Interview with Matt Honeycutt, MBA - Director of Graduate Business Admission for the College of Business, Influence, and Information Analysis at Rockhurst University’s Helzberg School of Management
About Matt Honeycutt, MBA: Matt Honeycutt is the Director of Graduate Business Admission for the College of Business, Influence, and Information Analysis at Rockhurst University’s Helzberg School of Management. His role as Director of Graduate Business Admission includes building and implementing a recruiting strategy for four graduate degree programs and 10 graduate certificate programs. He works closely with recent graduates and working professionals on discovering what professional needs and goals they have, and how one or more of Rockhurst University’s programs could fit those needs. In collaboration with the graduate business admission coordinator, Mr. Honeycutt manages the full application process and works to provide a personalized service for students. He also works alongside the Director of Marketing at Rockhurst to analyze and employ content through various social media and paid search channels.
Mr. Honeycutt has been working in higher education recruiting and academic advising for more than six years at two different institutions. He received his Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Central Missouri in 2012, and his Helzberg MBA from Rockhurst University in 2014.
[GraduateCertificates.com] May we have more information on the Graduate Certificate in Analytics and Insights offered through Rockhurst University’s Helzberg School of Management? What is the structure of the curriculum for this graduate certificate, how do the tracks in Business Intelligence, Data Science, and Health Analytics serve different student populations and their specific goals?
[Matt Honeycutt] The Analytics & Insights Graduate Certificate at Rockhurst was developed in 2013 as a result of our program director and others identifying the need for Data Science and Business Intelligence training amongst a wide range of professionals. There were online courses out there that were self-paced and could give professionals some skills, but we wanted to meet a market need to develop true Data Scientists and Business Intelligence Analysts. Rockhurst met with executives already doing data science and business intelligence in the Kansas City area, and asked what skills were a must to be hired and highly skilled. We then used this information to formulate the certificate’s two tracks of Data Science and Business Intelligence. The Health Analytics track was created in 2019 due to the need and number of employers in the Kansas City area who work in healthcare for Cerner, Epic, St. Luke’s Health, KU Medical Center, BlueCross and BlueShield of KC and others.
Every Analytics & Insights Certificate student, no matter what track they desire, takes a core of three, two-credit hour courses: Business Intelligence, Applied Data Mining, and Data Visualization. This gives them strong foundations and knowledge in Data Science and Business Intelligence, by helping them develop a strong understanding of the strategy and business of data, as well as how to use models and other quantitative analysis to prepare and analyze data. The student will subsequently choose to take another set of three, two-credit hour courses for whatever track they prefer.
The Data Science track is focused on building someone as an authentic and adept Data Scientist – learning big data, predictive modeling, and text mining to understand analytics on a very deep level. The Business Intelligence track gives tools and applications to collect and organize data for business strategy. Learning skills like Google Analytics, Tableau, and knowledge of other applications to build a business intelligence strategy is what this track will provide. The Health Analytics track is focused on giving students concepts in and a strong understanding of the business, operations, and technologies used in healthcare. This last track is less technical in nature and focuses more on how healthcare decisions affect data.
[GraduateCertificates.com] The Graduate Certificate in Analytics and Insights is offered in both on-campus and online formats. For the online version of the program, what learning management system does Rockhurst University use to facilitate interactions between students and their peers and instructors? How does the campus-based program accommodate working professionals?
[Matt Honeycutt] The online and on-campus options for our Analytics & Insights Certificate program utilize Canvas for the learning management system. Student can choose to do the certificate and any of the 3 tracks fully online or a mix of both online and campus-based. Our Data Science track and Business Intelligence track students can choose to do the program fully on-campus (currently a fully on-campus option is on hold due to the pandemic).
The online courses are mainly asynchronous, but some courses are synchronous. If the course is synchronous, it will be held during the evening from 5:45 – 9:00 pm one night per week. The on-campus courses are held during the same time frame and one night per week, with synchronous online and on-campus courses being offered Monday through Thursday night. All courses are 2 credit-hour, 8-week courses. So if you have a synchronous or on-campus course on Tuesday nights it would be eight Tuesday evening class sessions in a row.
[GraduateCertificates.com] Rockhurst University’s Helzberg School of Management also offers a Master of Science in Data Analytics. Can you explain the difference between the Master of Science in Data Analytics and the Graduate Certificate in Analytics and Insights? Who is the target audience for the master’s degree, versus the graduate certificate?
