Purdue Northwest first in state to offer banking concentration

July 5, 2019

Partnership with Indiana Bankers Association will fill growing career demand

This fall, Purdue University Northwest’s (PNW) College of Business launches a new banking concentration for undergraduate students majoring in Finance. Through a partnership with the Indiana Bankers Association (IBA), the concentration is the first of its kind in Indiana.

PNW and IBA leaders worked for nearly a year on the initiative, which culminated in a $135,000 donation from the IBA. The donation supports a three-year startup of the concentration beginning Fall 2019; at the end of which PNW leaders project the concentration will be self-sustaining.

College of Business Dean Jane Mutchler said with over 100 students already majoring in Finance, the banking concentration will make PNW’s business college a standout statewide.

“Of the 23 institutions in Indiana that offer a bachelor’s degree in finance, none provide students with the option to study banking through a major concentration or a minor. Purdue Northwest will be the first,” said Mutchler.

The new concentration times well with growing workforce demand. Employment projections for banking professionals statewide is forecast to grow by 10.7 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average growth rate for all occupations in Indiana.

Curriculum for the banking concentration, developed with input from the Indiana banking community, adds courses in risk management, bank management, financial reporting and compliance, along with an internship requirement.

“Purdue Northwest students studying banking will have an advantage with our strong ties to Northwest Indiana and Indianapolis, along with our close proximity to Chicago,” said Matt Wells, executive director of Career Management in the College of Business. “The new program is another visible example of our ongoing cultivation of a responsive talent pipeline to meet the needs of critical industries and employers in the regional economy.”

The educational partnership with PNW is part of the IBA’s strategic plan to develop and retain top banking talent in the state for future generations.

“We are thankful for the leadership and generosity of the IBA and member banks, both intellectually and financially. This partnership exemplifies the progress and far-reaching impact that can be achieved when institutions and industries come together. This initiative will benefit our students, our region and our state,” said Mutchler.