MBA Applications Dropping

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by Kizmet, Oct 12, 2011.

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  1. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  2. major56

    major56 Active Member

    There are way too many MBA program offerings and the MBA is becoming pretty much a diluted degree as regards its significance in today’s marketplace IMO … even with a top ranked B-school brand. In our current and probable continued economic downward spiral, there are just not enough employment opportunities to absorb the number of newly minted MBAs, or for many degree (graduate or undergraduate) recipients for that matter. When including the higher program costs (at times even preposterous) for top tier MBA programs, independent evaluated projected ROI is quite likely to offer a low or quite modest fiscal return ... if that. Seemingly, the public is catching on to the postsecondary industry and its long trend of overpriced importance deception. Consider that the postsecondary education bubble may well be in the process of bursting (?).
     
  3. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    Well, students always consider whether an MBA would be a good return on investment or not. For example, HBS (Harvard Business School) MBA costs around ~ $160K, Duke's Fuqua MBA costs $150K. With that amount you can buy a decent house in Dallas/Fort Worth area...
     
  4. major56

    major56 Active Member

    As are you Tekman, I’m not confident that they have in the past objectively (e.g., reality) considered ROI regarding the elite brand MBA and its differentiation value. Along with the poor economic situation additionally contributing to the decline in enrollments among the top ranked B-schools with potential students and declines in tuition paid /reimbursement employers beginning to impartially conduct legitimate cost /benefit analysis (?). For those who decide for a MBA, price leader programs will likely increasingly become more appealing. And with the economy being a buyer’s market … the MBA availability glut is also driving down pricing among more and more mainstream MBA program competitors, encouraging consumers to consider switching to alternative, less costly, and less influential perceived MBA brands.
     
  5. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Many of the people that have been getting MBAs are people who are already employed and are using it to advance in their careers (are there not countless examples of such people on this very board?!). If jobs are not aplenty and employers are cutting costs by removing positions, consolidating responsibilities and decreasing employee benefits like tuition reimbursements, then there simply may be less people who are able to afford one.

    Also, yes, it may be that word is getting around that the MBA in the job market is not quite what it used to be. I mentioned to one of the students that I work with that one of my degrees will be a BSBA and his reaction was, flatly "You will not get a job." LOL, I disagree that it is that simple, especially if I have a different idea about what kind of job that I am looking for than he does, but there is some truth in what he said. A Bachelor of Business is not exactly a tour de force for most people's resume, which means that one might have to have an MBA to even be noticed. However, even that is starting to become entry-level in many cases.
     
  6. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    My proctor was the librarian at a local private college and he had an MBA. He is now working on a masters in MIS and just got an entry level job in desktop computer support.
    The bottom line is that without actual skills and experience, an MBA is probably not going to convince a company to hire you. It is such a general degree. If you want to be a human resources manager, get a masters in human resources, not an MBA in which you take 1 accounting, 1 finance, 1 HR, 1 stats etc course.
    I think the MBA is something that a career scientist who wants to move into administration could take, or a career engineer who wants to become a better manager or a director. It doesn't qualify one for teaching or practicing a specific field, but it is valuable.

    I will have an MBA soon and I think the study has helped me to transition from a student to a budding scholar. I know I have a long way to go, but my research and writing skills have definitely improved. NCU in particular emphasizes scholarly research in all of its MBA classes.
     
  7. keegan

    keegan New Member

    The MBA seems to be most applicable to those who are already in their desired field and want more business administrative knowledge for a promotion.
     
  8. AdjunctInstructor

    AdjunctInstructor New Member

    I believe this article explains one of the factors for the decline. In some regards it may be losings it utility for gaining corporate positions especially in the industry/technical area.
    Famous MBA Bashes MBAs and the Degree | Poets and Quants
     
  9. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

    You also have to consider that the schools in the OP are prestigious. Many MBA students in these programs quit jobs to study full-time. In this economic climate, that's a risk that fewer people are willing to take.
     
  10. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    A number of good points have been made. In order to begin to return this question to a level where basic questions might actually be answered we have to remember that this is a DL forum and not all MBA degree programs are accessible to us who are (almost universally) working professionals who can not afford to just quit our jobs and return to some high priced Ivy League MBA program, even if we could gain admission. So . . .

    if you are employed in the business world (whatever that means) and want to improve your situation the obvious choice (not the only choice) is to earn an MBA. It makes sense in a number of ways. The big question is . . .

    how much do I spend? Assuming that you could get into any MBA program (undergrad grades, experience, etc.) is it smarter to go cheap or go top shelf? Is there any data that actually demonstrates that a higher priced MBA results in better opportunities, promotions, salary increases or could you go to the bargain basement and still get the same opportunities. Does the name actually carry value or is it simply a check mark in the box of an HR interviewer that counts?
     
