Employers Say The MBA Needs a Refresh, Survey Finds

Employers Say The MBA Needs a Refresh, Survey Finds

Employers believe the MBA education needs a serious makeover.

A new survey of 508 employers across 22 countries this year and found that 77% believe that the MBA degree needs to evolve to be relevant for the future.

“There’s this mismatch between what employers are looking for and what many of the business schools are offering,” Andrew Crisp, co-founder of CarringtonCrisp which published the survey, tells Bloomberg Businessweek.


One of the key demands highlighted by employers is the need for business schools to develop more flexible approaches to MBA education that don’t involve full-time study. According to the survey, 77% of employers call for short, inexpensive programs that deliver relevant skills for employees while 76% want more short and flexible programs that meet the requirements of life-long learning.

“With the world still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, a school that continues with the same offer it had before the crisis will have misjudged the potential uncertainty and change facing employers,” the report states. “Instead, listening to employers and learning with them about the ‘new normal’ is a must-do activity to develop relevant programs for the future.”

But it’s not just employers who are calling on business schools to evolve the MBA education format. 68% of employees surveyed say that business schools need to develop more flexible approaches to taking a degree that don’t involve full-time study. And 69% say that schools need to work more closely with employers to develop programs that are relevant for the future of work.


Among some of the topics that employees say are relevant for the future of work include leadership, digital transformation, and communication. 17% of employees surveyed highlight leadership as a topic that is in demand. 16% say communication skills are at the top of the list.

“As new market entrants quickly respond to demands for new skills and offering a variety of qualifications, traditional providers such as business schools will need to refocus their offer,” the report states. “Beyond delivering degrees, traditional providers must offer solutions for all ages and leverage their content, pedagogy and connections across universities.”

Sources: Bloomberg Businessweek, CarringtonCrisp

Next Page: How to get into IESE Business School

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.