The Board of Regents approved Dakota State University's request to offer to new graduate degrees: a Doctor of Science in Cyber Security and a Master of Science in Analytics. The latter is paired with a new M.S. in Data Science at SDSU.
The positive read of these degrees is that the Regents are responding widely to market demand and offering students skills to make beaucoup bucks. The negative read is that the Regents are aligning our university system more closely with the police-corporate surveillance state, promoting the use of Big Data to expand the knowledge and control businesses and government can gain over citizens.
While the new degrees will open some doors for students, the master's in analytics will close some other doors. UNL Department of Management Chair David L. Olson, acting as an external consultant for the Regents on this degree proposal, says DSU's faculty are already busting their chops, and adding this program will require easing up elsewhere. Who takes the hit? Students aiming for academia:
The DSU faculty is heavily involved with a large doctoral program, which frankly includes a far greater student-to-faculty ratio than is normal. This program seems to be quite successful in providing doctoral graduates for business and industry. However, possibly they should consider reducing the number of doctoral students targeting the academic market. The DSU faculty involved are all competent and dedicated and merit congratulations on their accomplishments, but this program adds a minor amount of work to a very stretched faculty. If they reduced Ph.D. admissions on the academic side of their doctoral program, that should more than compensate for the additional burden that might arise from the proposed program.
...The primary weakness I perceive is that faculty may have too much assigned responsibilities at DSU. I think this would be alleviated by reducing the Ph.D. admissions to focus on students in business and industry [David L. Olson, letter to South Dakota Board of Regents, 2014.03.19, Attachment III, Board Agenda Item 26-2(a), 2014.04.02, p. 29].
DSU has signaled its preference for producing practitioners over professors with its choice to offer the D.Sc. instead of the Ph.D. Olson's recommendation further clarifies what DSU's graduate program is and what it isn't. This new master's degree is for people who want to make big money working for the corporate-informational complex. If you're interested in knowledge for knowledge's sake, and if you just want to expand and share that knowledge, you'll need to apply elsewhere, because DSU won't have time for you.