Sorry, Commerce students — looks like you’re gonna have to go elsewhere for your masters
Bachelor of commerce students have opportunities to advance in their business careers through a variety of majors such as operational management or supply chain management. These opportunities expand far and wide for those who obtain a bachelor’s degree in commerce. However, some students and faculty are wondering when, or if, MacEwan will offer a master’s program.
A master of business administration (MBA) would provide commerce students more hands-on experience and networking opportunities, But, Assistant Professor in the School of Business, Joong Son says that he advocates for students to pursue a master’s program “. . . if they have some the passion to so, but in a more or less specialized area [in business or related fields].” Such areas include business analytics or supply chain sustainability; these specializations would be for pursuing a MBA.
Son says: “MBA program tuitions are way more expensive than most undergraduate university tuition, such as MacEwan’s. In most MBA programs, students have to pay a ‘professional school fee’, which makes the overall tuition significantly more expensive than other graduate programs. For students that have already completed undergraduate degrees in business, I don’t really know whether that’s typically worth it”.
The University of Alberta, which is a recognized school in the province for business students, offers a master’s degree estimated at $54,000 for the entire program.
“Getting three to five years before you start an MBA could be more valuable since students will have a deeper understanding of the business they’re in.”
On Sept. 20, The Student Association of MacEwan University (SAMU) announced in a student council meeting that they came to the conclusion that a master’s was unlikely to happen during negotiations between SAMU and MacEwan. Many of the students that we spoke with in the commerce program have expressed interest in a master’s program being offered through the university.
Zoey Shaw, a commerce student says: “. . . I think it would be a good thing to provide. I mean MacEwan needs to find ways to be competitive in comparison to the U of A or anywhere else that offers an MBA . . . It would kinda keep people around and keep them coming. And then place more importance on research than just the practical applications of business.”
Son says that while the discuss of a master’s program offered through the university may seem a bit too early at this stage, getting the conversation started wouldn’t hurt. “Students’ demands and interests would be very helpful as a starting point. If there is no demand or interest from the students, then the discussion is meaningless,” says Son. “So, we have to make sure there is enough demand coming from the student[s].”
Students shouldn’t put too much demand on the dean of business because even if MacEwan, SAMU, and the Dean decide to start the conversation about an MBA, there would need to be approval from the provincial government and stakeholders before it can go into motion as MacEwan is a publicly-funded school.
The process would also include an update on MacEwan’s mandate which states that the institution “provide[s] an undergraduate educational experience enriched through research and creative activity that informs our faculty’s approach to pedagogy, engages students in their skill development, creates and applies knowledge and supports economic development” which is in accordance with the Post-Secondary Learning Act. It would be an extensive process for the mandate to be extended to master’s programs since MacEwan would have to appeal to the provincial government.
“The Student Association of MacEwan University (SAMU) announced in a student council meeting that they came to the conclusion that a master’s was unlikely to happen during negotiations between SAMU and MacEwan.”
According to Wharton University of Pennsylvania, the benefits of getting an MBA are improving a student’s awareness of the global market and communication skills, creating a larger roster of professional connections, increasing job opportunities, and learning to effectively manage time. Son says that getting three to five years of experience before you start an MBA could be more valuable since students will have a deeper understanding of the business that they’re working in.
For those in faculties like communications, engineering, or science, students should think about getting their MBA in Business. According to Son, MacEwan’s business curriculum covers both breadth and depth. For business graduates, thus, an MBA program may not be great value added in terms of learning. However, non-business majors could benefit from the practical applications the MBA program has to offer, such as marketing, operations, accounting, finance, and supply chain management.
While the school of business students might not be getting the master’s program anytime soon, there are still a variety of opportunities for those looking to advance their education or just dive into the game of business.
Photo from Canva