Friday, December 29, 2006

MBA Programs Get Much-Needed Update

As mentioned over at The Kept up Academic Librarian and The Universities Weblog, Yale University has responded to (entirely justified) criticism from the business community, and scholars, that MBA programs are not giving students the experience/skills that are required in the global economy.

Starting this year, study abroad is required of all MBA students. "During the first two weeks of January, Yale students will travel to one of eight destinations around the world for intensive study. They will meet business, government and nonprofit leaders."

I am certainly on the lookout for international experience/perspectives relevant to the classes I teach, and my work in the private sector (more on my dual life here). Such a shift toward what has become known as "Social Capitalism" has been celebrated by such mainstream business publications as FastCompany (for instance, see this article on Social Capitalism). If the likes of BusinessWeek, Business 2.0 and FastCompany have taken notice, you can bet that a major shift in values/expectations is well under way among the nation's successful businesses.

"Doing well by doing good" isn't just an organic-produce-eating hippie thing anymore. (By the way, the Organics Industry has become a 23+ billion dollar industry in itself---quite the change from the ex-hippie startups of the 1970s, like Boulder, Colorado-based Horizon Organic).

Plain and simple, the cookie-cutter educations that characterized traditional MBA programs of the past 30 years won't make you as attractive to employers as it once did...

The changes, implemented this fall, come after criticism in scholarly articles that MBA programs have failed to teach useful skills. Other business schools are implementing or considering similar plans.

Business schools increasingly compete for students and faculty as the number of MBA programs has soared. Universities are trying to differentiate themselves with special programs, such as a growing emphasis on ethics courses in the wake of corporate scandals.

“There is a trend to being responsive to the needs of the marketplace,’’ said Arthur Kraft, chairman of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Next fall, a new Stanford University curriculum will emphasize the skills a business manager needs and require students to have a global experience.

Yale’s new curriculum aims to elevate the 30-year-old business program, its newest professional school, into the ranks of elite business schools such as Harvard, Wharton and others. Business Week ranked Yale 19th out of its top 30 MBA programs.

Mindful of the global economy, Yale and other business schools are placing more emphasis on studying abroad.

You can read the full article here.

1 comment:

Deb S. said...

Very interesting post. Great topic.