MBAs

It would seem that the MBA qualification comes in for a bit of a bashing today in two of our more august economic publications.

In the article by Stefan Stern in the FT, there is a discussion of the caricature of the MBA graduate as "fast-tracked and hot-housed, this aspiring master of the universe is supremely confident. He or she will have rapidly acquired enough knowledge of finance, marketing and the rest to launch a brilliant corporate career or, better still, glide straight into an elite strategy firm or investment bank. This steady flow of cocky graduates helped sustain market excess, the MBA-haters maintain. Their arrogance led to the collapse that now afflicts us all."

Another, this time in the Economist, questions the quantitative rigour of MBA courses and suggests that "business schools should encourage more specialisation and make the requirements for the different disciplines more demanding. This will still not give an MBA the same quantitative skills a physicist has, but maybe it will impart some humility and understanding".

Whatever the situation, it would seem that the perception of management education has changed for ever as a result of the recent recession and, more importantly, the inability of those who have undertaken courses at of the World's best business schools to do anything about it.

We will have to wait to see whether this changes the perceived value of the MBA globally.

If it does, then it could spell trouble for many universities who have come to see the MBA as the veritable golden calf, bringing in millions in fees every year from international students and thus bankrolling other activities in loss-making departments.

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