How The Pandemic Makes The MBA Relevant
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted nearly every sector in the global economy.
That includes MBAs. More than a third of 2021 MBA candidates have had job offers and internships rescinded or changed because of the crisis.
Often thought to be a degree that can do wonders for a career, the MBA’s value is most certainty in question. Ilana Kowarski, a reporter for US News, recently spoke to experts on what kind of relevance the MBA holds during the COVID-19 crisis.
If there’s any way to describe the COVID-10 pandemic, “disruption” is a word that deserves attention.
And experts say that the concept of disruption has always been an idea that MBAs examine, however, the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic will certainly be something that will be of discussion in b-school classrooms.
“That’s been a big story in business schools for the last 10 to 20 years,” James Bailey, a professor of management at George Washington University School of Business, tells US News. “And hey, the world is changing, and this is how the world is changing, and if you want – if your business wants – to stay relevant, then you need to constantly think about disruptive forces out there in the economy.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic uprooting how the world does business nearly overnight, experts say the disruptive nature of the crisis is something important to note.
“This is going to open people’s minds to other forces of disruption and get us thinking more broadly about it,” Baily tells US News. “So that’s one of, I think, the big curricular changes that is going to find its way just naturally and organically into people’s classes.”
Experts say it will be important for MBAs to examine how certain companies have been able to adapt and implement effective crisis management strategies amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, experts note that the pandemic’s huge ramifications will be important lessons to learn now and tomorrow.
“The impact of COVID has been so significant that the lessons learned are just beginning to become evident and will likely evolve for years to come,” Rebecca Krysiak, program director for the MBA program at Walden University, tells US News.
Krysiak says prospective MBAs should seek out b-school programs that have a strong foundation in crisis management, both in and beyond a catastrophe.
“We don’t want to produce MBA graduates that are only good at crisis management or only good at it within one context,” she tells US News. “Prospective MBA students should consider schools that can help them develop broader skills such as innovation, looking at business from a systems perspective, and managing change and helping employees through it – while change may occur much more quickly in times of crisis, it is constant in business.”