Post MBA careers in Ottawa

The job market in Ottawa is set to grow rapidly over the next few years. The comparatively low house prices paired with the excellent standard of living make it a more attractive place to live, and the university is attracting more and more of the younger generation to Canada’s capital.

The city is great to live in because although it’s quite big, it’s not enormous so that you won’t spend the majority of your life traveling! That being said, the size of the city does mean that there is a natural limit on the number of available opportunities. Although it’s a growing city, the job market is competitive. People wanting to live and work in Ottawa must make themselves look as attractive as possible to potential employers.

With the increasing availability of online MBA programs, it’s easier than ever to take your career to the next level. Before taking the plunge, though, it’s worth considering Ottawa’s job market and whether or not an MBA will help you to thrive in it.

Ottawa’s Job Market

According to Ottawa’s LRO staffing, there are a lot of reasons to feel optimistic about the job market in Ottawa. Their 2019 report predicted a 133% growth in its revenue, tied to the job market.

Since then, Ottawa's job market has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, although not as severely as in other Canadian cities. The capital region's two biggest sectors, government, and high-tech have remained relatively stable throughout the pandemic, although there have been impacts there too. Government workers were kept busy focusing on the pandemic response, and anything unrelated to that was put aside, and tech giants Shopify and Kinaxis have continued to hire new employees throughout the pandemic. This makes sense, with more people confined to their homes, online shopping has increased, and so businesses like these will actually stand to benefit from the global situation.

Health services also increased employment rates throughout lockdown, with an increase of 3,200 to 92,500. Again, this makes sense when you consider the context.

Provided that you are savvy about which sector you target, online MBA programs could be a great way to furnish yourself with the skills you need to land yourself a great career in Ottawa and a great way to make yourself stand out compared with other job seekers.

Tech Consulting

Tech consulting is a highly lucrative field and one that is booming in Ottawa. As a tech consultant, your job is to guide tech companies in their decision-making processes, to help them to take their business in the most lucrative and technologically sound direction that they can.

In order to do this, you will need a variety of skills which you can gain either through work experience or through online MBA programs:

  • Data Analytics. This is the ability to use advanced software techniques to ‘mine’ for large quantities of data. You will then organize and store this data in such a way that it can be reported on and interrogated at a later date. Your role will also include carrying out in-depth analysis on the data you have gathered using statistical methods so that you can identify patterns and trends and build models to predict behavior. For example, you might gather data on consumer purchases and cross-reference it with weather patterns to ascertain what types of products people are buying in which season and predict what types of product they might buy next season. This is a crude example, and data analytics is a great deal more complex than this, but you get the idea!
  • Data Protection. As a tech consultant, you will need to ensure that any solution you propose also safeguards customer data and collects it in an ethical fashion. This is important not only for protecting people’s information but for protecting your companies reputation as well. A business that loses customer data or who is seen to be acting in an unethical way will not farewell.
  • Communication. As well as working with data and statistics, it’s important that tech consultants have good interpersonal and communication skills. You will be communicating your findings and ideas to people at all levels of the business, so it’s vital that you can put yourself across well in order to be listened to. This is a skill where an MBA is valuable because you will generally be paired with a mentor who will be able to help you to work on things like communicating within a business environment.
  • Management. It will be up to you to ensure that the solutions you suggest are implemented successfully, within budget and on time. To achieve this, you will need to have excellent organizational skills, and you will also need to work as part of a team. A lot of online MBA programs cover management principles and behavioral science to help you to get the best out of your colleagues and to understand them better.

According to, the average salary for a tech consultant in Canada is C$71,178.


The Canadian Federal Government is the largest employer in Canada, and it consistently ranks amongst the top employers when it comes to employee satisfaction.

The federal government alone contains 214 different departments, agencies, and federal crown corporations, which means that there is a huge diversity of positions available. If you are looking for a stable career choice, the government is a great option because they have so many opportunities available.

The Canadian government prides itself on its strong pay and benefits packages, which are often competitive when compared with private sector employers. Pay and benefits are also based on a predetermined pay and benefits scale, so you will have greater clarity on what your prospects are than you might in other sectors. The pay rates are arrived at through ‘collective bargaining,' which means that they remain competitive and fair.

