The changes in the ranking of MBAs reflect the degree of transformation that has taken place in MBAs
During the last two decades plus five years, the changes that have taken place in all societies and countries have been not only surprising, but in some circumstances, devastating. It is convenient to remember when the prestigious Financial Times launched its MBA ranking for the first time just 25 years ago, it was in 1999 and the world also looked different in business school classrooms, because still, all the content was read in printed form. Also expressions such as sustainability or the term ESG (environmental, social and governance) had not been born.
The NT’s have not only changed the world of companies and businesses: they have changed everything. We have a great dependence on technology and we are increasingly aware of innovation itself, which is taking place on technologies that are operational today and will be obsolete tomorrow. Globalization and the associated political settlement are under threat in a more fragmented multipolar world; and the future of the planet has moved more to the center of public consciousness.
And what has happened in the business school sector?
Meanwhile, the number of business schools and MBAs, as well as a range of other undergraduate, graduate, and non-business management offerings, has grown considerably. We have spoken from this platform of the AEEN about the changes in the jobs of organizations due to remote and hybrid work. The “great resignation” of the Covid pandemic and the prospect of a new economic slowdown could provide new opportunities for universities and business schools.
The demand for education is often countercyclical
There is new interest from people of all ages in going back to school, such as Twitter employees questioning Elon Musk’s macho call for an “extremely harsh” work environment, rather than a smart approach for those employees to achieve. a balance between work and life and work patterns.
All the more reason for the annual and highly accredited classification made by the Financial Times on the ranking of schools, to be even more nuanced in order to help promote responsibility.
A high return on MBAs
For many with an MBA, there is still a high “return on investment.” Vivek Murthy, the United States Surgeon General, describes how important it is to his career by supplementing his medical training, especially meeting people from different backgrounds, developing introspection, leadership skills, and the ability to reinvent the world.
However, the direct, emotional and opportunity costs of an MBA are high and there are also known to be signs of a growing number of students seeking financial aid.
There is an explosion of alternative ways
In reference to being able to develop management skills and networks, and the digital revolution, including the advent of artificial intelligence, means that the sector will face even greater disruption in the future.
The impact of CEO’s on the results of an organization that has an MBA
Also the Financial Times sought the opinions of three academics who published an influential study last year, which shows no evidence that CEOs with MBAs increased sales, productivity, investment or exports. The biggest change when a boss with a business degree took over, they said, was a drop in wages and the share of income that went to the workforce. The CEO and shareholders won, at least in the short term; other stakeholders lost.
The entire business school experience needs to be rethought
One of the central arguments is that “the whole business school experience may need to be rethought”, for which there must be reform not only for teaching but also for the broader experience of students, including the how they develop and cultivate their future networks.
The students themselves have been among the biggest catalysts for the reforms, while recruiters and faculty are often left behind. Della Bradshaw, founding editor of the FT MBA ranking, reflects on the background and evolution of business schools over the past 25 years, including her reactions to the ranking itself.
Towards a greater gender balance
From the beginning, despite the opposition, she recognized the importance of monitoring the proportion of female students, also female teachers and the incorporation of women in the boards of directors in schools to hold them accountable, provide signals for those who decide where to study and promote a greater gender balance. Fortunately, there has been progress, although equality is not yet being reached.
Precisely, the latest edition of the FT ranking brings some significant changes in the methodology, in order to track and take into account people, their purpose, or the care of the planet, so that they are compatible objectives along with benefits, in which business. These values are hard to instill and measure, but FT has made modifications designed to track greater diversity in incoming student cohorts and in teaching and in how schools operate around sustainability.
The advances that schools have made in environmental matters
Now is the time to give credit to schools and universities that set “net zero” goals. Let’s explain what “net zero” means in a simple way: it is telling us about the importance of cutting greenhouse gas emissions to as close as possible to zero emissions, with some residual emissions being reabsorbed from the atmosphere by For example, the ocean and the forests. It is important that they make their carbon audits and teaching tools to reduce emissions public. There has been a strong increase in this type of activity, which provides an inspirational model for future managers and entrepreneurs. The European Schools, in particular, have made progress.
