Looking to Continue Your Education?

2012 is around the corner and for those already attending universities across South Florida or others who are considering where to apply, one thing is for certain – the January term of new classes is approaching quickly. One particular degree that has continued to show a favorable trend as far as desirability and is the preferred choice among working professionals is the MBA (Master of Business Administration). This graduate degree prepares professionals for management responsibility and is one of the most widely-known degrees in the world. More students enroll in the MBA program than any other postgraduate course, it is hailed as one of the most powerful and practical paths towards a significant change in careers and is considered a main route for aspiring business leaders who want to advance in their careers. “Demand for MBA graduates by the great businesses of the world keeps increasing. As businesses grow in complexity and scope, companies need more and more skilled and well-educated leaders,” Paul Danos, Dean at Tuck/Dartmouth College, stated during questioning for a recent global MBA study. Research reveals, and working professionals agree, that in certain fields, having just an undergraduate degree isn’t enough. With the climate of today’s economy and a high number of individuals applying for the same position, research shows that persons who have obtained an MBA degree can propel forward, past other job seekers who don’t possess a graduate degree.

In 2010, TopMBA.com and the QS Intelligence Unit released the world’s largest ever MBA survey which was completed by Nunzio Quacquarelli (MA Cambridge, MBA Wharton) and contained information compiled from 1990-2010. The goal of the study was to determine trends in recruitment and salaries, and extensive information was gathered from over 5,000 companies worldwide (This represents double the number of responses from the GMAC MBA Survey and ten times the number of responses from the Business Week MBA Survey, two other well-known MBA studies). Though space restraints only allow for snippets of the report to be shared in this article, the complete report can be read online (see web link below). Some highlights of the findings include the following:

● There was an overall 24% increase in MBA job opportunities in 2010, a turnaround from a -5% decline in 2009.

● MBA consulting jobs are back at record levels in 2011 – with a 19% jump in demand seen in 2010, followed by a substantial 37% forecasted jump in demand in 2011.

● MBA job opportunities in financial services won’t be far behind consulting jobs with a 22% actual increase in 2010 and forecasted increase of 11% in 2011.

● Marketing, sales and business development were the most popular functions among MBA employers in 2010, followed by general management, finance, strategic planning and consulting.

● Hot markets worldwide for MBA jobs are in India, which has experienced an explosion in employer demand for MBA’s (up 43% in 2010, especially in consulting, manufacturing, IT/computer and micro-finance sectors); Russia with a 22% uplift in MBA demand in 2010; and also Latin America.

● The highest paying region worldwide for MBA graduates is North America, remaining slightly ahead of Western Europe. The U.S. has by far the highest number of MBA employers in the world and by far the greatest range of MBA salaries. The average reported MBA salary in the USA is $88,485.

For those considering entering into an MBA program here in South Florida, a wide variety of concentrations are offered along with flexible scheduling, varied completion times and a wide range of tuition costs. Let’s take a closer look at three top MBA programs (in no specific order) that are offered in the area; in addition to the program highlights, the dean or associate dean of each program has offered up an intimate perspective of what makes their school stand out.

Nova Southeastern University H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship
Dr. Fields brings years of extensive managerial experience and knowledge, in addition to an MBA and Ph.D. in Marketing, to students and the community in his role as Dean of the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship.
Nova’s Business School serves more than 6,000 students, with 2,000 enrolled in the MBA Program. This school boasts the largest MBA degree program in Florida and the following concentrations are available: Entrepreneurship; Finance; Global Management; Human Resource Management; Leadership; Management; Sales; and Sales Management.

Dean Fields shared that he believes the real strength of the university is the fact that it is a “very entrepreneurial school”. He added, “We are constantly looking for MBA concentrations that make sense to both students and industry.

New concentrations are currently in development and these are based on surveys of 450 of the largest companies across the U.S. who were asked what additional skill set would add value to the organization/company.

From this analysis the University will get the direction to add specific concentrations that are meaningful to industry and that will get our graduates hired.”

In terms of what differentiates the school from others in South Florida, Dean Fields explained, “We try to supplement general knowledge in the MBA program with specific knowledge that will help the employer and the student. We offer our programs in many different ways and modes that are truly designed to provide the student with flexibility while offering different concentrations so that they can focus on their area of interest. Narrowing down a specific concentration adds value to the student, to either the company they currently work for or a company they are trying to get hired with. This was the reason behind one of our newest concentrations, Sales Management, which teaches the student specific knowledge that adds value more quickly to employers within the sales industry. We are known for incorporating real world information into our classes and worthwhile curriculum that is meaningful to industry. Here students receive market-based education.”

