King’s forgoes MBA in favour of ‘malleable’ graduates

In a recent comment to the Financial Times, the new King’s Business School’s dean, Stephen Bach, stated the school would not offer an MBA programme. 

Instead, Mr. Bach commented, “What we are hearing from our employers and some of our advisory group members is that companies are looking for talent at an earlier stage… they are looking for new students who are very strategic in their thinking but are still malleable. We already have great strengths in teaching people in those areas.”

The Dean’s office offered no further comment – nor significance of malleability with regard to the programme. Instead, they provided a link to King’s Business School’s internal homepage, and to the Graduate Management Admission Council’s research findings page. The relevance of these findings was unclear, with their 2017 Application Trends Survey Report even contradictorily reporting that “Three-quarters (75%) of full-time one-year MBA programs in the UK reported increased application volume to their programs.”

The Financial Times, on the other hand, has shown a relative decline in MBA applications in the past two years. They suggest that potential students have decided the tuition fees and opportunity cost do not make up for the salary increase MBAs purportedly enjoy.

MBAs also seem to be going out of vogue among the hiring class. FT also indicated as such this past August with “What employers want from their MBA graduates—and what they don’t.” The bottom line? MBAs are overconfident and lacking in high-demand skills such as big data analysis and integrating social media into business.

Perhaps in response to this demand for more specific skill-sets, King’s Business School, previously under the faculty of Social Science and Public Policy, offers many one-year, specialised postgraduate degrees. Courses range from Corporate Finance to distinctly 21st-century subjects such as Digital Marketing and Strategic Entrepreneurship & Innovation. All courses carry the qualification MSc rather than MBA.

As the faculty develops, we can only observe whether the choice to opt out of the MBA is a positive one.

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