Changes to face social challenges
These changes in methodology that have been implemented in the ranking reflect broader efforts to report on the activities of business schools to address societal challenges, including through the Responsible Business Education Awards and reports.
Other innovations are also presented
Innovations are included in this report, including a sample teaching case, a staple of the classroom at many business schools. At a time when there is an appetite for topical examples for discussion, with a broader range of players, issues, and geographies, a management dilemma is outlined for an African entrepreneur considering expanding into the public health sector.
For those considering a business degree
The FT recently launched regular webinars to complement the ranking and broader coverage of business education. He has also created MBA 101, a free email course to guide potential applicants through the process.
What is a Change Maker?
A Change Maker is a company, organization or person who works where positive changes occur. They care about more than just the bottom line and seek to create a lasting impact. They are bold, relentless and unstoppable. They are also curious and determined people, who seek to challenge the norm and question the status quo; having an impact on society, demonstrating a strong entrepreneurial spirit and working to change both the industry and personal expectations.
True to themselves, Change Makers turn challenges into dreams and break down barriers for others.
Undoubtedly, business schools must become Change Makers, because in some way they are decisively contributing to the construction of the future in business and in society.
The change maker mindset
It doesn’t matter where you perform; if you do it on a personal level or an educational institution, but what it is about is to consider the ripple effect of what you do in the world around you, on a personal, social and business level.
Nothing can be changed until it is challenged.
Ask those big questions and look for the answers. You must make your argument strong enough and change will happen.
It’s all about showing up and letting others know what can be done
You must use the platform and opportunities that have been given to you to inspire those around you to continue the change.
MBA History and Evolution
With so many college degrees available, one has to wonder: what made the MBA the most powerful degree in the world? How has it evolved over the years? How does it compare to emerging challenges and alternatives to formal education?
Let’s start with the basics and then build the story
First of all, the question that people ask is what is an MBA?
A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a postgraduate training degree intended to help students master the fundamentals of business management.
Students can choose a narrower focus on marketing, finance and accounting, operations, supply chain management, human resources, technology management, or opt for sector-specific specialized programs. MBA programs range from full-time and part-time to international, online, and executive variants.
A passport to the business world
The MBA has traditionally been considered the passport to a successful career in the business world. It has been perceived as the most powerful title and has a famous history of producing the world’s top leaders and managers.
According to the 2022 Corporate Recruiters Survey, the demand for MBA graduates remains high. In 2022, 92% of employers were interested in hiring MBA graduates across all sectors and industries.
The United States has the best business schools in the world, including the magnificent 7 (M7) business schools, whose degrees are coveted in all corners of the world.
Let’s take a closer look at the rise of the MBA as the most in-demand degree in the world.
You must have, even the top-ranked MBA programs are not immune to emerging challenges that could threaten their dominant status.
History of the Master of Business Administration
It seems that there is a consensus on the origins of the MBA. The United States is the birthplace of MBA programs. The accelerated process of industrialization generated a demand for qualified business executives.
Rigid management would give way to skilled managers who could run fast-growing and complex companies. Towards the end of the 19th century, the educational sector took a step to respond to the need.
Founded in 1881, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania was the first business school, but at the time it did not offer graduate degrees. In the early 20th century, Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business designed a Master of Science in Commerce.
In 1908, the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration launched the world’s first MBA. And this was followed by other institutions, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago, and the Thunderbird School of Global Management.
With the United States emerging as the new world superpower in the aftermath of World War II, its influence on the world’s economic, educational, and business architecture became even more pronounced.
Business schools and academia in the United States dominated with little competition from elsewhere. It was not until the 1950s that universities outside the United States began to offer MBA degrees to their students.
In 1950, the University of Western Ontario in Canada launched the first MBA outside the United States. The University of Pretoria in South Africa, the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Entrepreneurship and Europe’s INSEAD jumped on the bandwagon.
The University of Chicago became the first business school to establish permanent campuses on three continents: North America, Europe (Spain), and Asia (Singapore).
The 1960s and 1970s saw a huge increase in the global spread of MBAs.
It became a matter of relevance and prestige for all the reputable and top-tier universities to establish business schools offering MBA degrees under their influence.
