How QTEM helps bridge the data science skills gap


It has been a couple of years now since Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, Dean of Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management first talked to me about QTEM, or Quantitative Techniques for Economics & Management Masters Network. The discussion really struck a chord with me, because my experience until then had been that academic institutions did not tend to have well-structured and dynamic links with industry. This QTEM Network seemed to give a pretty good answer to that!

That was the beginning of my engagement with QTEM. Today, QTEM is — and I have no doubts at all on this score — an ideal platform to promote exchanges between industry and academia. It is also a very good way to foster the development of analytical and quantitative software skills amongst students. It allows us in industry to engage with students for internships and recruitment. And thanks to QTEM, we also get to interact with Business Schools all over the world, sharing visions and discussing how companies can contribute to new data science paradigms.

For those in the same position as I was two years ago, and wanting to find out more, here is my list of ‘top questions’ — and the answers.

What is QTEM?

QTEM is a network bringing together students, academics, and businesses. It was launched in 2012, and was designed to bring together outstanding students, international businesses and corporations, and academic partners. It develops skills in quantitative and analytical techniques that will support international decision-making. The QTEM Masters’ Program is designed around three values: Academic excellence, business and policy relevance, and international partnership.

How does the QTEM degree work? Is it awarded by any university?

QTEM students attend QTEM Academic Partners, and will earn a QTEM degree on top of their ‘home’ degree. The selection criteria include a minimum GMAT score of 650, and participation in a rigorous selection process involving both academics and corporate representatives.

QTEM students all have to complete a required number of quantitative and analytical courses, including at least one QTEM module. They must gain international experience by working or studying in at least three countries, including through academic exchanges and internships at QTEM partner companies. They must also complete a 300-hour internship at a QTEM Corporate Partner, which can be taken either as a single placement, or in several smaller ones.

What are the benefits of QTEM for students?

Perhaps one of the most important benefits is the network. Masters students, especially for business-related degrees, often say that the quality of the network they will develop is one of the reasons for choosing a particular school. The same follows for QTEM. The high quality of academic partners, coupled with valuable internships, give QTEM students unparalleled opportunities for building strong networks to support their future careers.

One of the most important benefits of QTEM for students is the network #DataScience #sasacademic Click To Tweet

QTEM elective modules also offer good opportunities for specialization. QTEM students are required to complete at least one QTEM module, but this is hardly a challenge, as there are plenty of interesting options to choose from. Subjects are split into five areas: Applied economics and public policy; innovation and strategy; finance and risk management; marketing and supply chain; and business intelligence and big data. A further, non-QTEM module is available on organisation, society and culture.

QTEM students also gain access to interesting jobs through corporate partners and their network. One of the side-benefits of becoming a QTEM student is increasing your fluency in English. This opens up a potentially much wider range of jobs, and students also gain from privileged access to attractive jobs in partner organisations around the world. The international context is enormously helpful in broadening experience and outlook.

What organisations are involved with QTEM?

QTEM academic partner institutions can be found in a wide range of countries, from Australia, through China, France, Japan, Morocco, and others, to Russia and the UK. They include business schools, technical universities, traditional universities, and management schools. What unites them is their international reputation for excellence.

QTEM’s list of corporate partners is equally stellar: A Who’s Who of business excellence. The list includes many of the top graduate employers and recruiters. It is heavy on mainstream management consultancies such as Bain, McKinsey, Deloitte and EY, but also includes some less mainstream but equally interesting options, such as the Frankfurt Institute for Risk Management and Regulation, Volkswagen, and SAS. These organisations share a focus on excellent and sustained use of analytically-based decision-making.

How can you apply?

The application process is simple once you have met the eligibility criteria. If you are considering applying for a Masters’ degree in a data science-related subject, especially if you are already looking at a QTEM academic partner institution, then it is well worth considering a QTEM application. You will need outstanding Bachelor degree qualifications, and an interest in developing your skills further to work in a multinational or international environment. If this is you, then it might be a good idea to start practising for your GMAT now!


Learn more about careers in Analytics and how business and education come together to educate new talents in our December series exploring Data Science.


About Author

Elisabeth Versailles

SAS Academic Relationships Manager, SAS Belgium

In her role as SAS Academic Relationships Manager, Elisabeth Versailles is responsible for the partnerships and dialogue with Universities and University Colleges in Belgium and Luxembourg. She makes sure that the SAS Academic Program is known at the Academic institutions and works in close collaboration with the institutions to implement the Academic services that are in demand and fit in with the teaching programs and/or research programs.

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