MBA Formats

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Students feel benefits of an online MBA – even before graduation...

For ambitious executives looking to make the next step in their career, an additional qualification can seem like a good move. And with an ever-growing number of courses available via distance learning, their goal is now closer than ever. Most business schools offer a range of courses online, from the classic MBA to more specialised masters’ programmes in fields including marketing, finance and HR. While some involve the option of a face-to-face segment of the course, many can be completed without the need to physically attend the university at all. But for those considering this option there are several key questions. What does distance learning involve? How do the courses differ from those taken face-to-face? Can it fit in with a busy, and sometimes unpredictable, working life? And, crucially, is it worth it? For Travis Callaway, the answer to that last question is unequivocally yes. Callaway, who graduated last year, took the global MBA at Durham University while working in sports advertising in his native Canada. And already he has seen the effects. “I’ve been given more responsibility and a pay bump, and had I not taken the course there’s no way that would have happened,” he says. And he is not alone. Research from the Forte Foundation published last year suggests that MBA students can expect an average pay increase of 35-45 per cent on graduation, rising to 55-65 per cent five years later. Callaway, 29, has been working in sports advertising since completing his first degree at 21. But although he had been promoted several times, he thought an MBA would give his career the boost he was looking for. “Career progression was the main factor for me, and it’s always good to get new skills,” he...

Harvard B-school opens the flood gates with online courses...

After a pair of highly successful pilot runs, Harvard Business School is now opening its online program in business basics to students worldwide. The school is also inviting admitted MBA students to enroll in the program as a pre-MBA boot camp experience, particularly for non-traditional admits or those who need more basic quantitative work before showing up on campus. All told, slightly more than 1,100 students have now taken the primer on the fundamentals of business called CORe (Credential of Readiness) program. In the first beta starting last June, the trio of courses—Business Analytics, Economics for Managers, and Financial Accounting—were open to only undergraduate students attending colleges in Massachusetts and alumni. Some 600 students took the $1,500 two-month program. Harvard then tested the suite of courses on 500 managers at nine different companies in a B-to-B experiment. For the first time, HBS is now opening up the program—based on case studies and videos—to applicants worldwide, including adult learners who have been out of school up to 10 years, and students admitted to the school’s full-time, on-campus MBA program this fall. Initially, the program was designed largely for non-business undergraduates who needed the business basics to give them a leg up on the job market when they graduated from college. These latest changes could put the program in competition with more expensive Executive MBA programs, which demand a greater time commitment from managers with 10 or more years of work experience. EMBA programs cover a lot more ground, but Harvard’s imprimatur on this program of business basics could make it appealing to managers who otherwise would attend second-tier EMBA programs. CORe more directly competes with summer business programs for undergraduate students from schools like UC-Berkeley and Dartmouth College’s Tuck School...

10 Most Expensive Public Online MBA Programs

Students looking to earn an online MBA may have an easier time getting into some of the top programs. But that doesn’t mean they’ll have an easier time paying the bills. Tuition at many online programs isn’t necessarily a deal when compared with the costs at some on-ground MBA programs. Online students don’t have to pay commuting costs, and if they’re working while in school, they don’t lose wages, either. But when it comes to tuition, their options run the gamut. [Explore the top 20 Best Online MBA Programs.] Total program costs at public online MBA programs range from just above $2,000 at the low end to more than $95,000 at the high end in 2014-2015, according to U.S. News data collected from 69 public online MBA programs. The University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill, which tied for No. 1 in the online MBA rankings, had the highest total costs. Students in that program will pay a total of $96,775, according to data reported to U.S. News. Online MBA students at Southeastern Oklahoma State University are at the other end of the spectrum. The total cost for that program is $2,066. Students at UNC and the other nine most expensive public online MBA programs pay significantly more than most of their peers. On average, students attending public online MBA programs in 2014-2015 pay $25,525 in total program costs. [Discover what to look for in online MBA faculty.] Below are the 10 public online MBA programs with the highest total program costs based on 2014-2015 rates. The list does not include schools not ranked by U.S. News. Unranked programs do not meet certain criteria that U.S. News requires to be numerically ranked. U.S. News did not ask schools whether these rates...

