Florida Tech Online MBA in Finance

Florida Tech MBA ProgramFlorida Tech University Online (Florida Institute of Technology)
and Bisk Education announced a new Master of Business Administration (MBA) program with a concentration in Finance, which brings yet another world-class degree to an international audience 100% online.  As the globalized and complex finance industry gets larger, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts extremely strong growth in Finance, with employment of financial analysts and advisors increasing 20% to 30% through 2018.  Florida Tech’s online MBA in Finance program allows professionals to develop the necessary business skills and in-depth financial knowledge required to succeed in this thriving field, with the convenience of online learning and no GMAT or GRE requirement.

Ranked a Tier 1 Best National University by U.S. News & World Report, Florida Tech and its renowned Nathan M. Bisk College of Business have earned a reputation for excellence, with expert faculty and hands-on learning. The MBA with a specialization in Finance provides the solid foundation today’s professionals need to seize new opportunities in an ever-changing business environment. Through Florida Tech’s innovative Essentials of Business Development sequence, students learn the core business fundamentals and gain valuable experience building a business plan from the ground up. Specialization courses help them develop in-demand skills in portfolio management, stock analysis and valuation, capital budgeting and international finance.

This new program is backed by Bisk Education’s University Alliance division, which enables 100% online course delivery through a multimedia, video-based e-learning system and provides marketing and enrollment support. “Florida Tech and University Alliance continue to break new ground in presenting impactful online MBA programs that empower today’s professionals to achieve real-world success,” said Adrian Marrullier, Executive Vice President of University Alliance.  “We are proud to facilitate Florida Tech’s efforts to bring the highest-quality degree programs to students worldwide.”

Marrullier also noted that Florida Tech MBA graduates enjoy excellent earning potential. In fact, a recent survey by PayScale* found that Florida Tech bachelor’s degree holders rank as the highestearning graduates among all private research universities in the state – which attests to the high quality of education enjoyed by all Florida Tech students.

Florida Tech’s online MBA students enjoy the same advantages as their main-campus peers, but without any geographic or schedule constraints. The only difference is in the method of course delivery – the Internet-based programs feature 24/7 access to streaming video lectures with downloadable MP3 and MP4 files, plus high-tech communication tools such as live chat rooms, online discussion boards and a dedicated email system.

Beyond the new MBA in Finance, Florida Tech’s graduate degree programs include nine additional MBA offerings from the Nathan M. Bisk College of Business, as well as a Master of Science in Information Technology. Florida Tech also offers a number of undergraduate programs online, including seven associate’s degrees and 14 bachelor’s degrees.  Registration is now open for Florida Tech’s online MBA in Finance program. Admission is on a rolling basis. For more information about Florida Tech University Online, visit FloridaTechOnline.com.

* 2010-11 College Salary Report: Top Private Research Universities by Salary Potential, PayScale.  http://www.payscale.com/best-colleges/top-private-universities.asp (accessed October 28, 2010).

About Florida Tech
Florida Tech is a regionally accredited university that is world renowned for its distinguished faculty, comprehensive curriculum and unyielding innovation. Florida Tech is ranked a Tier 1 Best National University by U.S. News & World Report. It is also rated by the Fiske Guide to Colleges and named in Barron’s Best Buys in College Education. Founded in 1958, Florida Tech has more than 50,000 alumni. Its main campus is located on 130 subtropical acres in Melbourne, Florida, on the state’s famous Space Coast.  Florida Tech, with the assistance of University Alliance, has one of the largest nationally ranked online programs in the nation with more than 38 of the most sought-after associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs.
Florida Institute of Technology is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, education specialist and doctoral degree.


Project Manager Career Change

What Is Project Management?

One of the biggest misconceptions about a project management career is that it’s essentially the same as a more traditional management career. While it’s true that project managers need to have strong leadership skills, their role is primarily to manage projects – not people.

Unlike departmental managers, project managers are not part of the typical supervisory structure most companies employ. Instead, they work as a sort of free agent – a project management career involves coordinating the work of many people and divisions in order to complete a particular assignment. Throughout the course of a project, the project manager will interact with individual contributors at all levels of the company in relation to various deliverables.

