Big changes are afoot at business schools as they juggle the evolving needs of businesses and students while still trying to prove that the investment in a costly degree will pay off. These needs are driving innovation at business schools, which are transforming what it means to get an MBA.
Classroom rigidity is out. In its place are semicustomized degrees, and a mix of online studies and in-person discussion. Business schools are minimizing case studies and emphasizing experiential learning. Schools now teach students how to start their own businesses, though some aspiring entrepreneurs opt to start out in the corporate world to pay off MBA debt, business school leaders say.
“Business school is all about constant change and improvement and response to the market,” said Elissa Sangster, executive director of the Forte Foundation, a nonprofit consortium of companies and business schools supporting women’s access to business education. “It’s always good to look for the next thing to produce better future leaders.”