Dean Fields feels that the University has been recognized many times as the largest MBA program in the state because of the schools ability to provide timely programs to students that are convenient and offer the most benefit and value to both the student and employers. “Our graduates are armed with the necessary skill sets that they have honed during their time in the program to compete for job openings and deliver immediate results for their employers. Most students that come into our program have a clear sense of direction and they can focus on the concentration that most interested them. Also, I feel that people are realizing that years ago you needed to have some type of college degree to get into management positions, where now industry has evolved to the point where a Master’s degree is expected for an employee to be put on a fast track to promotion to management,” he shared.

More information on the H. Wayne Huizenga School can be found at: www.huizenga.nova.edu
Barry University Andreas School of Business
Established in 1940, Barry University’s MBA Program began in the late 1970’s and is the perfect choice for students who desire an intimate setting in addition to top-notch education. Paola M. Moreno, Assistant Dean, shared with us that there are approximately 150 students in the MBA program and students can count on individualized attention with a student to faculty ratio of 14:1. Moreno, who holds a Bachelor Degree in Industrial Engineering and an MBA in Finance (in addition to serving as a mentor for Strong Women Strong Girls), was named Assistant Dean in early 2010 and brings over eight years of experience in higher education within the MBA/Business arena to the students at Barry. Moreno shared that 2010-2011 has been an important time for Barry University’s MBA Program, as it underwent program and curriculum revisions, as well as receiving additional accreditations. “We were recently accredited by AACSB – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools – an accreditation received by only the best business schools in the world. In addition, our curriculum was revised with input from various external and internal constituents, including current students, alumni, community business leaders and faculty,” she added. She described the mission of the school as “offering students quality education, religious dimension, a role in community service and a caring environment” and that the students at Barry “understand the value of seeking a personal response to the presence of God in their lives”. The Andreas School of Business offers the following MBA concentrations: Finance; Marketing; Management; International Business; Accounting; and Health Services Administration. The University’s MBA is designed exclusively for working professionals and is only offered in an evening class format. “Education, value and social responsibility are what drive the Business School,” according to Moreno. “Our program forms socially responsible leaders that carry very strong entrepreneurial components, adding immediate value to any organization they are employed with upon graduation”. Although the school is a smaller, liberal arts university, Moreno explained that it is known throughout the community as “one that is diverse and offers personalized and purposeful learning.”

More information about the Andreas School of Business can be found at: www.barry.edu/mba/default.asp

Keiser University Graduate School
Keiser’s Graduate School began their MBA Program back in 2006 with 17 students; this number has grown to several hundred over the past five years. Bringing a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Development, a Ph. D. in Education and extensive work experience to the Graduate School and its students, Dean Sara Malstrom describes Keiser’s program as: “One that is smaller in population than other schools in South Florida, but one that truly meets its goal – to provide quality education to the working adult”. Malstrom explained that Keiser’s original MBA program started with an intensive weekend format only but this has since evolved into two formats: a complete online program and a hybrid program. “The hybrid program allows students to take the majority of classes online but meet in a classroom often to develop a sense of belonging with classmates and faculty. This program is still new and is slowly gaining in popularity,” she added.

MBA’s are available in the following concentrations at Keiser: Accounting; Health Service Management; Leadership for Managers; International Business; and Marketing. Designed for the working professional, the program can be finished in as little as 14 months (a track that Malstrom calls “intensive and somewhat tiring, but doable”) or in 28 months as a part-time student (the most popular option).

While many applicants enter into the program with Business or Finance degrees, Malstrom shared that the number of those entering with other undergraduate degrees is increasing. “Recently, students with Nursing and Criminal Justice degrees are showing more of an interest in order to obtain a well-rounded business background. Any degree is acceptable when applying for the MBA program except when applying to the Accounting concentration,” she stated.

When asked what sets Keiser apart, Malstrom shared, “The faculty’s commitment to students from start to finish and the advising process are both phenomenal. Our faculty is really the first line of communication to our students once they start their program. Faculty calls the students during the first week of class and forms a relationship with them, and also calls at the halfway mark of the term. They also offer tutoring through online technology, or over the phone and in person.

Advisement is the second line of communication for the students and includes a specific advisor for each student based on that advisor’s expertise and the student’s degree program, along with a welcome video and ongoing phone call from the advisor. Our goal is to not let students become discouraged and fade away. Between our reviews and pass rates on national exams, it is evident that we are doing our job. Our faculty brings real world experience and top-notch academic credentials. It is this combination that makes our students so successful.” For more information, please visit: www.keiseruniversity.edu/

The QS Top MBA Jobs & Salary Trends 2010-2011 Report can be found at: http://content.qs.com/topmba/topmba-salary-trends-2010.pdf

Marisa can be reached at [email protected]

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