One might say Brandeis International Business School (IBS) practices what it preaches. It’s a world-class institution that offers cutting-edge theories and best practices in a global economy, providing its students with a blend of academic theory and real world education.
The real part just got better. This spring, Brandeis IBS is rolling out four new specializations as part of an initiative that better prepares students to meet the complex demands of today’s business world. Specializations in Business Economics, Data Analytics, Sustainability and International Economic Policy Analysis are now included in the roster of nine new specializations that have been implemented over the past year (current students can review the specializations page above to get more details).
“We’ve been looking at our curriculum and asking ourselves what we can do to make what we offer more useful and offer a more relevant education in high growth fields,” said Tren Dolbear, Senior Associate Dean and Professor Emeritus of Economics. “We’ve found that being specific and relevant is helpful.”
The idea is to use the solid foundation of current course offerings and add courses that give students the hands-on skills and knowledge to be more competitive in the marketplace. The specializations are designed to prepare them for jobs in emerging fields related to business, economics and finance.
The addition of Data Analytics, for example, couldn’t come at a better time. “It’s a huge movement,” said Elana L. Givens, Associate Dean for Career Services and one of the drivers behind the specializations efforts. “People need to know how to analyze data in order to make better business decisions.”
Sustainability is another timely specialization as industries across the board – real estate, utilities and manufacturing in particular, according to Givens – strive to maintain environmentally-sound practices.
International Economic Policy Analysis prepares students to work in worldwide institutions ranging from central banks to macroeconomic think tanks. Business Economics helps students specialize in areas of interest, be it labor, corporate or consulting on topics such as risk management and tax policies. This expertise, as with Data Analytics, provides analytical skills for sharp decision making in any business.
In all instances, students are given the tools to think analytically and creatively about solving problems and then apply what they’ve learned to real-world situations. Some specializations require students to write a paper or master’s thesis, further deepening their understanding of the material. But all specializations are ultimately designed to give students an edge once they graduate.
The other specializations include Asset Management, Corporate Finance, Marketing, Real Estate and Risk Management. The Real Estate specialization, implemented last year, has received a strong response and spurred students to form a Real Estate Club.
“Every firm I call sends us job postings,” Givens said.
She said the new specializations also fill two important roles: they demonstrate to future employers that students understand what it takes to tackle a specific area of expertise, and they help students identify their passions.
“There’s so much attention on, ‘What do I do when I leave school?’” said Givens. “[The specializations] train our students to meet the demands of today’s marketplace.”