Today's Wall Street Journal has an entire section devoted to Business School. It's actually a bit depressing as several of these articles paint a bleak picture of the degree's future.
I posted one of these stories yesterday...not knowing that there would be a full-blown collage in today's paper. Here are descriptions and links:
----------------------------------------1.) College Grads Gain on M.B.A.s: For some companies, a bachelor's degree means cheaper, more malleable workers. And that's just what they need right now.2.) Is an M.B.A. Worth It?: We posed that question to current, past and future students3.) Looking For An Edge: M.B.A. applicants are turning to pricey consultants to help them navigate the daunting admissions process4.) Short and Very Sweet: Business schools find demand is still strong for their brief and costly open-enrollment programs5.) The State of a State School: An interview with Ross' dean, Allison Davis-Blake6.) One Plus One Equals...: Some students hope a separate graduate degree will make their M.B.A. that much more valuable7.) Border Crossing: Business schools in the U.S. and U.K. are finding new ways to expand their foreign presence8.) Business Majors, but with a Twist: As more undergrads choose business as their field of study, some schools are trying to make sure they also get a dose of the liberal arts
Although these are all good articles, I think a fleeting phase is being passed off as a major inflection point. Hiring undergrads for MBA level jobs may be good to control costs, but career aspirations coupled with aspirations to move to higher standards of living, thus correlated to pay, will eventually make even these individuals want to pursue an MBA. Getting an MBA as a career propellant is long been a 'fact' than a 'myth'. Companies are victims of their own standards - eg: In India, many companies do NOT recruit for middle management roles without an MBA. Even at some consulting firms here, if you get in without an MBA, you are 'expected' to leave after a set number of years to do your MBA and return better equipped with the strategic foresight for larger roles.
Regarding applications, again it is a fleeting phase and not a permanent trend. The economies world over are not doing well (while majority). Not many individuals want to give up a job and take additional debt - that is purely math. Quality of applicants, per GMAC reports, has increased though and hence it is not as if the overall standard of graduating classes will suffer. Further, as the economy comes back on track, the 'war' for quality talent will heat up, thereby making the seemingly out of place MBAs in today's picture much more in demand then.
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