Prospective MBAs Want to Learn Entrepreneurship in B-School

Published: Apr 19, 2011

 Education       Grad School       

More prospective MBAs value the skills of enterprise, finds a recent study.

Carrington Crisp, a consulting firm specializing in marketing and branding for business school and universities, surveyed a little less than 500 prospective MBA students from 79 countries (a fairly small sample) to gauge global sentiment toward the MBA.

Given 30 pieces of typical MBA course content, prospective MBAs most valued: strategic management, leadership, managing people, managing organizations and entrepreneurship. In last year’s survey entrepreneurship did not make the top five.

Do fewer opportunities in finance and banking have anything to do with it? Is there a growing trend of candidates eschewing larger companies? Unclear, the survey says. But whatever the reasons, interest in entrepreneurship is up even among part-time MBAs.

The interest in enterprise is supported by respondents’ criteria for choosing an MBA program. Chief among them, improved career prospects, of course. But the second and third most important factors—being challenged to think differently and being provided with new skills—are notable in that neither of the two has to do with improved earning potential, which is considered the fifth most important factor.

These and other findings from the report led the consultancy to posit that candidates are seeking a wider return on their investments in the MBA.

A wider mix of skills plays to the potential entrepreneur who may need to be able to manage a range of tasks to drive success in their business. Similarly, with flatter corporate structures, those still working when doing their MBA recognize that a move sideways in to a different project may be the best way to move up in an organization in the medium term.

Here are a few other significant findings from the study:

There was an apparent lack of interest in curriculum content pertaining to Ethics and CSR. The study’s authors suggest this happens when the two are presented as stand-alone modules. Candidates expect these two subjects to be integrated into all content.

The number of full-time program seekers is down; part-time seekers up.

What had the greatest impact on candidate’s perception of the MBA? Visiting business schools, meeting alumni or working with MBA grads.

Candidates want schools with strong academic reputations

Desire for blended or hybrid learning over traditional forms is strong everywhere.  

[Tomorows MBA 2011 - Executive Summary]


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