UNI welcomes two new bachelor’s degree programs



A Bachelor’s of Science in Automation Engineering Technology and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Business Analytics will be coming to UNI in the fall of 2022.

EMMA KOEHLER, Managing Editor

Two new degree programs, Bachelor of Science in Automation Engineering Technology and Bachelor of Arts in Business Analytics, will be coming to UNI in fall 2022. These degree programs were approved Wednesday by the Iowa Board of Regents. 

The Bachelor of Arts in Business Analytics program stemmed from an emphasis offered in the management information systems major. This new program is interdisciplinary and allows students to become versatile in their education. 

“Business analytics or business analysts need to be able to do more about using data for business problems, so it requires the person to be more versatile in terms of having an understanding in business,” said Department Head and Professor of Management, Atul Mitra. 

Students in the new program will be able to take courses in other areas, such as economics or finance, to customize it to their interests. Mitra further expressed students will come out of the program with a skillset that is market relevant, especially catered to the local economy of Iowa, particularly the Cedar Valley as contributing to the demand. 

“We take pride in what we do as the College of Business and we have a very strong emphasis so we should be very successful in creating a strong major,” said Mitra. 

The new Bachelor of Science in Automation Engineering Technology, AET, is the first degree of its kind in the state. 

The degree combines aspects of manufacturing and electrical engineering technology. Some courses within the degree are on electrical circuits, electrical power machinery, automated manufacturing, and hydraulics and pnuematics. 

“It is predicted over the next five to 10 years, that automation robotics is going to take over about 25 to 30% of the total jobs that are available in the industry today,” said recruitment coordinator and academic advisor within the Department of Applied Engineering and Technical Management, Chris Shaw. 

Even though automated robots are predicted to replace human counterparts, someone will still be needed to program these robots and fix them when they break down. Shaw also said students in the department do not have difficulty finding a job following graduation and employers often ask him for more interns or graduates than he has to offer. However, Shaw still finds people forget UNI is a contender in engineering. 

“I would like our programs to become more widely known around the state,” said Shaw. 

These two new degree programs are built off the momentum of UNI’s College of Business being top-ranked and the Department of Applied Engineering and Technical Management will be undergoing a $43.9 million renovation. 

“We need something to be able to showcase and give our students a better learning experience and I think that’s exactly what we’re going to get with this renovation,” said Shaw.

As Shaw is the recruitment coordinator for the Department of Applied Engineering and Technical Management, he finds difficulty in competing with other educational institutions in impressive resources such as the space to house these hands-on programs, support team collaboration, and engage in club activities. 

“That’s my biggest hope for this new program and this new renovation is to grow our footprint and get one more person to look at us or one more person to understand what we are doing here at UNI,” said Shaw. 

UNI’s top-ranked College of Business holds a record of success and achievement brought by the dedication of faculty. This fuels the reveal of the new business analytics program. 

“We take pride in teaching,” said Mitra, “As a college, teaching is what we are and I think students understand that. We offer rigorous, quality courses taught by faculty.” 

Students interested in either degree programs are encouraged to talk to those affiliated with each. Shaw emphasizes how much engineering at UNI has to offer as an education with a different style compared to other engineering programs. 

Mitra  said, “Talk to our faculty or take courses. I think if you would take basic courses, you would find that this is an exciting new area with opportunities to learn here and beyond.”