KPMG announces data and analytics master's programs with Ohio State University and Villanova

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Update 6/5/15: KPMG has released a new video on the program.

KPMG announced on Thursday a partnership with The Ohio State University Max M.Fisher Collegeof Business and the Villanova School of Businessto develop new master's degree programs focusing on data and analytics (D&A) in accounting. Dubbed the "KPMG Master of Accounting with Data and Analytics Program," KPMG is looking to "develop auditors in the digital age."

"The KPMG program encompasses the newest innovation to our firm's award-winning recruiting and learning culture by facilitating data and analytics innovations in the Master of Accounting programs of two of our nation's leading business schools," stated Scott Marcello, KPMG's vice chair in Audit. "This program integrates perfectly into KPMG's D&A and cognitive capabilities, and starts real action toward meeting our profession's great demand for talent. It foundationally changes the recruiting and preparation of auditors with the right skills to analyze the vast volumes of information produced by today's business organizations."

"The degree coursework developed by each business school will drive critical-thinking and problem-solving skills in a data- and analytics-focused accounting curriculum," Marcello added. "Students in the KPMG program will also have their coursework supplemented by real-world experience on KPMG teams auditing some of the world's largest companies."

Notably, the new program will pay the full tuition and room/board for the 50 students who enter the universities' graduate programs in Fall 2017. Students will also work between semesters as KPMG audit interns, utilizing KPMG's data and analytics tools and preparing for their second semester in the program. Upon graduating in the summer of 2018, students from both schools will be able to join KPMG's audit practice through an advanced entry program.

"We know of no other program where a company directly funds students' master's degrees in accounting analytics and provides a full-time position upon graduation," stated Villanova School of Business vice dean Daniel Wright. "[It's] a rarity in academic-business cooperation that goes well beyond tuition reimbursement." 

"Strong partnerships between leading companies and top academic institutions are essential to building an agile workforce equipped to meet today's business challenges," said Anil Makhija, dean and John W. Berry, Sr. chair in business atFisher Collegeof Business, in a statement. "Fisher is proud to join with KPMG and the Villanova School of Business in recognizing the importance of data analytics in accounting and in providing the next generation of industry leaders with a truly unique academic and professional experience."

According to a press release, KPMG hopes to soon expand the program to other schools.

For more on the program, head to KPMG's site here. 

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