Why part-time MBAs are undervalued

Three cheers for the part-time MBA! It is not a refrain you are likely to hear every day, I have to admit. But why does the full-time MBA receive all the accolades while part-time programmes are met with a rather embarrassed silence, even though the degree received by graduates is often the same? This might seem an odd thing to write about in a magazine dedicated to the full-time degree, but I think it is worth asking the question. Why has the part-time MBA always been the Cinderella of the MBA market, and can and should that change? It strikes me there is a real case to answer here. For what everyone has learnt in the past decade is that the MBA market has to offer more flexibility to students; it has to make better use of technology; it has to be more affordable; and participants need the security of a job at the end of the process. A further point is that there are too few women on traditional MBA programmes, and there is evidence that part-time programmes might help redress that balance. But the one thing that has convinced me the part-time MBA should be revisited is a comment I heard some years ago from Kim Clark, the former dean of Harvard Business School, whose MBA is ranked number one in the world by the FT this year. He said that students do not turn down a seat at HBS to go to another business school; they do so because they have great opportunities at work. As economies recover around the world, this is clearly going to become a bigger problem, as corporations bid to retain talented staff. They may even be persuaded to sponsor part-time MBA...

Mooc Maker To Compete With B-Schools With Tuition-Free Online MBA...

The University of the People – a digital non-profit university – has become the latest tech upstart hoping to disrupt the business education industry. UoPeople is in the process of developing two MBA programs in management and entrepreneurship, to complement its two undergraduate business administration degrees. Not only will they be taught entirely online but they will be offered entirely tuition-free. Other online learning providers have launched a plethora of programs similar to the executive education courses offered by business schools – short customized programs sold to corporations that generate much revenue – but UoPeople is thought to be the first to reveal plans for a full MBA program online, for free. It is collaborating with academics from leading business schools. Roxie Smith, vice president, is developing the MBAs with Russell Winer, a marketing professor at NYU Stern School of Business in the US, along with UoPeople’s board. As well as Russell, other board members include Stephan Chambers, former director of the MBA program at Oxford’s Saïd Business School in the UK. Founded in 2009, UoPeople is one of a cadre of technology organizations, including Coursera, FutureLearn and Udacity, which are encroaching into business schools’ territory with their free business content, often developed by top academics. Known as Moocs, or massive open online courses, these digital programs have been deployed as marketing tools by a legion of universities and their business departments, including Europe’s Henley Business School, HEC Paris and IESE Business School, while elite institutions in the US like Harvard and Wharton have pioneered the concept. UoPeople has grown to have about 2,500 students from more than 150 countries, a third of whom are from the US but many are from the African continent and Middle Eastern region....

U.S. News & World Report Ranks Best Online MBA Programs for the First Time...

Choosing a high-quality online MBA program may have just gotten easier with the addition of its own rankings category from U.S. News & World Report. For the 2015 Best Online Programs rankings, Best Online MBA Programs has become its own category for the first time. Non-MBA business programs are still covered under the Best Online Graduate Business Programs category. Online programs are becoming more common. One in four students in the fall of 2012 took at least one online course, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Since MBA students are often working professionals, online classes can be a more convenient option. A unique set of data was used to create the rankings for Best Online MBA Programs. Reputation and the selectivity of a school’s admission process are important factors for most online MBA programs, so they were important factors in the rankings for this category as well. Five categories were used to create the Best Online MBA rankings, with varying weight per category. Student engagement makes up 28% of the score, admissions selectivity makes up 25%, peer reputation makes up 25%, faculty credentials and training makes up 11% and student services and technology makes up 11%. Only 195 schools met all the credentials to be included in the 2015 Best Online MBA rankings. Indiana University, Temple University and the University of North Carolina tied for the No. 1 spot in the Best Online MBA rankings. Here are the schools that made the top ten online MBA programs for 2015: 1. Indiana University—Bloomington (Kelley) 1. Temple University (Fox) 1. University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler) 4. Arizona State University (Carey) 4. University of Florida (Hough) 6. University of Texas—Dallas 7. Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper) 7. Pennsylvania State University—World...

