The Most Canadian Thing Ever: You Can Now Get an MBA in Hockey

Gaaaammmmeee ooooonnnnn.

Athabasca University, a leading online institution based in Alberta, has just created a one-of-a-kind MBA program that’s sure to make hockey fans and ex-players want to go back to school.

Geared at creating business people with acumen as sharp as their skates, the program will prepare the next generation of executives, scouts, and agents for careers in hockey.

But before you get too excited, keep in mind this doesn’t mean you’ll be learning how to jersey your classmates or practice your slap shot in class.  

Sure, in today’s NHL, there are roughly 700 jobs that require skates and sticks – but what tends to be forgotten is how many people are required to run a sports team off the ice.

For sports franchises and teams to be truly successful, you need more than just great players; there’s a need for people who understand fan engagement, talent management and acquisition, and executives who have experience on the operational side of the business.

To create the new program, AU looked to professionals like Brian Burke (the President of Operations for the Calgary Flames) and Ron Robinson (the Western Hockey League’s Commissioner) for direction. The MBA has also partnered with the Business of Hockey Institute – a non-profit organization for the professional and amateur hockey leagues – to create a unique set of courses that will help students better understand the ins and outs of the industry.

With a class schedule that can be completed in two and a half to three years, students will graduate with a specialized executive MBA, the only one of its kind in the world right now, and the savvy necessary to pursue a number of careers in hockey.

So if a new job or further education is in the cards, AU will be accepting applications for admittance from February 1st to March 15th, 2015. The first classes are scheduled to begin this May, and don’t worry; skating isn’t a pre-requisite.


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