MBA in Canada

Earning an MBA in Canada

Earning an MBA in Canada can qualify graduates for advanced career opportunities, higher salaries and even greater educational opportunities. This type of graduate-level degree typically takes two years to complete. Participants who are already employed may be interested in an accelerated or executive MBA, both of which can allow students to complete their courses on an alternative schedule. Regardless of the timetable, an MBA can be an excellent way to further one’s career.

What Is an MBA?

An MBA, or Master’s in Business Administration, is a post-graduate program designed to teach students the skills they will need to run an office, organization or corporation. They may learn to evaluate business plans, financial information, and market economics in order to make important corporate decisions. They may also learn to manage both human and material resources for maximum efficiency and efficacy. Participants in an MBA program may gain valuable communication, leadership and critical thinking skills.

Students in an MBA program will take a variety of general business courses, which may include accounting, marketing, finance, project management, human resource management and organizational behavior. They may also choose a specialty. Canadian universities offer a variety of specializations, including:

  • Health services management
  • Management of innovation and new technology
  • Strategic business valuation
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Natural resources, energy and environment
  • Public policy and management
  • Product and service management

The university a student attends can have a big impact on the knowledge and experiences they gain. At research-intensive universities like University of Northern British Columbia’s School of Business, students work to advance the field with new knowledge and ideas. Other universities place a heavy emphasis on sustainability and natural resource management. Specializations at the University of Alberta include Women in Leadership, Sustainability, and combined MBA degrees for applicants entering medicine, law, engineering, forestry, agriculture or information studies. Students in an MBA program should carefully consider their interests and career goals before choosing a specialization.

What Are the Benefits of Getting an MBA?

In a tough job market, employers are looking for education and experience. An MBA can deliver both. In many programs, students combine a classroom education with real-world applications. For example:

  • The John Molson School of Business challenges students to solve real-word business problems as they compete in the oldest and largest international case competition.
  • Students at the Degroote School of Business can enroll in four-month work terms that provide valuable hands-on experience and insight.
  • Schulich School of Business requires students to participate in the Schulich Strategy Field Study. This intense 8-month capstone project tasks students with providing real-world consulting for a real corporation.

MBA students can also gain international experience through their studies. The Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University sends all students on an international study trip. Some also opt for an international internship or study-abroad experience. Students at DeGroote can also choose to study abroad for one term of their program.

By pairing classroom education with real-world experiences, universities give students the opportunity to learn and apply many important skills. They may learn to collaborate with peers, present with confidence or invest prudently. These skills can be valuable in a graduate’s personal as well as professional life.

What Kind of Career Can You Expect With an MBA?

MBA graduates can help offices to run smoothly and companies to expand without capsizing. The skills gained in an MBA program can be applied in many industries and at many levels. Potential fields and job titles may include:

  • Accounting: Senior accountant, Financial controller, Chief financial officer.
  • Finance: Finance director, Senior financial analyst, Chief financial officer.
  • Marketing: Marketing director, Business development manager, Marketing manager.
  • International Business: Operations director, IT project manager, Sales director.
  • Information Systems: IT manager, IT director, IT project manager.
  • Business Management: HR director, Sales director, General/operations manager

Graduates may find these positions in many companies. They may also work for banks, governments, schools, hospitals and non-profit organizations. Notable graduates of Canadian MBA programs include:

  • Kim Shannon - President and CIO of Sionna Investment Managers.
  • Hubert Lacroix - President and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada.
  • Darren Entwistle - CEO and President of TELUS.
  • Gina Rizhanovsky - President and CEO of PCMusic.
  • Kimbal Musk - Co-owner of Tesla Motors.
  • Simon Cooper - President and COO of Ritz Carlton Hotel Company.
  • Ann Kaplan - President and CEO of iFinance Canada.
  • André Gremillet - Managing Director of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
  • Gustavo Muniz - Senior Risk Manager for Latin America for Bank of America/Merril Lynch

While not every MBA graduate will become the president of a company, the knowledge and skills gained in an MBA program can open many career doors. Whether graduates choose to work for a small, local corporation or a multinational bank, an MBA education can enrich their careers as well as their lives.