What to Expect

As a career professional, you have developed an expertise in your field. You have a comprehensive understanding, study the trends and see opportunities that others with less experience, often miss.
An MBA in CED from the Shannon School of Business at Cape Breton University will highlight the interaction between community and business and expose you to development practices and advanced management concepts and skills in a whole new way.

Our graduates are prepared for senior leadership roles. Utilizing their previously acquired professional expertise blended with a new, broad, general management perspective, means decision-making skills are integrated across their entire organization.  Courses demand critical analysis and include deliverables, such as marketing plans, business models and plans, development of community plans and organizational strategy.
Program depth-and-breadth characteristics:

  • Program requires completion of 16 courses, including an individual research project, 48 credits in total
  • Program curriculum focuses on the critical areas for performance of organizations: accounting, marketing, strategy, finance, organizational behavior, leadership, venture analysis
  • Core curriculum includes subjects that provide insights in community economic development, such as  comparative development, business and community development, economic geography
  • Core program has an intense research component, typically found in social science graduate programs, requiring completion of a research methods course and an individual applied research project, accompanied by a mini-thesis of 70-90 pages.
  • Curriculum allows for 2 elective courses that provide specialization in First Nations urban and rural economic development, peace-building and community reconstruction, strategic leadership or international business.
  • Courses require application of theory and concepts into practical objectives such as marketing plans and business models.
  • The classes are often a mixture of early career and mid-career managers. This provides for a unique experience of enriching exchanges of knowledge and ideas. In-class and after-class interaction among students and faculty creates an environment of critical reflection.

Conceptual & Methodological Awareness

Our  Cape Breton University MBA in CED students are exposed to a complex level of knowledge in the key concepts, theoretical approaches, methodologies, and current practices in management and economic development, with a clear focus on application of knowledge.
Pre-Core seminars enrich analytical skills through concept-mapping techniques, case analysis skills, statistical analysis and Excel modeling techniques.  Learning these valuable skills provide students the ability to assess complex issues effectively.

Each MBA in CED course concentrates on conceptual understanding and methodological competence, and encourages critical evaluation of current research. Professors routinely include journal articles in the course readings, challenging students to keep up with concepts, apply methods discussed, and critically analyze information.

Research and Scholarship

As part of our MBA in CED core curriculum, we include a Research Methods course that requires completion of an individual research project with a mini-thesis of 70-90 pages. This project motivates our students to delve into a topic of interest, to develop a thesis, frame the research objective, develop the theoretical framework, adopt the appropriate methodology, carry out the research and analyze the results.

Very few MBA programs include a mandatory research project with a mini-thesis requirement, but here at CBU, we value this research component of the degree. And so do employers.  Surveys conducted by the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), GMAT’s parent organization, indicate the public sector and the Third sector value intellectual curiosity and demand research skills. Expertise that is nurtured and gained through our MBA in CED.

We are proud of Cape Breton University Shannon School of Business MBA in CED’s research emphasis:

  • CBU MBA in CED students awarded the coveted $17,500 SSHRC research scholarships in recent years
  • CBU MBA in CED graduates pursuing Ph.D. degrees
  • CBU MBA in CED students and graduates presented their research in regional and national conferences

Communication Skills

The majority of our MBA in CED courses require in class discussion and extensive reading and writing, so students develop strong oral and written communication skills as they progress through the program.
Students engage in class discussions, make in-class presentations, complete written case study analyses, reports, research papers, marketing and business plans.  At the end of the program, students must complete an applied research project and write a mini thesis report of 70-90 pages.
MBA in CED students are expected to use presentation programs and create podcasts of course presentations for YouTube.

Application of Knowledge

Our MBA in CED courses include deliverables that require the integration and application of concepts and knowledge, such as the creation of a marketing plan, business model and plan, supply chain analysis, organizational strategy, etc.

The applied research project is the capstone project and requires extensive application of knowledge.

The variety of electives assists students to study different subjects, investigate trends and issues and appreciate perspectives of different bodies of knowledge and different cultures.

Professional Capacity

Students hone critical thinking and effective decision making skills as they progress through the MBA in CED program. Learners develop a strategic organizational perspective as they complete the advanced integrative skills courses, such as leadership and strategic management.

Our program fosters a working knowledge of project management skills, as students must manage their own learning and course deliverables.  We foster teamwork social skills, as the MBA in CED student must work effectively with other students, and respect academic integrity and social responsibility.
Awareness of Limits of Knowledge

Our MBA in CED courses, especially the development courses, stress the prevalence of ambiguity and the limits of knowledge. This becomes fairly obvious to our students, as we stress the unpredictable ‘mystery’ nature of economic development.

The financial meltdown of 2008 and its enduring after effects further illustrate our inability to model and forecast the future with accuracy, and the MBA in CED students are made aware of this basic reality.