Business Schools Respond to Market Demands

Technology and entrepreneurship are changing the face of management education, a story in Monday’s Chicago Tribune reports. Economic and social challenges require creative solutions, and business schools have found themselves rapidly adapting to address those issues head-on.

To meet the needs of a volatile job market, many elite MBA programs have begun to shift away from case studies and quantitative models to place greater emphasis on experiential learning and degree concentrations so that graduates are ready to hit the ground running on Day 1.

The globalization of business requires a new generation of leadership that is able to comfortably navigate in various cultural contexts. To meet that challenge, more and more schools have made international projects a degree requirement, such as the new global insight program announced by Tuck School of Business last week.

For MBA applicants who already know what they want to do post-graduation, the one-year MBA is an option that has grown tremendously in the past couple of years.

Since Dean Sally Blount took the helm at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in 2010, the school has refocused its energies to boost one-year MBA enrollment to keep pace with the global marketplace. However, this type of program is for students who aren’t looking to change careers, because it offers no internship.

Meanwhile, top MBA programs across the country are adding multiple courses in entrepreneurship to meet a growing demand, despite the fact that only an estimated five percent of graduates start their own company straight out of business school.

Ultimately, “Business school is all about constant change and improvement and response to the market,” Elissa Sangster, executive director of the Forte Foundation, a nonprofit consortium of companies and business schools supporting women’s access to business education, tells the Tribune. “It’s always good to look for the next thing to produce better future leaders.”

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