The MBA is a postgraduate academic degree born in the 19th century. Since then, business schools have evolved to provide excellent services and to adapt to the needs of employers, to students’ expectations and to keep up with new technologies.
Alternative sources of funding
Sources of funding alternative to scholarships and peer to peer lending have become increasingly widespread and used by those who want an excellent education but who, at the same time, are coping with the high cost of access to it.
Two of the most well-known forms of crowdfunding are Prodigy, where credit institutions use a predictive model based on future income potential rather than on the credit history of the individual student; and SoFi (Social Finance) which is more suitable to those who are working and wish to study for an MBA on a part-time basis.
Wide range of specializations
Until 10 years ago, the most popular subjects were related to Finance, Marketing, Strategy and Technology. Today, these disciplines are joined by new areas of specialization, in particularly luxury goods, healthcare, aviation, education and energy. At the same time, a new range of specializations are appearing that are expanding available offerings. According to the largest consulting firms, the areas that will see the greatest development and increase in demand will be Human Resource Management, Project & Program Management and Marketing. Another specialization that is becoming popular on a global scale is Supply Chain Management. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 26% increase in logistics roles by 2020.
The professionalism of the students who finish an MBA degree is much more sought-after by employers today. If before they were more reluctant to hire such specialized students lest they abandon the company after gaining base experience to start their own businesses, today large companies recognize their beneficial contribution in terms of the innovation, skills and creativity which are essential to compete in new markets.
In the same manner in which economic scenarios have changed, CVs also need a new focus in order to highlight new skills. Business schools know that what is taught is just as important as how it is taught. The most important changes will see an increased focus on entrepreneurship, leadership, communication, cultural diversity, management of big data, social responsibility and multi-viewpoint analysis.
Flexible access and learning
The watchword for MBA access will be flexibility. Students will be able to attended classes both in the classroom and online in order to better accommodate their rhythms and to better meet their needs. At the same time, there will be an increase in peer-interaction, in team exercises, and in real world exercises (at work). To meet employers’ demand for experts with international experience, we are beginning to see multi-location MBA programs that allow students to attend modules in different places.
The study and training experience offered by an MBA is becoming an increasingly safe and valid access key to the labor market and an interesting meeting place for companies seeking leaders and students seeking excellence.