What can I do with a major in...

Aboriginal Business Studies | Accounting | Finance | Management Information Systems | Actuarial Mathematics | Human Resources Management/Industrial Relations | Management of Organizations | Operational Research/Operations Management | Generalist | International Business | Marketing | Entrepreneurship/Small Business | Logistics and Supply Chain Management


Accounting is concerned with the analysis of business transactions and the recording of their financial effects in order to facilitate organizational decision-making. The accounting function yields valuable information for use in the management of any type of organization in making investment and lending decisions and in governmental regulation and taxation of enterprises. To an ever increasing extent, accountants deal with computers and management information systems in an attempt to both reduce the costs of analysis and improve the information flow within organizations.

The program includes studies in financial accounting, management accounting, taxation, planning and control, and management information systems. It prepares students for accounting careers in industry and government as accountants, comptrollers, treasurers, and financial executives of a more general scope, as well as in public practice as auditors, tax consultants, and management consultants.

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The objectives of the Finance Major are to provide a core of courses which relate the finance function of business to the overall administrative process and to develop the interdisciplinary relationship of finance with accounting, marketing, management, and economics.

The two broad areas of finance developed in the program are investments and financial management. The investment courses provide students with the conceptual framework for understanding investment risks and rewards and the objectives and constraints facing all investment managers. Emphasis is placed on the intelligent allocation of funds among the entire spectrum of investment opportunities.

The financial management courses provide the student with an opportunity to review and test the traditional approaches to financial decision-making and to analyze and understand the new quantitative techniques which rely on mathematics, statistics, and computer simulation. The emphasis of the quantitative analysis of financial management problems is on a practical application of existing theoretical analytical methods.

Students entering this area of concentration may seek careers in industry as corporate financial executives, bankers or financial institution managers, financial research analysts, investment portfolio managers, investment counsellors, or financial management consultants.

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Management Information Systems

Management Information Systems (MIS) is not the same thing as Computer Science! If you are primarily interested in computers (e.g., software engineering, operating systems design, computer graphics or machine learning), you are probably more suited to a Computer Science program.

The field of MIS, on the other hand, is primarily concerned with how computers can be used to achieve an organization’s objectives. For example, a major study of information technology (IT) usage in over 300 companies around the globe found that key problems "were not in the area of technology." Rather, the problems were managerial in nature (e.g., the planning, organizing, staffing and controlling of information resources).

To solve these problems, MIS specialists must have an understanding of both the principles of computer technology, and the principles of management. A talented MIS specialist is in the perfect position to "bridge the gap" between technical specialists and non-technical users, managers and executives.

The MIS program at the University of Manitoba is designed to allow students to gain functional area specialization. While not required, students are strongly encouraged to select a secondary specialization within the Faculty’s program offering (e.g., accounting, marketing, finance, entrepreneurship, human resource management, operations management, etc.).

Alternatively, students have the option of focusing in greater detail on computer technology by taking courses offered in the Department of Computer Science.

Why Consider MIS?

The importance of information, information technology (IT), and information systems (IS) has grown dramatically in recent years. Business processes are increasingly dependent on IT and IS. As a result, the demand for IS professionals and business people with strong IS skills has been growing at a tremendous rate.

For example:

  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that between the years 1992 and 2005, the demand for Systems Analysts will grow by 110 percent - an average growth of 8 percent per year.
  • The Information Technology Association of America claims that "190,000 positions sit vacant in user companies because of the shortage of workers."
  • The Canadian Software Human Resources Council predicts that growth for software workers will be 12.5 percent per year between 1996 and 1999.
  • A 1997 Globe and Mail article indicates that by the year 2000, a gap of 20,000 software workers will exist in Canada.

In addition, data indicate that salary scales for both entry-level and managerial-level IS careers are well above average, compared with other business specializations.

The new MIS program in the Faculty of Management will allow students to explore the dynamic, exciting, rapidly growing field of information systems. MIS graduates will be prepared to fill either IS specialist positions or jobs in departments other than IS that involve managing the department’s computer resources.

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Actuarial Mathematics

Actuarial Mathematics is a little known but highly regarded professional area in North America. Actuaries are disciplined problem solvers--professional practitioners trained in the science of mathematical probabilities. Their preserve is in the fields of insurance, both life and general insurance, and in pensions, including social security. In these areas the actuary reigns as the primary architect and engineer.

The University of Manitoba was one of the first universities in North America to offer a program in Actuarial Mathematics, and a very proud tradition has since been built. Graduates hold prime executive posts, including sixteen presidencies of insurance companies in all parts of Canada and the United States.

Actuarial Mathematics builds on a solid foundation of pure and applied mathematics, statistics, computer science, and a body of specialized mathematics peculiar to the science. In the final analysis, the actuarial practitioner is a highly trained professional person working in a business environment. A bright and rewarding future awaits those who can meet the requirements of the actuarial profession.

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Human Resources Management/Industrial Relations

Human Resources Management is the study of how to effectively utilize the organization's most important asset--its people. Industrial Relations involves the relationship between the organization and external labour organizations--generally unions. The general trend of increased unionization (particularly in the public sector) and the overall importance of managing people effectively make these two disciplines important areas of study for managers.

