Artistry and analytics will fuse in a new degree offered at the McCombs School of Business.
McCombs has introduced a Master of Science in Marketing degree plan for students from any undergraduate background to apply their creative skills to analytical problems in the business sector. The application is currently open and the inaugural class will begin July 1.
“We wanted to create a program that would allow non-business majors, in a 10-month period, to get intense exposure to marketing,” program director Jade DeKinder said. “[Marketing] includes … both the left and the right side of the brain. What’s happening in marketing now is you need that creativity, you need to think through and understand consumer psychology, but you also need strong quantitative skills and have rigorous courses in marketing analytics. That’s what this master’s program is all about.”
DeKinder said the degree was created because new technology, such as the websites Yelp and Angie’s List, is allowing consumers to talk to each other before spending money. She said this has provided companies with a lot more data about consumers.
Business can no longer rely on pure advertising but must begin working directly with consumers, radio-television-film junior Zach Morrison said.
“[Companies] adapt to customer feedback — that’s what they need to bring people in,” Morrison said. “Since Austin is a very local town, but it has that very heavy corporate presence, it gives us a nice balance to try and construct the ideas of how can we support local [businesses] while being in this giant corporate atmosphere.”
A committee of marketing professors recently received approval for the degree plan and has begun holding informational sessions to recruit its inaugural class. It hopes to have 20 students in the class, DeKinder said.
“Students that pursue an MBA usually have at least three years of work experience prior to applying to an MBA program,” said Samantha Harris, director of McCombs media relations, in an email. “The Texas MSM program is designed (but not required) for students to apply directly after receiving their undergraduate degree.”
The program is designed for non-business majors because the curriculum overlaps with the bachelor’s degree in marketing.
“Our goal is to get out there and educate people that good marketing is actually about creating cool products and letting consumers know about it,” DeKinder said. “We’re looking for those students who have a strong academic background … but realized they actually have an interest in going to work for companies.”