Always a New Challenge

While a project manager generally relies on the same skill set for each project, the projects themselves can vary significantly. The constantly changing focus of this type of work is what makes a project management career so attractive to many people. This dynamic field is ideal for those who enjoy taking on new challenges. However, if you’re serious about pursuing a project management career, you’ll need to be sure you can handle the demands of the job.

Essential Qualities of Project Managers

Successful project managers are highly organized and pay meticulous attention to detail. They have a knack for seeing the big picture and how each individual piece of the puzzle needs to fit into place to make their project a success. They also possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills. While these qualities are important for all business professionals, they are absolutely essential in a project management career because of the need to closely coordinate the efforts of many different people.

Excelling in the world of project management also requires the ability to make good decisions quickly. Project managers must know how to size up a situation and determine the best way to proceed to avoid costly delays. While thorough planning is critical to the success of a project, the best project managers are able to adapt to unexpected circumstances and adjust their plans accordingly on short notice.

Enhance Your Project Management Career Prospects Through Industry Certification

Acquiring the skills and traits of an effective project manager is just the first step. To get your project management career off to a successful start, you should attain industry certification through the Project Management Institute (PMI®). By completing a formal project management training course, you can develop the expertise needed to pass the exams to achieve certification as a Project Management Professional (PMP®) or Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM®). These certifications will make you a more attractive candidate for project manager jobs and enable you to carry out the responsibilities of that position more effectively.


Six Sigma Green Belt Careers

Six Sigma Green Belt Career Paths

Professionals with Green Belt certification are thoroughly familiar with the basic tenets of Six Sigma and are able to apply its principles to their work on a daily basis. The positions best suited for Green Belts include mid- to upper-level project managers, process engineers, consultants and manufacturing engineers.

There are a multitude of Six Sigma Green Belt career paths available in virtually every industry, due the fact that Six Sigma can be effective in improving business processes in many different fields. That’s why a growing number of companies are looking to fill a wide variety of positions with candidates who are adept at applying the principles of Six Sigma.

In general, the highest-level leadership positions are reserved for Six Sigma Black Belts and Master Black Belts. However, Six Sigma Green Belt certification will set you apart from non-certified applicants vying for positions that require advanced process management skills. It can also prepare you to continue on to higher levels of certification if and when you decide to pursue an executive leadership position.

Leading job-search sites have thousands of postings from well-known companies offering Six Sigma Green Belt career opportunities. Employers such as UnitedHealth Group, Honeywell, GE and Volkswagen have been actively seeking professionals with Six Sigma certification to fill a variety of positions*, such as:

  • Lean Six Sigma Consultant
  • Lead Manufacturing Engineer
  • Process Development Engineer
  • Compliance Structural Engineer
  • Reliability Engineer
  • Operating System Specialist
  • Senior IT Project Manager
  • Warehouse Operations Manager
  • Business Process Analyst
  • Project Engineer
  • Director, Performance Excellence

10 Companies Using Six Sigma

Top 10 Places to Work and Cultivate Six Sigma Careers

In its second year, the iSixSigma Best Places to Work™ poll was conducted. Both iSixSigma.com and iSixSigma Magazine sponsored the list, which received more than 40 applicant companies from all over the world. Each company applying for consideration has to fill out a two-part survey online – senior Six Sigma leadership submitted answers to an employee survey, and full-time Six Sigma personnel have to submit answers to an employee survey.

The rankings process was simple, the scores from both surveys were totaled and the companies were ranked 1 through 10 as a result. The survey scores were weighted, the greatest consideration was given to the employee survey, which had five categories ranging from: job satisfaction to compensation. Job satisfaction was the category in the employee survey that was given the most weight, because that is what employees said was the most important factor to them when it comes to where they work.

The winning companies for fostering Six Sigma careers “demonstrated an even higher commitment to fostering a supportive culture for Six Sigma professionals to thrive. Overall scores this year were higher than last in each category,” said Michael Marx, research manager of iSixSigma.com and iSixSigma Magazine.

The winners of the iSixSigma Best Places to Work™ poll were:

  • Cardinal Health Inc.
  • Computacenter AG & Co. oHG
  • Ecolab Inc.
  • McKesson Corp.
  • Merck & Co. Inc.
  • Pfizer Inc.
  • Piramal Healthcare Ltd.
  • Starwood Hotels, North America Operation
  • Vought Aircraft Industries Inc.
  • Xerox Corp.