MOOC your way to a free MBA?

It has been suggested that, with care and dedication, you can assemble a Masters of Business Administration for free. Perhaps unsurprisingly for those in the know, the idea hasn’t caught on. When leading MBA providers, including the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, started offering free MOOCs mirroring their MBA content in finance and marketing, the more entrepreneurial among MBA aspirants thought of assembling a collage of such courses to create a DIY MBA. As you might expect, blogs sprouted to update progress. The MBA has been a remarkably resilient academic beast. Most program names and arrangements fall foul of the regular reviews and restructures that sweep through all academic institutions, but the MBA – first offered more than a century ago at Harvard – continues to draw in the crowds. Why do an MBA – the credentialists Having taught MBA students for two decades, I have insights into why students choose the degree, and what they achieve. While the motivations for entering an MBA are varied – they generally coalesce around two core groups. First are the credentialists – drawn by the cache of a degree that is often cited as a gateway to promotion within organisations. For credentialists, MBA programs are still value for money. Generally, a well ranked MBA raises earnings by more than 50%. Even a modest 10% increase in earnings would repay the investment in an MBA in a few short years for most graduates. A key problem for credentialists is that the free MOOC MBA (at least currently) does not lead to any credentials. If the great and good MBA schools have been giving away their content, they have not been giving away their MBAs. Why do an MBA – the transitioners The second...

Aerospace training: HEC Montréal launches its AeroWorld MBA...

Starting in September 2015, HEC Montréal will be offering an AeroWorld MBA*. This MBA focusing on the aerospace industry is the only one of its kind in Canada, intended for managers seeking national and international positions and responsibilities. The intensive program, offered full-time over a one-year period (54 credits), will be given in English, as it will welcome students from around the world. It should be of particular interest to people in the aerospace industry. The AeroWorld MBA will be offered in Montreal, one of the main centres of the aerospace industry, in collaboration with international experts from the EBC AeroWorld Institute, an internationally acclaimed institution specializing in aerospace. “Aerospace is faced with a series of transformations requiring that managers in this sector develop specific competencies,” explains Jacques Roy, Full Professor with the Department of Logistics and Operations Management at HEC Montréal and Academic Supervisor of the AeroWorld MBA. “These managers often start with scientific and technical backgrounds before moving into team or project management positions. An MBA will give them the skills they need to be more comfortable in these roles and speed them along their career paths.” The AeroWorld MBA is a self-financing program whose costs are covered entirely by participants. It allows HEC Montréal and, more generally, Quebec to export their expertise…Read full story: Canada NewsWire (press...

Faculty Feared Distance Learning Course Would “Cannibalize” Traditional MBA...

The executive director of a leading business school has said that his faculty thought a shorter, cheaper mini-MBA program would “cannibalize” the traditional MBA, highlighting the challenges that business schools face in adapting their content for the modern business climate. It is becoming increasingly difficult to take two years out of work to obtain a full-time MBA degree. Many students are instead turning to flexible and distance learning programs. These formats allow managers to maintain jobs, learning skills and networking in their spare time, often through virtual learning environments. Alan Middleton, executive director of Schulich Business School’s Executive Education Centre, said he faced internal opposition from his Dean and faculty in bringing a shorter program to market: “They saw it as cannibalizing the MBA,” he said. “[They thought that] surely if somebody can get the brand, and something that said ‘mini-MBA’, that would signal that once I’ve got that, why would I need to go on and get a full-time MBA?” Alan said. He said that domestic demand for MBA programs has been flat in North America and Canada, and there was “nervousness” about the “flat market”. Demand from international students has been strong but US business schools rely more on domestic candidates to fill their MBA programs than schools in Europe, which have a higher percentage of foreign students. Alan’s comments come at a time when professionals are turning to distance learning programs, which are often cheaper or free, in huge numbers. Business schools have been forced to come up with more flexible programs to keep their numbers up, but many remain fearful of investing resources in shorter programs which typically charge participants less in tuition than full-time MBA courses. Schulich has since introduced a Mini-MBA program. At...