The range of positions available in government is absolutely huge, so if you have a particular area that you would like to work in, it’s a good idea to do some research and, if possible, speak to people who work there to get an idea of the qualifications and experience that are best placed to get you through the door.

An area of government that online MBA programs will definitely equip you for is anything relating to financial policy and the economy. Online MBA courses with a financial focus will equip you with the financial acumen that you need to analyze the current financial status of government departments by closely interrogating their accounts. You’ll then be able to use this information to interrogate current financial policies and create models for predicting the outcome of financial initiatives. This analysis can be used to inform economic policy and do a great deal of good for the people of Ottawa.

At the time of writing, the Canadian government is advertising for an Economist and Policy Analyst, with a target salary of $76,548. These sorts of roles, and the management working above these roles, are the ones that you could target with the skills you gain from your MBA.

If finance isn’t your thing, you could utilize the communication skills that you gain through your MBA to work in Government relations, liaising with innovative companies outside of the government to inform government policy.

Health Services

As discussed, the health services in Canada were one of the few employers who actually increased their employment rate during the lockdown.

This is an understandable development in the wake of a global pandemic, but it is also indicative of a trend that will continue even after the pandemic has passed. There is an increasing need for healthcare in Western countries in general for a few reasons; the aging population, a prevalence of chronic illness, and a focus on preventative care.

The so-called ‘baby boom’ generation are growing older, and they are living longer and more active lives. This means that there are more older people requiring geriatric focused health care than there are care providers to give it. The prevalence of chronic conditions like obesity and diabetes is also on the increase, which creates a whole new pool of people requiring regular healthcare. Healthcare services are beginning to focus their efforts on preventing these conditions through educational programs and by working with individuals to make healthier choices, which will help to reduce the amount of care needed, but in the interim it does mean that more healthcare professionals are required.

Online MBA programs equip graduates with the analytical, financial and interpersonal skills to work in a managerial position within a healthcare setting. A healthcare focused MBA will train participants to view healthcare organizations with a critical business eye so that they can be run more effectively.

MBA graduates will be able to use their skills to predict healthcare trends and highlight problem areas, such as staff shortages, and then use their problem solving abilities to put measures in place to mitigate those issues. They approach the healthcare world with a business eye. Online MBA programs will provide the financial acumen needed to keep healthcare providers running within budget, even when unforeseen circumstances happen. Their communication and interpersonal skills will help them to lead their teams and maintain loyalty, even in tough circumstances.

The average salary for healthcare management is C$72,278, although some healthcare managers can expect to be paid as much as $94,000 per year. This is dependent on the organization that you are working for, and the amount of experience that you have.

SMEs and Startups

The thing that differentiates Canada’s job market from those of other countries is the fact that it is made up mostly of small to medium-sized businesses. The BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada) reported that 98.2% of businesses in Canada have fewer than 100 employees. This means that graduates of online MBA programs are quite likely to end up working for an SME rather than a huge corporation.

The benefit of this is that you can often feel that you have a greater say in the direction and running of the company if you are working for an SME. Online MBA programs equip you with a great grounding in marketing, finance, and analysis, all of which you can put to great use in helping an SME to connect with potential customers and grow.

If you would prefer to use your skills to start up a venture of your own, Ottawa is a great place to do it. The Canadian government provides ample support to startups through a mixture of tax incentives, grants, and visas for technology startups.

Online MBA programs can be a great way to springboard into starting a business of your own. If you start your course knowing what kind of business you want to start then, you can ensure that the course you take covers subject matter that will be relevant to you. Speak to your school before enrolling if this is something you would like to do, and they will be able to talk you through how well they can accommodate you. One of the great things about online MBA programs is that they will generally pair you up with a mentor. Starting a business of your own can be a scary prospect, and it’s really valuable to have someone there who you can speak to about it.

They will be able to help you to develop the skills that you need to succeed, challenge you on the things that you might need to improve on and act as a support for you. A mentor can also be a great way to make business connections, which is hugely important not only when starting a business, but when seeking out employment as well. When you are looking to be paired with a mentor, try to find someone who has overcome challenges that you either are facing or may face in the future, rather than looking for qualifications and job titles as this is the best way to get the maximum value out of the relationship.