Subscribe to Florida Trend


June 25, 2018

Sector Portrait: Continuing Education

Florida MBA Standouts

MBA programs are broadening their reach in an effort to meet student and marketplace demands.

As the economy struggles to rebound, Florida's universities are working harder to attract students to their MBA programs.

Schools are adding international components to their programs, including more study abroad, and recruiting international faculty who bring global perspective and business cases to the classroom.

Deans at Florida's business schools say they are tailoring curriculum to meet demands of both the market and the students. Strong growth in Florida's healthcare sector has led Florida International University and the University of Miami to offer MBA programs in healthcare management. Nova Southeastern University in Davie now offers a concentration in information security management, among other specialties.

Online/hybrid programs also are becoming more popular, providing instruction over the internet along with some classroom learning. Saint Leo University in Pasco County launched its first online MBA using this model last fall.

Across the state there also are more partnership programs in which students can earn two master's degrees at the same time. Jacksonville University, for instance, has a joint MBA/master of nursing.

By definition, an MBA is a generalized degree, "but schools recognize employers are looking for some degree of specialization," says Dan LeClair, executive vice president and COO of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, a Tampa-based global accrediting organization.

One popular specialty is entrepreneurship. "Students in particular are looking for opportunities to develop the knowledge and skills to start a business," LeClair says.

He also noted that more Florida universities with MBA programs are offering courses at locations outside their home base. "The boundaries have been blurred," he says.

Rebecca Menditto
University of North Florida Coggin College of Business, Jacksonville

Rebecca Menditto juggles a full-time job, extracurricular activities and MBA courses at the University of North Florida.

The 24-year-old University of Florida graduate, originally from Lakeland, moved to Jacksonville from Washington, D.C., where she had a hotel management job.

She goes to class two nights a week and expects to graduate next year. "For someone with a full-time job, it's great to have evening classes. You can fit it into your schedule," says Menditto, who is a sales assistant at Cox Media Group and an officer in UNF's business fraternity.

Headed for a career in sales, she enjoys the challenge of work and school. "It is a ton of fun, and you meet so many people," Menditto says. "What keeps me going is having great mentors and leaders."

Rebecca Menditto
[Photo: Will Dickey]

Tags: Education

Digital Access

Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single digital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.


Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Lincoln Road keeps growing — and its small businesses keep closing
Lincoln Road keeps growing — and its small businesses keep closing

Over the last five years, a wave of out-of-town investors have paid record-high prices for Lincoln Road properties looking to capitalize on the Beach's international cachet. Increasingly, small businesses unable to keep pace with the skyrocketing rents in the historic Miami Beach shopping district are being forced to decide between relocating or closing.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Should Florida collect sales tax from all online retailers?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Unsure, need to understand issue better

See Results

Ballot Box