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New Goldey-Beacom degrees target needed careers

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Goldey-Beacom College will start two new degree programs next year aimed to meet the needs of local employers. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

WILMINGTON – Goldey-Beacom College recently announced two new degree programs that aim to prepare students for success in sought-after career fields.

The new bachelor’s degree programs include interdisciplinary studies and business administration with a concentration in business analytics.

The latter seeks to address a range of employer needs through classroom instruction and experiential opportunities.

“We know all of our organizations are making data-driven decisions today and we want to ensure that our students are prepared,” professor emeritus and curricular designer Patricia Buhler told Delaware Business Times.

The curriculum for the program — which includes data mining, software, and data analytics courses — culminates in a student-driven research project intended to provide graduates with a competitive edge.

“Students are going to benefit. The capstone is going to prepare them well to go out, to get good jobs, and be successful in them,” GBC Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs and Associate Provost for Academic Programs Joel Worden said.

According to the American Association of Colleges & Universities (AAC&U), 85% of employers find graduates with applied experience to be more appealing job candidates.

By requiring students to apply their knowledge to a senior project, the business administration degree prioritizes career preparedness.

“Many of the employers that we spoke to in designing this want to be able to see what students can do, it’s not so much what that degree is,” Buhler said.

Students who engage with real-world data and collaborate with businesses in the community as a part of the program’s senior project will be able to share tangible proof of their marketable skills and competencies with potential employers.

According to Worden, employers are interested in candidates who “perform a great interview but also back it up with a really powerful demonstration of something that they’ve done in the past.”

The college was able to identify the importance of applied learning in the business world by keeping in conversation with employers like Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase, as well as top data analytics innovators in the state.

The new Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary sudies will also be of use to Goldey-Beacom students looking to make an impression on business employers since, according to AAC&U, “both breadth and depth of learning are needed for long-term career success.”

While capstone experiences require students to focus closely on a particular project, interdisciplinary coursework encourages exploration in a variety of fields. Students pursuing the new B.A. program will be able to stack certificates in coding, logistics, and more in order to form their degree.

“We’re looking at what certificates we can offer that will help upskill the workforce,” GBC President Colleen Perry Keith said.

According to Perry Keith, upskilling will make it easier for Goldey-Beacom graduates to transition from entry level positions to middle management in businesses.

The college’s two new degree programs, both formulated with workforce readiness in mind, will be available to students starting this fall.

By Emma Reilly

Delaware Business Times

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