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Dr. Gordon McClung

Chairperson for the Business Administration Department and Professor of Marketing

Dr. McClung is the author or coauthor of “The Value Driven Bank,” “The Wizardry of Customer Value,” “Dominating Markets With Value” and “Statistics for Better Business Decisions.” His work has been cited by leading business organizations in the U.S., Europe and Asia Pacific. He received the Lucas Hathaway Teaching Excellence Award in 2014.

Dr. McClung holds a B.S.B.A. and an M.B.A. from West Virginia University and a Ph.D. in Marketing from the University of Pittsburgh.

Please describe your programs and your vision for them.

The mind-boggling amount of data humans are generating every day creates demand for data analysis and data scientists. Beyond standard communications, with the internet of things and social media, humans are generating enormous amounts of data. According to a Cisco estimate, the world’s collective internet usage reached one zettabyte in 2016. IDC estimated the ‘Global Datasphere’ in 2018 reached 18 zettabytes. The world’s data may grow to 175 zettabytes by 2025. In layman’s terms, it would take an individual 1.8 billion years to download this data. I envision a program in data analytics that goes across disciplines, incorporating data science, geospatial analysis, visualization and business analytics. Companies need people who are skilled at turning big data into useful and actionable information. The Integrated MBA CPA Program is a joint offering of the undergraduate department of business and the graduate program in business. The program provides an opportunity for students to complete the credit hours required for licensure and concurrently earn their MBA. With our recent 5-year agreement with Becker, students will have the additional benefit of preparing for the CPA exam within their graduate program of study. Though we cannot guarantee that everyone will pass the CPA exam, Becker does guarantee that, if you follow their preparatory guidelines, you can use their services to prep to retake any section(s) of the exam.The integrated MBA CPA program is very beneficial for any student wishing to meet the academic and exam requirements for licensure. I envision adding additional options for Certified Project Manager Professional (CPMP), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and GIAC Certified Forensic Examiner (GCFE) that integrate into the MBA program.

If I were a student considering data analytics, what are some career paths I would be able to pursue?

Data analytics prepares students for careers in a wide array of industries and government. An example of careers requiring data analytic skills includes IT systems analyst, healthcare data analyst, operations analyst, data scientist, data engineer, quantitative analyst, digital marketing manager, data analytics consultants and cyber security. Examples of careers or career fields that will require data analytic skills that are not data science specifically include actuary, accountant, finance, criminologist, economist, forensic accountant, market researcher, operations research and nursing.

What can I do with the integrated MBA CPA?

You will have two high-level designations on your resume, separating you from many in the finance industry who have just one designation, or none at all. If you get some good work experience, you’ll be able to get most of the jobs to which you apply. Many MBAs with the CPA accounting background branch out and go to a more operational role at some point. Long-term possibilities would also include jobs as a CFO or CEO.

What do you think is a true differentiator for WU or your programs?

A key differentiated at WU is the integration of data analytics across the business curriculum. Business faculty will be utilizing data analytic tools and concepts in accounting, forensic accounting, finance, management, entrepreneurship, marketing and sports management. The more our students get to practice the application of data analytics in their discipline, the better prepared they will be for a dynamic career. Another differentiator at WU is the integration of the MBA and CPA prep into one graduate program. With the Becker Review Course in the curriculum, we are providing a unique opportunity for our students to prepare for the CPA licensure exam while completing course work for their MBA. Also, we have an opportunity to award scholarships for the Becker program. 

Anything else you’d like to add? 

As evidenced by the number of careers impacted, data analytics is not for a select few majors. Irrespective of one’s area of interest, your future career will be influenced, in some manner, by data analytics. The study of data analytics is not and should not be restricted to data science. 

Who would you invite to the perfect dinner party?

A philosopher, artist, neuroscientist, mathematician and theologian. Perfect for dinner conversation.

Gain practical experience in business administration

You'll join a high-quality business program that emphasizes leadership development, fosters global and multicultural awareness and builds upon a foundation in the liberal arts and humanities. You'll gain applied business knowledge that you can directly apply to the real-world.