Message from the Director
Thank you for expressing interest in the Master of Science in Administration (MSA) degree program. As faculty and staff in the MSA department, we are committed to providing students with a rigorous, relevant, and overall excellent academic experience. Through a combination of theory and practice, the MSA program focuses on concepts and applications to identify and solve problems in a broad range of professional environments.
What is the difference between an MSA and an MBA? I can sum up the difference with one letter: ‘T’. An MBA is an interdisciplinary business degree that draws on courses from across the functional areas of business (marketing, management, finance, accounting, economics, business information systems, etc). The MSA, however, focuses on developing ‘T-Shaped’ professionals.
A ‘T-Shaped’ professional has a breadth of knowledge to work across many units within an organization, but also the depth of knowledge in one content area to be considered an expert in that field. According to the Education Advisory Board (2022) “Large employers like IBM, IDEO, and Cisco are spearheading initiatives to hire ‘T-shaped professionals.’” Employers are looking for soft skills that allow professionals to work collaboratively across many units within an organization (the “T-top”). Employers are also looking for those same professionals who have a depth of knowledge in a particular discipline, area, skill, process, product, or body of work (the “T-stem”). The degree fosters the development of critical thinking skills to integrate information and perspectives from different disciplines. This approach encourages creative problem-solving, as you gain the ability to analyze complex issues from multiple angles and find innovative solutions.
The degree also develops you to adapt in a changing job market. The job market is constantly evolving, and employers increasingly seek candidates who possess a diverse skill set and can adapt to new challenges. As a graduate, you will demonstrate your ability to think across boundaries, collaborate with diverse teams, and apply knowledge from various fields, making you a versatile candidate in the job market.
We have designed the MSA program to develop ‘T’ shaped professionals. The core courses, six in total, support the ‘T-top’ and focus on organizational change; working with diverse generations and populations; strategic management; and finance. Students can choose from 10 different areas of concentration. The concentration courses support the ‘T-stem’ and range widely across different sectors of the economy like engineering management; digital leadership; health services; human resources; leadership; project management; and training and development.
Lastly, you will join thousands of MSA graduates who are strategic leaders who guide sustainable, equitable, and inclusive organizational transformation and success!
Fire Up Chips!
Albert A. Zainea
Executive Director, Academic and Professional Programs
College of Education and Human Services
Central Michigan University