Allyson Shipley

Business students worried about the tough job market may have less to fear if they’re working toward a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Miami University.

“It is a very difficult job market and a unique time in history,” said Brad Bays, the director of the MBA program at Miami. “It will be a challenge for many of the students to find jobs.”

However, students in the MBA program at Miami hope their story will be different.

Bays told the story of one student who received an undergraduate degree in psychology but wanted to change career paths into the business world. Through Miami’s program she was able to hone in on a path that allowed her not only to move on, but also apply her previous knowledge and experience.

“She was able to go into the marketing world with an agency focusing on children and families,” Bays said. “Every advantage you’ve got makes you more attractive.”

The accelerated full-time program in Oxford allows graduate students to complete their schooling in 14 months, compared to most programs that take two years. Students also intern with local companies and study abroad for six weeks.

Both the full-time program in Oxford and the part-time professional program at Miami’s Voice of America Learning Center (VOALC) in West Chester are competitive and strictly for graduate work.

Miami alumnus and current MBA student Chris Burton said it is highly suggested that the students have at least two years of work experience after completing undergraduate studies to apply for the full-time program.

“We’ve had over 300 inquiries online and on the phone,” Bays said. “We will easily make the enrollment target about 35 students, and we feel very positive about the level of interest.”

Bays said the VOALC has a geographic advantage to other MBA programs in the area.

“A lot of people will see the fact that they don’t have to drive to Oxford to get a Miami degree very attractive,” he said.

The small class size allows for one-on-one interaction between the students and the professors. This type of learning environment is beneficial to students, Bays said, because they are better able to focus on their own individual needs and goals.

Burton is confident getting an MBA will help him in the future, even given the current economic crisis.

“I think a lot about how it’s going to affect our jobs,” he said. “I know a lot of my classmates were a lot more confident when we started the program … Here we are in February and job offers aren’t really flying in yet, but I’m still glad because the economy isn’t going to be like this forever.”

Bays added that since a generation of workers are going to be retiring in the next few years, the demographics are in favor for those in their 20s and 30s.

“The short term doesn’t look good, but the long term, after about two, three (or) four years, looks positive,” he said. “The Miami name and reputation is very strong, nobody will mistake it for any other school.”