While full-time MBA programs have witnessed declining applications and enrollment in recent years, business schools have seen an explosion in the number of shorter specialized master’s degrees in different business fields.
A new study of programs by the AACSB (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) finds that the most popular specialized offerings are the old standbys: accounting, finance, management, and marketing, in that order. Nearly 71% of the reporting schools that offer a specialized master’s degree offer one in accounting; almost half offer a specialized master’s in finance. Nearly 30% of the business schools offer a graduate degree in management, while 28% offer one in marketing.
Given the growth in specialized master’s degrees, most schools now have an expanding portfolio of such programs. At Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, for example, the offerings range from a $52,980 Master of Management Studies to $25,740 Master of Interdisciplinary Data Science, the equivalent of a degree in data analytics.
FEWER THAN 10% OF BUSINESS SCHOOLS OFFER A DEGREE IN DATA ANALYTICS
While data analytics may be one of the fastest growing fields, little more than 9% offer a specialized master’s degree in data analytics. In fact, the survey finds that data analytics ranked 13th most popular, behind even supply chain logistics and taxation (see table below).
Yet, an earlier survey of corporate recruiters by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) found that about half of responding companies (52%) plan to hire Master of Data Analytics grads in 2018, compared with 35% that hired them in 2017. The survey found that hiring demand for data analytics grads is strongest among Asia-Pacific employers, among whom 62% plan to hire in 2018. About half of employers in Europe (50%) and Latin America (47%) plan to make similar hires (see Demand For Data Analytics Grads Soar).
The 2017-2018 report, the result of a survey to AACSB members opened in March of 2018, is based on 820 school responses 60 different countries and territories. Some 503 U.S. business schools responded, while 163 schools in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa were included, along with 102 in the Asia Pacific region. The survey, called the Business School Questionnaire, is the AACSB’s most comprehensive report.