UC San Diego: UC San Diego’s Rady School Sees Record Enrollment During the Pandemic

With a record enrolled class of students, the University of California San Diego’s Rady School of Management is adding a flex Master of Science in business analytics (Flex MSBA) to its highly sought after business degree programs. As the only part-time program of its kind in Southern California, the flex MSBA is designed to serve the region’s data-rich industries in medicine, technology and defense, among others.

Total enrollment at Rady for fall 2020 was up 34 percent compared to last year. The full-time master’s program in business analytics had an 80 percent jump in enrollment this year, while part-time programs, such as the flex weekend MBA, increased by an astounding 180 percent.

“The growing reputation of the Rady School as a data-driven, rigorous and analytical top business school continues to attract top talented students locally and internationally,” said Lisa Ordóñez, dean of the Rady School of Management. “Our collaborative environment allows students get to know each other and the faculty, so that they build meaningful relationships that extend into their lives as alumni.”

Applications to the business school for fall 2021 are still open but are up 15 percent compared to this same time last year.

The increased interest can be attributed to the school’s rise in several national and international rankings, such as U.S. News and World Report. In addition, Rady’s MBA degrees were all recently designated Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs —a distinction only a small number of top business schools have received.

Launching this August, the Flex MSBA program can be completed on weekends in 17 months, making it ideal for working professionals looking to make a transition in their career.

“As the business school of a top research university, we saw the need to scale up analytic skills for both students and the industries in San Diego and the region,” said Ordóñez. “Leveraging San Diego’s core competitive advantage as a hub of innovation, biotechnology, engineering, health sciences and the military, this program is an example of our expanded reach for local and global collaborations, particularly in our cross-border region.”

Global as well as San Diego-based companies including IBM, Petco and BD recruit and have hired students from the full-time program and can be expected to hire flex MSBA graduates as well.

The full-time MSBA program is 10th best in the U.S., according to the 2020 QS World University rankings. The same faculty for the full-time program teach in the flex (part-time) program.

“When we were developing the MSBA program, we talked to several large corporations in the area and asked them about their main talent gaps in the area of business analytics,” said Vincent Nijs, co-director of the MSBA program and associate professor of marketing at the Rady School. “Most of them told us that they struggled to find the talent needed to meet the demand presented by the ever-growing amount of data they produce and acquire. These companies are looking for individuals who can collect, clean, visualize, and analyze data and can also communicate their insights to decision makers effectively.”

Radhakrishnan Srinivasan, an alum of the full-time program, was able to use his MSBA degree to pivot from academia and engineering into data science. He was 45 years-old at the time.

“Rady was the spring board that helped me leap into data science completely,” he said.

Through earning his degree, he had the opportunity to collaborate with Thermo Fisher on a project. With the connections he made from the experience, he landed a job at the San Diego-based company working as a senior data scientist.

“I am applying everything I learned at Rady,” he said.

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