The University of Mississippi and its Patterson School of Accountancy announced that it will debut two new graduate programs this fall: the master of accountancy and data analytics and the master of taxation and data analytics.

The master of accountancy and data analytics program was originally developed back in 2016 by KPMG and the Ohio State University’s Max M. Fisher College of Business and the Villanova School of Business. The Patterson School acquired the programming in 2017 and now represents the only university in Mississippi to offer a data analytics graduate program in accountancy.

“I think it’s exactly what (the school) needs to be doing – taking what we have in our current master’s programs and adding on a layer of technologies and new courses,” said Mark Wilder, Patterson School dean and the University's KPMG chair of accountancy, per the DM Online, the University's student newspaper. “It’s right in line with what the profession is looking for, and it’s exciting.”

Both programs will require 30 hours of graduate coursework. The Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning’s board of trustees also approved planning for three new courses that will work in tandem with the new degree programs, in addition to restructuring existing courses to reflect more data analytics-focused material.

“Technology is changing every industry at an exponential rate,” said Hayden Poer, a Patterson undergraduate and MADA student, per the DM Online. “As a student looking to pursue a career in the field of taxation, I saw it necessary to do what I could to get ahead of the technology curve. This is a great opportunity to do just that.”

The 135 national participants in the program’s second annual class - of which Ole Miss will represent 30 students - will each receive funding equal to the full cost of attendance, an internship on a KPMG tax or audit team, and a full-time position within the firm via an "advanced entry program" upon graduation.

“(The program) is in line with what the firm is trying to do, which is to move the educational process forward for the profession, because they know the profession needs these kinds of talented individuals,” Wilder added. “If you can have a professional that knows the accounting and tax practices but also has the IT skills, it’s a great combination to have.”

Conner Hall, home of the Patterson School of Accountancy.
Conner Hall, home of the Patterson School of Accountancy. olemiss.edu

For more on the Patterson School of Accountancy, head to the University's site here. For more on the KPMG Master of Accounting with Data and Analytics, head to the program's site here.

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