Will “the great resignation” continue despite the increase in online MBAs?

From this AEEN Forum, if there is something that worries us above any other consideration, it is the value attributed to postgraduate studies, therefore to the incredible work that Business Schools do to improve the level of training professionals and of course, the enrichment that this means for organizations and society in general.

In the last two years, especially during 2021, the wave of people quitting their jobs, created a sharp increase in vacancies, amid the beginning of an economic recovery on a global scale in this post-Covid-19 stage


In our contribution today from OUR EDITORIAL STAF, we will first explain the meaning of the English word “resignation” which means “renunciation”, also “renounce” and other meanings such as agreement, conformity, compliance, etc. But what seems most appropriate to us, due to the approach we give to the article, is to interpret it as resignation, since it is directly related to the pandemic, the confinement stage and especially the post-Covid stage in which graduates of any MBA they thought twice before returning to their jobs (this in general terms), but this period served to give the most qualified professionals time to reflect on their careers and the future that awaited them.

Traditionally, online MBA programs have always been in demand by people who want to accelerate a career in their current company, because they don’t have to leave their job to study.

That’s changing, though, as more people make or consider a change as part of the “great resignation” — the wave of people quitting their jobs, creating a sharp rise in job openings, amid the start of an economic recovery on a global scale in this post-Covid-19 stage.

Career advancement took a hit early in the pandemic as employers responded to the initial economic shock by cutting costs and suspending hiring and promotions. But the opportunities are growing.

Some MBA graduates have taken advantage of a tighter job market to seek better jobs and higher pay, while the pandemic has prompted others to reassess their career choice.

But now in the first quarter of 2022, companies have returned to pre-pandemic hiring levels by aggressively trying to fill the void in middle management and leadership positions in general, after many people with different types of positions and responsibilities left their jobs in 2021.

Business Schools say employers are increasingly willing to pay for staff to take an MBA, as a way to attract and retain their top talent, on the condition that they stay with the organization during a lockdown period or refund fees. For this reason, according to those responsible for studies at some Business Schools, it is stated that there is an opportunity for MBA students to use the labor market to negotiate a better package, be it a hybrid job or additional studies.

While full-time MBA fees are typically discounted through scholarships, a higher proportion of participants in online programs receive funding from their employers because they are able to maintain or increase their production. Employers value the online MBA because employees continue their growth and career in their company.

Online MBAs require a substantial investment of money and time, but many graduates report a strong return on their investment. Many institutions are also increasing the support they provide to remote students looking to fast-track or change their careers.

Traditionally, online students have had limited access to schools’ career services, reflecting the fact that most were already employed. According to other European Business School officials, there is a convergence between the opportunities available online and on campus. While schools are now increasing online MBA offerings, maintaining demand will require greater acceptance by employers. But it seems that this acceptance is taking place due to the lack of talent that they currently need to fill a series of positions that were filled before the pandemic, and that it was the confinement process itself that led to massive reflection by graduates of MBA which in turn produced this “Great Resignation”.

During the first quarter of 2022, companies have returned to pre-pandemic hiring levels by aggressively trying to fill the void in middle management and leadership positions in general


Better perception of online programs

Currently, only one-third of companies say they value alumni from online and in-person programs equally, according to the GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council) 2021 Survey of Corporate Recruiters. And two out of three MBA candidates disagree that the career opportunities gained through in-person and online degrees are the same.

The pandemic may also have changed attitudes towards the perceived value of online learning, with one survey finding that three-quarters of recruiters were more likely to hire online-educated candidates during 2021 than before 2020.

For employers, the shift to remote or hybrid work has potentially strengthened the relevance of the online MBA qualification as it brings to the table the tools and technology that are changing the way work is done today. And it is also important to note that many employers have stated on average to different surveys that they do not distinguish candidates according to the type of MBA program they are in, but based on their academic experience. Because further education and training facilitates access to new functions and responsibilities in the workplace.

The “great resignation” or “great renunciation”

Organizations are facing the biggest talent crunch since the 2008 recession. But this time, things are different. People no longer compete for jobs; companies compete for people. In fact, according to a Microsoft survey, 41% of the global workforce is considering quitting their current roles, and Monster reports that 95% of workers are considering a job change.

There are many reasons for this

Following the behavior of employees around the world according to what we at OUR EDITORIAL STAFF have analyzed from the information provided by companies, in 2021 there were many employees who put their professional lives “on pause”. We mean they put their job search on hold in favor of job security and are now dusting off their CVs. Others have found new passions and are looking to make a career transition. But many feel stuck and simply need a change. This should come as no surprise, as workers in all countries face common feelings: constant feelings of burnout, drop in morale, and feelings of disconnection from colleagues, family and friends.

Whatever the reasons, companies are experiencing a turnover tsunami and should prepare for a year of continued resignations as employees consider their options.

