Boston University News Release

15th December, 1999

Boston University’s Metropolitan College Launches First E-commerce Master's Degree In U.S.

(Boston, Mass.) ó To help working professionals harness the explosion of opportunities on the Internet, Boston Universityís Metropolitan College is launching a new Master of Science degree in Electronic Commerce in January 2000, the first of its kind in the country.

The programís curriculum combines the strengths of Metropolitan Collegeís Administrative Sciences and Computer Science Departments, reflecting the need for professionals with a balance of computer skills and business insight.

"After a year of investigating banks and other businesses, holding industry discussions, researching input from our students and analyzing the competitive environment, we saw a clear need for professionals trained in e-commerce," says Dr. Vijay Kanabar, Associate Professor in both the Administrative Sciences and Computer Science Departments and Director of the E-Commerce Program. The BU e-commerce program fills this gap.

Dr. Kanabar points out several trends that demonstrate the need for this program. "There is an explosion in the number of Internet start-ups dealing with e-commerce, and a huge increase in mergers; we see an annual growth rate of 174 percent according to the Nielsen//NetRatings. Just in the last six weeks Nielsen/NetRatings have reported a 25% growth rate in holiday shopping using e-commerce. All of this eventually leads to an unfilled demand for employees competent at both the administrative and technical levels."

"By 2003 business-to-business electronic commerce alone will reach $1.3 trillion," estimates Dr. Kanabar.

"By 2002, analysts expect that the student market will spend more than $3 billion on-line," says Dan Siegel, co-founder of Internet company Student Advantage and guest lecturer in Dr. Kanabarís e-commerce class. "Two years ago while I was in business school, e-commerce didnít exist. Now, as our business plan adjusts to these changes, we need people trained in this emerging field."

The proliferation of Internet start-up companies is transforming the business landscape, and now even those with modest resources can generate quick fortunes on the World Wide Web. Many people want to take advantage of the opportunities and capitalize on the influence of on-line services and marketing by breaking into the e-commerce industry.

MET has offered an Introduction to Electronic Commerce class since September 1999. The first class generated so much interest that they had to book a larger classroom. The Electronic Commerce class scheduled for January 2000 is already closed.

"Being a part of Metropolitan Collegeís e-commerce class has not only taught me the technological and business skills to create a working web site, it has given me the means to get it up and running," says Daniel Weingart, a student in Dr. Kananbarís introduction to electronic commerce class. "When I complete the class, my on-line travel agency will be up and open for business."

According to Dr. Kip Becker, chairman of the Administrative Science Department, "Boston Universityís program goes beyond other area programs by stressing a studentís ability to design, construct, troubleshoot and integrate electronic commerce technology at the applied level." The future employment need is highlighted by the fact that only 3 percent of the world is on-line and of that 171 million people, who currently globally embrace the Web, more than half of them are still in the United States and Canada.

Designed to fit the schedules of working professionals, the 10-course program can be taken part-time or full-time. Each class will consist of 30 to 35 students with at least three years of work experience. The first batch will start in January 2000.

Boston University is the third-largest independent university in the United States, with an enrollment of nearly 30,000 students in its 15 schools and colleges. The University offers an exceptional grounding in the liberal arts, a broad range of programs in the arts, sciences, engineering, and professional areas, and state-of-the-art facilities for teaching and research.

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