Schulich also offers a newly launched Master of Science in Business Analytics that looks to teach technicians how to better communicate with managers and executives. Tapping into the current interest in so-called Big Data, the program offers a split of 60% quantitative skills—statistics, optimization, right down to SQL programming—and 40% management training. “We created it to meet the needs of the industry,” says Murat Kristal, the program’s director. Graduates of the program, launched in 2012, have gone on to take jobs at Scotiabank and Deloitte.
Reason Nº. 4
Because chances are you can get a program tailored to you and your co-workers
Most schools offer executive education courses in two flavours: public courses and custom content developed in partnership with corporate clients. In a custom course, the university works with an organization to create not only a specific program of learning, but also to help it choose from the school’s faculty roster to best suit its needs.
At Ivey, custom programs make up about 60% of the executive education offerings. It partnered with the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan to provide OTPP employees an intensive leadership regimen in three-day chunks, once every three months. “By the time they’re finished that third day, they’re almost a little shell-shocked,” says David Loree, Ivey’s faculty director of executive education, who works closely with client CEOs to develop and review each program.
Most bespoke programs combine functional experience in the company’s core business with leadership skills. And taking an executive cohort through a program that’s customized to a company’s needs can offer a bonding experience once reserved for the corporate retreat. “The kickoff of the program was not only done by the CEO, but all the employees got together and had a fireside chat,” says Loree of the OTPP group. “And to be honest, it wasn’t a glowing 360. There was some incredible transparency there.”
Reason Nº. 5
Because you’ll make more money
The California-based Executive MBA Council, which represents more than 200 global business schools, tracks the annual salaries and bonuses of EMBA students before and after graduation. In 2012, the average compensation of graduates increased by 17%. The EMBA bump has been shrinking, however:
In 2003, it was 30%, and in 2010, during the throes of the financial crisis, grads saw just an 11% increase.
Reason Nº. 6
Because it’s not just for Big Business
Sandra Hamilton knows a thing or two about entrepreneurship. The former magazine publisher and Vancouver Islander created a niche for herself managing Canadian Olympians like rowers Silken Laumann and Greg Stevenson who were looking to get in to business after retiring.
Thanks to that experience, Hamilton became something of an evangelist for the notion that social good and business success belong together. With more than 86,000 charities in Canada competing for a limited pool of donations, fundraising is getting increasingly cutthroat. “It costs more now to raise a dollar than it ever has,” says Hamilton. Charities that want to survive are having to come up with innovative ways to fuel their work, she adds, pointing to organizations like the YWCA in Vancouver, which runs a hotel to help subsidize its costs.
When Hamilton decided it was time to pursue her own next act, she went looking for a business program to help formalize her training in the real world of charities. “I knew I wanted an MBA or an EMBA, but to use market forces to do social good,” she says.
Although there are several similar programs in the U.K. and U.S., including schools like Oxford and Stanford, none existed here in Canada. So Hamilton helped forge one herself. After interviewing potential schools, she found an eager partner in the University of Fredericton, a six-year-old private university that is accredited to deliver MBA and EMBA degrees entirely online. “She broached the idea that we create a specialty track,” says David Large, the university’s vice-president of university advancement and dean of its business school. “We did some homework and said, ‘You’re going down a promising path.’”