Canada's 35 million population is spread across one of the largest land masses in the world. Canada is also blessed with abundant natural resources, fostering an economy that is built around industries such as manufacturing, mining, oil and gas, agriculture and forestry. Canada has universal healthcare, and a high standard of living. But one of the most attractive aspects of Canadian society is undoubtedly its multiculturalism.
For MBA aspirants, Canada provides a launching pad to work in North America while providing a cheaper study option than USA. In fact, Canada’s Business Schools combine a high standard of education with lower costs. Canada also has lower unemployment compared to other developed nations. Perhaps, the biggest advantage is that international students can change their study permit into a work permit as soon as they graduate. International candidates should note that government subsidies make fees cheaper for the locals. They must also check for the medium of education in Quebec, which is a French-speaking province.
So if you’re looking to do your MBA in Canada, here’s our pick of the top MBA programs:
1) Beedie School of Business
The Beedie School of Business is located in Vancouver - one of Canada’s major cities. Vancouver is ranked among the most livable metropolises in the world. The MBA program is 12 months long and is taught using a mix of case studies, lectures, group simulations, and real life industry examples which involve businesspeople from local and international businesses. Because Beedie stresses on the application of business knowledge, case study is the most prominent teaching methodology. There is a clear attempt to promote class diversity, with 36% of the class made of international students.
On graduating, the salaries have an average increase of 34% as compared to pre-MBA earning. Prominent recruiters from Beedie include Deloitte, Accenture, The Vancouver Board of Trade, RBC Financial, London Drugs, Fortis and Wind Energy.
The highlights of the course are a group of unique, yet highly relevant topics. The New Ventures and Sustainability courses help students develop their entrepreneurial spirit and allows them to prepare for new-age business opportunities in sustainability.
In Leadership and Group Dynamics, simulations are used to impart an understanding of group dynamics. The Strategy course helps students in long-term planning using a holistic, cross-disciplinary approach and comprehensive analysis.
Students also benefit from the annual Cross Cultural Trip. After 12 months of study, students can take up an internship project which can last from 4 to 8 months. Besides placement assistance, students also have the advantage of a network of over 22,000 B-school alumni.
2) Richard Ivey School of Business
The Richard Ivey School of Business, Ontario is the first ever B-school in Canada and has been developing business leaders for the last 90+ years. Over 40% of Ivey grads are at the Managing Director or higher levels in their organizations. The 1-year program’s typical class represents over 11 nations, with almost 45% having international work experience. Ivey is well known for its case study approach, with its globally-reputed faculty writing over 150 cases every year. In 2010-11, fresh MBA grads earned an average total compensation of $98,237. The top recruiters include 3M, Apple, Bayer, Credit Suisse, Deloitte, Capgemini, Diageo, Ernst & young, HSBC, Google, IMAX and JP Morgan.
The curriculum is made unique by its strong emphasis on leadership and global learning. Ivey’s Cross Enterprise Leadership method teaches students to apply a wider perspective to decision making, using a cross disciplinary approach. The International Study Trip builds on the classroom learning with real-life cultural and business experiences in emerging markets like China, India or Latin America. There also are student-run initiatives like the China Teaching Project (CTP) where business students teach management basics in China. The LEADER Project is an economic development program run by students in Eastern Europe and Russia. Ivey graduates do benefit immensely from the highly placed alumni network of 20,000 in 95+ countries.
3) HEC Montréal
HEC’s MBA program is conducted in Montreal, Quebec – the French-speaking province of Canada. The school is 100+ years old and focuses on active teaching methods that promote teamwork, including the case method, role-playing, group presentations, and simulations. While the course is taught in English, students have the option of taking their electives in either French or English, depending on which part of the world they would like to apply their skills. In 2011, students had an average total compensation of $85,904, a 24% increase over their average pre-MBA salaries. The major companies that recruited from campus include ABB, Air Canada, Banque CIBC/CIBC Asset Management, Bloomberg LP, Fidelity Investments, GlaxoSmithKline, Honeywell, IBM, KPMG, Mercer, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Procter & Gamble, Rolls Royce, TATA Consultancy Services and UNICEF.
The curriculum offers students a variety of learning experiences that include case studies, business simulations, supervised projects, individual coaching and the opportunity to learn at a campus abroad. Further, constant interaction with business leaders is maintained both on and off campus. During the summer, students participate in the Supervised Consulting Field project, a five-week long business consulting project, from which 200+ private, public and non-profit organizations have already benefited. The Campus Abroad program allows students to acclimatize to the business environment in India, Russia and Vietnam. This includes courses, industrial tours, cultural visits, group tasks and exams. MBA grads can network with over 69,000 alumni in 27 countries.
4) Rotman School of Management
The Rotman School of Management is located in Toronto - rated as one of the world’s most multicultural metropolises. In keeping with the city’s ethos, 42% of the students and 71% of the faculty at Rotman comes from outside Canada. The school offers a 20-month MBA program that practices Integrative Thinking where students are trained to think outside the traditional management box, considering the bigger picture while tackling problems with an innovative and risk taking attitude. The graduating class of 2011 had a mean base salary of $85,542 with base salaries ranging from $60,000 to $150,000. Prominent companies that recruited include AT Kearney, Booz & Co, Boston Consulting Group, Capgemini, Citigroup, Deloitte, Ericsson, Google, IBM, ING, KPMG, Louis Vuitton, McKinsey, PWC, P&G, Rio Tinto UBS, US Department of Commerce and World Wildlife Fund. The school also has summer internships, with a similar range of big names offering paid internships.
The Rotman MBA has a strong global context with opportunities to complete the summer internship in another country, study internationally for up to a full semester at a partner school, or participate in an international consulting project. In the 2011 International Exchange Program, students studied at 23 leading universities in places ranging from Switzerland to Singapore. The school’s International Study Tours deal with both new and emerging economies including India, China, Latin America and Europe.
Over the course of 1-2 Weeks with Rotman’s Doing Business Internationally (DBI) program, students with the help of a partner school focus on how to do business in a particular country. In 2011-12, the countries covered were Germany, Israel and South Korea. There also is the International Consulting Project, which gives students the opportunity to do an international project in conjunction with a leading corporate and a faculty member.
Read Top 7 MBA in Canada - Part 2 (Schulich, Sauder & Queen's)