MBA Programs

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Cheap MBAs: Costly for some

THERE’S no such thing as a free lunch. That maxim should be ingrained in the minds of business-school students, attuned to the notion of opportunity cost or Milton Friedman’s economic theories. Yet to believe the American non-profit University of the People (UoPeople), run by Shai Reshef, an Israeli entrepreneur, something close to a free lunch could soon be available to prospective MBA students. On March 15th the university opened applications for an MBA without tuition fees that it plans to launch in September 2016. That much is admirable, and certainly should be applauded. But don’t prepare to burn Friedman’s 1975 tome yet: there’s still no such thing as a free lunch. One hundred successful applicants will be enrolled onto the 15-month distance-learning course, and will be asked to pay just $200 for each of the 12 courses they will take as part of the programme. That is still a pittance, and a minuscule fraction of the cost of an MBA at the sort of business schools ranked by The Economist. “The cost of an MBA today is so expensive that many people who are qualified to achieve it cannot afford it,” Mr Reshef said when announcing his plans. Certainly, business schools can be rarefied places. So the development of a legitimate MBA at a low cost could be beneficial. Russell Winer, professor of marketing at NYU Stern and the leader of the MBA programme at UoPeople, told The Economist that the establishment can offer a cheaper programme than most by being online-only and lean-staffed. It also has the backing of faculty members from other big business schools, including INSEAD, Wharton and Oxford, all of whom have helped develop the curriculum. And yet the devil is in the detail. Some...

14 MBA Programs That Lead to Jobs

Landing that first job is a major concern for MBA students, and some programs are more likely to lead to success than others. Among the 129 business schools that submitted job placement data to U.S. News in an annual survey, two of them – the University of South Florida and Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina – saw 100 percent of MBA graduates who sought jobs employed three months after completing their degrees in 2015. Both of these schools, however, were ranked by U.S. News in the bottom one-fourth of the 2017 Best Business Schools rankings. In comparison, Washington University in St. Louis’ Olin Business School, the highest-ranked school among the 14 MBA programs with the highest employment rates, had a job placement rate of 97.1 percent. None of the 14 schools with the highest job placement rates ranked above No. 21 in the graduate business school rankings. Overall, top-ranked schools had higher enrollments and, therefore, many more graduates looking for jobs after graduation. For instance, Harvard University, ranked No. 1, had 672 full-time grads seeking employment and a job placement rate of 91.1 percent by three months after graduation. Of all the schools that submitted these data, Florida International University came out on the bottom of the list with a job placement rate of 27.3 percent – significantly lower than both the overall average of 83.9 percent and the average for the top 14 of 97.1 percent. Below is a list of the 14 full-time MBA programs where the highest percentages of job-seeking graduates were employed three months after graduating in 2015. Unranked schools, which did not meet certain criteria required by U.S. News to be numerically ranked, were not considered for this report. School (name) (state) |...

What is a free MBA worth in the marketplace?

Coming soon: a tuition-free MBA. It was announced this week from University of the People, which already offers no-tuition bachelor’s degrees. The idea of its new degree is to extend advancement opportunities to people who can’t afford graduate business education. The question is whether an MBA from an untested new program will be worth their time, as many employers may be skeptical of a new degree from an online program. Tuition alone for an MBA from an elite school typically tops $120,000 over two years. A University of the People graduate will pay only about $2,400 in fees. Expenses stay low through online classes and support from foundations. University president and founder Shai Reshef is realistic when it comes to competing with other business schools. “People who can get into great universities which will cost a great amount of money, if they can do it and afford it, they should do it,” he said. The idea is to create a space where people who could never afford any MBA can pick up skills that’ll advance their careers. University of the People’s program is accredited and professors from top global business schools are supporting it. But despite its credentials, it’s still hard for managers who might hire these graduates to gauge the value of a degree from such a new and unusual program. “I’ll be curious to see how employers look at that,” said Russ Poulin, policy and analysis director at WCET, a nonprofit that tracks online higher education. “It is not a brand that is well known.” The value of the degree could increase over time if the program’s reputation grows. University of the People’s undergrad program has already attracted thousands of students from around the world. Reshef said...

Online Tool Helps Prospective Students Find the Right MBA Program...

