New consulting program offered at ASU

One career that’s seeing a surge in interest and opportunity is that of digital business analyst. The job entails reviewing a great deal of information related to a specific industry, say technology or finance, gathering information, and building a plan as to how companies can increase business. Seeing this opportunity to develop tomorrow’s workforce, Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business has now teamed up with Cognizant to develop a new program for future DBAs.

Cognizant, a provider of IT, consulting and business process services, is working in tandem with the school’s leaders do offer the new certificate program and a new curriculum designed to prep professionals for the growing digital business consulting field. The program, which will kick off this spring semester, is a 12-week certification program in the continuing education program offered at ASU. Taught by ASU professors with help from Cognizant consulting members, the courses are delivered online with lecture methods dropped in.

“The curriculum was custom designed to meet the needs of industry,” says Grace O’Sullivan, Associate Vice President of Corporate Engagement at ASU Knowledge Enterprise. “We literally sat down together with job descriptions and course catalogues to design a program that addresses all the core competencies needed to be successful in a business analyst role. Subject matter experts and leaders from Cognizant have helped us shape the curriculum based on real time, real world needs.”

Students in the program will focus on developing consulting skills to pave the way for a future in business, IT or finance, primarily. The curriculum covers areas such as business analysis, project management, digital enterprise, business modeling, and IT life cycle, among others. Co-developed by the school’s Department of Information Systems and Cognizant, this marks another way in which W.P. Carey’s leaders are looking to expand on the school’s skills development offerings.

We hope the students will gain not only analytical and technical skills, such as a basic understanding of full software development life cycle using Agile and Waterfall methodologies,” adds O’Sullivan, “but also soft skills such as project management and the ability to communicate with technical and non-technical client stakeholders.”

Students who successfully complete the program in the 12-week timeframe get a leg up on finding a new job as well, as they will get the opportunity to interview for open roles over at Cognizant. Digital analyst jobs are projected to rise by 19 percent through 2024, meaning there’s plenty of room for development and opportunity. The courses offered in the program are designed around skills employers are looking for from the jump in the digital economy.

The program, which welcomes its first class in March of this year, will have a four-module curriculum delivered completely online. More 12-week programs will be offered later in the year. Recent college graduates and others seeking to make a career change can take advantage of the program which addresses a growing labor gap in the consulting industry. Cognizant is also eliminating all tuition costs, covering the tuition and fees for all enrolled students in 2019.

Nick Esquer

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