The School of Graduate Studies at Western State Colorado University in Gunnison (and just down the road from MTB Mecca Crested Butte) recently announced the formation of a new and innovative opportunity. Starting with the 2018-19 academic year, Western will offer an Outdoor Industry MBA. The two-year, online program includes an MBA core as well as specific tracks for either the product or service side of the outdoor-recreation economy, which generates $887 billion annually in consumer spending, according to the Outdoor Industry Association. The program also includes residencies, immersion experiences, and guest lectures from outdoor industry experts.
"The Outdoor Industry MBA at Western will give graduate students the tools and connections necessary to make forward-thinking change within this fast-growing industry," said program director Pete Sherman. "We have a unique approach to class scheduling where we offer the industry-specific courses first. This way, students can apply content from class immediately to the workplace."
Ideal candidates have a bachelor's degree, professional experience in the industry, and the desire to take their career to the next level. They have a lifestyle rooted in the outdoors, an aspiration to foster growth in this environmentally conscious, sustainable business sector and an interest in strengthening their network within the outdoor industry.
"The Outdoor Industry MBA's clear focus on the business acumen required to lead the outdoor-recreation industry's multibillion dollar economy is a significant measurement of Western's and Colorado's commitment to our talent pipeline," said Luis Benitez, director of the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office. There are several ways graduate students can deduct portions of MBA tuition on their taxes, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Classes for Western's inaugural Outdoor Industry MBA cohort begin Sept. 24, pending accreditation approval.
For more information about this program, visit western.edu.