The two-year, online program includes an MBA core as well as specific tracks for either the product or service side of the outdoor-recreation economy, which generates $887 billion annually in consumer spending, according to the Outdoor Industry Association. The program also includes residencies, immersion experiences and guest lectures from outdoor industry experts.
“The Outdoor Industry MBA at Western will give graduate students the tools and connections necessary to make forward-thinking change within this fast-growing industry,” said program director Pete Sherman. “We have a unique approach to class scheduling where we offer the industry-specific courses first. This way, students can apply content from class immediately to the workplace.”
Ideal candidates have a bachelor’s degree, professional experience in the industry and the desire to take their career to the next level. They have a lifestyle rooted in the outdoors, an aspiration to foster growth in this environmentally conscious, sustainable business sector and an interest in strengthening their network within the outdoor industry.
“The Outdoor Industry MBA’s clear focus on the business acumen required to lead the outdoor-recreation industry’s multibillion dollar economy is a significant measurement of Western’s and Colorado’s commitment to our talent pipeline,” said Luis Benitez, director of the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office.
Classes for Western’s inaugural Outdoor Industry MBA cohort begin Sept. 24, pending accreditation approval. For more information about this one-of-a-kind academic program, visit western.edu/mba.
“Western has always been a feeder school for the outdoor industry,” said Adam Howard ’97, president and CEO of Height of Land Media, publisher of Alpinist, Backcountry and Cross Country Skier magazines. “Given its location and culture around outdoor pursuits, I can’t think of a school more poised to bring this MBA program to fruition.”
Photo by Eric Phillips.