Also important to note, Marx pointed out how well these companies have performed “shining through as exemplary places for Six Sigma professionals to work, despite rough economic conditions.”

Get Your Six Sigma Training From Villanova University

Ranked the #1 Master’s University in the North, Villanova is widely recognized as a leader in online professional education. Villanova University also offers its Six Sigma Master Certificates and Courses 100% online via video based e-learning. Here is a list of the current Six Sigma certificates and courses:

Master Certificates

  • Master Certificate in Six Sigma
  • Master Certificate in Six Sigma-Healthcare
  • Master Certificate in Six Sigma-Financial Services
  • Master Certificate in Six Sigma-Information Technology

Advanced Master Certificates

  • Advanced Master Certificate in Lean Six Sigma

Courses

  • Six Sigma Green Belt
  • Six Sigma Green Belt-Healthcare
  • Six Sigma Green Belt- Financial Services
  • Six Sigma Green Belt-Information Technology
  • Lean Six Sigma
  • Lean Six Sigma Black Belt
  • Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt

If you are interested in pursuing any of these master certificates or courses, click here to find out more.


Lean Six Sigma FAQs

  1. Is Lean Six Sigma a career?
    No; it is a methodology that is used by business professionals, especially those working in a quality-control capacity. Specialists can earn Green Belt, Lean Sensei, Lean Black Belt and Lean Master Black Belt certifications to demonstrate advanced levels of proficiency in Six Sigma.
  2. What educational background is needed for Lean Six Sigma training?
    It’s helpful to hold a degree in business or mathematics, but three to five years of work experience can also prepare you for Lean Six Sigma training. Certificate programs have no prerequisites, so mid- to upper-level managers can enroll quickly and easily.
  3. What is a Green Belt?
    An employee with Green Belt training and certification plays an important role in executing Six Sigma process throughout his or her organization. Individuals earning Green Belts will typically lead a process improvement or quality improvement team as part of their full-time job responsibilities. Green Belt training is ideal for anyone without prior Six Sigma experience.
  4. What are the requirements for Six Sigma Green Belt certification?
    Villanova University offers 100% online Green Belt training as well as an online Green Belt certification exam. The training program is designed for managers and professionals in any type of industry, and has no prerequisites. Students may complete a general Green Belt course or specialize in Healthcare, Financial Services or Information Technology. Upon completion of the eight-week online certificate course, students may take the certification exam.
  5. What is a Lean Black Belt?
    Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification is typically held by a team leader responsible for implementing process improvement projects throughout a business, with the goal of improving customer satisfaction and increasing productivity.
  6. What is the advantage of a Black Belt over a Green Belt?
    Black Belt certification is highly sought-after in business today, and is generally a stepping stone to more senior-level positions. Green Belts often report to Black Belts, who in turn receive coaching and support from Master Black Belts. Your Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification will position you to lead top-quality projects, thereby enhancing your value to your employer and offering greater opportunities for advancement.
  7. What are the qualifications for Lean Black Belt certification?
    Becoming a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt begins with in-depth training. Villanova University offers a 16-week online certificate course that is designed for Green Belt practioners or individuals with related work experience. Upon completion of the course, students are eligible to sit for Villanova’’s online Lean Black Belt certification exam.
  8. How are Black Belt and Green Belt certifications similar?
    Both training programs focus on the Lean Six Sigma concepts of quality, process mapping, controls and problem-solving methods. The certifications signify a professional’s level of expertise in leading quality improvement projects.
  9. How does Black Belt certification differ from Green Belt?
    Lean Black Belt training and certification build on the knowledge and skills acquired at the Green Belt level, providing enhanced proficiency in core Lean Six Sigma concepts. Villanova’s Lean Black Belt program offers a more intensive exploration of how to analyze, measure, control and improve the manufacturing process.
  10. What is a Master Black Belt?
    Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt training takes the core Six Sigma concepts even further, emphasizing leadership, optimization and design. Master Black Belts manage and mentor Green and Black Belts, and help to develop, maintain and revise Lean Six Sigma training materials. Individuals who have earned a Villanova Master Certificate in Six Sigma and achieved Lean Black Belt certification are eligible to enroll in the Advanced Master Certificate in Lean Six Sigma program, which leads to Lean Master Black Belt certification.
  11. Where can I find Lean Six Sigma training?
    You can obtain world-class training from the industry’s leading Lean Six Sigma instructors through Villanova University. Ranked as the #1 university in the Master’s category/North region by U.S. News & World Report, Villanova offers 100% online certificate courses through a convenient, video-based e-learning platform. Students who complete Villanova’s certificate programs are eligible to sit for the university’s online certification exams, including Six Sigma Green Belt, Lean Sensei, Lean Black Belt and Lean Master Black Belt certifications.

