Merrimack College

Business Careers, Liberal Arts Skills

A Business Master’s Degree for Liberal Arts Majors

For Rachel MacKelcan, Merrimack’s Master of Science in Management offered the perfect complement to her bachelor’s degree in English.

“Having a liberal arts degree is great background,” says MacKelcan, a 2018 Merrimack graduate. “But I knew mixing that background with a master’s degree in business would broaden my options and further my career.”

That’s why Rachel decided to get a master’s degree in management from Merrimack College. “Business degrees have a clearer road map,” she says. “And business careers go hand in hand with liberal arts degrees.”

Rachel took some business courses as an undergraduate, so she knew that clear writing and rigorous thinking were core parts of the curriculum in Merrimack’s graduate management program.

She also knew the master of management degree would help her pair her creative talents with marketable business skills.

“It was an effortless transition,” she says. “Mixing the liberal arts background with a management master’s degree has broadened my career options.”

Why Our Graduate Management Degree Might Make Sense for You

“Employers love students who come from non-business backgrounds,” says Annarita Meeker, assistant dean of the Girard School of Business.

Meeker estimates that liberal arts majors make up as much as one-fourth of the students in Merrimack’s master of management program. Another sizeable segment earned their undergraduate business degree at Merrimack College, where liberal arts skills are emphasized in every discipline.

So it’s only natural that Merrimack’s Master of Science in Management incorporates classical concepts from ethics, philosophy, economics, history, rhetoric, and other areas in the liberal arts.

“The liberal arts perspective brings a different dynamic to the workplace,” Meeker says. “Companies need people who are great writers and communicators, who can approach problems from a broad perspective. When you add those skills to a team with strong technical experts, that’s when business management excels.”

Whether you have an undergraduate business degree or come from a liberal arts discipline, Merrimack’s master of management degree makes you a more well-rounded job candidate, Meeker says.

“If you’ve never studied finance or marketing, if you’ve never done Excel modeling or data visualization, we’re going to give you that,” she explains. “But if you’re coming from a business discipline, we’re going to make sure you’re polished at business writing, that you can make effective use of social media, that you can create a compelling presentation, and that you can tell a story with data.”

Business Management Through a Liberal Arts Filter

“I think everything comes back to core values,” says Eva Cunningham, membership director of the YMCA of Greater Boston.

Cunningham, who is earning the master of management degree while working full-time, chose Merrimack because “the classes and skills are a better fit for me. This program is focused on the whole person. There’s even a class in personal development. You won’t find those in many graduate management programs.”

“Merrimack brings the liberal arts context into everything,” MacKelcan adds, “and that’s a big advantage. The communication skills I learned in my management degree have set me apart. I studied divergent thinking in my English program, but the management degree showed me how it applies in a business context.”

MacKelcan spent a year working for a corporate wellness firm called Healthy Capital, and she’s now investigating opportunities in marketing. She considers herself a prime example of how liberal-arts training and a master’s in management really do go hand in hand.

“If you want to figure that out,” she says, “Merrimack is the school to go to.”

“Companies need people who are great writers and communicators, who can approach problems from a broad perspective. When you add those skills to a team with strong technical experts, that’s when business management excels.”

― Rachel MacKelcan, MS Management ’18

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To talk to someone about the Master of Science in Business Management, contact the Merrimack College Office of Graduate Admission.

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