Space: The Next MBA Frontier

Posted by: Geoff Gloeckler on June 29, 2009

MBA programs are constantly looking for ways to stand out in the crowded B-school market. For many, this has meant launching specialized degrees in niche areas like sports business, real estate, or entrepreneurship. With all of the competition, it’s rare to find a program that’s truly unique. Enter International Space University (ISU).

Last week, the Strasbourg, France-based ISU announced it had recently launched ‘the only Executive MBA program solely dedicated to space.’ In the program, participants spend nine residential weeks over an 18 month period learning not only about general management topics like finance, accounting, and economics, but also space business and international space law.

The program is broken down into six modules, with students spending time not only at ISU, but also at the International Business School on the Isle of Man, the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University, and the Space Foundation in Colorado Springs.

According to school officials, the space MBA comes in response to “a need expressed by the space sector, as with the increasing commercialization of the space sector there is an equally increasing demand for space professionals having sound knowledge in the varied aspects of space business.”

The initial class of twelve students completed the first module in early June, looking at core concepts in space science and technology, as well as fundamental accounting, finance, and qualitative and quantitative analysis. In the following modules, the group will look at space-related case studies and eventually present a thesis to a jury at ISU.

The first class is expected to graduate in December of 2010.

While most specialized MBA programs have to worry about copycats coming into the market, it’s unlikely that the ISU EMBA will have to share the 'space' anytime soon.

Spacesuit (and Tang) not included.

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