Survey: Are MBA students giving up on big business?
In their second study of prospective MBAs, CarringtonCrisp, education marketing and
market research specialists, in partnership with ABS and EFMD have found a growing
demand for entrepreneurship in the MBA curriculum. Entrepreneurship is now in the
top five most valuable pieces of content according to a study of 476 prospective MBAs
in 79 countries.
In the report, Tomorrow’s MBA 2011, CarringtonCrisp found other signs that enterprise
is on the rise. Career progression is still the number one motivation when thinking
of studying for an MBA, but students recognizing the changing job market are putting
skills ahead of salary.
Andrew Crisp, one of the authors of the report, commented, “There’s evidence in the
rankings that salary increase post-graduation is becoming less of a distinguishing
issue between schools. Students are reacting to this and the downturn in financial
hiring in recent years has forced students to look at other career options. Whether
they want control of their own careers by starting their own business or recognize
the need to be able to manage a variety of projects in a large business in order to
move up in their careers, entrepreneurship skills are increasingly valuable”.
Other trends highlighted in this year’s study include:
– Most valuable course content among prospective MBAs is Strategic Management,
Leadership and Managing People and Organisations.
– Less than 10% of the sample have become more negative about the MBA qualifica-
tion over the past year.
– Only in North America do more than 50% of the sample indicate that they want
a traditional 2 year MBA program. Across the sample, more respondents want
blended learning rather than ttraditional academic terms and office hours.
– There is a continued focus on embedding ethics and CSR rather than teaching
as standalone components of a MBA
When asked what had the greatest impact on their perception of the MBA, the answer
was most likely to be people, either when visiting business schools, meeting MBA
alumni or working with MBA graduates. Information gathering may be dominated by elec-
tronic media, but decision making still tends to only take place after a conversation
with an alumnus or school staff member.
Data for the study was gathered in November/December 2010. A total of 476 responses
were received from prospective MBA students in 79 countries. The sample was 74% male,
26% female. The majority of the sample were post-experience candidates; 40%, have 2-7
years work experience. 29% of candidates have already made applications to business
schools and just over 60% want to start their studies in the next 12 months.