Dean and Professor of International Business & Strategy, D’Amore-McKim School of Business, Northeastern University
Northeastern University D’Amore-McKim School of Business was recently ranked #1 in the US and #3 globally in the 2014 Financial Times inaugural ranking of online MBA programs.
We asked Dean Hugh Courtney his view on trends in business education, the academic appeal of Boston, and how the region is building a pipeline of talent for the financial services sector.
What trend are you seeing in business education?
At the graduate level, we see a trend toward more focused MS and certificate programs in addition to the MBA, and toward more online offerings. Our Online MBA was just ranked #1 in the US and #3 globally by the Financial Times. We are launching three new MS degree programs and more certificate programs this year to meet this new demand. We are also moving to offer more “hybrid” program offerings for our students. These combine the best of campus-based and online learning. All of these changes are well suited to meet the changing business education needs of the working professional.
At the undergraduate level, there is greater emphasis on experiential education and a more transparent return on investment in business education. Northeastern University has been a leader on this front for generations. Our undergraduates can participate in two to four co-op assignments where they work in 6-month long, paid positions. They work at many types of businesses from start-ups to industry leaders, in the US and internationally. Students also have the opportunity for field study trips, such as a recent trip to Saudi Arabia where students met with government officials and business leaders.
What appeal does Boston have for incoming students/prospects seeking business degrees?
Boston is an extraordinary university city with over 50 colleges and universities in the metropolitan area. Students from around the country and the world understand that it is a hub of higher education, history, sports, and culture. They want to study in Boston where they will have a chance to live, learn, and work with other students from all corners of the world – students at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business come from 90+ countries. They also come, of course, because of the extraordinary business opportunities here – co-ops in the financial sector, life sciences and IT are particularly compelling to our students. Boston is also a hot bed for entrepreneurship. Northeastern’s unique entrepreneurship ecosystem on campus and in the greater Boston community is a big draw for students.
How does the university – industry connections in Boston benefit graduates?
Our corporate partners are vital to our educational model built on the integration of co-op and classroom learning which leads to a deeper understanding of business principles and concepts. We have hundreds of co-op and other industry partners in the Boston metro area. These partners help our mission through guest lecturing, mentoring, representing business needs on curriculum committees, hiring our students, sending employees to our working professional graduate programs, sponsoring research, and bringing our faculty in to their companies for executive education programs. These connections are vital to our competitive advantage and offer win-win outcomes for the university and our corporate partners.