Benedictine adds programs in finance, entrepreneurship and HR management

June 24, 2015


Lisle, Illinois ~ The Great Recession left many in so-called Generation Z skeptical of their future in the workforce. They saw how their parents and older siblings suffered employment loss and economic uncertainty during what is now acknowledged as the most devastating global economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Generation Z is determined not to suffer the same fate.

The Great Recession taught Generation Z to be independent. It taught them the importance of such skills as the ability to think creatively, communicate effectively and work collaboratively. It has instilled in them an entrepreneurial spirit. That entrepreneurial spirit also means doing something good for the world.

But where do they begin?

The new Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) in Entrepreneurship at Benedictine University is designed to provide students with the essential theories, critical-thinking skills and real-world knowledge necessary to support their launch into careers as entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs (agents for change within established organizations).

"The program will give students the knowledge and skills necessary to allow them to develop, market and manage their own business," said Deborah Cernauskas, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Undergraduate Business at Benedictine. "They will develop skills in market research and business plan development, and in evaluating business opportunities."

The B.B.A. in Entrepreneurship is just one of three new programs being offered at Benedictine through the College of Business. The University is also offering a B.B.A. in Human Resource Management and a Master of Science (M.S.) in Finance.

Human resources managers plan, direct and coordinate the administrative functions of an organization. They oversee the recruiting, interviewing and hiring of new staff;consult with top executives on strategic planning;and serve as a link between an organization's management and its employees.

Employment of human resources managers is projected to grow 13 percent through 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As new companies form and organizations expand their operations, they will need more human resources staff to oversee and administer their programs. The median annual wage for human resources managers is about $99,000.

"Human capital management is one of the most important functions of an organization seeking to achieve long-term competitive advantage in the marketplace," Cernauskas said. "Human resource managers need exceptional business, professional and technical know-how to attract and retain high-quality employees."

The College of Business at Benedictine is also offering a new master's degree program in Finance to complement its current graduate offerings in Accountancy, Business Analytics, Business Administration, Management Information Systems, Management and Organizational Behavior, and Taxation.

The M.S. in Finance is a part-time, 24-month program requiring 16 courses of 4 quarter credit hours each. Twelve courses are required and four are electives. The program is geared toward recent graduates of degree programs in Finance, and career advancers with sufficient work experience and a degree in business.

"In the wake of the Great Recession, better financial training ranks high on the agendas of banks and other financial institutions," said Ricky Holman, J.D., chair of the Department of Graduate Business Administration at Benedictine. "In addition, the program will give young professionals the financial qualifications to gain an edge in the job market."

The job outlook continues to look good for students who earn a master's degree in Finance, with 78 percent of employers who responded to a survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) indicating that in 2015 they plan to match or increase the number of recent finance graduates they hired in 2014, including more than 25 percent who did not hire any candidates in 2014.

"Graduates of this program will be able to make informed financial decisions in an increasingly complex global environment," Holman said.

For more information about these programs or enrolling at Benedictine, visit ben.edu/admissions or contact (630) 829-6300 or admissions@ben.edu

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Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois and Mesa, Arizona. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors and 16 graduate and four doctoral programs. Benedictine University is ranked No. 1 among the country's fastest-growing campuses between 2002-2012 in The Chronicle of Higher Education's list of private nonprofit doctoral institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the fourth consecutive year in 2014. Benedictine University's Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain's Chicago Business as the sixth largest in the Chicago area in 2014.

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