World Class Faculty & Research / October 15, 2021

For Business Leaders, Putting AI and ML To Work

Across business industries, leaders are interested in applying artificial intelligence and machine learning to their work, but knowing when to apply them is just half of the battle. The bigger challenge is knowing how to make sense of data and leverage it to make the right operational and strategic decisions.

To help with that challenge, Maryland Smith is launching the Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning for Business Leaders program, a self-paced online professional certificate program that enables business leaders, executives, senior leaders in organizations to better understand how artificial intelligence and machine learning can be applied to any functional business area. It’s just one of the certificate-based executive education programs Maryland Smith is currently offering.

Maryland Smith faculty are eager to engage with professionals and alumni across industries and, with these new open program offerings, they are doing just that, says Maryland Smith’s Christine Thompson, executive director of the Office of Executive Education.

“Learning is personal and just in time. We aim for Maryland Smith to be the preferred supplier of professional management learning that meets the needs of working professionals, not only in terms of timing and structure, but also in terms of relevancy and active engagement,” says Thompson. “We look forward to launching more learning offerings that are self-paced, virtual and in-person.”

Maryland Smith’s Suresh Acharya, co-director of AI/ML for Business Leaders, says the program was founded based on his engagement with business leaders in S&P 500 companies. They had expressed an interest in AI/ML capabilities but said they didn’t understand how to fully utilize them.

“Anytime I had an opportunity to explain to them what AI/ML was – How's it applicable? What kind of organization do you need to do these projects? What are the benefits? What's the data required? – I found that they were deeply appreciative of what I was able to share and to convey,” says Acharya, professor of the practice in decisions, operations and information technologies at Maryland Smith, and academic director for its master of science program in business analytics. “What we decided to do is to build on that and design a program for a much larger audience. A lot of the business leaders have exactly the same questions, the same concerns, the same problems.”

Program coursework can be accelerated, he says, with students following an asynchronous model. Content is case-driven and business-oriented so it’s less of a hypothetical exercise and more of a showcase as to how AI/ML can be applied in the field.

During each week, learners can participate in synchronous sessions with faculty, engaging with like-minded professionals and with industry experts connected to the learning modules.

“We’ve taken the concepts without getting deep into the mathematics to show how this is applied in business domains like healthcare, finance, marketing, supply chain and others,” says Acharya. “What’s important is that business leaders learn to recognize when and how they can use AI/ML.”

Other Maryland Smith certificate programs:

AI Leadership for Healthcare: Starting in January of 2022, this 12-week online certificate program features four modules with virtual, live sessions, on Tuesdays that help healthcare professionals understand how AI is being leveraged across the industry. Participants will gain insights and strategies needed to lead AI projects in healthcare.

Maryland Smith Federal Risk Academy: Created in collaboration with Deloitte and launching in January of 2022, the Federal Risk Academy is a live, virtual executive training program that provides participants with skills and decision-making impact for applied risk management topics. Through case studies, group discussions, scenario planning and instruction from faculty and guest speakers, participants will learn to manage risks in organizations tied to the federal ecosystem.

Digital Marketing, Professional Certificate: Designed for professionals who want to adapt to the ever-changing marketing industry, this online, self-paced certificate program focuses on digital marketing and advertising. Learners will take part in four on-demand courses requiring three to five hours per week with rigorous content and applied practice.

The Maryland Smith Graduate Certificate in Technology Management: This 10-month credit-bearing program, launching in August of 2022 and taught by top faculty from the Smith School of Business, the Clark School of Engineering and the School of Public Policy is designed for public and private sector leaders who want to gain a broader strategic understanding and appreciation of the new economics of data, competitive innovation and disruptive emergent technologies. Cohort-based, in-person classes will take place on Saturdays every other weekend at Smith’s Washington, D.C.*, campus and are supplemented by self-paced online work.

*Approval pending with HELC, DC

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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