Prospective MBA students have a new tool to use when trying to find the right school: the “MBA Rankings Calculator.” Designed by the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business, the web-based tool allows users to create a custom list of MBA programs by choosing the factors that matter most to them, including salary and placement, employer reputation, and return on investment. Around 250,000 students in the US pursue an MBA each year, and according the US Department of Education the average cost for a year in an MBA program is $30,000. That means the MBA market amounts to more than $8 billion annually. It’s a big business and rankings play a strong role in guiding early decision-making. The Foster School’s Rankings Calculator was developed to help MBA applicants make informed decisions and access diverse rankings metrics in one convenient place. Prospective and current MBA students helped shape the calculator design and select the metrics. “Obviously, we urge MBA candidates to always consider the culture, the community, the location, the student services, program performance and other areas that matter to them when choosing an MBA program,” said Dan Poston, assistant dean of master’s programs at the Foster School. “But we know for nearly all candidates the rankings are a consideration. Not only does this tool help them filter data from multiple rankings to see the results that that are most important to them…it’s just fun to explore how school rankings change based on different priorities.” To achieve this, the calculator leverages data licensed from U.S. News & World Report, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Financial Times, Forbes and M7 Financial. Prospective applicants distribute 100 points across up to 10 metrics. Based on the results, candidates can fine-tune their formula to develop...

World’s first smartphone-based MBA launched...

The London School of Marketing has launched the world’s first ever MBA that students can study on their smart phones. The UK based educator has invested in a unique interactive online learning platform. It allows its learners direct access to course tutors, all the essential books and learning materials they’ll need, via their mobile phone. There’s also a community forum where students can chat directly with other students studying on their course and thereby learn from each other. This innovative approach to education means its learners can study when and where they want without being tied to a time or location. Since its launch, hundreds of students have already signed up to use the technology with more expected to follow. The courses it offers via smart phone include an MBA in business studies, a Masters and two undergraduate courses in the same subject. Its professional marketing course can also be accessed via smart phones. These courses are proving popular with international business executives who prefer to study from their home country rather than live and study in the UK. CFO of London School of Marketing, Anton Dominique explains: “They can study at a time and place to suit them and we’ve adapted the technology we use to make that happen. Everyone has a smartphone now, so it makes sense to run courses which our students can access while they’re on the move… Read full story: Khaleej...

How many Indian CEOs have an MBA?

Does one need to have an MBA to ascend to the top of Indian companies? Not necessarily, but it helps. A Mint analysis shows that 144 of the CEOs of BSE 500 companies, India’s largest listed firms that make up 90% of its market capitalisation, have an MBA. Details were available for only 466 companies. Here, the term MBA is used loosely, to also include the much sought after post graduate diploma in business management or PGDBM that is awarded by the Indian Institutes of Management or IIMs. No other educational qualification comes close. Interestingly 81 of the CEOs are engineers but it is likely that many of the 144 CEOs with MBAs are engineer-MBAs. The Indian Institute of Technology and Indian Institute of Management Combination was and is a popular one. Still, there are 322 companies whose CEOs are not MBAs and it is evident that a B-school background may not be necessary to rise to the top — even in the case of professional managers. Here are five charts on the educational background of India’s top CEOs…Read full story:...

MBA Rankings: Take With A Pinch Of Salt

The MBA is a global phenomenon. From its humble beginnings with four students taking the Master of Science in Commerce at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School more than a century ago, it is now the world’s most popular postgraduate program. In 2011/12, the latest year for which figures are available, 191,571 students graduated from U.S. universities with masters degrees in business, up 65% on a decade before and a 620% increase on the figure 40 years ago. Business courses now make up more than a quarter of all masters degrees, compared with one in four as recently as 2000. All this makes MBAs big business. Average tuition for a two year MBA is around $60,000, although factoring in living costs and other expenses can take the total cost from a leading business school up towards $200,000. Add the opportunity cost of quitting a job for two years and it becomes more eye-watering still. Little wonder that prospective MBA students spend many hours scouring ranking tables to try to work out if that investment is going to pay off. And when faced with such a bewildering choice of business schools, these rankings are invaluable. They allow students to compare business schools on a range of factors, from the average score in admission tests of new entrants to the salary bump for graduates…Read full story:...

Insead tops ‘Financial Times’ MBA rankings...

Insead, the business school with campuses in France, Singapore and Abu Dhabi, has topped the Financial Times’ Global MBA rankings for the first time since they were introduced in 1999. This is the first time that an MBA programme with a substantial Asian presence has been ranked number one by the Financial Times , and marks a growing interest from elite students in Asian business and business schools. Insead is still the only top-ranked business school to teach its full-time MBA on multiple campuses, with 75 per cent of the 1,000 students studying in Singapore or in Fontainebleau, just outside Paris. It is also the first time a one-year MBA programme has been ranked in the top slot. The flagship MBA programmes of the four previous winners – Harvard Business School, Stanford GSB and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in the US, and London Business School in the UK – are all two-year degrees. These schools have been ranked in the top five slots along with Insead for the past three years by the FT. The full-time MBA programme at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School has been ranked 79th in the world and 24th in Europe in the survey. The school had been ranked 73rd in the 2015 rankings. The Insead MBA was the world’s first one-year programme when it began in 1959, though many others have followed. As the cost of studying for an MBA has steadily risen, many students are wary of taking on the debt associated with two-year degrees – students are frequently more than $100,000 in debt when they graduate. Though fees and living costs can be substantial, it is often the opportunity cost of lost salary that is the biggest...

