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Ryerson’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program is celebrating its 10th anniversary. It was rated 10th best in Canada by Canadian Business magazine due to its rapidly improving reputation.
The interim director of Ryerson’s MBA program, Chris MacDonald, says he was pleased by the results, which were published in September 2016.
“We take this as a sign that our reputation is finally catching up to our quality. We are only 10 years old, this is our 10th anniversary as an MBA and a business school. So we don’t have the decades of history that University of Toronto (U of T) or Queen’s or McGill have, so we’re pretty excited that being in the top 10 programs in Canada puts us in that league.”
The deputy editor of Canadian Business, Graham Scott, says the rankings are based on the opinions of Canadian corporate recruiters, business people and MBA grads who were surveyed about their perceptions of various MBA programs.
“This was the second year the rankings have been based on reputation. It’s subjective in that it relies on peoples’ awareness of the school and that they believe the grads it turns out are of high quality.”
So what led to Ryerson cracking the top 10 best programs in the country only a decade after its inception? MacDonald speculates it’s due to more MBA grads entering the workforce. “It’s not through the pamphlets I can hand out, it’s through having people working at banks and prominent consulting firms and at non-profits saying, ‘Yeah I did my MBA at Ryerson, it was fantastic, let me tell you about it.’”
Allison Macleod, a Ryerson MBA student and the vice-president of communications for the MBA Student Association, says the school’s reputation has been boosted by its students’ success at national and international case competitions.
“That’s where [Ryerson has] been gathering publicity, we’ve been winning these big case competitions. We’ve been characterized as the underdog in them so it’s been a really great thing to see. I knew I wanted to be part of a program that’s still building itself rather than coming into an established program and maybe getting lost in the fold,” she says.
After completing an undergraduate degree in film studies and commerce, Macleod was teaching film at Scotland’s University of Glasgow when she decided to transition back to Canada. She chose Ryerson over the more well-established MBA programs at U of T and York because of its cheaper cost and relationships with industry professionals.
“Ryerson is only one year, really centred on making industry connections. It sort of jump-started my move back into Canada and needing to rebuild my network and doing so affordably. What’s unique about the program is, because it’s still building its identity, it really supports its MBA students going out and linking into the wider community.”
Students with a background in business, says MacDonald, can accelerate their MBA and complete it in one year. And, compared to the other GTA MBA programs, Ryerson’s tuition is a fraction of the cost.
He says Ryerson can keep its tuition more affordable because it receives government funding, while schools like U of T do not; free-market MBA programs can set their own price.
“Our program is regulated by the province the same way undergraduate tuition is.” He says Ryerson has no interest to go free-market in the future.
“If it’s not broken don’t fix it. U of T, they’ve got a product, they make the pricing decisions the same way Ford decides how much to charge for their cars.”
Macleod is glad she chose Ryerson because of the positive, team-centric environment.
“Ryerson is really a program that promotes diversity, it brings in candidates from all sorts of different backgrounds. It’s a smaller program so you’re not getting lost in hundreds of MBAs, you
all know each other. So there’s a strong sense of community so that’s why I chose it. Plus it’s more affordable.”