University to Offer New Business Major

Published: Jun 14, 2006
UT’s John H. Sykes College of Business will launch a financial services operations and systems bachelor of science degree major this fall aimed at producing high-demand graduates for financial services companies.

Financial services operations and systems is an emerging field of study that focuses on the application of computer technology and analytical skills to more effectively manage financial services operations. Given the continual evolution of today’s financial services and the growing importance of technology in global operations, the demand for FSOS professionals who are skilled in both technical and service operations is expected to rise in the near future.

“Major financial services companies are looking for employees with an increasingly unique skill set,” said Dr. Joseph E. McCann, dean of the Sykes College of Business. “Our FSOS program is the only one like it in the state of Florida, and will make our graduates among the most competitive in the industry.”

According to an economic survey by Enterprise Florida, information technology and financial services provide the highest average annual wages in Florida, and provide more than 650,000 jobs. In 2003, financial services alone contributed $158 billion to the state economy.

“The FSOS major will prepare our graduates to be leaders of the next generation of professionals in some of the most prestigious financial services companies worldwide,” said Dr. Ali Jenzarli, who is in UT’s ITM department and is one of the designers of the FSOS major.

The launch of the major is part of UT’s ongoing partnership with Financial Florida, the statewide not-for-profit that seeks to attract and expand non-depository financial services operations in the state. The organization is comprised of industry representatives, service providers and economic development professionals representing the state's major non-depository financial services clusters in Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Orlando and Miami—four of the 51 largest financial services markets in the nation.

“The University of Tampa is a vital partner in our efforts to grow Florida’s financial services workforce,” said Irv Cohen, chairman of Financial Florida and president of GunnAllen Bank. “This new major is a crucial step toward making Florida more attractive for financial services companies.”

In 2004, Financial Florida was instrumental in securing a high-impact designation for non-depository financial services. This designation ultimately made it easier for Florida to offer incentives to financial services companies considering the state as a possible relocation site.

“The FSOS major will allow us to offer financial services companies the most important incentive of all—a highly skilled workforce,” said Ghassan Hakim, chair of Financial Florida’s Education Advisory Council and vice president of Franklin Templeton Investments. “This is a promising development for the future of our state.”

“This announcement is an incredibly significant step toward making the Tampa Bay area and

the state of Florida more competitive,” said Larry Richey, chairman of the Financial Services Committee of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce’s Committee of 100. “The University of Tampa has done a wonderful job of identifying what our workforce lacks most, and then designing a program to address those needs.”

For more information, contact Dr. Ali Jenzarli at (813) 253-6221, x 3306, or ajenzarli@ut.edu.