In a world where analytics are critical to organizations, Andrew Hagen sought a graduate certificate program where he could learn more about how businesses leverage data for better decision-making. After trying programs provided elsewhere, he found an online business analytics graduate certificate that matched his interests and provided value at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
“With Nebraska’s certificate in business analytics, I have the opportunity to challenge myself to learn new things without the large school bill. Additionally, I love the length of the eight-week semesters, as I enjoy taking one class at a time to digest the information at my speed,” said Hagen, a Tigard, Oregon, native. “I’ve previously taken certificates from other schools, but quit before completion due to the cost and low value I felt I was receiving. The business analytics certificate at Nebraska stood out to me because I needed a program that was highly accredited, had a diverse selection of applicable classes and offered solid value.”
While in the certificate program, Hagen worked at Nintendo of America as a senior intellectual property enforcement specialist. In a role that frequently works with data, he found what he learned in courses especially valuable in the workplace.
“Even before finishing the certificate, I saw how the machine learning applications could be used on the job. I was able to perform a market segmentation project using clustering algorithms and examine how predictive algorithms could be used to identify infringing websites,” he said.
Hagen credited Wesley Boyce, assistant professor of practice in supply chain management and analytics and program director of master of science in supply chain management, for helping him apply concepts from his courses to his work. Boyce knew learning about business analytics helps working professionals, like Hagen, make a notable impact at their organization.
“In today’s world, businesses are dealing with more data than ever before. They utilize data to be more efficient, aid in decision-making and improve financial performance. These courses help students like Andrew prepare to make a significant contribution at their firms since a data-driven approach can add tremendous value,” Boyce said.
Nebraska’s analytics certificate program focuses on providing a welcoming atmosphere for people from a variety of industries, including those without a background in business analytics.
“The fact that the program does not require any prerequisites makes it accessible to students with varying undergraduate degrees and work experience. Students gain a set of in-demand skills that are highly relevant in today’s data-driven world,” said Boyce.
Hagen, who completed the certificate in May 2021, appreciated the flexibility of the program as well. At the time, he lived in Redmond, Washington, in a two-bedroom, 820-square-foot apartment with his wife, Sam, who was also working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic and their two children who were under the age of four at the time, Ben and Evie.
“Online learning allowed me to continue to further my education without spending time during the day on commutes and logistics that I would have rather spent with my kids. Since my kids were young, I was able to spend my limited time after work with them and then study and attend class after they went to bed,” he said.
Hagan also decided to continue his education and apply his certificate coursework toward a Master of Science in Business Analytics degree which he is currently working on. He also started a new job as an online enforcement program manager for Victorinox and he and his family moved to Silver Lake, Ohio.
Due to his experiences, Hagen, encourages others interested in business analytics to take the leap through Nebraska’s online programs.
“With the cost, format and flexibility of the programs at Nebraska, there’s little downside to applying and jumping into it. I hopped around from various programs and online courses and this was the only program that managed to keep my attention due to its pacing, cost and content,” Hagen said.
Published: January 25, 2022
To learn more about graduate certificate programs at the College of Business, visit: https://business.unl.edu/certificates.