Australian - Anne Ross-Smith
- Publication: Australian
- Story: Finding the right keys to the future
- Date: 18 November 2011
Excerpt from article:
The director of postgraduate studies in the Faculty of Business and Economics at Macquarie University, Professor Anne Ross-Smith, says it's not a clear quality decision.
"There are so many MBA products out there, and Generation Ys are taking a lot of factors into account before they make a decision," she says. "We have conducted a lot of research into the decisions students make and the cost is important and increasingly, so are lifestyle considerations."
In addition, Professor Ross-Smith says Generation Ys are looking at programs close to home, and they are looking at the mode of course delivery a mixture of online and face-t o-face. She particularly emphasises the importance that prospective students put on geography, because people want to be close to their family and support networks if they decide to take time out of the workforce to complete an MBA.
"The internet plays a very important role in how people make their decisions these days because it enables them to make comparisons between schools right down to the micro-level of detail," she says.
One question many prospective MBA students ask is whether they should undertake a specialised MBA or a more generalised program. Professor Ross-Smith says prospective students should look at what the school or university has an acknowledged specialisation in.
In Macquarie University's case, that specialisation is in the finance field, with the university offering leading Masters degrees in applied finance, actuarial studies and accounting. While these degrees aren't MBAs they do provide students with many of the benefits associated with an MBA. Chief among these is the opportunity to build a strong network.
Professor Ross-Smith says universities are mindful that today's students are very savvy as to what they want: "they want the opportunity to enhance their networks".
She adds that Macquarie's specialised masters degree program is well connected to local business networks. In turn, some of these businesses are sending their employees along because of the school's quality.
As for undertaking a specialised masters degree or a more generalised MBA, Professor Ross-Smith says it really depends on where a person is in their career or in which direction they want their career to head.