Business schools work hard to ensure their Master of Business Administration (MBA) program content is fresh and reflective of the prevailing environment, but increasingly business schools are also structuring their courses to cater for time poor executives trying to juggle family and work with study.
While many business schools and universities are taking their MBA online to make it easier for students the Dūcere Global Business School has taken an entirely new approach to addressing the toughest question of all.
“Who has time to study an MBA?”
The University of Canberra MBA program, delivered by Dūcere, has become one of Australia’s most unique courses, providing students with a relevant and detailed business education but with all the freedom required to ensure that completing an MBA does not mean sacrificing everything else in your life.
As Dūcere Global Business School’s Head of Enrolments, Daniel Cairns has lost count of how many students he’s met whose toughest memory of studying an MBA was trying to fit the workload into their already hectic lives.
He believes it is arguably the biggest challenge business schools face, but it is one that Dūcere has met head on.
“Our whole philosophy is that an MBA should fit in with your life, not the other way around,” he said.
“An MBA is still a big commitment with great rewards, but it shouldn’t mean putting your whole life on hold. Time is still the biggest constraint for people wanting to undertake an MBA so we wanted to build a course that acknowledged that constraint.
“We teach innovation, so we should practice it.”
By ‘innovation’, Cairns meant that Dūcere has essentially taken a high-pressure hose to anything resembling traditional learning. The MBA program does not require a GMAT or entrance exam for students to enroll, and there are no tutorials, lectures or exams that make up the program’s content.
Instead, students graduate by completing three different industry-based projects, which are headed by Dūcere’s industry partners. These partners are business leaders in the real world, who are currently facing the challenges posed by the projects. Focusing on concepts like leadership, ethics, finance and big data, the MBA projects give students real industry context, and provides them with an opportunity to apply what they’ve learned to deliver real value.
“The modern MBA is all about industry engagement and there is no other program in Australia, possibly the world, with the same level of industry engagement,” Cairns said.
“Students are able to choose subjects that are relevant to them and their career goals and the focus on projects means their employers often get real tangible benefits not just from a more skilled, engaged employee, but from insights and understanding that are generated while completing the project.”
This unique approach to business education is also completely online, removing any need for students to take time out of their lives to visit a physical classroom or lecture theatre. The MBA utilises state-of-the-art online collaboration and engagement tools to ensure that, even from their home office or the couch, students have the ability to communicate and work with fellow students and seek out support from faculty or industry partners.
“Many students have 10 or more years of work experience and haven’t been near a classroom for even longer – the concept of a lecture, tutorials and an exam at the end are completely foreign to them,” Cairns said.
“While this learning requires some self-discipline the maturity students means they are fully engaged with the experience and focused on achieving the end goal of having an MBA.”
The Dūcere online delivery platform is also operational through multiple devices, which means students who are truly pressed for study time can log in through their phone or tablet and pursue their MBA anywhere, from their business flight to the park on their lunch hour.
“We’ve structured this MBA completely differently to acknowledge that people want to learn differently these days,” Cairns said.
“We have built it around the concept of projects, and real, practical learning.”
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