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UD and Lerner Professor Xiao Fang leads a lecture for a cohort of JPMorgan Chase employees as they pursue a unique graduate certificate.
UD and Lerner Professor Xiao Fang leads a lecture for a cohort of JPMorgan Chase employees as they pursue a unique graduate certificate.

JPMorgan Chase employees learn from UD

Photos by Evan Krape

Bank employees earn certification in data analytics via Lerner classes

When JPMorgan Chase was looking for a partner to create a unique educational employee development program in data analytics, the bank turned to the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics at the University of Delaware.

“Data science has really been exploding in the marketplace,” said Executive Director of Global Technology at JPMorgan Chase Michael Housey. “It's one of those areas where we see gaps with the talent coming in, so we really wanted to create a program that focused on what I would call ‘re-skilling’ and also ‘up-skilling’ our employees.”

Xiao Fang, UD professor of management information systems, explains a new concept during one of five courses in a new collaboration between JPMC and the Lerner College.
Xiao Fang, UD professor of management information systems, explains a new concept during one of five courses in a new collaboration between JPMC and the Lerner College.

The partnership between UD and JPMorgan Chase isn’t new. The firm manages a state-of-the-art innovation center, helped to create the University’s first-of-its-kind doctoral program in financial services analytics (FSAN) and provides an immersive global enterprise technology internship experience.

“Professional development is very important to us as a firm,” Housey said. “With more than 12,000 employees in Delaware, UD was the perfect partner for us to provide advance training for our employees.” 

As part of a new collaboration, instructors from UD's Lerner College are teaching five graduate courses to a cohort of JPMorgan Chase employees in their offices in Newark, Delaware.
As part of a new collaboration, instructors from UD's Lerner College are teaching five graduate courses to a cohort of JPMorgan Chase employees in their offices in Newark, Delaware.

The program is made up of five graduate degree-level courses, and has many of the same elements as UD’s graduate certificate in business analytics, but adapted to meet JPMorgan Chase’s specific needs.

The first cohort wasn’t easy to get into. More than 100 employees applied for 30 spots. One appealing benefit of participation is that the program offers students the ability to transfer their credits toward either the MBA program or the information systems technology management master’s program at the Lerner College after completing the program.

JPMorgan Chase employees are studying business analytics at their workplace twice per week with instructors from UD's Lerner College.
JPMorgan Chase employees are studying business analytics at their workplace twice per week with instructors from UD's Lerner College.

In addition to the future career and educational prospects stemming from the certificate program, members of the cohort have already begun to apply their new skills in analytics to their job roles.

“It has had an immediate impact on my work,” said Christopher Mule, who graduated from UD in 2017 and is a JPMorgan Chase site reliability software engineer. 

“The professors are dedicated to advancing our skills, by actively trying to apply the coursework back to our day-to-day jobs at JPMorgan Chase,” said Tara Russo, business process manager at JPMorgan Chase.

This first JPMC cohort will finish the program in the spring of 2020 with a capstone course. As part of the capstone, students will present to a board of JPMorgan Chase data scientists which, according to Housey, may open doors for them to explore new roles and opportunities within JPMC. 

Jack Baroudi, who is the Lerner senior associate dean of academic programs, said that this unique corporate program model could be tailored for success at other firms as well. 

“It’s the first time we’ve taken a degree certificate program and offered it onsite,” Baroudi said. “For Lerner, it brings more high-quality students into our program and it also allows us to have greater reach with our programs. With the 30 JPMorgan employees, even if they don’t come into our programs, they now have an education that we delivered and will think of us as good stewards of this type of education.” 

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