bolstered by SAS programming expertise

GWSB recently launched a SAS Certificate in Business Analytics as part of the university’s Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) degree. Endorsed by SAS, the 15-credit certificate will be available to MSBA students this fall. Participants will analyze real-world data using a variety of analytics, from simple descriptive methods to more sophisticated predictive and prescriptive approaches. The degree culminates with a five- to eight-month practicum project, which students present to peers and program advisory board members.

“It’s not enough to just do the technical work,” said Jerry Oglesby, Senior Director for the SAS Global Academic Program and Global Certification. “What matters is, what story is the data telling? Today’s analytics professionals must be adept at communicating meaning to inform business decisions.”

Now in its third year, the MSBA program exemplifies the close collaboration between SAS and GWSB. Today, SAS experts continue to consult on curriculum development and teaching materials and also serve as instructors. For example, Suneel Grover, SAS Principal Solutions Architect, sits on the MSBA program advisory board. He also teaches introductory business analytics, data visualization and business analytics storytelling in the Department of Decision Science and School of Business. Grover received the 2016 Outstanding Faculty Award for his contributions to GWSB’s MSBA program.

Students in the masters and certificate programs at GWSB have numerous opportunities to network with analytics experts, including MSBA advisory board members. Each year, SAS awards four students free registrations to SAS Global Forum, the largest annual gathering of SAS users in the world.

Master of Science in Business Analytics = competitive edge

GWSB’s MSBA program prepares students for successful careers helping organizations make better decisions through analytics. Developed jointly by the GWSB Department of Decision Sciences and Institute for Integrating Statistics in Decision Sciences, the curriculum encompasses the technical, quantitative and qualitative skills for effectively developing, deploying and communicating business analytics solutions.

Enrollees in the 33-credit-hour program choose from an intensive 12- to 16-month format designed for full-time students or a part-time, two-year format for working professionals. Both are geared toward recent graduates with strong analytical backgrounds seeking a competitive edge before entering the job market, as well as analytics professionals looking to further develop their skills.

SAS tackling the analytics skills gap around the world

George Washington is one of more than 150 colleges and universities worldwide collaborating with SAS to produce analytics experts. In the past year, SAS added programs at American University, University of Melbourne, Oklahoma State University, University of Arkansas, University of Texas at Arlington, Michigan State University, Capella University and Asia Pacific University (Malaysia).


Laura Ascione