What Is Business Analysis?

Now, more than ever, the ability to apply sound business analysis techniques to any situation can make you an attractive applicant for jobs in many different companies and industries.

In today’s rapidly changing business climate, only companies that quickly identify and adapt to new opportunities will survive. Whether you’re looking to change career fields or advance within your current company, acquiring business analysis techniques and credentials can open up a wealth of possibilities for you.

Business Analysis Basics

Generally speaking, business analysis refers to the practice of identifying business needs and developing solutions to meet them. Business analysis techniques are used to create an appropriate plan and put that plan into action.

Skilled business analysts are a vital part of any business structure because they are able to break down the big picture into manageable pieces, making it possible to determine how best to allocate labor and resources in any given situation.

Common Business Analysis Techniques

In order to devise a workable solution to the many challenges businesses face, there are several important business analysis techniques that professionals employ. These include:

MOST (Mission, Objectives, Strategies and Tactics) – Identifying each of these elements allows business analysts to conduct a thorough internal analysis of what an organization is aiming to accomplish and how best to go about doing that.

PESTLE (Political, Economic, Sociological, Technological, Legal and Environmental) – This model is used by business analysts to evaluate various external factors that will impact their company and determine how to address them.

SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) – This business analysis technique is used to identify areas of both strength and weakness within a corporate structure and translate them into opportunities and threats, which helps in determining the proper allocation of resources.

MoSCoW (Must or Should, Could or Would) – This process allows for the prioritization of requirements by presenting a framework in which each individual requirement can be evaluated relative to the others. Is it a must-have? Something the project should have? Something that could improve the deliverable? Or something that would be a good future addition?

CATWOE (Customers, Actors, Transformation Process, World View, Owner and Environmental Constraints) – This business analysis technique identifies the main parties and processes that will be affected by any action the business undertakes. This makes it possible for business analysts to thoroughly evaluate the impact of any proposed action under consideration.

The 5 Whys – A mainstay of both Six Sigma and business analysis techniques, this series of leading questions helps business analysts single out the root cause of a problem by asking why a situation exists, then subjecting the answer to another “why?”, and so on.

Six Thinking Hats – This process is used to direct a group’s line of thinking during a brainstorming session by considering alternate perspectives and ideas. The “six hats” in this technique are categorized as White (logical, data-driven thinking), Red (emotion-based reactions), Black (adverse thinking, focused on cons), Yellow (positive thinking, focused on pros), Green (creative thinking) and Blue (big-picture overview).

All of these business analysis techniques are an important part of an analyst’s repertoire. Considering the complexity of most business models and the many different factors that can impact them, it is critical for companies to have trained professionals on staff that are highly skilled in the application of these and other business analysis techniques.


Career: Business Analyst Career

Most IT jobs have a clear, specific job description and career path. However, the business analyst career path tends to vary, as do the descriptions from job to job. David Foote, president of Foote Partners LLC, an IT career research firm in New Canaan, Connecticut, explains the business analyst career path best.

David says, “There are career tracks that zigzag back and forth between IT and business. Someone might start as a business analyst, then move into a project management job, then an IT management path, then go back to an innovation path … then to process management, then move up a rung to process leadership or process ownership, and then go back over to management as manager of an IT line of business.”

Today’s Business Analyst

The 21st century business analyst’s world is multifaceted. As a mediator, moderator, connector and ambassador, the business analyst must bring the business needs together with IT resources. Successful business analysts tend to be clear communicators, smooth facilitators, precise analyzers and team players. Plus, the ideal analyst has the versatility of various business functions, such as operations, finance, engineering, technology or architecture.