The pandemic may also have changed attitudes towards the perceived value of online learning, with a survey finding that three-quarters of recruiters were more likely to hire candidates with online education during 2021 than before 2020


The old myths of talent retention

In the event that you are in a position with personnel responsibilities, it will be your responsibility to retain your people, although it is important not to fall into the usual myths of talent retention. Instead, you should focus your efforts on things that can make a real difference, like corporate culture. And regarding these myths that we refer to in talent retention, we are going to make them explicit and explain them:

Myth #1: You can retain employees simply by offering more money or a promotion.

This is obviously not the case, or at least not always. It is necessary to see in what circumstances the pecuniary situation occurs only above other evaluations made by the employees.

While a promotion or raise may keep an employee for a couple more months, it won’t keep them long-term. Workers considering leaving often want more than just money. They may want the opportunity to do something they care about. According to the Harvard Business Review (HBR), nine out of ten people would rather have a boss who cares about them finding meaning and success at work than receive a 20% pay raise. Or maybe it’s flexibility and balance that they valued when it came to the imminent return to the office after the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Everyone has unique needs from their employer. Whether through conversations with managers, listening sessions or engagement surveys, hence the importance of having an open and honest dialogue to understand what employees value, what they need to feel engaged at work, what they might be looking for in their next role, and honestly find out if you can offer them what they are looking for.

Myth #2: The goal is to retain employees as long as possible.

It is no longer the expectation that employees “grow up” in a company. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the median job tenure for people ages 55-64 at 9.9 years, but only 2.8 years for people ages 24-34. Workers, especially millennials and Gen Z, want new opportunities for growth, but can’t always find them with their current employer. In fact, a recent Monster survey found that 80% of respondents do not believe their current employer offers growth opportunities.

So instead of focusing on medium-term tenure, what organizations need to foster is a culture of growth and development. This can extend the tenure of one or more people in the organization, and if that person or those ultimately decide to move on to other companies, you will still have a pool of talent capable of picking up where the others left off.

Myth #3: When employees leave, it’s because they’re no longer happy

Yes, some workers will quit because they’re disengaged and don’t find joy in their current role or workplace, but that’s not true for everyone. Sometimes there is an opportunity too good to pass up.

That is why there is no need to build walls between people and management, creating safe environments where those who are taking the next step in their professional career can be supported. By wishing them the best in their next chapter and by keeping open communication with former employees who are in turn going to be MBA students, you are retaining a brand ambassador of sorts, who may one day return with a stronger skill set than when he left.

The “Great Resignation” vs. the corporate culture

Your best tool as an organization is retention? Apparently, this is not the case and the only thing that guarantees permanence is an open, flexible corporate culture that gives options.

While organizations have been facing the “Great Resignation” in the last two years, corporate culture is the best tool to retain talent, especially when faced with an inevitable change in the way they work, derived mainly from the digital transformation. So during the period of physical return to offices when the pandemic began to be defeated, companies had to balance between those who returned to offices full time, versus those employees who remained virtual or a combination of both, whichever the combination that each organization implemented, there was an inescapable change that produced fatigue in the employees, a feeling that would push many (a high percentage) to leave or to start thinking about changing jobs.

Many workers in all countries face feelings that are common to them: constant feeling of exhaustion, drop in morale and feelings of disconnection from their colleagues, family and friends


The phenomenon known as the Great Resignation has completely changed the landscape for job seekers, employees and employers

People have left their jobs in overwhelming numbers, thanks to many factors related to the pandemic, whether the confinement stage is considered or the post-Covid-19 stage, although it is evident that it has been in the latter that there has been a massive resignation as it had not been produced for decades.

And that extended not just to the average employee; even senior managers and workers made the decision to jump ship and try to find a better situation or reevaluate their career altogether.

Despite all this, there have been recent reports of people holding an MBA degree resulting in higher salaries and better positions from the start. This raises a few questions:

– What have MBA employees been seeing in the job market during the Great Renunciation?

– Have employers been working harder to retain them?

– How have salary increases been among people with MBAs lately?

In a recent survey in the United States, in which 200 hiring managers were interviewed in the US and 350 MBA holders from the United States, Great Britain and Australia, the following key results were found:

– 69% of those with an MBA degree had another attempt by the company to hire them in the last year. This is a clear proof of the lack of talents in the search for companies.

– 85% of MBA graduates believe their degree helped them negotiate a higher salary.

A hiring manager’s perspective

The job market has seen significant ups and downs in recent years thanks to the pandemic, and certainly everyone is affected. Hiring managers have had to readjust their strategy for finding talent, and many are just trying to keep up. Some, however, have referred to the “Great Resignation” as more of a “reorganization,” with companies changing things internally to avoid losing valuable employees to better-paid positions or more flexible structures.

This information has been prepared by OUR EDITORIAL STAFF