24 Hours Toronto: Specialized MBAs on the rise

Aug 11, 2014
Daniel Shapiro, dean of the Beedie School of Business, teaching the Americas MBA for Executives cohort.

Daniel Shapiro, dean of the Beedie School of Business, teaching the Americas MBA for Executives cohort.

The following is an excerpt from the full article published in 24 Hours Toronto on August 11, 2014, and features comment from Beedie School of Business associate dean Ian McCarthy.

BY LINDA WHITE, QMI AGENCY

Specialized Masters of Business Administration (MBA) programs allow students to study in a “Silicon Valley culture” but as the number of specializations grows, it’s important to consider whether the credential you’re considering is simply a fad or if it will survive the litmus test.

“Business schools around the world are trying to distinguish themselves with specialized MBAs but you have to be careful which program you choose,” says Ian McCarthy, associate dean of graduate programs, Beedie School of Business at B.C.’s Simon Fraser University.

“I think there’s going to be a big burst of innovation with lots of specialist programs coming up but I think there will also be a big failure rate as they work out which ones the market really wants.”

McCarthy points to Beedie’s management of technology MBA as an example of a program with staying power. The first of its kind in Canada, it offers business and management education within the framework of technology/ biotechnology organizations.

The bulk of specialized MBAs focus on either an industry or a topic and if you’re certain of the direction you plan to take upon graduation, one may fit the bill. Some are even tailored to meet the needs of a corporation, including Beedie’s Teck graduate business program. “Teck is one of the world’s largest mining corporations,” McCarthy says. “All the classes are focused on learning outcomes related to people in that organization and the industry they work in.”

To read the article in full, visit the Toronto 24 Hours website.