Jay Michael, a business analyst for Colfax, agrees that the business analyst role is fuzzy at many companies. He says, “I usually describe what a BA does by telling people I am a bridge between business systems from the end user to functional implementation of technical solutions. But when you tell somebody that they look at you like ’OK, what do you really do?’”

What Does a Business Analyst Do?

As you explore the business analyst career path, you’ll need to clear up the confusion and learn about the many hats business analysts wear. From being a good communicator and data analyzer to possessing project management and technical skills, business analysts regularly use a variety of techniques. They are the bridge that fills in the gap between each department throughout every step of development. Modern Analyst identifies several characteristics that make up the role of a business analyst as follows:

  • The analyst works with the business to identify opportunities for improvement in business operations and processes
  • The analyst is involved in the design or modification of business systems or IT systems
  • The analyst interacts with the business stakeholders and subject matter experts in order to understand their problems and needs
  • The analyst gathers, documents, and analyzes business needs and requirements
  • The analyst solves business problems and, as needed, designs technical solutions
  • The analyst documents the functional and, sometimes, technical design of the system
  • The analyst interacts with system architects and developers to ensure the system is properly implemented
  • The analyst may help test the system and create system documentation and user manuals

Starting Your Career as a Business Analyst

Beginning business analysts need to have either a strong business background or extensive IT knowledge. With that, you can start to work as a business analyst with job responsibilities that include collecting, analyzing, communicating and documenting requirements, user-testing and so on.

Entry-level jobs may include industry/domain expert, developer, and/or quality assurance. Within a few years you could choose to become a Subject Matter Expert (SME). This is the time to delve into the areas that interest you most and develop those areas that can help you progress into higher management positions.

Moving Up the Ladder

Once you have several years of experience in the industry, you will reach a pivotal turning point where you can choose the next step in your business analyst career. After three to five years, you can be positioned to move up into roles such as IT business analyst, senior/lead business analyst or product manager. The more experience you have as a business analyst, the more likely you are to be assigned larger and/or more complex projects.

After eight to 10 years in various business analysis positions, you can advance to chief technology officer or work as a consultant. You can take the business analyst career path as far as you would like, progressing through management levels as far as your expertise, talents and desires take you.

How Much Do Business Analysts Make?

Depending upon which business analyst career path you choose, you’re certain to benefit from a highly rewarding and lucrative career. To give you an idea of how profitable this field can be, take a look at these job titles and average salaries for a variety of business analyst jobs:

Job Title Average Salary
Executive Sales Representative $160,000
Management Consulting Business Analyst $109,000
SAP $101,000
Solutions Architect Sales Representative $92,000
Senior Business Systems Analyst $89,000
Systems Business Analyst $87,000
Senior Business Analyst $86,000
Executive $83,000
Business Systems Analyst $81,000
Business Intelligence Analyst $80,000
Technical Business Analyst $79,000
Business Analyst $76,000
Senior Credit Analyst $65,000
Associate Analyst $55,000
Administrative Analyst $53,000

In USD as of Nov 10, 2009, according to http://www.Indeed.com.

Certification = Fastest Route to Higher Salary + Increased Opportunity

Business analysts who want to enhance their expertise and expand their career options achieve industry-recognized certification. The current leader in business analysis certification is the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA®).

The IIBA offers the prestigious Certified Business Analysis Professional™ (CBAP®), a designation accomplished by candidates who successfully demonstrate their business analysis expertise. As a candidate, you’ll need to detail your business analysis work experience, and pass the CBAP exam. One of the most critical steps on your business analyst career path, certification can boost your salary by 16% according to Certification Magazine.

Expand Your Business Analysis Skills – and Your Professional Value

One of the best ways to prepare for your CBAP certification is to earn your Master Certificate in Business Analysis from Villanova University – 100% online. Not only will you be able to gain the critical knowledge you’ll need for the certification exam, but you’ll also be attaining a valuable credential that demonstrates your solid understanding of core business analysis skills and shows your career dedication.

Throughout Villanova’s online business analysis courses, you’ll learn to:

  • Initiate project plans and schedules for requirements
  • Identify, analyze and design processes to enhance information flow
  • Develop superior strategies for gathering, documenting and reviewing
  • Explore advanced data definition, traceability, quality management and other techniques
  • Understand methods for dealing with requirements changes and their impact on testing and product quality.