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Fill out your 'T' with an MBA

If you want to dot the “i” and cross the “t” in your expertise, or inother words, give your job skills a big boost, earning an MBA may bethe career move you need.

If you want to dot the “i” and cross the “t” in your expertise, or in other words, give your job skills a big boost, earning an MBA may be the career move you need.


“If you think of a person in terms of a ‘T,’ and the vertical part of the T is their expertise, whether they’re an engineer, whether they’re a teacher, what the MBA does, is puts the horizontal cap on it,” Jim Dewald, associate dean of graduate programs at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business, told Metro Canada.


Dewald said an MBA “gives people general management skills, so they understand how to motivate people and teams, how to recruit and train top employees (and) still be effective as an engineer or as a teacher.”


But that extra piece of paper on your office wall — and the horizontal cap on the T in your expertise — comes at a cost.


So how does an aspiring MBA student pay the $30,000 tuition bill at the University of Calgary?


Dewald said the business school hands out about $300,000 of entrance scholarships annually, based on academic performance, including the Graduate Management Admission Test.


Additionally, while the MBA program is targeted to students with varying undergraduate degrees, anyone with a bachelor of commerce degree “will likely get exemptions” from certain courses, he said.


Joan White, associate dean of MBA programs at the University of Alberta School of Business in Edmonton, said donor funding for scholarships amounted to about $240,000 this year. There are also $300,000 in bursaries awarded annually, mostly to international students, and $150,000 worth of entrance scholarships.


Government student loan programs also recognize “that MBA programs are more expensive, so their criteria has been adjusted,” White said.


That funding diversity goes a long way toward helping MBA students at the University of Alberta cover the $25,000 program cost, and toward reaching their job-boosting goals.


“We call it good value for money,” she said.


Better: Get Your Boss To Pay


So, you want work to help pay for your MBA?


Joan White, associate dean of MBA programs at the University of Alberta School of Business in Edmonton, said it’s actually not uncommon for employers to partially, and sometimes fully, support their employees financially.


She suggests pitching the idea of applying for either a full-time or part-time MBA program during performance evaluations.


“If you’re with a good organization, and you have good supervisors, then they are going to recognize when it’s time for an individual to gain more education.”


Jim Dewald, associate dean of graduate programs at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business, said different corporations have different policies on sponsoring employees.


“They do have some hurdles,” he said.


“They have to present a business case usually, they have to be at a certain level in the organization (and) it has to fit with their overall targeted growth.”


Ultimately, it’s a business decision that can benefit employee and employer alike.


“As that person grows in the organization, they can feed a lot of their learning back into making the organization a better place,” he said.

 
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