Cape Breton University is offering an MBA in Community Economic Development. I don’t know much about this program, but I think the concept is great. For the most part B Schools have ignored ‘economic development’ as a discipline and the Departments of Economics have thought it was too mundane and pedestrian for their tastes (for example the economic development course at Waterloo is offered through the Dept. of Geography).
I always thought this was strange. The idea of churning out dozens of top notch kids schooled in the tools and techniques of economic development is a good one.
However, as you may know, ‘community’ in front of ‘economic development’ invokes an entirely different concept. If the CBU MBA is all about ‘community’, I think that would be a big mistake. It should be a hard hitting program on how best practice jursidictions support the growth of their economy. Sample courses for me would include:
101: Attracting industry – capacity building
102: Attracting industry – building the value proposition
103: Attracting industry – targeting and closing
104: Finding gazelles – how do successful communities attract and grow entrepreneurial startups?
105: The role of R&D in economic development
106: Building concensus: the role of the economic developer as cheerleader