The 19 best online MBA programs

An MBA can be a shortcut for ascending the career ladder and boosting your salary. While attending one of best b-schools in the world can be an attractive option — Business Insider published its list of the world’s 50 best business schools in December — for some working professionals it’s not feasible, making online programs a great alternative. U.S. News & World Report recently released their ranking of the best online MBA programs, evaluating schools based solely on data related to their distance education MBA programs in five categories: student engagement, admissions selectivity, peer reputation, faculty credentials and training, and student services and technology. (You can read a full breakdown of the methodology here.) Note that because of multiple ties, the ranking only goes through No. 15. Temple University’s online MBA program took the top spot, followed by Indiana University at Bloomington, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Read on for the rest of the 19 best online MBA programs in the country, according to U.S. News.Read full story: Business...

13 MBAs that are really worth your money

Sure, you want to get an M.B.A. to make a higher salary and you may even be willing to plunk down the small fortune that the top programs are charging these days. But, still, you’ll want to make sure such an investment will pay off. So it’s worth checking out this list of M.B.A.s in the U.S. ranked by return-on-investment, calculated using total tuition cost and average graduate salary. The big names are all over this list, which probably comes as much-needed solace for grads who have dropped over $100,000 for their degrees. But there are also a few schools that may not have caught your attention before and come in under $55,000. We’ve included the school’s U.S. News & World Report ranking as a point of comparison. Three of the top 13 schools significantly outperform their overall U.S. News ranking when it comes to ROI. Many of the bigger names have a slightly lower ranking when it comes to ROI than overall, but when it comes to the top of the top, it looks like grads are getting exactly what they’re paying for… Read full story:...

Growing Scandal Threatens Stanford B-School Reputation...

Fallout from a reported love triangle at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business (GSB) has already claimed the school’s dean, sparked lawsuits and countersuits, and threatened the reputation of one of the nation’s most prestigious business schools. To make matters worse, it appears that Stanford is now dragging Apple into the fray. What happens next is anyone’s guess, but what’s allegedly happened so far would definitely make for a juicy TV mini-drama. According to reports, the 12-year marriage of GSB professors James Phills and Deborah Gruenfeld had been on the rocks for some time. In 2012, Gruenfeld finally decided to call it quits and moved out. That sparked a bitter divorce and custody battle that has cost the couple nearly half a million dollars. Three years later, it’s still ongoing. That’s not unusual, but soon after the separation, Gruenfeld reportedly began a clandestine affair with GSB dean Garth Saloner, who at the time happened to be both her and her husband’s boss. And wouldn’t you know it, Stanford ended up firing Gruenfeld’s estranged husband, ostensibly for taking several leaves of absence to teach at Apple University. While Saloner disclosed the incestuous relationship to Stanford provost John Etchemendy and publicly claims to have recused himself from the termination decision, Phills retained access to his wife’s emails and text messages, including “private” conversations with her new boyfriend, who seemed to be very much involved. So Phills sued the school and the dean for wrongful termination, alleging the usual litany of hostile workplace, ongoing retaliation and harassment. In addition, he believes that GSB is trying to force him out of his residence by recalling a low-interest rate loan, now that his wife is no longer living in the home they built on campus....

How Jack Welch Is Reinventing the MBA

The former GE CEO’s online MBA program has a laser-like focus on customer service. When legendary General Electric CEO Jack Welch hired a headhunter to search for new deans of curriculum and faculty for his online management institute, he had an unusual requirement. “Jack didn’t like pie-in-the-sky academic types,” says Michael Kirkman, a search consultant with Lochlin Partners. Despite that limitation, Kirkman had little trouble rounding up an impressive portfolio of higher ed candidates. “Everybody was very interested, particularly with Jack’s name attached to it,” Kirkman says. “A lot of them are just tired of the bureaucracy and garbage that goes on in traditional academic environments.” Welch ultimately hired Craig Clawson, former managing director of Duke Corporate Education, as dean of curriculum, and Mike Zeliff, a faculty member at George Washington University and a former marketing director for the U.S. Marine Corps, as the dean of faculty. Both hires go a long way in telegraphing the fact that the four-year-old Jack Welch Management Institute is one of the very few business schools that is run like a business, with a laser-like focus on customer service. The school is closely managed on student surveys that measure the impact of the education as well as the likelihood that a student would recommend the institute to a friend or colleague. At JWMI, every administrator and faculty member understands that students are customers. In fact, the incentive pay of the core leadership team—up to 25% of their annual base salaries—is based on satisfying those customers. Net Promoter Scores (NPS), the metric Welch is using to monitor student satisfaction, are widely discussed among the leadership team, even down to the scores on the 12 courses that make up the MBA curriculum. “We’re running this...