[Matt Honeycutt] The Analytics & Insights Certificate program allows students to focus and specialize in one area of analytics, but by completing any of the certificate tracks they can use all 12 credits toward the 30 hour MS in Data Analytics program, which gives them essentially 40% completion of the MS program. Some students will decide to roll right in to the MS program once finished with the certificate, but you can choose to come back at a later date. All graduate credits are usable and do not expire for six years after completed.
There are three, two-credit hour prerequisites that can be waived based on academic coursework and/or work experience. The prerequisites courses cover programming (specially R & Python), statistical analysis and machine learning, and relational databases like SQL. These courses are NOT required to be completed before being admitted and starting certain courses, but most students who need these prerequisites complete them early on in the program.
The MS in Data Analytics will combine the Business Intelligence and Data Science track courses of the certificate and add in about 5 business-focused courses to give the student a strong understanding of optimizing business strategy using data gathering and insights analysis. Although the MS degree is technical and analytically focused, we educate our students on how to communicate, budget, and manage projects with data because many professionals are asked to not just have a technical skillset, but to also have project management and business management skills. The MS program is best suited for students who want to understand business management and operations, and who are currently in a management role or aspire to be in one.
[GraduateCertificates.com] May we have more information on the Helzberg School of Management’s mission statement, and how its graduate certificate programs, including the Graduate Certificate in Analytics and Insights, contribute to this strategic mission?
[Matt Honeycutt] The Helzberg mission statement is as follows: The Helzberg School of Management prepares leaders to make a positive difference in the world through the Jesuit tradition of learning, leadership and service.
The graduate certificate students at Rockhurst contribute to the Helzberg School of Management’s mission statement by making a positive difference in the world of business and data analysis and management. We embody a culture throughout all of our graduate business programs that asks students to experience, reflect, and act on what they are doing in the classroom and how it impacts the world. We train and educate certificate students on how to not just build, organize, and analyze data from a technical perspective, but also ask the right questions about data and to formulate business decisions in a precise and careful manner.
Some of the other graduate certificate programs in the Helzberg School of Management include Healthcare Management, Organizational Development, Finance and Management.
[GraduateCertificates.com] Outside of faculty guidance and support in classes and office hours, what support structures are in place for students of the Helzberg School of Management’s graduate certificate programs? May we have more information on the professional coaches, Career Center, and career-oriented events that are available on the Rockhurst University campus? How do online students access these resources?
[Matt Honeycutt] Graduate certificate students at Rockhurst have access to the same resources as the master’s degree students in the Helzberg School, including our career services and professional coaching. These services have no added cost to the student. The students also have access to an alumni network that continues to grow in data analytics, as well as a LinkedIn Group that shares job opportunities, meetups, and additional learning resources for professionals.
[GraduateCertificates.com] Who should consider the Graduate Certificate in Analytics and Insights from the Helzberg School of Management, and what are the admissions requirements for this program? For individuals who are considering completing either a master’s degree or a graduate certificate in data analytics or a related field, how do you recommend they navigate this decision?
[Matt Honeycutt] Someone who wants to gain a deep understanding of and ability to apply analytics concepts and tools should consider this program. We are not a data analytics boot camp that gives you high-level, surface understanding of programming, business intelligence, etc. We completely prepare you to move in to direct roles in analytics. The admission requirements are:
- FREE Online Application
- Official transcripts from your degree granting institution. We only need one of your degrees, so if you have a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree just one is needed
- Professional resume uploaded to the online application
For those evaluating if the certificate program or the master’s degree is best for them, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can answer any questions you may have, as well as connect you with current students or alumni from either program to hear more about their experience and what they are doing professionally with this education.
[GraduateCertificates.com] In your opinion, where do you see graduate certificate programs in the overall post-baccalaureate education landscape, and how do you see graduate certificate programs as a graduate education option evolving as the business, data science, and health industries’ needs evolve?
[Matt Honeycutt] Graduate certificate programs give professionals a way to continue lifelong learning and adapt with technology and business changes. These certificates can stand alone in providing value and expertise in many areas of business, but certain certificates have the ability to be fully transferrable to certain master’s programs. They go beyond a quick bootcamp or online course on Coursera, Udemy, etc. They invoke deeper thought and understanding. So many professionals want a very quick and cheap way of learning skills, but anything of value takes time and focus on the right tools and applications.
Thank you, Matt Honeycutt, for your excellent insight into Rockhurst University’s Graduate Certificate in Analytics and Insights!
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