MBAs go online
Over the years, the MBA has become the gold standard for advanced business management credentials. Not only did he prove to be a trendsetter in the academic universe, but he also showed great resistance to emerging trends and technological changes. One of those changes (and what a change it was!) was the advent of personal computers, the Internet, and online education.
In 1986, Rollins College’s Roy E. Crummer Graduate School of Business began requiring all students to have laptop computers in the classroom.
In the early 1990s, Columbia Business School pioneered software standardization. Canada’s Athabasca University launched its first online MBA program in 1994.
With digital transformation permeating and affecting every corner of the world, the way people educated themselves and used learning continued to evolve and change at breakneck speed.
Challenges for MBA programs
Despite continuous technological progress, the last three decades saw the MBA program have a dream and there were no major obstacles that could stop the world’s most successful program.
What turned the tide was the pandemic, during which there was no choice but to rely on technology to keep the education business going. This disrupted all facets of MBA education, including admissions, program delivery, interviews, and internships.
Instead of full-time degree programs, some have opted for faster online courses that could be customized and scaled. As a result, they enjoyed greater flexibility in planning study time and combining it with part-time or freelance work.
Savvy employers have been proactively offering personalized training options to their employees to retain talent. They know they can achieve a significant return on investment by supporting iterative learning opportunities for their workforce.
Some employees prefer the benefits of continuous cycles of on-the-job training and hands-on experience rather than earning an MBA degree.
How business schools attract top talent
It’s not easy for full-time MBA programs. Business schools around the world will need to dig deeper to remain resilient and adaptable to emerging challenges and keep pace with the rapidly changing economy.
MBA programs now offer a flexible, customizable and constantly updated curriculum designed to meet the needs of a dynamic business environment, a wide variety of specializations, experiential learning that allows for a more hands-on approach to learning, entrepreneurial opportunities, immersive international, diversity of classes to improve the student experience.
The most recent addition is that of designated STEM specializations to give MBA graduates an advantage in the job market.
Change in MBA trends
Over the past decade of the MBA’s existence, it has seen a shift in trends in applicant priorities. Where many were previously obsessed with elite brands, now many are looking at it from a broader ROI perspective.
With fees skyrocketing, students are now questioning the value of elite brands in professional development. Aside from a few industries (like investment banking and management consulting) that still use university pedigree to screen candidates, most employers place more emphasis on experience and skills.
Many of those seeking MBA programs are keenly aware of school offerings that allow them to balance brand power, ROI, quality of education, and post-MBA career opportunities.
MBA: synonymous with business knowledge
Today, an MBA is synonymous with business knowledge, management skills and rapid career progression, but what is the history of the MBA?
The MBA degree has a long backstory, having been introduced over 100 years ago at the turn of the 20th century. In response to a rapidly industrializing and globalizing world, universities saw a gap in the market for graduates with a holistic understanding of how a business works. And what was happening in the strong expansionary stage of industrialization after World War II has not slowed down yet. Although it has evolved over the years, the MBA remains the most popular postgraduate management degree, respected by employers and offered by business schools around the world.
The reasons that prevailed for the creation of the MBA
The MBA has its roots in the United States, in Boston, Massachusetts to be precise. The degree was first introduced by the Harvard University Graduate School of Management in 1908 (now Harvard Business School), in response to demand from the country’s businesses.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the United States was undergoing rapid industrialization. Companies were offloading manufacturing processes to machines, and the rapid growth this enabled meant that these companies needed a new type of workforce formally educated in financial and management best practices.
How was the first MBA program?
The first MBA program at Harvard lasted two years, like its current counterpart, and drew a class of 80 students with about 15 trainers who were faculty members.
The curriculum was based on the pioneering research of Frederick Winslow Taylor, an American engineer who spearheaded efforts to improve industrial efficiency through the newly coined discipline of “management science.”
Harvard taught these management principles through its now famous case study method. Inspired by the way students discussed court cases at Harvard Law School, students in the first MBA program examined specific business problems with the same analytical mindset.
What existed before the MBA?