  11. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    My answer (if I was thinking of an MBA, which I'm really not) . . .

    There are so many DL MBA programs around, I'd enroll in the nearest state university program. It may not be the cheapest in the world but it's probably not that far off. They will have good name recognition and usually state universities have reasonable reputations within their geographical area. They will also have decent alumni/networking opportunities. To my way of thinking this is one situation where "Think Local," makes real sense. (btw - I would also say that this thinking applies well to MEd programs.)
     
  12. PatsGirl1

    PatsGirl1 New Member

    One of the reasons I decided to get my MBA was because my undergrad is in English and although I have extensive experience in the "business world" (for whatever that means, as Kismet said lol) and have been a business analyst for 3+ years, I get the circular file when applying for jobs because my degree doesn't say "Business". As soon as I was able to put "MBA, in process, estimated completion date X" on my resume, I get call backs. I don't agree with it, but it's the way it is. I also personally have grown quite a bit since starting my studies and it has taught me much, much more than how to calculate ROI and various other things.

    That being said, I will be PARTYING when I am done with it and I'm not entirely sure I would recommend doing it to everyone. For my situation, I feel it will help. I'm also realistic about what it will do for me. It's not going to give me 6 figures and it's not going to transform me into Miss Superstar of the Business World.
     
  13. ITJD

    ITJD Active Member

    In terms of what I've seen since getting my MBA from UMass Amherst ..

    1. The type of company that has been jumping on my resume has changed. I used to get called by companies that were rather large and looking for someone with a lot of experience doing one specific thing in order to do that one thing and they wanted me to stay there a good while. In general they didn't care about educational level and had a lot of people who had been there since the last U.S lunar landing.

    Now I get calls from startup type businesses and consulting firms. They need the same experience that the other company needed but they like that there's some indication that a candidate isn't a one-trick horse.

    In either case the money is approximately the same but I broke the single job 100k barrier shortly after graduation, my guess is it's about having a willingness to be mobile and being immediately on the job market after you finish the program. I feel that if I stuck around a year to avoid paying back tuition to my previous employer, I'd have lost an opportunity.

    2. The MBA has directly translated into a teaching gig at a local technical college that specializes in information technology and information security degrees. I always had the information technology experience and knowledge, but the MBA gave me a credential necessary to be taken seriously as an applicant.

    So for me, I'd say the return was there. However, if I had gotten the degree and been happy sitting in the same chair I was sitting in during the program, I'd still be making the same money and not seeing any value in the process. At least this way I ended up consulting and teaching and while I've not seen a real change in pay due to having to pay for my own benefits (in Massachusetts - ouch), at least there's not been any drop off.

    From my perspective, my outlook is brighter.
     
  14. LinfieldADP

    LinfieldADP member

    Kizmet,

    This is not a surprising statistic. With the growing cost of tuition and the decrease in jobs available, it is discouraging to go to graduate school, especially one that can leave students with 6-digit loans to pay back. No one wants to receive their masters only to be working at a job that only requires a high school diploma. Thank you for putting this information on the forum.
     
  15. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    An MBA sans skills and experience will not have a lot of value in the market. In fact any degree sans skills or experience will likely not have a lot of value in the market. A degree is ultimately about 2 things, first it is to check off a box of minimum qualifications and second, it might get you an edge into getting an interview...that's it. After that it is all about what you bring to the table. If you get an interview, in my opinion your degree has carried you as far as you can reasonably expect.
     
  16. okydd

    okydd New Member

    Is the content of an MBA the same or higher as 20/30 years ago.?if the content is higher or the same as 20/30 years ago, then why the claim that the MBA is diluted? The value of the MBA is indicative in the proliferation of MBA programs. There is goods news for both MBA practitioners and prospective students in the news that MBA enrollment is declining. *If this is the start of a trend, then we should see some MBA programs being shut down, hopefully a few bad schools go out of business, and eventual a reduction in prices. Then the cycle start again with increase enrollment. A few bad schools may try to decrease mba prices now to boost enrollment on this news. I hope they do get crush by the downward price pressure by the better schools.
     
  17. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    I disagree; many employers (including mine) have education incentives, where you can substantially increase your salary by having/earning a college degree(s). In my case, I earned raises of 10%, 20%, and 25% by earning my A.S., B.A., and first M.A. (I'm on my own now with the second M.A. and doctorate).
     

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