Langara’s bachelor of business gets an upgrade

Program overhaul brings changes informed by alumni, students, faculty and professionals

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By Lesia Pogorelo

This story has been updated to include quotes from David Williams and Saichaitanya Manda.

Langara’s school of business management is working to overhaul its bachelor’s degree program in business administration in a bid to better prepare its future graduates in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the last year, Jonathan Steele, chair of business technology management, and Brent Kennedy, chair of business curriculum, started work with colleagues and the college administration on the first stage of the development of the new program.

The co-chairs reviewed four of the school of management’s diploma programs, three of its degree programs and four of its post-degree diplomas. The review included consultations with industry partners, faculty, students and alumni.

“We heard from students of what they felt was good about a program,” Steele said. “Alumni gave us helpful feedback, because they’ve completed their degree and gone out into the market.”

The school of business management currently enrolls 603 students across its four bachelor’s degree programs.

Getting your money’s worth

David Williams, vice president of policy at Business Council of B.C., said the pandemic has affected the labour market and suggested students monitor the demand for various jobs and skills sets.

Office jobs are much more technologically intensive than pre-2020 with more virtual interactions and fewer in-person encounters because of working from home, he said. Now employers are looking for strong technical or creative proficiency, coupled with excellent “soft skills” that are also necessary to achieve a company’s goals.

“My advice to students thinking about their career path is to think about what sorts of occupations, or tasks within occupations, that you find fulfilling or think you might be good at,” said Williams, adding that Langara business graduates have an excellent reputation. “Then, look at the wage signals the labour market is sending you about demand for various jobs and skills sets.”

An intense program

Saichaitanya Manda, international student from India, is on his first term of post-graduate diploma program of business administration. He found Langara’s instructors professional and understanding. As he said, he chose this college because of reputation and well-developed program.

“The program is very intensive, every week I have two or three assignments,” Manda said. “I have a degree in IT, and this program can help me grow professionally.”

According to Steele, the department completed its program review in February then underwent an external review. Professionals from various industries and educational institutions submitted a series of recommendations outlining how to improve the program.

“Now we are looking at the way that the current program goes – how students go from first year to second year to third year and fourth year,” Kennedy said.

Watch the video below to hear Brent Kennedy speak about Langara’s business program:

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