The Job Market:
- Forbes' "It’s A Good Time to Go To A B-Level B-School" reports that in today’s economy, job opportunities may be fewer and farther between for Wharton and Harvard graduates than for graduates of second tier MBA programs. Deanne Fuehne, director of the career management center at Rice University’s graduate school for business explains that it’s a great time to be far away from Wall Street. She says, “You couldn’t pay me enough to work at Wharton right now.” According to this article, students who entered prestigious MBA programs, such as HBS, Stanford, and Wharton, hoping to land jobs with investment banks, hedge funds, and private equity firms, are being forced to make new career plans. However, students at lesser-name schools tend to work in regional businesses and therefore they have more options. Blair Sanford, director of the M.B.A. career center at the Wisconsin school explains, “Companies in the Midwest are certainly affected, but many are still hiring. The students who want to go to banks on the East Coast are the ones we’re working harder to get conversations.”
- As the private sector job market has drastically diminished, MBA’s have started to consider public sector jobs more appealing. In "MBA’s Uncle Sam Wants You," BusinessWeek reports that MBA’s are increasingly looking at the government and nonprofit sectors for work. In turn, the Career Services Council reports that 35% of schools indicated an increase in recruiting activity for government and 12% reported an increase for nonprofit. For the first time ever, Rebecca Joffrey, co-director of career development at Tuck is headed to Washington to learn more about government jobs. Although such jobs may not be as glamorous as what MBA’s originally hoped for, they are jobs.
- More business schools are accepting GRE scores from applicants in place of GMAT scores. Although the GRE is used for graduate schools in general, and the GMAT is designed specifically for business schools, both examinations test roughly the same basic skills. MIT, Stanford, the University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins, Instituto De Empresa in Madrid, and Harvard's 2+2 program (but not its full-time MBA program) have all started accepting the GRE. ETS reports that over 150 business schools currently accept the GRE. Mark McNutt, an ETS spokesperson, explains that business schools are embracing the GRE because it attracts a more diverse applicant pool.
- Lack of "higher order, intellectual discussion." Harvard should provide room for discussion regarding the ideal state of capitalism and the MBA's role in creating it.
- Poor global initiatives and presence can be improved by learning about and visiting other countries and requiring or at least encouraging fluency in a second language.
- More interaction between MBA students and Executive Education participants will enable both to learn from each other’s varied skills and experiences.
- The first year's Required Curriculum (RC) is rigid and forces those with tremendous depth in a given area to still sit through introductory courses.
Neither the article nor this post is a let's-bash-Harvard piece for the sake of bashing a leader. When you read it, you should think about whether you really want the case study method and all it implies. Do you want to sit through the elementary courses even though you were a business major? Perhaps another "brand" school like Stanford, Chicago, or Wharton, all of which provide greater flexibility and customization, would work better for you. Don't let Harvard's incomparable brand and aura blind you. The pluses of a Harvard degree are well known; this article gives insight into the minuses.