The business school world is constantly buzzing with change and innovation. In addition to our regular news posts, we briefly touch on a few notable stories from this dynamic field in one roundup.
- Gender equality at business schools has been a hot topic of discussion for years, but MBA programs are still struggling to attract an equal amount of men and women, Bloomberg Businessweek claims. Despite such recent efforts as a White House–facilitated pledge made by 150 business school leaders to help increase female enrollment, the average percentage of female MBA students has stood at 37.2% for the past ten years. One possible reason, according to the article, could be the typical business school work experience requirement of five years or more, which puts women who would like to start a family during that period in a difficult spot. “If we decide to let women go straight [from college to business school], […] there’s no question that we would get more women in,” stated Sarah Fisher Gardial, dean of the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa.
- Although some presidential candidate hopefuls are making big promises of free higher education, the idea remains a dream. However, one online university now offers something virtually unheard of: a tuition-free MBA. University of the People, a nonprofit online university, will welcome its first MBA class of 100 students in September for five nine-week terms. Of course, there is a catch: the tuition is free, but students are expected to cover other expenses of up to $2,400 during the program. “[University of the People] was set up to open the gates to higher education and to give an opportunity to those who don’t have it,” President Shai Reshef said in a press release. “Launching the world’s most cost-effective MBA was a natural progression for the university, and hopefully, it will pave the way for other universities to follow.”
- The MBA has received its fair share of criticism from technology professionals lately. For example, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg recently said she does not believe the degree is important for working in the industry. Yet a recent Bloomberg Businessweek survey found that technology was the third most popular field (after finance and consulting) among recently graduated MBAs and that tech hires were paid more handsomely than graduates who accepted positions in finance. “[Tech] firms wouldn’t keep coming back to hire our MBAs if it wasn’t a valuable skill set,” said Rich Lyons, dean of the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business, where 43% of the Class of 2015 accepted jobs in technology after graduation.