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Purdue Northwest offers state's first banking concentration

Purdue University Northwest in Hammond.

Purdue University Northwest is rolling out a banking concentration for finance majors in a first-of-its-kind offering in Indiana.

“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 University Northwest Dean Jane Mutchler said. "Purdue Northwest will be the first."

Indiana Bankers Association offered a seed donation of $135,000 to fund the concentration at Purdue Northwest's campuses in Westville and Hammond, where more than 100 students already major in finance. Bankers in Indiana provided input on the banking concentration's curriculum, which includes courses in risk management, bank management, financial reporting and compliance, as well as a required internship.

The grant money will fund the program for three years, but Purdue University Northwest hopes it will eventually become solvent on its own. 

“We are thankful for the leadership and generosity of the IBA and member banks, both intellectually and financially," Mutchler said. "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."

Job prospects for bankers are expected to grow by 10.7% through 2026, faster than the average growth rate for all occupations in the state.

“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 Purdue University Northwest 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.”

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.