EMU launches business analytics and public health majors

Two new majors at Eastern Mennonite University will prepare students for careers in the thriving and expanding fields of business analytics and public health. 

Business analytics sees expansive growth

This new Bachelor of Science degree within EMU’s Business and Leadership Program combines elements of the current business administration major and a recently-approved data analytics minor within the Mathematics and Computer Science Program. The program launches in fall 2022.

Business analytics uses data and statistics to help businesses improve their performance and make efficient and forward-thinking decisions. Analysts use a variety of techniques, tools, and technologies to gather and examine data, create models, and make and implement recommendations. 

Isaac Wyse ’10, shown here in 2018, is YipItData’s Vice President of Operations in New York City.  YipItData analyzes and aggregates data about publicly traded companies such as Expedia, Groupon, Netflix and eBay, among others. Wyse is a graduate of EMU’s business administration program. (Photo by Jon Styer)

“Business analysts are in high demand for positions that offer excellent salaries and job security,” said Professor Jim Leaman, program director. “This is a new and expanding subfield of the broader business world, which means graduates of our program will have lots of job options.”

Business analysts work in an interdisciplinary role to communicate and exchange information between data technicians and executives and clients, he said. Coursework aims to prepare students to bridge the gap between technical knowledge and problem solving in business contexts. 

The program includes overlap of courses required for the data analytics minor, Leaman said. “Adding just one class gives you a minor and additional expertise.”

Public Health

EMU’s public health major builds on the strong reputation of the undergraduate pre-med, nursing and STEM majors, as well as the MS in Biomedicine program. Coursework is wide-ranging and interdisciplinary, building strong foundational knowledge with research and communications skills and intercultural competency. The interdisciplinary nature of the field allows for integration across the fields of biology, pre-med and nursing, social sciences, statistics, and global development. 

Dr. Lyubov Slashcheva ’11 holds a masters in dental public health in addition to her medical degree. She is active in several professional organizations that promote public health. (Courtesy photo)

Beth Good, professor of nursing, has worked in public health in many countries. She holds a doctorate in nursing science and research and a Master of Public Health Nursing degree, and will be teaching some of the courses in the program. 

Read more about EMU’s community health course and its project-oriented learning experience.

“The past couple of years have highlighted for the U.S. and the world the importance of a strong public health workforce,” Good said. “Employers are recognizing that graduates of undergraduate public health programs have a solid foundation in a broad range of skills and knowledge and there is an increasing interest to businesses and non-profit sectors engaged in education, civic affairs, international development and health-related activities.”

Students can choose to follow one of two tracks: environmental health, which taps into EMU’s strong environmental science program, and computer programming or data analytics, to help students develop data science competencies.

The first introductory course begins in spring 2023, with the program officially launching in fall 2023. If interested, incoming students in fall 2022 will be able to take required courses to prepare them to transition into a public health major in fall 2023.

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the need for skilled public health professionals. A variety of career opportunities include health education, research, environmental health, journalism, community development and policy work.

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