The Future of the MBA

Saturday, June 22, 2019

How Shifting Enrollment Trends Are Changing Business Education.

For business schools around the country, business is anything but usual. Since fewer Americans are willing to drop out of a strong economy to earn a graduate degree, enrollment in MBA programs is shrinking. Decades of declining job satisfaction also suggest that many professionals are tired of trading hours for dollars. Instead, they crave specialized, meaningful, and creative work -- aspirations not always prioritized by traditional business programs that emphasize the bottom line.

These trends invite an important question: Has the MBA lost its luster, or can business schools find new ways of attracting applicants who are both values-driven and cost-conscious? Fortunately for students, the MBA is still a highly regarded degree; in fact, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) reports that overall enrollment that includes international business schools remained steady between 2016 and 2017. Increasingly, however, American students are choosing nontraditional business programs with leaner, cheaper, and more flexible MBA options.

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