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Lamar fills demand for graduate course

By Lorenzo Salinas



Graduate students will soon have yet another field of study to choose from when it comes to pursuing higher education.

Lamar University is preparing to debut a new Master of Science program at the beginning of next year within its College of Business — Management Information Systems.

MIS will be a 30-hour STEM program that would take full-time students one year to complete. It is intended to be a graduate course with real-world applications.

“Management Information Systems is basically using technological solutions for business problems,” Kakoli Bandyopadhyay said. “We’re solving business problems with technology-based solutions.”

Bandyopadhyay is the professor and chair of the Department of Information Systems and Analysis. She said MIS would use commercially available software that other businesses use.

“Our main concentration is enterprise resource planning,” Bandyopadhyay said. “In most companies like Exxon Mobil, Total, Chevron and others, they all use (business software) SAP for enterprise resource planning.”

Bandyopadhyay said such companies have recruited Lamar students from undergraduate programs, which is why this particular software is in such high demand.

Further, she said Lamar University could distinguish itself from other local universities by focusing on in-demand applications like ERP.

“The demand was there,” Bandyopadhyay said. “Initially, we offered a graduate concentration in our MBA program featuring ERP and the courses got very popular. We had a lot of students taking them.”

Students from different fields like engineering and business started enrolling in the courses.

“They also found gainful employment,” Bandyopadhyay said. “We figured out we have several courses of MBA under different concentrations … So, we figured out we can have a program of our own by offering our own classes. This is how it started.”

According to a Lamar news release, there are more than 404,000 customers in more than 180 countries that use SAP applications. Lamar’s MIS course would also teach programs like SAS Visual Analytics, Visual Studio and Primavera P6 for project management.

“We’re very hands on. Sixty percent of our programs are hands on,” Bandyopadhyay said. “That’s because with technical solutions you can’t just talk about them, you have to do them.”

The course’s target date is spring 2019.