Most MBA courses have little to distinguish themselves from the competition, but the brand new two-year MBA from The College of New Jersey can genuinely stake a claim to be doing things differently.
For a start, this MBA prides itself on having an innovative “T-shaped” curriculum, meaning students get both a broad management knowledge and a deep understanding of one particular area. Unlike most MBAs, which concentrate on a conventional core of standard MBA courses first before allowing students to specialize, TCNJ lets students choose their path right from the start.
The benefit is that students can demonstrate to employers — existing or potential — that they are making practical progress in a specific area from the get-go, and especially after their first year when they have completed their specialism. The aim is to help students with their job search.
Students can choose one of three seven-course specializations: Data Analytics; Finance; or Strategy, Innovation, and Leadership. Each course has a “business practitioner” attached to it who will deliver lectures, evaluate projects and presentations, and ensure that students understand how to apply what they have learned to their careers. The connections students get can’t harm their job prospects, either, and will help students get a foothold in specific industries.
In the second year they take another seven courses to learn to navigate a range of “executive level issues”.
The second way TCNJ’s MBA is innovative is that this is a “hybrid” program, a very modern mix of of face-to-face classes and online learning. Students meet for six eight-hour sessions in the fall and spring, and four times in the summer. During the short (six-week) winter term, everything is online.
The use of online delivery for some courses means that costs stay down; this is certainly at the lower end of the MBA spectrum, in terms of price. It’s also likely that this MBA will attract a vibrant, young group, as just two years of work experience are needed.
“The College of New Jersey School of Business seeks to deliver a contemporary, relevant, highly competitive MBA education that provides both near-term and long-term benefits to early-career professionals,” says Pasquale Quintero, TCNJ’s MBA director. “The objective, consistent with the MBA tradition, remains that of preparing students for leadership positions that extend beyond their current functional areas, specialty, or career path. Employers want employees with strong skill sets in a specific area and a broad understanding of business on which they can build. Employees want to build successful and stable careers. Therefore, the School of Business determined students need immediate applicable specialized skills — hence the creation of the T-style curriculum.”