Although Harvard was the first university to offer an MBA degree, the concept of formal business education had already emerged in Europe almost a century earlier.
The world’s first business school
And it had to be in France, that the Ecole Spéciale de Commerce et d’Industrie (today known as ESCP Business School), was established in Paris, in 1819. It wasn’t until later in the century that the United States began to follow suit. . with the establishment of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1881.
The school is named after American businessman and industrialist Joseph Wharton, whose goal was to prepare young college graduates for the changing American business landscape.
Before Wharton’s founding, management practice and business fundamentals in the United States were taught through apprenticeships, during which young professionals learned on the job without any theoretical background.
The first program offered at Wharton was a bachelor’s degree in finance, and following Harvard’s lead, the Wharton MBA was finally established in 1921.
How did the MBA develop in the 20th century?
After Harvard and Wharton, many of America’s best-known MBA programs were established in quick succession.
The Stanford Graduate School of Business was one of the first business schools on the West Coast, enrolling its first MBA students shortly after its founding in 1925.
Chicago’s Booth School of Business launched its own MBA program in 1935, while the newly established Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management created an MBA program in 1920.
As the MBA degree became more popular, different options began to emerge. In 1943, Chicago Booth became the first school to offer an Executive MBA program, aimed at working professionals later in their careers.
The first MBA program outside of the United States was established at the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario in Canada in 1948. Just a year later, the first MBA program outside of North America was enrolled at the University of Pretoria in South Africa.
The MBA took a little longer to come to Europe
In 1957, the first European MBA was offered at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France. The INSEAD MBA also marks the first one-year program, which is still more common in Europe than in the United States today.
How are MBA programs different today?
A key difference between early MBA programs and their modern counterparts is the type of people admitted.
Early MBA degrees were only open to male candidates, reflecting the limited role that women could generally play in the business world at the time. Until 1974, women in the United States couldn’t even get a credit card without a male co-signer.
Harvard Business School began admitting women in 1959, while in Europe, INSEAD admitted its first female student in 1967.
The level of work experience required for MBA candidates has also changed.
When the MBA degree was first introduced, it was primarily studied by recent bachelor’s graduates without any work experience. Although some programs continue to admit recent graduates, it is more common for the candidate to have three to five years of work experience before enrolling in an MBA.
While the core purpose of the MBA is the same today as it was in 1908—to provide a holistic management education—the MBA curriculum has evolved along with a changing business environment.
Business schools today are more concerned with the environmental and social impacts of business. In 2018, for example, the Financial Times Global MBA Rankings began taking corporate social responsibility (CSR) into account when evaluating programs.
According to Bill Boulding, Dean of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, today’s MBA programs must continue to make CSR a priority. “As business schools, we need to do more to develop the kind of leaders who can use business as a force for good,” he says.
The rapid development of technology in recent decades has also pushed business schools to update their curricula.
As of 2021, renowned schools such as Stanford GSB, MIT Sloan, and HEC Paris offer modules and specializations in topics such as artificial intelligence and data analytics.
What is the future of the MBA?
There are now over a thousand MBA programs to choose from in the United States alone. Following the coronavirus pandemic, which forced MBA programs around the world to close campuses and switch to virtual learning, online and hybrid programs are becoming more popular. In 2020, applications for online MBA programs increased by 44%.
What employers are saying about online MBAs
Is an online MBA worth it and how to choose an online MBA program?
In the workplace as well, employers are looking for adaptable professionals who can handle a hybrid environment and unexpected changes. To prepare graduates for this landscape, MBA programs must adapt quickly.
“We can’t just ‘teach’ our students to be agile and flexible; we need to be too and listen to what employers are looking for,” says Yolanda Habets, director of MBA programs at Vlerick Business School in Belgium.
To remain relevant, Yolanda continues, the MBA programs of the future “will no longer be learning journeys on their own, but will have to fit into the larger picture of a student’s career and life.”
MBA programs will become more modular in delivery
They will continue to evolve towards students building their curriculum in the way that works best for them. While the MBA has a long and established history, much of its success stems from its ability to reinvent itself, adapting to technological disruption and the changing demands of students and employers, and opening up career opportunities for ambitious professionals around the world. .