The general objective of the eBusiness specialty is to provide students with the technical and managerial background required for management and leadership roles in electronic applications for businesses and industries of today and tomorrow. Specifically, students graduating for this program will:
- be able to design, develop, implement and integrate electronic business information systems.
- understand the trends and advances in telecommunication applications throughout the organization and marketplace.
- be prepared for the operational, tactical and strategic management of electronic business applications.
eBusiness is the ability to perform transactions and exchange business information between and within enterprises and other groups in the community through electronic methodologies. The recent explosive growth of the Internet, and the World Wide Web in particular, has generated significant interest in the development of eBusiness. There is little doubt that these developments will have a huge impact on the operations, systems, and efficiency of business, industry, and government by the early 21st century. Organizations of all size will be forced to consider the applications of eBusiness not only for business redesign, but in many cases, for survival in the emerging global marketplace. MBA graduates are generally trained to provide management and leadership skills, but often lack the technical background required to shape and accomplish the operational and strategic objectives of eBusiness. On the other hand, computer science graduates may have the technical competence, but lack the business skills necessary for technology management. The DeGroote eBusiness stream will provide MBA graduates with the managerial and technical skills demanded and necessary in the electronic marketplace.
McMaster University is the first degree granting university in Ontario to offer a MBA stream in eBusiness. Although most universities offer some electronic commerce courses (such as an introduction to electronic commerce and electronic commerce marketing), their offerings are not extensive enough to support an eBusiness program or stream. Some universities outside of Ontario have established an electronic commerce focus at a Masters level (e.g. the Faculty of Business at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John). However, these programs focus on the "softer" aspects of electronic commerce, such as public policy, management, marketing, legal, security and privacy issues. Little attention is paid to the more technical aspects of electronic commerce such as Web-site engineering, programming, network communication, interface design and intelligent agents. Up to 50% (and a minimum of 40%) of the courses taken by eBusiness students in our MBA stream will be directly related to these technical aspects. This strong technical emphasis will truly be unique within Ontario and within Canada. Students following this stream will acquire highly demanded skills that will differentiate them from other MBA graduates.
Since this stream will have a strong technical emphasis (students will be taking between 8 to 10 technically oriented courses), successful applicants must have a sound understanding of the basics of computer hardware and software. It is expected that most students accepted into the program will have an engineering or computer science degree. However, those who have considerable work experience with computers may be considered for admissions upon demonstration of their expertise. Students must specifically apply for the eBusiness stream. The admission process will follow three stages:
- MBA acceptance: The MBA admissions office will determine whether candidates are admissible to the MBA Program.
- IS faculty acceptance: Candidates requesting admission to the eBusiness stream will be forwarded to the IS faculty members who are teaching in the eBusiness stream for an evaluation of technical competence based on education and/or work experience. When we are unable to judge adequately the technical competence of a candidate, he/she will be interviewed by a member of the eBusiness teaching staff for a definitive determination.
- Interviews: Candidates who have passed the preceding two stages will be interviewed by a member of Business Career Services to judge their skills in terms of summer internship or co-op placements.
Internships and Co-op Placements
Each student in the full-time eBusiness stream will be placed in a business or industrial internship during the summer following the first year of studies, and co-op students will be placed in similar environments during their three work terms. These positions will match as closely as possible student career interests and goals. Based on the strong business and industry links established through the Co-op MBA program and research activities of faculty members, and the high demand for technically competent managers, it is expected that ample opportunities will be available for eBusiness work term placements.
Students who wish to enroll in the eBusiness stream must satisfy all the general MBA program requirements. However, all eBusiness students are accepted into the eBusiness stream prior to registering for the MBA program.
Find out more information about McMaster MBA specializations from the DeGroote School of Business Web site