A number of key topics were discussed at the annual conference with online education, global and regional trends in MBA demand and future evolution, MBM and DBA programmes amongst the most central.
Global Trends MBA education
There were clear signs of a growing interest in online education, with up to 22% of prospective American MBA students considering a online MBA. While prestigious business schools such as Harvard, Wharton and Stanford have recently publicly backed MOOCs, a stigma still exists within the corporate world.
It was found that only 15% of employers in the USA would consider online general management courses beneficial. This finding is in contrast to the attitude about MBA study with 85% of large companies still actively recruiting MBA graduates.
There has also been a change in the quality of programmes in Asia. In 2000, 32 of the top MBA programmes were USA-based. Currently, only 19 are in the United States, with 13 in Europe and 8 in Asia.
New attitudes of MBAs has also been investigated, with the rise in digital business models (Uber, AirBnB etc) demonstrating the need for new MBA programmes. Prospective MBAs (born between 1980 – 2000) have lower interests online, more entrepreneurial attitudes, and different motivations than previous generations. It was found that students would rather the class-room experience over online learning, and with more looking to change the world rather than earn more.
MBA for entrepreneurship rather than career switch
In 2010 45% of respondents reportedly answered that their reason for doing an MBA was for a career switch, followed by 35% looking to enhance their career in their current role.
Those remained the leading reasons in 2014, however those who valued entrepreneurship rose nine percentage points to 28%, primarily driven by aspiring entrepreneurs in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
MBA interest at a 9 year high in 29 countries
GMAT admission tests have revealed that 29 countries are at a 9 year high in the number of prospective MBAs undertaking admission exams. This includes Germany, Netherlands, Poland and Denmark, and a number of growing economies from Africa, Asia and South America.