As the economy begins a slow recovery, accelerated MBA programs increasingly appeal to out-of-work professionals.
TUCSON, Ariz. – September 22, 2009 – Grad school has always been a safe haven for out-of-work professionals in a down economy. Now, as economic indicators suggest that the economy has bottomed out and the long recovery has begun, those workers face a tough decision: try to stick it out in a brutal job market or invest in retooling those skills and re-enter the market on the upswing.
For many, the decision comes down to timing.
Accelerated MBA programs are an increasingly appealing option for professionals who want to earn an advanced degree quickly — and affordably — and time their returns to the workforce to coincide with the economic recovery. The Eller MBA at The University of Arizona has developed a suite of graduate business programs that minimize the opportunity costs of pursuing an MBA. The latest — a 12-month MBA for those who already hold an undergraduate business degree — launches in 2010.
“Beyond timing, a traditional, two-year MBA program just isn’t the right fit for everyone,” says Trina Callie, assistant dean of Eller MBA programs. “Workers with significant professional experience will be more at home in an accelerated program, like our 14-month Executive MBA. Business professionals who are three to five years out of college will get the most out of our 12-month MBA, where they can focus on elective coursework. People should definitely factor culture into their MBA program decision-making.”
“After months of an unsuccessful job search and networking efforts, I realized most of the employers were looking for the total package: MBA plus experience,” says Hoon Choi, a student in the 14-month Eller Executive MBA program. “Now I am expanding my network through an opportunity to work on an innovative, exciting project with my peers, who are all experts in their fields.”
“I lost what I thought of as my dream job in December,” says Katherine Tunsky, who entered the traditional, full-time program this fall. “I knew then that I had two options — settle for trying to find a job that wasn't my dream job or go back to school. I'm confident that by choosing to better my education, I'll be better-suited for the job market when I graduate, and that the market will also be in a better place.” Tunsky sees the MBA program as a way to build skills in industries she hasn’t yet explored. “My passion is real estate finance, but while here at Eller, I plan on focusing on sustainability and I will be applying for the dual-degree program in hopes of earning an master’s in environmental planning.”
“MBA programs are designed to help broaden students’ horizons,” Callie says. “For example, all of our programs include an international component, which we believe is vitally important in today’s global business environment. But we also offer students access to consulting projects and career services, to help them build their resumes and best position themselves for their coming job searches.”
In addition to dual-degree options that allow students to concurrently earn an MBA along with another graduate degree at The University of Arizona, the Eller MBA program recently introduced new focus areas that help students build skills in specific growth industries, such as energy and health care.
The Eller College of Management offers three accelerated MBA program options, along with the traditional, two-year program for full-time students seeking an immersive experience. The 18-month Evening MBA is aimed at working professionals; the innovative 14-month Executive MBA is designed for high-level professionals with extensive work experience; and the 12-month Accelerated MBA is for professionals with an undergraduate business degree, who will step into the second year of the full-time program to focus on elective coursework. Information about all four programs will be available at an Open House from 9 a.m. until noon on October 3 at the Eller College Scottsdale campus, 16425 North Pima Road, Suite 370. RSVP and find more information online at www.ellermba.arizona.edu.
The Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona is internationally recognized for pioneering research, innovative curriculum, distinguished faculty, excellence in management information systems, entrepreneurship, and social responsibility. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller undergraduate program #14 among public business schools and three of its programs are among the top 20 — Entrepreneurship, MIS, and Management. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller MBA Full-Time program #44 in the U.S. and #21 among public business schools. The College leads the nation’s business schools in generating grant funds for research. In addition to a Full-Time MBA program, the Eller College offers an Evening MBA program and the Eller Executive MBA. The Eller College of Management supports approximately 5,700 undergraduate and 700 graduate students on the UA campus in beautiful Tucson, Arizona.
Liz Warren-Pederson, Eller College of Management
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