Consistently ranked as one of the leading business schools in India providing analytics education, Great Lakes Institute of Management provides one of the most sought after online courses in the industry – the Business Analytics Certificate Program or BACP. The course is offered on the learning platform Great Learning and is best suited for working professionals who want to build their skills in analytics through the convenience of online learning.
The course is designed for a duration of roughly 6 months, covers all the essential topics including R, SAS and Advanced Excel, which are required for a promising career in analytics. It has a designated 100 hours of self-learning through lecture videos and exercises along with 40 hours of mentored learning and 20 hours of assessments, which are available online. All the classes are delivered by faculty with over 15 years of hands-on experience in business analytics. Additionally, Great Lakes allows an access to their learning material for a period of 3 years even after completion of the course.
The online Learning Management System (LMS) built by Great Learning hosts all the content, including online lectures, webinar recordings, reading material and assignments. Further, the learning platform also encourages collaboration between candidates, thus maximizing learning effectiveness.
In the first batch itself, the BACP program has attracted professionals across various roles and industries. The batch consists of professionals from technology and consulting sectors looking to transition to analytics, professionals already working in analytics and looking to upskill themselves and also senior professionals looking to build their competencies in business analytics.
With the objective of making the learning experience in the program closely map with the requirements of the analytics industry, Great Lakes has recently launched ‘Mentored Learning’ to all candidates pursuing BACP.
What is Mentored Learning?
The addition of this new feature as a part of BACP would facilitate industry mentorship to the enrolled students. During the entire duration of the program, the toughest part is to keep the passion alive, and the mentors would help maintain that. They would not only help candidates clear their concepts and application of concepts, but also encourage them to complete the course with much ardor. As the mentors would be available as and when the career advice is required by the student, it would enable the candidates to build their careers in analytics.
Pairing students with suitable mentors from analytics can speed up their acquisition of professional knowledge and enhance their learning. It can be a great way for students to achieve their professional development goals as well.
Mentors can help students make a sense of what they are learning and help them understand the professional contexts of the knowledge that they have gained. They definitely form a resource that will continually help students build their networks and take them a notch higher in their professions.
Jatinder Bedi, one of the mentors for the program with an experience of more than 10 years in the analytics industry said “It’s a very important part of learning. Mentoring is more like a support system to participants. As one gets introduced to new concepts, participants may have a lot of questions, which they may sometimes be not able to ask during the session. Mentor alignment helps in getting these questions answered.”
“Mentored initiative helps students get the maximum out of the course from knowing what to learn and where to implement what they learn”, said Vinol Joy, serving as a mentor for the program. “It would open up a channel where students could reach an industry ready mentor for any questions”, he said. Vinol is an analytics professional and has worked with big names like FlipKart, MuSigma and currently works as Business Intelligence Manager at Qraved.
Further adding to the importance of mentored learning he added that “Learning without goals or objectives is like shooting an arrow in the dark. Speaking to a mentor and understanding what the industry uses, top trending tools and processes of industry helps the person chalk out an accurate picture of the industry. It also creates a confide in zone where a student can ask a mentor any question from any topic and not have the shame of asking a dumb question in front of an audience”.
What are the Benefits of Mentored Learning?
Mentored learning would help students in acquiring skills relevant to the industry and not carry any legacy skills taught in courses. It would help them see their value in teams which they would be a part of later much clearly.
Clearly mentored learning has innumerable advantages, few of which have been listed as below:
- Enhance Employability: A mentor would pave way towards a stable career by equipping students with industry insights, knowledge and empower them to focus on professional goals. By associating a student to mentor from analytics would help students get a better understanding of their career path, hence enhancing their employability ratio.
- Enriched Learning Experience: Apart from clearing doubts quickly, mentors can guide them on what to read, where to find a particular information and how to get the best out of it.
- Networking: The program not only link students to experienced analytics professionals from the same field, but also allows to expand their network, thereby, opening a door to lucrative job opportunities in analytics.
- Better Course Completion rate: Continued guidance and encouragement from mentors would assist students accomplish assignments on time and help keep them on track with the syllabus.
- Mentors also provide intervention: In case of under performance by students, mentors continued intervention would encourage them to perform better.
- Celebration of Milestones: As a part of the program, if a student performs well, they are rewarded by celebrating the achievement in a group, thereby, keeping a zest alive to perform better the next time.
“Mentored learning enables a student solve their queries easily, either through whatsapp ping or an email, facilitating a better learning and hence better experience”, commented Jatinder.
How are the mentors being selected?
Since, mentors form the basic inspiration for the students to excel well in the career, it becomes crucial to get just the right mentor for them. They form a support system for candidates in career exploration, professional development, and networking.
Looking at these points, Great Lakes has selected mentors from analytics industry with considerable experience and exposure across leading organizations. And that’s what Great Lakes is doing and each mentor is assigned with 4-5 students to ensure best attention to the students. Apart from the industry experience that a mentor brings to the table, their willingness to share time, skills and knowledge with the BACP candidates is a crucial criterion for selecting the mentors.
How does Mentored Learning work?
“It works more like a Buddy program, where mentor is in touch with the group through most commonly used medium of whatsapp or email, where the group discussions happens. It comes out great as mentor helps student understand critical concepts as and when he/she ask questions”, said Jatinder, one of the industry mentors in the BACP program.
It’s mostly online support when needed and does not need physical presence of either mentor 'or students. This way a lot of queries can be handled hence extending a support right at the time when a student is in need.
That’s not all, in the case where no questions are coming in the group, mentor ignites the thought process by putting various analytics use cases in the group chat and then create a brain storming environment for new ideas & approaches. “This activity is very healthy for brain”, added Jatinder.
What Students are saying?
The whole concept of online and mentored learning has garnered a lot of appreciation and popularity in the analytics community which is evident from the long list of enrolment that the program has fetched. Let’s know it from the students what they have to say about the learning methodology adopted at BACP program.
“So far, my experience in the BACP has been good. Whatever I have learned was new to me and it has been very helpful. The mentor is approachable. Anytime you have a question, you go and post it, you will get a quick response. We all keep posting our questions whenever we like. One has the record of the answers as well for future reference. “Krithika, Trident Techno Solutions
“I am a Project Manager with 14 years of experience. One of my friends doing Great Lakes’ PGPBA referred BACP to me as I was keen to do a short-term course in Analytics. The experience in the program has been exceptionally good till now. The presence of a mentor in BACP is a very good initiative offering support in doubt clearing and application of concepts.” Moulesh, Technical Project Manager - Happiest Minds
For any more info on the program and enroll for the upcoming batch in August, you can visit, http://bit.ly/2a4HZOB
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Bhasker is a Data Science evangelist and practitioner with proven record of thought leadership and incubating analytics practices for various organizations. With over 16 years of experience in the area of Business Analytics, he is well recognized as an expert within the industry. Earlier, Bhasker worked as Vice President at Goldman Sachs. He is B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Varanasi and MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow.