USC Aiken professor brings real-world Bloomberg finance training to the classroom

The University of South Carolina Aiken is providing business students an opportunity to witness real-world financial concepts and data analytics in action. Dr. Paul Newsom, professor of finance in the university's School of Business Administration, teaches the Advance Business Finance course (FINA A463), a senior-level class that allows students to put their skills to the test by taking Bloomberg's e-learning certified course. Newsom says three students completed the certification last semester.

According to Bloomberg's website, the online course provides an interactive introduction to financial markets using the Bloomberg Terminal, a computer software system that enables professionals in the financial service sector and other industries to access Bloomberg Professional Services through which users can monitor and analyze real-time financial market data and place trades on the electronic trading platform. A keyboard that allows professors to bring real-world concepts into the classroom, the terminal provides students with the same platform used by the world's leading banks, corporations, and government agencies. 

One example Newsom gave was that students can detect deceptive shipping practices and receive alerts when a ship turns off its transponder. This is a common tactic in international shipping where vessels engaged in illicit activities may disable their automatic identification system transponder to disguise their movement and avoid oil trading sanctions. 

"The purpose of my course is to make students more marketable," Newsom explained. "With Bloomberg certification, it increases their job prospects."

The e-learning course contains three modules: core concepts, getting started on the terminal, and portfolio management. All sections integrate real-time Bloomberg data, news, analytics, and television.

"Many prospective employers expect applicants to know how to use the terminal," Newsom said. "Bloomberg certification assures employers the applicant knows how to navigate the terminal and use it."

Newsom says he really applauds remote learning for this kind of training. He plans on creating projects that require the terminal and hopes to secure more funding for additional keyboards and a finance trading lab. "The good thing is that USC Aiken has seen the value in the use of the terminal, and I hope other departments can see the value as well."

Newsom says that currently USC Aiken does not have a dedicated course for the Bloomberg terminal, however, he plans on incorporating it into every finance course he teaches.

His advice for students looking to enter the world of finance: "Work hard and get as much education as you can. There's no substitute for going through a rigorous finance curriculum and obtaining professional certifications such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Financial Risk Manager (FRM), or Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA)."

For more information, contact Angela Saxon,