MBA or MDM? What's the Best Graduate Program for You?

MBA or MDM? What's the Best Graduate Program for You?

Today's students have plenty of options when chosing graduate level education but it's important that they find the right program that fits their needs. One of the main perceived competitors to the MDM degree program are Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs. MBA’s have been around for far longer than the CDM’s ten year history and have been the staple for many when pursuing graduate level education in the business field.

MBA’s require students to learn about forecasting, revenue models, business intelligence, finance and accounting. These programs allow students move ahead in their careers through new skills and knowledge that can be transferred to a number of different business areas. Students also have the opportunity to network with leaders in their desired industries to land dream jobs by standing out in a less than desireable economic climate.  

Not all MBAs are the same however and career opportunities for graduates vary by geographic location and business verticals. Students also have many different options in terms of additional education including diplomas or coursework in lieu of a MBA program. They could also go the entrepreneurial route and forgo a MBA altogether.

Critics of MBA programs believe that the best way to learn business skills is through experience- especially when it comes to learning the skills needed by high-growth, fast-paced, tech-focused industries. Entrepreneurship is the one of the best sources of technological innovation and should be taught hands-on rather than in a traditional classroom setting. These critics also believe that MBA programs take too long and cannot keep up with the pace of change seen in most tech industries.

MBA programs have expanded their curriculum to address entrepreneurship and tech-focused students who hope to join the BC’s growing start-up industry. Using “design thinking”, many are moving toward experiential and industry focused learning and away from typical academic and theoretical approaches. This model is closer to the methodology used in the MDM program.

Design Thinking

In fact, the Master of Digital Media offers an alternative to a typical MBA. The MDM program was specifically created to immediately address the growing needs of the digital media and tech industry. They were looking for savvy, creative innovators and entrepreneurs who could lead the booming new media sector. This sixteen month, internationally recognized, research informed, industry relevant professional graduate program engages students in the development of digital media products. The MDM focuses on 6 core competencies - Design Process, Self- Awareness, Time Management, Articulation, Information Literacy and Teamwork - to create a more successful candidate entering the digital media workforce, advancing their career or launching new companies.

Employers in the tech industry are more interested in skills and accomplishments rather than academic credentials when hiring and promoting. They want employees who are entrepreneurial, even if they don’t want to create their own companies.

The MDM focuses on self directed, hands-on learning that is immediately connected to industry, which has been the same approach as start-up accelerators, incubators and mentorship programs. In fact, the MDM program offers students all three and provides a real opportunity for development platforms for new businesses. The start-ups created from our MDM alumni are a testament to this product development business environment. Here’s the link to learn more about the start-ups created from the CDM.

The MDM has always believed that best way to learn is through hands-on experience, and the CDM offers a safe environment to learn and explore while minimizing the risks involved in developing a start-up on your own. The MDM can provide an alternative streamlined path for people looking to succeed in business rather going through an MBA program. Create, measure the results, iterate, and repeat. Fail fast, learn from your mistakes and keep moving forward.

An MBA is not a one-size-fits all solution but for many it remains a vital building block to a successful career. The MDM program offers an alternative for students who want to work with the latest tech, in hands-on industry-relevant projects to propel their careers further than they ever dreamed of.

Learn how to apply to the MDM here.