Social Media Skills a Must for MBAs, Survey Says

Students and applicants live and breathe through social media

If you think social media is primarily good for reconnecting with long-lost friends from high school or stalking celebrities to find out what they had for breakfast, think again.

Now more than ever, M.B.A. students and applicants live and breathe through social media, a new online survey reveals. And that level of social media use is a good thing, considering the growing demand in the business world for employees with honed social media skills.

After polling hundreds of both prospective and current b-school students, The MBA Tour found that 85 percent of potential students worldwide say they use social media sites to research their top school choices. This is higher than the 71 percent of students already enrolled who reported using social media for their school research, suggesting a massive upward trend is afoot.

Although most elite business schools use Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, and LinkedIn as part of their outreach strategy to potential applicants, it appears their efforts haven't quite hit the mark. Approximately 14 percent of would-be students reported outright disappointment with their potential schools' use of social media tools, or, while acknowledging that the schools had made an effort, 63 percent were left wanting more.

For current students or graduates, 55 percent felt the social media options and subsequent classes were either "not up to par with the growing industry" (17.7 percent) or simply weren't provided (37.7 percent). Additionally, 99 percent of students researching business schools reported social media was either a "necessity in every field of study" (51.7 percent) or "somewhat important dependent on the field of study" (47.6 percent)...

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