How MBAs Are Evolving
The MBA isn’t what it used to be. According to The Wall Street Journal, applications to full-time MBA. programs in the U.S. fell for a third straight year.
As the MBA faces a transition period, a number of institutions are evolving to better satisfy today’s demands.
Katherine Hobson, a contributor at US News, recently discussed some of the common ways MBA programs are changing.
More Specialized Degrees
A number of business schools now offer specialized degrees, or programs that focus on niche studies and fields.
For instance, University of Berkeley’s Haas School of Business offers 11 different specializations, ranging from energy to health management.
Gregory La Blanc is a lecturer at Haas who was interviewed by US News. He says specialized degrees are a way to keep up to date with growing fields such as blockchain and data science.
“The outside world is moving very, very quickly,” he tells US News. “If students feel like the stuff they’re learning isn’t relevant or is outdated, they’ll be frustrated.”
Real world learning is a crucial component of the MBA education. And as the MBA evolves, so do the ways that information is taught both within the classroom and beyond.
“We have to put students in situations that very closely mirror the world we’re preparing them for,” Scott DeRue, dean of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, tells US News.
At Arizona State University’s Carey School of Business, the faculty is constantly innovating to improve the learning experience and to ensure students are getting the latest knowledge.
“We embrace technology, so for example we’re using adaptive learning in our entry level economics courses,” Amy Hillman, dean of the W. P Carey School and Rusty Lyon Chair in Strategy, tells P&Q. “Learning outcomes are stronger than traditional teaching methods. We also do a lot of applied projects throughout our curriculum, so you learn and apply your knowledge right away.”
Soft skills and emotional intelligence (EQ) coursework is becoming standard amongst a number of business schools.
Most recently, New York University’s Stern School of Business began requiring its applicants to submit an EQ endorsement – a recommendation or endorsement letter from anyone outside the immediate family of an applicant.
Isser Gallogly is the associate dean of MBA admissions and innovation at NYU Stern. In an interview with P&Q, Gallogly says that the EQ endorsement is one of the many changes NYU Stern is implementing.
“It’s a brand new idea and a new concept,” says Gallogly. “We are looking for students who are not only capable academically but also capable in leadership, managing teams and having emotional intelligence. So we really asked ourselves what can we do to get more insight into a person’s emotional intelligence into their character.”