William Eadington, director of the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada—Reno, credits the success of gaming management M.B.A. students to the industry's need for more educated managers. He says that need is what prompted the university to develop the gaming emphasis in 1997.
"A generation or two ago, you seldom found university graduates in management, let alone people with M.B.A.s," Eadington says.
But since about the 1980s, Eadington says, the industry has evolved into one more corporate and very driven by information technology. In gaming today, he notes, there's more weight on loyalty programs and database management, and an M.B.A. education helps in understanding those factors.
The M.B.A. program at University of Nevada—Reno consists of 51 credit hours. For students pursuing a gaming management emphasis, those hours include six specialized classes, such as Casino Management.
Earning an M.B.A. is also usually accompanied with opportunities to meet industry professionals, which can become especially valuable after graduation. For gaming students, Eadington is already a great connection; he'll be joining Frank Sinatra and David Copperfield when he's inducted into the Gaming Hall of Fame this year for his achievements in gaming education.
At LIM College, guest speakers such as the CEOs of Liz Claiborne Inc. and Saks Inc. connect with fashion students, and some Sonoma State students cite the wine industry connections as one of the most rewarding factors of the M.B.A. program.
Rachel Kau-Taylor is finishing her prerequisites for the Wine Business M.B.A. and looks forward to her networking opportunities in school and the career path she hopes to follow.
"Getting paid to travel and taste wine: I know that sounds like a hilarious dream job, but that job exists, and it should be me doing it," she says.
Searching for a grad school? Get our complete rankings of Best Graduate Schools.