Competitive Intelligence

Tactical, Operational & Strategic Analysis of Markets, Competitors & Industries

I'd like to use this forum to help create awareness of new, or recent, announcements of CI education programs. One I'd like to highlight is the SLA-sponsored one in their Click University format. You can read about this one at: (or go straight to the SLA site and click on their Home Learn center programs.

Has anyone taken these? What are their thoughts? How do they compare with the programs offered by SCIP? ICI? ACI? Your university? Should this program be the foundational one for training in CI?

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I'm not sure how new this is or how good it is but here's a link to an interesting full Masters program in CI at the Open University in Malaysia:
That looks like an exciting program. I wish there were more like it. Do you have any association with this program or institution? Thanks for sharing it. I hope we uncover some others! Craig
Bonjour Craig

I figured that I might as well get back into this area. Acadia U. ( has just launched two distance courses, Online CI for Strategy and Online CI for Organization Theory. More info about the courses (including course outlines) may be accessed using the following link.

Bye for now from the land of really big lobsters!

Hello, Conor, let me take this opportunity to ask you about the aspect of CI described by you in chapter 3 Protecting your company from competitive intelligence of your book Introduction to Online Competitive Intelligence Research. There are such intriguing expressions as "A Program for Protecting Your Company from Internet Competitive Intelligence Initiatives" ( ). What do you see so aggressive in CI that companies should be protected against it?

BTW, are those lobsters in Nova Scotia as big as that one starring in Johnny Bravo episode Claws ( )? ;-)

Does that kind of aggressiveness make itself felt in such events as burger wars described by John J. McGonagle, Jr., and Carolyn M. Vella ( )?
One more problem -- John J. McGonagle, Jr., and Carolyn M. Vella conclude their deliberations on business and competitive intelligence with competitively sensitive data which companies should seek to protect ( ). Why therefore in order to do it not use "a basic architecture for services requiring an increased level of security" mentioned by me yesterday ( )? :-)
In a open, active dialogue session at SCIP 08, it was announced that SCIP intended to have a three level Certification programme ready within three years and that this would be delivered on-line. Given the enormous back-up services that on-line delivery requires, and the inevitable need for Faculty with some experience of how to write, deliver and assess distance learning material for such a programme, I am not too worried that this will affect anyone's abilty to attract students to their existing programmes or courses. Apparently 200 respondents from a member survey indicated that they would like to see (not engage in, just see) a Certification programme offered by SCIP. Giving the benefit of the doubt that the population was all 3000 SCIP members, this respresents just over 6% of the potential market and that either 94% did not want a programme at all, or just couldn't be bothered to respond. I don't think I would invest in developing and launching a new product into a new market (and no experience of either) with those stats would you? Add to that a three year incubation period and any opportunity that is out there might just have passed by launch date. Nobody on the Educaiton Committee knew who would write or teach the programme either, or mark the assessments or what they will pay Faculty, but I can fairly easily predict it will not be a commercial rate - it never is with SCIP. It would be interesting to see if there was any itention, or wilingness to reconginse that some will fail. If everybody passes then the Certificate will just be a money making exercise and if the Faculty are not experienced educators then the programme will have no standing. Similarly, all of this has been debated on an annual basis for the past 20 years to my knowledge. Feasibility studies. proposals and papers have all been written and filed in the back cupboards ad naseum. A Certification programme also has to be validated by a recognised validation authority. Those of us who go through this process when our institutions introduce new programmes knpow this to be an arduous and time consuming task. SCIP regarding itself as a validation authority would barely be acceptable within the US and certainly would not be acceptable outside the US.

Am looking for a course devoted to CI. Something like a super specialty. In India we have a 2 Yr MBA in CI ( However I do not know how good it is. The university offering this is definitely not top drawer like the IIMs or the ISB and it is not a super specialization.

Have come across M.Sc in Strategic Marketing from the Leicester Business school as well which has a focus on CI.

But first, does CI need a 1 year or 2 year course? Do corporate CI functions prefer students from these courses or is a certificate course done online or through distance education equally good?


Hi Nimalan,

If you would like to send me your contact details I will ask our post-graduate office to send you details of the MSc Strategic Marketing programme at Leicester Business School, De Montfort University, UK. This is the only University programme in the UK which has Competitive Intelligence as a dedicated compulsory module. This appears in Semester 2, after you have studied another, unique, compulsory module in Semester 1, Strategic & Competitive Analysis. I teach both of these core modules and also supervise dissertations and PhD students on both topic areas.

ATELIS/ESCEM has just graduated their first cohort of students who have successfully completed their Certificate in CI and Value Management. You can find more details on this at: If you did not want to take a full time course then I am sure you will already have come across the offering from ICI in Germany.

If you are going to spend any time, and money, studying on a programme though, I would strongly recommend that you look favourably on programmes that are not only validated by a recognised educational authority which has been granted the power to award degrees, diplomas and/or certificates, but one which you are required to pass formal assessments. The awarding authority will also have vetted and approved all teaching material, assessments and external examiner moderation. They will also require that the lecturer has the correct educational expertise, higher education teaching, subject specific research experience and qualifications in order to deliver it to a high standard.

Unless there are formal assessments required to pass each module and, by default, the programme itself, you will be attending a one-off, or a series of one-off training courses. In that case, all you can be awarded is a Certificate of Attendance. Valuable as that might be, a Certificate of Attendance is not a qualification and it will not allow you to use any additional designatory letters (such as MA, MSc, MBA, PhD) after your name to indicate your achievement. Only an institution with award granting powers can do that, typically a University of a College of Further or Higher education.

I hope you find what you looking for but as you have already discovered, there are not that many programmes available at the moment.

Sheila Wright
Reader: Competitive Intelligence & Marketing Strategy
@ Sheila Wright

Thanks so much for the detailed reply.

I shall send you an email with my contact details. Thank you once again.

@ Forum at large

Do organizations really hire graduates from these CI programs? I mean will the CI / Strategy department at say for example Shell look to hire a CI grad or would they prefer moving one of their own who has tonnes of Industry experience.

It is my experience that the better you understand the Industry - the better you are at CI.

Companies therefore would be better off sending a few of their executives for certificate programs / training rather than hiring a postgraduate / MBA in CI! Is it not?
Maybe that is one of the reasons for the lack of many formalized CI courses. Well am just thinking aloud solid facts or market research to back it up.. but I guess thats pretty much the case.
Hello People,

Let me clarify you a bit.
I am a student of Competitive Intelligence in a 2 yr. program of MBA at Amity University.
I would accept the fact that the institute is not a top drawer.

But yes, one has to accept, as a matter of fact, that CI is relatively at a nascent stage in India.

And its being spearheaded by our Institute, where it has been nearly 3 years and still growing. You can expect a worthy CI classes and materials during the two years of course tenure..
Hi Jayanth,

Would like to know more about this course.. I dropped you a note too on your page. My email is


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