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Business School News

B-school program aims to develop techies down east Add to ...

The Globe’s biweekly business-school news roundup.

At a recent conference on Atlantic Canada’s economic future, delegates identified access to talented young workers as key to the region’s success.

Generating some of that talent is the goal of a new graduate program to be offered this fall by the Sobey School of Business at St. Mary’s University in Halifax.

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The master of technology entrepreneurship and innovation – with applications due June 30 – integrates the fundamentals of starting a business and information technology in a 16-month program. In the second half of the program, students have the option to start a business or internship, work with an existing company on product development or carry out research on innovation in the region.

“Business schools do have an important role to play not only in supplying the talent the region needs but to educate those who are already here,” says Dawn Jutla, acting director of the new program. She says some of the applicants for the program already hold patents.

While Atlantic Canada faces a range of economic problems – an aging population and low productivity among them – the region is home to a number of large-scale capital projects that includes a $25-billion navy shipbuilding contract in Halifax, creating an estimated average 8,500 jobs for 30 years, according to the Greater Halifax Partnership.

A projected 70 per cent of the shipyard project is related to information technology, says Dr. Jutla, adding that some industry officials worry “we might fall over a cliff” without an adequate supply of tech-savvy personnel to meet future demand.

Stephen Lund, president and chief executive officer of Nova Scotia Business Inc., a development agency led by the private sector, praised the new program.

“Nova Scotia’s ICT [information and communication technologies] sector has grown faster than any province's over the last five years and we have seen some great IT startups in recent years,” he noted by e-mail, adding that the Sobey program “will give people the fundamentals needed to either consider starting a new business or advance their career in an established company.”

The program costs $15,000 for domestic students and $25,000 for those from abroad. The inaugural class this fall is expected to enroll 15 students, with a planned cohort of 50 for the 2014 class.

Women's leadership program

Women hold 4 per cent of Fortune 500 CEO positions and 4.5 per cent of Fortune 1000 CEO positions, according to Catalyst, a non-profit advocacy group to promote women in business.

In a bid to add to the supply of top female executives, Queen’s University School of Business and the Women of Influence Advancement Centre have teamed to offer a new executive certificate in leadership.

A six-course curriculum will cover topics such as personal branding, effective team-building, networking, finance and innovation. Some courses will be for women only, but others will include men to give participants an opportunity to build relationships and networks.

“It is time to step up our game to provide aspiring women with more of the tools, networks, and credentials they need to succeed,” Carolyn Lawrence, president and CEO of Women of Influence Inc., said in a press release announcing the new offering.

Recognizing that women have to balance work-life priorities, participants can take courses in sessions that range from a half-day to two days, without having to take the entire program at once. Registration is open now for classes in September to be delivered in Toronto, Ottawa and Calgary. Depending on course selection (there is a menu of 12 courses from which to complete the six-course certificate), the full cost varies from between $4,400 and $6,500.

Accreditation recognition

Two Canadian business schools have received recognition from major accreditation bodies.

AACSB International, the longest-serving accrediting body for business schools, has recognized Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business in Ottawa.

A press release issued by Sprott stated that the accrediting body had made special note of the school’s bachelor of international business program, which requires students to complete intensive training in another language and follow that with studying abroad for a year in a country where the chosen language is spoken.

Meanwhile, McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management becomes one of 142 schools in 39 countries accredited by the European Foundation for Management Development, which measures a school’s international focus, student quality, research and links to industry. The EQUIS accreditation, granted for five years, is the first for Desautels.

Ivey surpasses fundraising goal

Wrapping up the largest fundraising campaign in its 90-year history, the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario has raised $206-million, according to the school.

The donations, which exceeded the school’s goal of $200-million, will contribute to completion of the school’s new building in London, Ont., and expand funding for research and scholarships.

New research centre established

Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business has received $500,000 from Canadian National Railway Co. for a new centre for studies in sustainable supply chain management. The donation will support students at the bachelor, master and doctoral levels, according to the school.

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Contact Jennifer at jlewington@bell.net.

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