Slight Decline in Number of Self-Funded Executive MBA Students...

For the first time in five years, the percentage of students who fully fund their Executive MBA (EMBA) education has declined slightly, according to the results of the 2014 Membership Program Survey of the Executive MBA Council (EMBAC). “With organizations facing challenging economic times and accordingly changing their tuition reimbursement policies, we’ve seen the responsibility for financing the degree fall more on students. Even so, business leaders continue to see the value of the EMBA experience.” The percentage of self-funded students decreased from 41.2 percent in 2013 to 39.8 percent in 2014. Partial sponsorship also increased from 34.7 percent in 2013 to 35.6 percent in 2014, with full sponsorship also increasing from 24 percent in 2013 to 24.6 percent in 2014. “While this is encouraging, time will tell if it becomes a trend,” says Michael Desiderio, EMBAC executive director. “With organizations facing challenging economic times and accordingly changing their tuition reimbursement policies, we’ve seen the responsibility for financing the degree fall more on students. Even so, business leaders continue to see the value of the EMBA experience.” In addition, 53 percent of programs offered scholarships and fellowships. Total program costs rose by approximately 2 percent from $73,401 in 2013 to $74,883 in 2014. EMBAC sponsors its Membership Program Survey each year to help track industry developments. In 2014, 285 member programs throughout the world – or 92 percent – participated in the survey. Survey data also offered the following highlights: Consistent Demographics • In 2014, the percentage of women in EMBA programs remained consistent at 25.4 percent. In the past five years, the percentage has ranged from a high of 26.7 percent 2012 to a low of 25.2 percent in 2011. • The average EMBA student age is 37.5...

Are You A Food Innovator? Skip Wharton; Try This New B-School...

For most careers, there’s nothing like advanced business training from the likes of Wharton, Stanford or Harvard. But if you’re a food-obsessed innovator, maybe you want a curriculum that emphasizes baguettes along with balance sheets; organics as well as org charts. If so, the Culinary Institute of America is rolling out what may become the tastiest B-school in America. Say hello to the Food Business School (FBS), a Culinary Institute creation aimed both at emerging entrepreneurs and established managers wanting to touch up their skills. The school will be led by William Rosenzweig — who won his entrepreneurial chops as the founding CEO of Republic of Tea, and who more recently has been an active faculty member at the University of California (Berkeley)’s Haas School of Business. Rosenzweig says the FBS will provide two main teaching tracks. For people already established in the food industry, he will focus on short, three- to four-day immersion programs with a brainstorming focus. These will be akin to the short, executive-education programs offered by traditional business schools. They will start early next year…Read full story:...

Stanford Bets Big on Virtual Education

Stanford’s Graduate School of Business took its relationship with online education to the next level on Wednesday, when it announced that a new program for company executives will be delivered entirely by way of the Internet. “I don’t know of anything else like this,” says Audrey Witters, managing director of online executive education at Stanford GSB. “We’ve put together something for a very targeted audience, people who are trying to be corporate innovators, with courses where they all work together. That’s a lot different from taking a MOOC [massive open online course].” Stanford said it will admit up to 100 people to the LEAD Certificate program, which will begin in May 2015 and deliver the “intimate and academically rigorous on-campus Stanford experience” to students from the comfort of their computer screens. In an effort to make students “really feel connected to each other, to Stanford, and to the faculty,” the eight-course program will encourage students to interact through message boards, online chats, Google Hangouts, and phone calls over the course of its yearlong duration, Witters says. “We really want to create the high-engagement, community aspect that everyone who comes to Stanford’s campus feels,” she says. STORY: Steve Ballmer Goes to College: On Campus With Stanford’s New Professor The classes will be offered on a platform supplied by Novoed, a virtual education company started by former Stanford professor Amin Saberi and Stanford Ph.D. student Farnaz Ronaghi. The B-school has invested a significant chunk of its resources in launching the program: About 10 to 15 faculty members are slated to teach the courses. In addition to building a studio where it will film course videos, the school has hired a growing pool of educational technology experts and motion graphic designers to...