Career opportunities for students in this major are as personnel managers, labour negotiators, union-management relations specialists, government conciliators, wage and salary negotiators, management trainers, and career counsellors. Knowledge and training in this area provide a good background for employment in many other managerial positions as well.

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International Business

The primary objective of the International Business Major is to give the student some appreciation for the ways in which doing business internationally differs from dealing exclusively in a domestic market, what the issues and alternatives are likely to be, and the skills and resources necessary to prepare for international business operations.

The increased globalization of the world economy and the need for all businesses, large or small, to deal in an international environment, make it ever more important for business students to be able to obtain a business education that emphasizes the international environment. To be competitive in the international marketplace, our students must learn to work and to manage effectively in the global economy.

The most obviously international careers are those with titles like "Export Manager" or "Export Sales," but if a company either has international operations or is growing in that direction, almost any position will have some international aspects. In fact, even if you plan to work only domestically, chances are your company will be dealing with global competition.

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Management of Organizations

The Management of Organizations Major is designed to develop the student in the areas of general managerial processes, functions, and management of human behaviour in organizations. This major is designed for the student who does not want to specialize in finance, marketing, accounting, or production. The general requirements of this major allow the student to select courses from many different areas, although specialization is available if the student desires.

Career opportunities for students in this area are varied and are available in both the public and private sectors. Companies seeking managerial talent without a technical background find these graduates appealing. Because emphasis is placed on conceptual skills, study in this area develops students' analytical abilities and provides sufficient background to take on managerial responsibilities in a wide variety of public- and private-sector organizations.

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Operational Research/Operations Management

The disciplines of Operational Research and Operations Management have been combined in one major. This combination is an interim measure in response to a dearth of staff resources. Although these are distinct disciplines, they are related in a number of ways.

Operational Research is the application of the methods and techniques of modern science to today's problems of management decision making. The primary objective of Operational Research is to help managers make better decisions by solving problems more effectively. In the interest of attaining this objective, a number of mathematical techniques and systematic procedures have been developed and adapted from other disciplines, such as the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering, and applied to the problems of management.

Operations Management is responsible for the management of productive systems; that is, it is responsible for systems that either create goods or provide services (or both). It involves planning, coordinating, and controlling the elements that comprise the production process, including workers, equipment, facilities, allocation of resources, and work methods. Operations Management can also include product and/or service design.

Operational Research and Operations Management are linked by the fact that they both employ a systems view of problem solving. In addition, they both require the use of mathematical techniques.

The major of Operational Research/Operations Management can serve either of two purposes. First, industries such as airlines, service organizations, hospitals, financial institutions, and government organizations are frequent employers of students trained in these disciplines. Alternatively, the student can develop a solid mathematical, statistical, and OR/OM foundation and go on to graduate studies in this field.

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Aboriginal Business Studies

Within the Aboriginal Business Studies Major, Business students will develop an understanding of the multi-cultural context of conducting business successfully in Canada and in Manitoba. The focus is on developing management skills that inform students about economic development in partnership with Aboriginal peoples. Courses feature Aboriginal peoples, culture, organizations, and economy, and will be drawn from the offerings in Native Studies, the Faculty of Arts, and the Asper School of Business.

With millions of dollars flowing from treaty land entitlements, as well as on-going business development, opportunities exist for knowledgeable business partners, colleagues, and employers who understand issues arising in an Aboriginal context. Developing management skills among Aboriginal peoples is a prerequisite for self-government. The ability of Aboriginal society to deal with grinding poverty in their communities will require development of economic bases and skilled leaders as communities build strong economic foundations.

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The Generalist Major is designed for students who prefer a breadth of courses in the Faculty rather than a specialization in a single area. This major provides the opportunity to select one course from each of four different majors to maximize the student's exposure to management disciplines. Students who do not wish to confine themselves to a particular career major will find this major suitable.

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Marketing is the business function that deals with the customer. It is defined as the development and efficient distribution of goods and services for chosen consumer groups. Activities of a marketing professional include:

  • Identifying customer needs
  • Designing products and services that meet those needs
  • Communicating information about products and services to prospective buyers
  • Making products or services available that meet customers' needs
  • Pricing products to reflect costs, competition, and the customer's ability to buy
  • Providing for the necessary service and follow-up to ensure customer satisfaction after the purchase

These marketing functions are implemented through various marketing careers such as marketing research, sales management, professional sales, advertising management, public relations, purchasing, retailing, wholesaling, and physical distribution management.

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Entrepreneurship/Small Business

The Entrepreneurship/Small Business Major is intended to give the student some understanding of the character, problems, environment, and opportunities that exist in the small business sector in Canada. The principal emphasis is toward students who may have some interest in creating their own job by embarking on an entrepreneurial career or starting a business of their own. This major would also be useful to students wishing to work in an advisory or consulting capacity with the small business community.

The primary objectives of the Entrepreneurship/Small Business Major are to give the student some appreciation of what it is like to start your own business, the key success requirements for entrepreneurship, the range of alternatives for starting on your own, and the skills, experience, and resources necessary to launch a successful new venture.

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Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Logistics and supply chain management is the integrated management of the flow of products, services and information from suppliers, through operations to the final customer. Every business must source or deliver bundles of goods and services. Logisticians are responsible for the management of all domestic and global supply chains.

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