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Q&A with Dr.John Talburt – University of Arkansas, Little Rock

Q&A session with Dr.John Talburt – Chair of Information Quality at University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

masters information quality arkansas

After we published information the article University Vs Program – The Most Intelligent Decision I Made, I reached out to Dr.Talburt to provide additional information about the New Masters in Information Quality program.

Here are the answers for the questions that give additional insight about the Information Quality degree program.

1) What was the reasoning behind creating this new Graduate Program in Information Quality?

Inspiration of Dr. Rich Wang at MIT.  MIT has professional training program in IQ but not graduate program.  He wanted to see one started in US, also my former employer Acxiom Corp was willing to help support program startup.

2) What advise would you give to students applying to this program to make their application stronger?

Students need to show balance between technical skills and soft skills.

There is more paper writing than program writing in our program.  In our experience, students with very low GRE verbal and analytical writing skills have not done well.

Professional experience is also a big plus for our program.

3) Computer science students are used to programming based projects.  What kind of projects do students work as part coursework. How much of the course work is based on programming?

Less than 50% of our program is technical.

On the other had student must complete either a project or a thesis to finish the program.  Students with good programming skills are have an advantage in finding project a project sponsor.

4) Can students from different Engineering background apply for this program. If they don’t have required courses, would they be considered for admission.

IQ is inter-disciplinary, we accept student from all backgrounds provided they have some course work or work experience with statistics, programming, and database systems.

5) Since this program is new, International students might be bit hesitant to apply for a program without knowing the career opportunities. What kind of companies hire IQ students and what would be their job role?

So far employment for our graduates has not been a problem.

All of our MS graduates have either found a job or gone on to more graduate studies.  They are often hired as data quality analysts or just data analysts.

Recent graduates have been hired by McKesson in Dallas, CitiGroup in Boston, Kohl’s Dept Stores in Atlanta, also many local companies such as Acxiom Corp, HP, Arkansas Dept of Info Services, Ark Dept of Education, and others.

Do you have any more questions for Dr.Talburt?


  1. Piyush Garg on January 27, 2015 at 11:57 AM

    That oops moment when I see my 3 year old comments where I was calling Huzaifa as “mam” . I thought he was a girl. He is a very good friend of mine now. I still wonder the day I came across this post. Seriously it changed my life. It marked the start of once an impossible journey. I fell in love with the idea of coming to this university. Three cheers for Raghu sir, Huzaifa, HSB and people who care!

  2. Abhishek Kumar on April 21, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    Hi Huzaifa,
    This is Abhishek Kumar from india, I am a bachelor of Science Graduate in computer science nd Engg.course(3 yr program).My academics are as follows:
    Bachelor’s :81%
    12th :94%
    10th :71%
    At present i am employed in Cognizant Technology Solution India as a programmer trainee, Working on SAS technology and will be having a total of one year of experience by aug’2012.
    I have also done Sun java certification.Well i am keenly interested in MSIQ program and want to join it.Till now i dint write GRE and TOEFL tests but will be writing it as soon as possible.My only obstacle is my three year of graduation as US universities ask for a Four year transcript. Well if i have a good score in GRE ,TOEFL and looking into my work experience and academics can i hope for an exception. Please help me with possibilities. I am eagerly waiting for you response. Thank you.

    • Huzaifa on April 21, 2012 at 8:20 PM

      Your profile is wonderful dude. I would advise you to complete MBA and then apply for MS in US. You can do MBA part time.

  3. Piyush on April 18, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    Good Evening mam,

    Actually I was searching for some different sort of programs for Computer Science and I got your post. Thanks a lot for this post. I was wondering about the number of universities offering this program. I suppose that IQ is going to be an instant hit in coming time as demand for analysts is definitely going to increase. Could you please enlighten me about the pros and cons of opting this program? and also universities offering IQ. thanks a lot.

    • Huzaifa on April 21, 2012 at 8:18 PM


      The above site can guide you to the other universities investing in IQ.

      Well I am not really sure if I can answer the other question fairly. I may sound biased.



      • Piyush on April 23, 2012 at 10:03 AM

        Thank you mam for your precious time. 🙂

        • Piyush on April 23, 2012 at 3:32 PM

          I have one more query. Should I contact Mr Talburt or any other faculty under this department regarding my queries?I mean what will be my impression as he must be a busy man and may consider me just another amateur.:)

          • Huzaifa on April 23, 2012 at 3:45 PM

            Things are different here. He is a very nice person. He will respond you. Ask him in the right way. Give him my reference.


          • HSB on April 23, 2012 at 4:22 PM

            + Mention HSB.

          • Piyush on April 25, 2012 at 8:10 PM

            Yes sir defintely after its only hsb helping thousands like me…:) thank you hsb..a lot..

          • Piyush on April 27, 2012 at 8:45 PM

            Hii Huzaifa.Can i get your email id? and professor didnt respond to my mail yet so what to do?

  4. Sai Karthik D on March 20, 2012 at 6:12 AM

    Hi Huzaifa,

    I would also be delighted if you can tell me the way to apply for RA at the time of admission itself. (Now i have registered myself and have got a profile with application Id and student ID. )

    • Huzaifa on April 21, 2012 at 8:08 PM


      Sorry for responding late. Send an Email to Dr Talburt. and inform him about your interests. Did you get the admit yet ?



  5. Sai Karthik D on March 20, 2012 at 5:24 AM

    Hi Huzaifa,

    What is the Strength of Indian Students at the campus ? And how is the place Little Rock ? I mean is it expensive to live and stay there ?

  6. EZEKWEM J. IFEANYI on March 9, 2012 at 5:16 AM

    Can a graduate in Nigeria appy for this course?

    • Huzaifa on March 11, 2012 at 8:53 PM

      Yes Ifeanyi. Anyone in the world could apply to this Program. Infact this program has many students from abroad.

  7. Pranav on March 8, 2012 at 7:19 AM

    If data analysts is what an IQ graduate will apply for, then in addition to the companies mentioned in the post, I would also suggest targeting social analytics / media companies such as ComScore, Living Social, etc. There’s quite a high demand for data analysts in those sectors.

    • Huzaifa on March 11, 2012 at 9:45 PM

      Yes Pranav you are right.

  8. saikat on March 8, 2012 at 4:52 AM

    How do the students fund their education in this program?

    How is the scope of scholarship?

    Is there any chance to get a TA/RA position?

    • Huzaifa on March 11, 2012 at 9:47 PM


      It all depends on you. If you really try you can get a TA or RA. It depends on your trying.

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