Written by: Maryna Matiiash
My name is Maryna Matiiash and I’m currently pursuing a bachelors degree in Business Analytics. Having been born and raised in Ukraine, I’ve always envisioned getting higher education in Europe and the US. After doing a year in Business Administration is the US, I moved on to BI in 2019.
2019 marked a new beginning for BI’s bachelors, when the Business Analytics program was launched. Most likely, if you’re reading this you might have your eye set on Business Administration as well and want to know which program is better suited for you. And the difference is rather significant at that.
Business Analytics primary focus is developing students’ math and programming skills. Example: Business Communication is taught in the 1st semester in Business Admin, where as a student of Business Analytics you will be introduced to the concepts of programming in Python. For many of us that was the first lines of code ever written.
Math is more challenging than in the Administration program. If math isn’t your strong suit, you may find it rather challenging here.
Truth to be told, I enjoy this program immensely, and here’s why: after the first semester and a half, I can look back and clearly see the results. Never had I thought I’d be able to code, create and extract data, and further analyse it. My math skills improved substantially, albeit through hours and hours of practice. It’d be fair to say the past year was very well spent.
If you decided on the major and Business Analytics is the way to go for you, here’s some practical information/tips that may give you a head start with your studies:
Know your math
While starting out slow with fractions and square roots, in a blink of an eye the program pivots to financial math, functions and derivatives, second derivatives, minimum and maximum of functions, the second semesters takes it a step further going into integrals and matrices. You will thank yourself later even if you familiarize yourself with the above concepts on KhanAcademy. It’s always easier to review the materials rather than start out fresh.
Take an intro course to Python and MySQL
There are a number of sources like Codeacademy, Dataquest and others when you can get grasp of coding. This will for sure make your life easier once you’ll be presented with programming courses at BI. At some point, there will be 3 programming languages combined together in one class, where some prior knowledge will give you a competitive advantage.
Learn the basics of Norwegian
While Oslo is now a multicultural city, you will find it helpful to know basic words to get your way around the town. As a language, Norwegian is somewhat similar to German and English, but requires some getting used to. Duolingo can serve as a great tool to learn a word or two.
Be ready to work
And by work, I mean real work. A typical math homework assignment will take a minimum of 2-3 hours, sometimes much longer if you get stuck. But fear no more – BI offers great tutoring services that will help you get your problems squared away. Not to mention that the first semester you will probably have 5 classes a week, 3 hours/lecture, which will take up a good half of your week just attending classes.
Practice, practice, practice
While professors give a great basis for further learning, your success is fully dependent of your ability to sit down and dedicate hours of your time to study. Example: while studying Python, you will be given enough material to get you covered, but you have to write the code YOURSELF. Watching the professor program may give you a false sense of knowledge – you may fully understand what the code does, but won’t be able to replicate it yourself due to lack of practice.
Keep up with English
Norwegians are really good at mastering the English language, so much so that some students struggle to understand and follow textbooks and verbal instruction, not anticipating how fluent some professors are at conversational and academic English.
For all future students in doubt, I would strongly recommend to apply to Business Analytics program. You will help your future career with one of the most sought after majors in Norway!