Western State Colorado University will offer an outdoor industry-focused MBA beginning in 2018.

Hoping to prepare students for a career in the outdoor industry, which boasts a contribution of $646 billion to the U.S. economy according to the most recent figures, the university has developed a hybrid program that’s the first MBA of its kind.

Located in Gunnison, CO, Western State Colorado University is looking to make waves in the outdoor industry with its innovative offering.

“We were really interested in an MBA that strictly focused on the outdoor industry. And there’s not another one in the country,” Dr. Joel Watson (who is heading the MBA program) told K-BUT FM in an interview.

The MBA will be offered as a hybrid program focused on working professionals looking to further their careers. Students will attend mostly digital classes, with the requirement that they be on campus one week during each summer of the two years, as well as two weekends per semester for the two years.

“We want people with work experience, because this is more of management training,” Dr. Watson said in the interview. “It’s not for undergrads to get an MBA. They need to have been out there a bit, seen the world, seen their industry a bit, to get the full impact of getting an MBA.”

Photo courtesy Western State Colorado University