By Shannon Houde on 25th Jul 2012
With the influx of “green” degree programmes popping up at universities around the world, my clients who are considering going back to school often ask me what type of degree is best. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to education and training in the sustainability realm, some options are better than others depending on your individual experience level and professional goals. In this five-post series I will review some of the most popular types of sustainability degree and certificate programmes to help you choose the one that fits you best. Let’s start with the Sustainable MBA:
The Sustainable MBA
A sustainable or ‘green’ Masters in Business Administration (MBA) is much like a traditional MBA but with a special focus on social and environmental issues. Students in sustainable MBA programmes still study traditional business subjects like economics and finance, but their curriculums emphasize triple bottom line and often include dedicated modules on green business issues. There are three general types of sustainable MBA programmes:
- Dedicated programmes - These are MBAs offered by business schools with an exclusive focus on sustainability (ex: Presidio Graduate School in California).
- Specialized tracks - Some schools offer an optional specialization, certificate, or additional degree in sustainability in conjunction with a general MBA. (ex: the University of Michigan’s joint MBA/MS in Global Sustainable Enterprise).
- Traditional MBAs with a ‘green tint’ - An increasingly popular approach to the sustainable MBA is for business schools to adapt their traditional MBA to emphasize social and environmental sustainability as a core part of its curriculum. (ex: Stanford Graduate School of Business).
Who it’s for:
Like a traditional MBA, admission into a green MBA programme is highly competitive, usually requiring at least three to five years of professional experience, high GMAT scores, and relevant prerequisite courses. Also like a traditional MBA, an MBA in sustainability can be an excellent choice for rising executives, career changers and aspiring entrepreneurs wanting to lead in their fields.
- UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business (U.S.)
- York University’s Schulich School of Business (Canada)
- INSEAD (France)
- Nottingham University Business School (UK)
- IE Business School (Spain)
- University of North Carolina’s Kenan Flagler-Business School (U.S.)
About Shannon: Shannon Houde, MBA, has coached, hired and trained CR professionals for more than 10 years. She has worked with sustainability professionals at all levels - from recent graduates to senior management to help them drive their career forward. To find out more about her Career Coaching services, follow this link.
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