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New SBA courses in programming, data analytics and cryptocurrencies cater to industry demand
Students at the School of Business Administration (SBA) at American University of Sharjah (AUS) will gain first-hand knowledge of the latest technologies and concepts relevant to regional and international business with the launch of three new courses: Cryptocurrencies, Python for Business and Data Analytics for Accounting. Committed to the university’s multidisciplinary and liberal arts approach, SBA makes all three new courses available to all AUS undergraduate students. SBA is one of the region’s leading business schools, with QS World University Subject Rankings placing AUS among the top 250 universities worldwide in the categories of business and management studies, and accounting and finance. AUS is also ranked number one (tied) in the Middle East for business and management studies by QS World University Subject Rankings. In addition, Times Higher Education places AUS among the top 300 universities worldwide for business and economics.
The updated SBA curriculum is designed to ensure currency with the digital revolution and its impact on globalization. With programming, data analytics and cryptocurrencies some of the most critical topics for global trade and commerce, students in the new courses will be well-versed in these forward-looking areas. This future-focused approach is a priority for SBA.
Dr. Narjess Boubakri, Dean of SBA, said: “To prosper in this fast-moving job market our students are equipped with strong knowledge of business fundamentals. Our curriculum emphasizes the need to be flexible and creative, to have the ability to think critically, and to be able to work effectively in teams. SBA is committed to building a community of professionals who combine a sense of entrepreneurship with an awareness of their social and environmental responsibilities. We work closely with the industry to understand emerging knowledge needs. All three new courses map closely to the type of the skill-set our graduates will need to be successful in business, whether they are working for an organization or launching their venture.”
Students in SBA’s new cryptocurrency course will be introduced to the emerging field, with the material combining theory and practical applications. There is a focus on applied assignments, technical challenges, interactive activities, and discussions and debates. Students are expected to use their newly acquired knowledge to facilitate the acquisition and trading of cryptocurrencies and manage virtual asset portfolios. These skills will become critical as the financial industry evolves and migrates to digital technology.
“Many countries are already planning to move to central bank digital currencies within the next few years, and it seems that the days of paper-based fiat currency may be numbered. Accordingly, the demand for such a course appears to increase at an exponential rate, with a large number of students already inquiring as to its availability,” said SBA Assistant Professor Dr. Daniel Dupuis, who has been responsible for the launch of the course.
Through the new Python for Business course, students will learn programming foundations and application development, focusing on how to integrate the program with business operations. The course provides a hands-on approach to gathering analytics that is useful for gaining business insights. For example, students will learn how to access data, create informative data graphics, write functions, debug, and organize and cement code. SBA Associate Professor Dr. Norita Ahmad, who has developed the course, said, “Python is one of the world’s most in-demand programming languages, making it valuable to students who will need programming skills in a future business or finance role. Many organizations in the tech space use Python as part of their ecosystem. This course will, therefore, be useful for graduates as they enter the workforce and progress in their careers.”
With accounting professionals taking on many decision-making roles in organizations, they are expected to be objective decision-makers and know how to use data to make decisions and solve business problems. SBA’s new Data Analytics for Accounting course, the first of its kind in the region, will provide students with these much-valued skills. Dr. Ashraf Khallaf, the professor responsible for the course, said the course would cater to a significant skills-shortage emerging in the accounting profession.
“Artificial Intelligence and robotics are replacing many routine accounting tasks. However, rather than making the accountancy role obsolete, this shift requires accountants to take on a more strategic role where they can analyze big data and provide real-time reporting. Integrating data analytics into accounting curricula is, therefore, an important task for accounting departments,” Dr. Khallaf said.
These new courses will be available starting in Spring Semester 2021. For more information on the AUS School of Business Administration and the innovative programs it offers, please visit www.aus.edu/sba.